My mom cherished the family stories that she heard growing up and as I grew up she liked to remind me of things that I had done. Sometimes it would be embarrassing and other times old wounds would be opened and I’d reiterate my side of an event. But there was a sweet thing that she would recall from time to time and it still represents something about my character.

When I was a little girl and my mom found me alone and playing with dolls, she assumed I had been in an argument with friends. I’m sure there were times when I was just playing alone by choice, but I know she knew what she was talking about. Sometimes stories about ourselves as children are repeated so often that we believe they are our own memories. But this behavior I do remember. As a kid, wanting life to be in crisp black & white, I began to learn about shades of grey. During childhood, life is happy/sad, love/hate, play/fight, etc. Kids “go out and play” and “get into fights“. After battling to the bitter end, I would retreat and return to my dolls. I still do that.

Sometimes it isn’t others that we fight, but our situation and circumstances. When my mood is low, my mind is blank or my emotions are getting the better of me, putting the focus on my dolls helps. There is enough creativity in doll play to inspire me to face other challenges and as I become very focused, the activity is meditative and restores my energy.

Quick temper, confrontation and fighting on behalf of my beliefs or for a loved one, is both nature and nurture for me. I’m also someone who thrives on solitude and early on I learned the difference between alone and lonely. As much as I try to take care of myself, I’ve learned to know when to ask for support from the handful of people who really know me and accept me anyway. They encourage me to keep going because they are the ones who respect my differences, my opinions and know how to honestly communicate their own thoughts and feelings. They allow me to be alone and keep me from being lonely. Dolls are pretty good at that too.