Hi, papa bear.
How appropriate the advice site is named papa bear, for the question I have to ask you has precisely to do with that.
I lost my papa when I was around 2 years old [Papabear note: he is 20 now] and since then I've been looking to have someone be a paternal figure to me. Along with that, I've been experiencing strong urges to recreate my early childhood of which I barely have memories. In other words I want to have my papa back, I want to get my early childhood back, I want to laugh all my cares away, redo my life like it was a crayon-drawn sketch.
It's a really cute and adorable dream depicted like that; however, it always hardens a knot to my chest (one I have since I turned 13) and I can't help to tear up at times.
I want to grow up as a person in society, be mature and fit in. But I don't want to let go of the childish traits that are part of me. What do I do?
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I am so sorry for your loss—a hard thing to go through for any child, not to mention your mother, who, it sounds like, did not remarry and had to raise you by herself. It’s understandable that you would want to regain something you lost that should have been a part of you. Now that you are 20, though, it’s a bit late to be adopted by a father, although there are a lot of furries out there (and nonfurries) who really have a strong need to pal around with older men as mentors and father figures.
While you don’t want to pull a Michael Jackson, which would be rather scary, there is no reason you can’t indulge your inner child now and then. That could be a reason why you are a furry. A lot of the stuff that goes with being a furry is very childlike—loving cartoons, dressing up as an animals and such—so I bet you really enjoy that.
Note that I use the word “childlike” and not “childish.” Childish is a word that means immaturity, a state often characterized by selfishness, tantrums, and not being able to deal with adult life. Childlike means having a wonderful, colorful imagination, enjoying the ability to play and have fun, being honest and open, have a sense of wonder about the world.
You may have had to grow up too fast in life and missed some opportunities to play, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun as an adult. Look at me and other greymuzzles like me: I’m 47 and dress up as a bear! Most adults would say I’m nuts. I say I’m playful. At the same time, I work hard, pay bills, and do “responsible” stuff.
You can be both childlike and an adult, Kyu. I’m a living example of that. In fact, being a childlike furry will keep you young, I seriously believe, and make your adult life easier to get through. In the meantime, no law says you can’t find a mentor, a father figure in your life. I have a couple in mine who have helped me a lot over the years who have helped me both psychologically and spiritually.
So, Kyu, be responsible. Hold down a job, pay your taxes, and all that boring stuff. But also embrace your childlike side. Many adults don’t and this is the result:
Others do, and this is the result:
Which group would you rather associate with?
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