• Rebecca Elliott

baggage claim

Updated: Jan 1, 2020

Dec.9.2019 ----- Brooklyn, New York

I read this quote on a late night in my Brooklyn apartment. It was an average day of chai tea lattes and writing papers, hiding from the fat raindrops that smeared my view of the city on the opposite side of the glass. My mind was at ease, in a rare moment of peace in the busiest city I've ever known. I read this quote ---- and then felt a bit of a pang in my chest.

I've done a lot of unpacking over the last year. I'm not sure why. It's as if my suitcase suddenly became too heavy, and I wanted to figure out what was making my arms so damn tired. As I've began unpacking and sorting through all that my bag contains, I've found a lot of things I wish I'd thrown away years ago. I found moments of pain and grief that I thought I'd left behind. I was confronted with my own anger, and a bitterness that surprised me. I found bits and pieces of old heart breaks, but not the kind from romantic relationships. And the bag is still not empty ----- there is still quite a bit to sort through.

I don't always feel up to the task. I think humans, all of us, are far more gentle than we like to admit. We're not easily broken, but we are easily cracked, and we're rarely prepared for that. But I do think there is immense value in spending more time unpacking our bags. When we unpack, we're deciding what is valuable enough to carry with us as we go along. We're also deciding what was once valuable, may not be anymore, and it's time to let it go.

So, sort through your suitcase, when you feel up to it. You can't pick up any worthwhile souvenirs on your travels if your bag is already filled to the brim, anyway.

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