This Is Why I’m Getting Rid Of My Baggage, Both Emotionally And Literally

Folur's photography
Folur’s photography

There’s plenty of talk these days about ’emotional baggage’. We carry around demons from our past and they affect our ability to fully interact with the present.

We have trouble jumping into new relationships because we still feel the pain inflicted by ones who have hurt us. Emotional baggage is a thing, and we’d all be better in life if we could let it go.

But today I want to talk about real baggage. Like, the actual bags that we carry draped over our shoulders and on our backs.

Because guys, I’m totally a bag lady.

At any given time, I likely have two massive bags containing gym clothes, sneakers, shower needs, makeup, my planner, a notebook, wallet, mouthwash, going out clothes, etc. etc. I lug these beasts through the sidewalks of New York, from home to the gym to work, through subway turnstiles and busy crosswalks.

By the time I get to my destination, my shoulders ache and there are indents in my skin from the straps. Why don’t I allow myself time to stop home and breath between gym/work/life commitments? Why do I feel the need to be soprepared all the time? Why the heck am I carrying around a book I haven’t touched in months, a hair straightener, and three different types of yoga pants?

I know I’m not alone in this struggle. You’re not a real New Yorker unless you’re over scheduled to the point where you don’t have time to pee…let alone stop home to freshen up before your night out with the girls. I see all the women (and men) drowning under the weight of their literal baggage as they make their way through this crazy city.

So this morning, I did something crazy. Rather than head to the gym with everything I’d need for the rest of the day in tow,

I left my apartment with nothing more than a set of keys and a water bottle. No phone. No wallet. No bag the size of a golden retriever.

But Melissa, you are getting lunch with your Dad after your workout class! And then you have to go right to work! I silenced the voice.

As I walked my sweaty mess of a self home, I sensed an amazing connection with my surroundings. Without the distractions of a cell phone – and without the barrier of a mountain of large purses – I felt myself to be as much a part of the city as the sidewalks or the skyscrapers. I sensed the warm spring air on my shoulders. I seemed weightless, rather than weighed down.

Maybe we don’t need to carry around all this baggage (literal and emotional).

Maybe we don’t always have to be prepared for the day (and life) ahead. Maybe all we need is our bodies and faith that everything will unfold as it should – whether we are ready for it or not. TC mark

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