In more recent years, I’ve settled into the stresses of being a young adult and realizing that things don’t get easier or harder, rather they change and challenge you every step of the way. I think about how much I’ve changed over the past few years, but also how eerily similar everything has been.
When I was younger, I jumped around from one dream profession to another; when I was 5, I wanted to be a vampire slayer (unfortunately, they don’t do very well in this economy). Everything from marine biology to wedding planning interested me. I’ve taken courses in interior design, business management, software development, web design, and I even tried starting my own business. I still have this need to learn and do everything, which is great and terrible. I have all the time in the world but still run out of it by the end of the day.
Throughout all of my changes in life, there have been constants… my parents, I’m a pain in the ass, traveling, and my teddy bear. Now, over the past 22 years, I have accumulated a toy store’s worth of stuffed animals of all different sizes and colors, and I love them all. My bear, the one pictured above, is very special to me. He was given to me by my great-aunt when I was born and has been by my side through everything. I can only remember a handful of times where I didn’t have him with me, except in school and at work. His right arm has fallen off about 7 times, and my mom always sewed it back on. He doesn’t have a name, but I can’t imagine him with one at this point.
I know, a 22 year-old with a stuffed animal friend. It’s more than that, though. I found comfort in him being there. I was and still am capable of finding joy in something, and if I have to sleep with a teddy bear for the rest of my life to feel somewhat okay then I will.
I’m not ashamed of being happy or feeling comfort. I’m not going to let others control how I feel about things, or allow them to make me feel bad about myself. As long as I have my bear, I can try to be okay.