Me And My Toys

I love the idea of having friends who listen and don’t tell.

You can call me childish. You can call me weird. You can say anything you want. But I still love my toys.

I have a few cuddly toys left in my room. A lot more than most people of this age. But the toys that still live in my room, and not in the attic (where they wait to come back to me another time) are my babies. My little cuddly friends. My own inanimate family.

I really don’t know what it is with me and my cuddly toys. They’re just there for me. I found one more today, it was the donkey teddy in the picture above. In a shop, it was one I particularly liked. I thought it was cute. I know how crazy it sounds, but her little plastic eyes just said to me “Hey there. I like you. Where are you going now? Are you leaving? Can I come with you?” I picked her up and muttered softly “Of course you can.” I got her using my own money from a few hours of honest hard graft. I’m not even joking.

I guess what it is for me is having friends that are my own. I have a family downstairs; they listen and talk. Then I have my cuddly toy family upstairs; they listen, but they don’t talk. They don’t need to say anything. I just need them there. To listen. Of course, they can’t give me advice. But they take my worries away, they reduce my stresses, they hold onto my problems until I’m ready to come back and tackle them. They know everything about me. They know how old I am, but they can’t go away – and they wouldn’t.

It sounds strange and twisted. But there’s something beautiful about the friendship I have with them. Their cute faces make me feel happy. Cuddling them makes me feel safe. Talking to them helps me keep my sanity in a world that wants me to “adult”, in a society that’s trying to drive me insane with all its different rules and conventions.

I know what you’re thinking. How can I be an adult if this is what I do? If I am like this, I can’t possibly be interested in anything else. Because this is who I am, I’m a very one dimensional person who can’t have any other interests other than acting like a child.

Well, I have a job. I’m learning to drive. I go to college. I pick up my sister from school sometimes. I look after her on the way home. I go out to places. I go on nights out with my mates. I write on this blog and I love doing that. I have hopes, I have dreams, I have aspirations. And it doesn’t matter how childish you perceive me to be, just for this one thing that I do, it hurts when these flat, plain assumptions are made about me.

So, can you have cuddly toys as an adult and, well, “adult” at the same time? Do you want the long answer or the short answer? The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, of course you can, don’t be ridiculous, it’s totally possible. You see, very few people have only one side to them. All the people that think they have only one side to them, because they think having only one side to them is “normal” and the only way to be perceived as normal, are lying to themselves and the rest of us. So, it is, of course, entirely possible to go to work, get in your car, drive home, then jump into bed and cuddle up with your teddy. And you can have as many as you like. It’s all absolutely fine. There’s nothing creepy about it whatsoever, and anyone who says it is creepy is just trying to mess with you. It’s not creepy. Just do whatever makes you feel comfortable. That’s what being an adult is, right? Saying yes to the things that make your heart race and put a smile on your face, saying no to the things that don’t (all within reason, obviously). It’s okay to be a bit of both, as long as you know the boundaries for where it’s appropriate and where it isn’t.

So, do I “adult”? Of course I do. And then, I go to sleep at night with my little cuddly teddies. I sometimes take one with me for good luck, if I’m going to need a little friend to cuddle, if I just want to carry something around to help me feel better. Heck, sometimes if I have to do a presentation in class I will stand there, holding my toy penguin, and feeling absolutely no shame. Is there a problem? No. It’s all absolutely fine. We all want to feel okay, don’t we? We all want to feel safe. And this is how I make myself feel happy and safe in a world where I can pick only one. With my toys.

Yeah, I still have my cuddly toys. But that’s what I do for me, not for you.

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