The young woman with the stuffed toy penguin

A few days ago, I blogged about how scared I was to attend the first meeting of a volunteer committee that I agreed to be part of. In a nutshell, the only reason I said yes to this was because I go to group therapy for my anxiety, and you pretty much have to do scary things like this to stay in the group.

Well, I just got back from the first meeting. And dare I say it – I actually felt comfortable and had a good time. There were two reasons for that. First, the woman running the group was very focused and professional. I could tell that she knew what I was doing. But the second reason was the young woman with the stuffed toy penguin.

Let me explain. As we were getting to know each other, I noticed that one of the committee members had a stuffed toy penguin sitting on her shoulder. At first, I thought she was just showing it off. But even when the meeting started, she wouldn’t put it away. When she had to take notes, she sat the penguin on her lap. It was as though she was using it as a security blanket.

I found this oddly comforting. I said to myself, “I’m not the only one with issues here.” I hope that doesn’t sound terrible. This young woman was very nice and quite smart. I liked her. And her little friend.

I can’t believe it. But I’m actually looking forward to our next meeting. Maybe I’ll see the penguin again.

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