Stuck in a comfort zone

Setting up my GI Joes for a photo shoot

Around the end of elementary school, a lot of my classmates were moving past the stage of playing with toys. I feel like even at an early age I was stuck in my comfort zone, and at this point in time I still used toys as a creative outlet in my spare time, and had no interest in letting them go.

There were some benefits to this, I acquired a lot of toys from other kids that no longer had any interest in playing with them, but now I am able to reflect back, and see that I had a hard time letting things go, and also had some sort of fear of growing up.

My friendship with Mitch was still part of my life, and even though he still didn’t associate with me in public, we still had the same style of friendship on the weekends. A lot of our friendship still involved playing with toys. One night we spent an entire evening setting up a battle scene with all of our combined He-Man figures. We woke up early the next morning to play out the epic fight we had designed.

I understand that there are probably a lot of other kids that had a hard time letting go of childish things, but I think for me I was using toys as a distraction, and a way to cope with my emotions, and feelings that I was unable to identify at that time in my life.

The public school I went to only went to Grade five, then all the kids would go to a new school that they would attend until High School. I feel like a lot of my peers wanted to grow up, and were excited about the idea of starting a new chapter in their lives. I was afraid, and really struggled to leave my comfort zone, and without having toys to help distract me from reality, I had no idea how I would face this new challenge, so I hung on to them.

This of course caused further criticism from some of my peers, but at this point I felt like any decision I made would create the same outcome. I tended to stick with what I knew, I had a few stable friends, Brad, Mitch and Dave and had developed my own reality that I relied on. Somehow at this point in my life I still felt alone, and struggled to face the world on a daily basis.

This difficulty with change, and fear of stepping out of my comfort zone followed me throughout my adult life, and to this day is still something that often requires my attention. I am hoping that reflecting on it’s origins may be beneficial for me, and that a little bit of understanding may go a long way.