What’s in the Baggage?

I was enjoying a very well done photography project some time ago, and noticed an image which had the subject carrying a suitcase that had broken open, spilling its contents asunder. Given the theme of the project, I was certain those items were very carefully chosen.

It made me wonder – what’s in my baggage?

We all have it. Burdens we carry around, both small and large, shameful and not.

I tend to think of mine in abstract, vague, completely non-defined ways – shorthand: “Mom,” “high school,” “my body.” I am more comfortable not dwelling on them – but does that help? If I pretend it’s not there, does the baggage not affect me?

Nope; it does. Regardless of whether I acknowledge those issues, they are pervasive. If my decades of life have taught me anything, it’s that my baggage has weight. Size. Heft.

I push it around like an invisible Sisyphean boulder – bent under its weight, but oblivious of its presence – forcing it uphill, wondering why I’m so damned tired all the time.

So what is in that baggage? What is it that so heavily weighs me down?

For now, these are posted without further comment, and in the order I thought of them:

A pair of ballet pointe shoes
A wooden spoon
Stretch gabardine pants
A sweater vest with ducks on it
My dog, Megan
A photo of my Great-Grandpa Lyon
A dark corner full of tears and fear
The picture of my dog Zephyr leaping through the meadow where he would die less than a year later
A dead baby mouse
The Anti-Coloring Book
Disappointment
A stone covered with hand-written love notes from Jon
Credit cards
A Tonka truck
My first real bra
A measuring tape
A tampon
Arm hair bleach
A pair of tweezers
Shame
Guilt
Fear
An Algebra textbook
A empty condom wrapper
A photo of Mike’s face as he rang my windchimes
Heavy chains
Long hair
A size 10 black leather skirt
A chocolate orange
A shoebox in my mother’s closet
Playboy magazines under my dad’s side of the bed
A Frisbee full of gravel

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