Old Dog Learning New Tricks: Taking the High Road

April 12, 2010

Or: The Post Where I Admit To Still Sleeping With a Teddy Bear at The Age of Twenty-Five

I will start this off by stating this this post could also very easily be entitled, “The Bear That Broke My Heart” or “The Day I Put My Teddy Bear in a Box and Sent Him Away.” And its not really a post I’m super excited or proud to share with you, and yet, here I am, spilling my guts. The abbreviated version of this story is as follows: Met first girlfriend at fourteen. Fell in love. Didn’t quite understand being in a relationship, cheated, got cheated on, had my heart broken, was given a teddy bear to sleep with in replacement for girl when girl dumped me for girl upstairs. Teddy bear was gifted to her at birth, had a mangled face, was the most perfect bear in creation.

Fast forward eleven years. I am 25, moderately pulled together, have had a good couple of relationships (with people who attempted to replace said bear with bears of their own – unsuccessfully), and sleep with this perfect bear, tucked under my shoulder, every night, no matter where I am. I love the bear. I travel with the bear. And then: SHE ASKS FOR THE BEAR BACK. And I’ll admit, I cry, for a month every time I look at the bear. I email her back begging her not to ask. And she responds? With her address. Awesome.

I won’t lie, today I concocted an entire email before I was brave enough to ask C if it was a good idea. I know that she’ll say – don’t engage, these are your emotions speaking not your brain, (she’s right about everything all the time). But I can’t help it. I’m an emotional girl. I feel like a huge bundle of nerves and open heart that walks around everyday getting zapped and overwhelmed and loud. I also tend to ramble. (wink wink) So I wrote the whole email, and then I put my phone down. Allowed myself to cry exactly two tears, and then got in the car, drove to the post office, put that bear in a priority mailing box, and sent it away.

I sent it away, partly because C said this: there are things in your life that are as comforting as that bear that you’ll never  have to give away. Partly because, despite owning it for so many years, I never really quite felt like it belonged to me. And partly because, I almost let my anger, frustration, fear, and pain hold me back from a major opportunity for personal growth. Remember when I guest posted for A Merry Life about not fully believing I deserved the life of my dreams? In that post, I vouched to start believing in myself more, and truly start believing that I am worthy of all that comes my way.  Yep. It’s a new era folks. And I’m not holding on to all those fears and discomfort any longer. Oh, and also because, it was the right thing to do, and APPARENTLY I’m an adult now, so I have to do those kinds of things.

So I bought myself this as a replacement:

Because, SOMETHING has to prop my shoulder up at night or I can’t sleep, and, you know, just because I’m pretending I’m an adult doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

And the million dollar question: what comforting thing, stuffed or otherwise, do you hold on to?  If at least ONE person admits to sleeping with a teddy bear, I will seriously love you for the rest of time.