Carry Your Baggage Like a Badass

It’s funny that we are always told to “tell your story”.

Not, “craft your story” or “expand on your story” or “tell the story you think will be appreciated”. Simply, tell your story.

I have spent too much of my life telling the version of my story that others want to hear. What I like to do, what I’ve done, where I’ve gone and want to go, etc. Yet, few people in my life have heard the words that actually amount to the human being that is sitting in front of them telling it. Why? Because my story has baggage, and a fair amount of it. It has family drama, and break-ups, and death, and loss, and fear, and lack of trust, and self-doubt, and anxiety, and plenty of excuses. This story also has great, wonderful, astounding, loving, joyful, awesome and indescribable moments too, but I’m going to do everyone a favor and take the added sugar out of this story. Because mainly, this story doesn’t need the details of what happened or why it happened or how it happened, you just need to know that it did. And even though it did, I’m here standing in front of you (okay actually I’m sitting in my bed, but same difference) to tell you that boy, this story has BAGGAGE. And plenty of it.

Baggage is a dirty word. Even when talking about literal baggage, it’s harsh because I mean have you seen the prices to check a bag?! Outrageous. But emotional baggage is heavy-laden bomb to drop on someone — anyone, really. We all spend so much time trying to be so normal and put together because that is supposed to be beautiful, but I say fuck that. I say fuck your crafted stories and your embellished beauty and your light in the face of darkness, because sometimes that shit isn’t real. Sometimes you’ve gotta get your face in the mud that is the emotional puddle beneath your feet because that mud and the splatters it has left on you help you tell your story. Yes, the good parts are great and deserve to be highlighted, but please, pay the extra money and bring the baggage. Let someone else help you load it onto the plane, arrange it amongst everyone else’s, take it off the plane and hand it back to you when you have landed back on stable ground. Let’s stop labeling each other as “crazy” or “sensitive” or “damaged” or “broken” or any other emotional buzzword you care to add to the list. Instead, let’s sit in the mud puddle with each other and sift through the items packed in the bags we drag through those puddles every day.

We don’t have to fix the ugly in our stories. We don’t need someone else to fix the ugly. We don’t need to apologize for the not-so-great parts of our lives. We don’t need to be negative. What we do need to do is face the fact that there will be parts of our lives that need some damn white-out, but our time on this planet is much too important to waste by seeking pity. Carry your baggage like a badass, but don’t let it define you. You can’t tell, or live, your whole story, without the ugly included. Eventually, a moment will come when those stories in those bags don’t need to be told any longer. The lessons they’ve taught us will have finally sunk in and we will shift our lives to make room for the things that we’ve learned. And in that moment we’ve grown and moved forward and no longer need that ugly flowery roller bag of bullshit that has been following us around.

If you’ve got things in your past that are still lingering, it’s probably because you haven’t yet dealt with them. And until you are ready to do so, carry that baggage like a badass, but dont’ lose yourself in it — we all know how horrific customer service is at the airport