Do you remember that commercial where people pass each other on the street and they are carrying briefcases with their net worth dollar amount on them? Or maybe that was a How I Met Your Mother episode where everyone carried around their “baggage” with them that stated plainly their problem area. Regardless of where I saw it, it made me think about what we carry around with us in our daily lives. And I’m not talking in the metaphorical sense, but in the very literal sense. As we go about our days we encounter people and the things they carry as well, but we hardly pay attention to them, or to what we ourselves carry. So, it made me think about the things I’ve carried throughout my life, and I created a timeline.
Age 3 – Pookie, a stuffed bear that had no distinguishable qualities. I carried that bear until it completely wore out. Then I cried for about a minute until I got a new bear, which I proceeded to leave on my bed.
Age 7 – Band-aids, because I was always getting hurt. No, they weren’t the pretty character band-aids. They were actually not the brand name at all, so I guess they were just plain adhesive bandages.
Age 9 – Prescription glasses, because my eyesight is horrible. I used to trick the eye test people at school because my last name is in the middle of the alphabet, so I would sit up close to the chart and memorize it before my turn came. That worked for a few years until they decided to mix it up and I went first. From then on I’ve had glasses, but luckily the ones I wear now are nowhere near as large as the ones I had on then.
[Side note: That cast up there was pretty heavy too. I had to carry that for six weeks when I was 10, and no one could even write on it. Damn marker-proof cast!]
Age 15 – My very first Walkman, along with a huge set of headphones. I honestly don’t think I heard a word my mom said to me that year, or anyone else for that matter as I wore them in the hallways at school too. Tapes that were on heavy rotation included the Back to the Future soundtrack, Michael Jackson’s Bad, and Ace of Base’s The Sign. That last one I played so much that the tape broke. It was a sad day.
Age 22 – A bag of rocks, one from each place I had ever gone that had rocks somewhere around. There were 13 rocks in the bag, which I guess should have been unlucky, but I had no problem with it. I carried the bag because that was around the time I thought artists needed to live tortured lives and have something quirky about them. So I carried the rocks, and they got to be really heavy.
Age 28 – My journal (no, not this one, silly), that was housed at the time in an address book I had converted over for the purpose, despite the fact that I had four actual new journals in my possession at the time. In the spine of the journal was a blue pen. I didn’t like writing in black at the time, for whatever reason.
Age 33 – A Down syndrome awareness bracelet (color: blue), that I actually wore for a couple of years until the wording faded from it, and then I lost it. I have since gotten a new one, and a magnet for my car as well.
Age 36 – My cell phone. I know, I’m addicted, but this phone goes everywhere with me. did you know that 99 percent of cell phone users admit to using their phones in the bathroom? It has become like my driver’s license. I don’t leave home without it, and I keep it charging in the car so it doesn’t ever run out of power. Hey, don’t judge me for admitting to it. I do about a third of my blog entries on that phone so it comes in handy.
Thinking about the things I’ve carried throughout my life brings back a bevy of memories, some good and some bad, but I figure if I’ve felt strongly enough about something to carry it for any length of time, on a regular basis, it must have been special to me. Then, of course, there are other things we all carry that we wish we didn’t have to carry (keys — they can be such a hassle sometimes), and things we wish we had to carry (wallet full of cash). But for better or for worse, the things we carry help to define who we are in that moment, for that period of time. So I don’t regret the things I’ve carried, even if I don’t carry them all anymore.
And I’m sure Pookie forgives me for that.