Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Losing Emotional Baggage

This weekend some of my emotional baggage got lost.

It is not particularly attractive emotional baggage, you understand - probably 25 years old in faded tan and black colors.  No rollers on the bottom either, so you had to lug the things from place to place.  My name and address were attached at the top on some old Disneyworld luggage tags, the address crossed out for every time that I had changed locations. 

But it was my luggage, luggage that I had lovingly packed initially and then, over time, continue to pack until I could barely get anything else in there.  Arguably it was overpacked:  I never really go rid of the things that were in there but just kept pushing them to the bottom.

What was my hope, dragging this quite above the weight limit, overfilled, old luggage with me?  A fool's errand, mostly.  A belief that somehow this luggage held the key to something - happiness, if you must know the truth.  I kept moving it from place to place even as the rest of my life expanded because of a belief that my happiness - my fulfilling, true happiness, was right around the corner and I had to be ready to go when that moment showed up.  A whole subset of dreams and wants were packed into it, old ones being pressed down by new ones as the years went on and the previous ones faded.

And then, this weekend, I lost the luggage.

I showed up at the next point of entry and went to find my luggage on the carousel but it was not there.  I stood there, watching the last two bags slowly make their transit again and again with nothing else coming out, before I gave up. 

I had my luggage tickets and showed them at the "Lost" counter.  The attendant slowly shook his head after looking at the computer screen.  They had a record of the luggage but no record of where it has gone.  It was, truly, lost.

Which makes for a very odd feeling.

For the first time in 25 years I do not have that luggage striking at my heels every time I stop.  All of the things I put in there are no longer available for me to pull out or push back in at my leisure.  Everything in there that represented an investment of time and thought is gone.

And now I find myself at the edge of the airport arrivals section with nothing more than a small carry on of emotional items and without any real idea what the next step is supposed to be.  The outside world seems strangely barren and yet potentially full of possibilities at the same time.

And perhaps most strangely, I feel lighter.

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