Being protected has always been a comfort to me. Perhaps it's my tendency towards the fantastical, as evidenced by my love of H. P. Lovecraft, that makes me want to shield myself from the unknown. Yet, a protective attitude is something I have sought to nurture even beyond the realms of fantasy. To be sure, I believe that any form of safeguarding can give us a sense of security in an unpredictable world.
I was raised to be protective by my parents, with that love filtering into the rest of my life. From an early age, I have sought to protect those I care about, be it plants, animals, or human beings. I surround my closest friend – my cat, Emmett Brown – with blankets and cushions, ensuring he is warm and comfortable. Parrot, my beloved parrot, I have trained not to fly away – not from my protective grasp. I also care for numerous house plants, nurturing them to sustain their life despite the poor conditions at times.
I believe protectiveness in those we care about can also be a safeguard for our own wellbeing. Knowing that our presence in someone’s life offers protection gives us hope and a sense of security in a chaotic world. We can be assured that our lives are interconnected, making them less lonely and directionless. There are times when being protective can be difficult, such as when my friend wants to do something I think is dangerous – like white water rafting or sky diving – or when I experience my occasional TMJ flare up that limits my mobility. But, in such cases, I also recognize the importance of allowing my friends to make their own choices and allowing them the freedom to run risks.
It is my determination to be protective – both of myself and those around me – that serves as a constant throughout my life. As I learn more about the world around me by engaging in my various activities such as bowling, fishing, lasertag, unicycling and dodgeball, I'm also reminded of the need to protect, and to be protected in return. This reminder is both comforting and a source of strength, as it allows me to take on the ever-changing and unpredictable world with confidence.