Men · Other Pointed Topics · Things Every Woman Should Know

Baggage — It’s all in the Way You Carry it.

Most people have baggage. Although one case differs from another, pun intended. As adults, we carry some or a lot through life depending on our life experiences. I have always believed those who struggle with adversity are stronger people who can cope, deal with life’s difficulties and rise above it. So maybe there is something to be said about honing up to the baggage, unpacking it and moving on with life.

I travel light considering but, unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury. It’s just me. As my doctor’s nurse so sympathetically pointed out at my last Dr. visit:  Married? No. Kids? No. Any pets? No. Live Alone? Yes. HELLO!! YES! I AM SINGLE and thank you for pointing it out each time I visit your office. I appreciate the reminder. Marriage has not been a part of my vocabulary. Not intentionally mind you. I always thought I’d be married at 28, have an adoring husband and two loving children. That was the plan anyway. It just didn’t happen that way. I’m not so deep into my career that I didn’t want it; it just didn’t happen. And that’s okay. I’m content with my life right now. It’s not how I envisioned it, and it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to share my life with someone, quite the contrary. I’m still very much a hopeful person. I just want it to be the right person. There were times that I thought there was no hope. And yet, somehow I still manage to push myself to get out there even when I’d rather be at home writing on my patio and drinking a glass of red. I admit that I carry the baggage of a single woman. I guess you would consider it an overnight case that’s neatly packed. I know who I am and what I bring to the table, so I’m good with that. I’m not emotionally scarred although some of the men I dated put me through the ringer and shame on them for that. On the flip side, I should thank them because they helped me realize what I do want. I also give myself a lot of credit for that. I know what I want in my life — Peace, strength, integrity, love, passion, fun and laughter in every aspect. So if that comes with some baggage bring on the over-sized bags.

I think you learn from each situation in your life whether it is through work or personal experiences. It’s not a cliché to say life is a journey. It is a journey of multiple proportions. You decide how much baggage you carry over from each situation. You decide how much you pack, how much you carry and how much you leave in your past. You can choose to carry it all with you, or you can choose to learn from it and leave it at the door.

There are many stages of baggage:

1.    Neatly packed overnight case
I consider this my category. This relates to anyone who has had his or her heart broken more than once. Maybe you skipped down the road with the case in hand but just stopped shy of the finish line. You have learned from your past mistakes and situations and carried the learnings, not bitterness with you.

2.    Garment bag
You must hang everything. No wrinkles here. This person just carries on and moves forward from a stop to stop, hanging his or her problems on anyone that will listen. This person needs just a bit more space than the overnight case. It’s softer too, so you can stuff more crap in it. The bitterness lingers here and rather than learning from past mistakes; they tend to keep making them.

3.    Medium rolling bag
You may be able to squeeze through security with this one… but more than likely it’s a bit too large to fit nicely in the overhead bin. This bag is for those that have had their hearts ripped apart by someone else. Maybe they had a long-term commitment or marriage. One cheated or just lost interest. This person may doubt him or herself and be less trusting for the next time. It is important to note here not everyone is your ex. You may be so closed off that you miss out on a good one that rolls by with a similar bag.

4.    The extra large suitcase
This bag is for those who have recently gone through a divorce and has children. More than likely, they are living on their own for the first time in years. He or she is trying to rebuild their life and faith back in themselves again. It’s a big piece of baggage, and it’s not easy to travel with but you can downsize it starting with your own well-being and healthy choices. It’s time for self-perseverance and reaching that place where you have your power back to move on no matter how heavy the experiences. Dive into something like a hobby or your work. Surround yourself with good friends, family, and people who help you move forward. Even if you were the one who left, you will be surprised at how heavy the load can be. No matter how hard it was and no matter how justified the split; you did once deeply care for that other person and had a family with that person. So expect that it may take time to recover fully to downsize this big bag, but you will.

5.    The whole kit and caboodle Louis Vuitton set with matching dog carrier
This person carries the mother load. Whether it’s a broken home where you are left holding everything or the majority of the load or a long, hard marriage that was unsalvageable. It could also be the devastation of the loss of a spouse or a child. It’s the place where some live for a lifetime. A place where you may not see hope in the distance. But it is out there. I have friends who have lost their spouses at very young ages, and it’s something I can’t fathom. I’m amazed by their strength and resilience. It’s heartbreaking to see their families go through that. I also have friends who lost children which is indisputably the most painful loss of all. For those who fall into this category, the feelings and emptiness are overbearing. It’s acceptable and more than okay to be in this space for a time… but there comes a time when you move on and work hard to shed some of the heaviness. You never forget, but you move on.

All in all, baggage comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s all in how you carry it. No one is immune from heartbreak, loneliness or disappointments, but we are in charge of how we carry our past into our futures. You choose how to move on. Just please find the hope to move on and may your heart travel light.

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