By Yamila García
It is never an easy task to incorporate something new into my life. That’s why every time I have to do it, I try to smooth the process with the help of “known things.” These things are not just anything, but specific things that make me feel comfortable and safe. It can be my favorite sweater, the most comfortable, old sneakers I own, the softest fabric T-shirt (and without tags of course) that I have, a piece of fabric, a textured keychain that I can scratch, or my favorite candies. I always have some of these things with me, but when I know I have to go through a change or incorporate something new into my life, I try to have them all! Having them gives me a feeling of security, of a “controlled environment” and makes the process I have to go through much easier. I know that everyone has their “favorite things,” but for me, more than wanting them, I need them. Only then can I feel the ground under me and be present in a moment of great pressure and stress.
I know and accept that this helps me a lot, but it wasn’t always like that. For a long time, I tried to ignore this need for comfort in things that I thought were “dumb.” I was embarrassed that I had to so illogically “depend” on a keychain or a particular cloth to get through common situations in my life. That dependency frustrated me a lot because I considered it a weakness. I was wrong, of course! What weakness can there be in knowing yourself? Knowing what works for you, and being able to help yourself is something to be proud of. Taking care of yourself, knowing how to regulate your emotions, and reducing discomfort in stressful situations, do nothing more than ensure your well-being. So, if like me, you also pack your backpack with your “life savers” every time you face a challenge, be proud! It is the most responsible thing you can do for yourself.