As far as I know and for as long as I have been able to know things, I have been a bear. I have molded just about every aspect of my life out of my understanding of my own bearness, so everything about all of me reflects what I think being a bear means.
So I hope I am a bear.
When I really try to think about or feel my bearness, I do not have any doubts that I am what I have always claimed to be: a bear. However, there is a large, resting doubt sitting beneath any of the confidence I have ever been able to muster when it comes to my being a bear. What if, to the rest of the forest’s understanding, I am not a bear? What if my understanding of what a bear is or what a bear is supposed to be is not correct?
I have tried to convince myself that, even if such a line of thinking is not true, it does not matter. If I know I am a bear, then I must be a bear. End of story. Yet, that does little in the way of easing the lingering questions and doubts. They persist, ever gnawing at my identity like I would gnaw a moldy branch I found under some leaves.
If you, or anybody for that matter, know that I am not a bear, please do not tell me. I have given this a lot of thought, and the mere idea of confirming my non-bearness is so incredibly unnerving to me that I truly believe ignorance would be a better course of action.
I do not need to know if I am not a bear. There is so little to gain from that knowledge yet so much to lose. If I stop being a bear, I have no idea how I will begin to understand me or my interactions with everything ever. These issues are already difficult to process even when I feel firmly about being a bear, so the stress and anxiety that would come with having to reconsider all of being me would be far too much, an overload of everythingness.
What would I gain from knowing that I am not a bear, though? Would I not just question the validity of being a different thing just as frequently and with just as much intensity? What if I am something that I do not like or want to be? What if I am a deer across the river or dirt? I would prefer to be dirt, but either way, what would I get out of knowing something like that? What would anyone get knowing something like that?
I would prefer to stay in the dark. I would prefer to keep being who I think I am rather than what I might actually be, even if it means ignoring the latter completely.
If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site?
For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@