Meet Molly. She is an old friend. Besides a cameo bracelet that my parents went from jeweler to jeweler to find per my request upon college graduation, Molly is still my favorite gift from my parents. She isn't my first doll, my first was named Blueberry or Sugar, depending on my mood. She was adored, that one. I let her get away.
Back then in my four year old mind, I thought getting rid of baby stuff was a good way to move on, a way to grow up. "I don't need Blueberry anymore" led to a hasty decision to donate her. It didn't take long to regret that decision. Even as a young adult I remember taking a look in the toy sections of second hand stores just in case she was sitting there, waiting for our reunion.
The life long challenge of negotiating what to hold on to and what to let go of can cause all of us pause. We all have heard of buyers remorse and many a tune about a lost love. Either way, it's useful to be aware of how we handle this balancing act since these themes surface throughout life. I remember years after Blueberry's departure, a similar crossroads occurred with a cozy blanket. This blanket was a family staple.
We all had our turns at using it as we sat on the couch to watch TV. It was a symbol of comfort to me, even in its tattered state. But its days were numbered as my dad became too aware of its aged state. He pressed me to get rid of it, and as a kid will do, I presented him with a deal that I was sure he would not take. The problem was he took me up on it. So one cozy yet tattered blanket shared space in a hefty bag beside a pair of men's acid washed jeans. It was not much of a conciliation, but it did make the interchange feel industrious.
Before I relinquished the blanket, I clipped a square of the fabric and kept it in my dresser for years afterwards. Another one bites the dust. But Molly, I wasn't letting her go. I was five when she came into my life, an act of comfort and understanding from my parent's on the eve of my eye surgery. Her given name rolled off my tongue as soon as I saw her. She got me through the discomfort that comes with the unknown and the healing process.
So what I noticed when I recently rediscovered Molly tucked safely away in a box, was what she reminded me of. She no longer just represented Molly, she reminded me of Blueberry, of the cozy blanket, of funny memories- things that made me feel comforted and happy. Molly was the liaison for that, the key holder.
What that helped me to see is that if I check in the right places, in the recesses of my mind, where I hold these positive feelings, I can conjure up memories of calm, love, and comfort. We all can. We talk about mindfulness about how to let your negative thoughts drop away. I think equally important to our attitude in life is surrounding ourselves with love. Not all situations provide that, so we can fall back on the love, the friendships and memories we carry with us.
I am grateful that the cozy blanket and Blueberry are just as much with me as Molly. It makes me smile to think that if my dad wants to he can go back to a time when he was wearing his acid washed jeans.
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