Sometimes I think we need a little reminder of the small happy things that can happen in life. And then we need to remember that they can happen to any of us at any time.
About five years ago, my Dad and I were driving up to visit my Daddy while he was away at camp. I happened to have an audition that Friday, so we decided that Dad would drive me to the audition and then we would keep driving to Merced from there. Our bags were packed for the weekend away, and since we never pack light—not even for a trip to visit a prison—the car was pretty full. After the audition, I got in the back of the car and pulled out an outfit to change into. I made my quick change and off we went.
Now is probably a good time to mention that I have always had two stuffed animals that I bring with me. Well, not always, just if there is going to be a time where I am going to have to sleep.
We arrived at the Courtyard Marriott Merced, only to find, Scruffy, my stuffed animal that I have had since I was one, was missing. At the time I was 21 and still, the idea of losing Scruffy was devastating. He and I had been through everything together. He had been sleeping right under my chin since I was literally one year old and my heart just about broke knowing I had lost him. We realized that he had probably popped out of my suitcase when I got out my change of clothes after my audition and had likely ended up on the side of the road somewhere in Burbank and the likelihood of me getting him back was basically 0%.
My Dad and I talked for a long time. We decided that maybe my losing Scruffy was the universe telling me it was time to let go and grow up and not have my safety and security tied to a stuffed animal anymore at the ripe old age of 21.
After hours of discussion, I finally made peace with the idea of Scruffy and I parting ways. I hoped a little kid found him and was taking care of him and the idea of him going on to live a happy life as someone else of a more appropriate age’s safety and security comforted me.
But it was tough. It felt like I was inadvertently being forced to say goodbye to my childhood and that was a difficult pill to swallow. I thought the universe was being just a touch cruel. But I also believed that the universe had my best interest at heart and so, I just went with it and decided, okay, it’s time to start building my life as an adult. It was time to face, “The real world.”
I was really making peace with all of these ideas, but as we drove back two days later I asked my Dad if we could just quickly stop by where we had been parked when I opened my suitcase and where we thought Scruffy might have fallen out.
As we rounded the corner I scanned the street, no sign of Scruffy. I was pretty bummed. I had been sure that by some miracle he was going to be there.
We drove a little further down the street just as a precaution when I rather jarringly yelled, “Dad stop the car!!!!”
I hopped out of the front seat and ran. Right there on the sidewalk some incredible human had taken my Scruffy and propped him up, crossed his legs and his arms and left him there for me. (I’m guessing the person that did this probably assumed a five-year-old was missing their favorite stuffed animal…but nonetheless…).
I picked him up, rather cautiously, because let’s face it, who knows what he may have seen during his weekend on the streets of Burbank, and I placed him in the car right next to me. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t cried tears of joy.
After the long conversation with my Dad before we found Scruffy, it not only felt like I had my favorite little guy back, but it also felt like at the same time I had picked up the physical manifestation of my childhood. We drove home, both a little teary-eyed, both a little frightened of me actually growing up and both beyond excited that I still had Scruffy.
I drove by the corner where we found Scruffy this week and the story popped into my head. It got me thinking about three things. 1) That the world is inherently a good place and that we have to remember to believe in the good instead of focusing on the negative and 2) That even though we found Scruffy that day, the universe had given me the push I needed to start developing ideas and wants and beliefs for the next stage in my life. It was exactly the lesson I needed at that time, but man am I glad the universe could also bring Scruffy back to me and 3) You are never too old to be a child at heart.
Happy Friday, Friends! I hope you can focus on the joys and the little wins and know the universe is looking out for you. XOXOXO, CAMDW