Excuse me, but it seems I have been carrying around an extraordinary amount of baggage for some time now and I’m thinking it’s time to unload, so pardon me but I’m going to dump them out here, and do inventory.
Wow, what a pile of stuff! I don’t know where to begin.
Black lace catches my eye. I pull it out of the pile. It’s a woman’s hat, with a black face veil. I know this one. It is the veil of self-loathing. While I try not to wear it in public, I take it everywhere with me. It keeps me humble. The veil whispers: Don’t believe what other people say about you; they’re just being kind; they really don’t know you like I do. Boy, looks like I should have done this sooner; I think I’ll just set that aside.
Ah, there’s my graduation cap; my teacher’s cap. It’s a keeper. And my mother’s apron. That can stay too. My reading glasses, my writing pen, my friendship necklace. All those parts I want to keep. Oh, and that teddy bear – all Grandmas need teddy bears – definitely carrying that around with me.
What’s this big, woolly, grey thing? It’s heavy, and to be honest, it stinks like cigarette smoke, stale alcohol, and mildew. It reeks of shame. I’m not sure this is mine, but I’ve been carrying this around forever. Wouldn’t be surprised if it stunk everything else up. This needs to go. I might even have to get a new suitcase to start fresh. I’ll just put that one out in the trash can.
Better make sure the smell hasn’t lingered. Sure enough, the lining of the case has absorbed the stench. I’d better air it out also. Wait a minute, what’s that in the lining? Something is sticking out. It’s silver and pointed. Looks like a brooch. It’ a very delicate piece: silver leaves swirling around a peridot stone. Is this mine? It’s beautiful, but I don’t recognize it. Just my taste though, I’m more silver than gold, and I love the peridot green. I wonder how long it’s been here? I should try it on, and see how it looks. No, I’m not ready for this. I don’t have anything to go with it. I’ll tuck it back away for another day.
Will you look at that! A pile of mismatched socks. So like me, to carry around odds and sods hoping to make sense of them sooner or later. Thing is, young people don’t wear socks or stockings anymore, so all these do is date me; they don’t serve any other purpose. I think it’s time to let them go.
Wow, look at that! It’s a rusty old paintbrush. I used to love art – even won the award in grade eight – but I was advised against pursuing it – not intellectual enough – so I set it aside. Could this still be in me? I’d like to know.
Oh! A feather. I know why it’s here. I tucked it in here to remind me of my spirituality. I’ll keep that too.
My cookbooks can stay. Here’s an old ship in a bottle. It’s pretty dusty, and the vessel inside is covered in cobwebs. I’m thinking whatever dream that was has long past; no point carrying that around anymore. Time for new dreams.
This is kind of fun. Can’t remember the last time I took inventory of what I’ve been carrying around. Here’s some comfy yoga pants. Those need to come out more often. I can just hear my body screaming yes, please.
Hope you don’t mind if I carry on without you. I can see a few more things I’d rather deal with in private.
What have you been carrying around?