Check Your (Emotional) Bags At The Gate

I cried like a two-year old at bedtime. Ugly. Loud. Passionate crying. It was an epic boo hoo of the sort reserved for devastating losses.

I melted in the middle of DFW airport because I could not board my prepaid, uninsured, girls’ get away flight to Los Cabos, Mexico. We spent months planning an adventure in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula which is located at the tip of a land mass that closely resembles the front leg of a donkey. I worked into the yellow zone of time travel then took the ridesharing car from hell. My driver took the wrong freeway. Texas highways are not built for the uncertain. By the time I raced to the ticket counter, it was a few minutes too late to check bags. I usually don’t check my luggage, but it was a week-long vacay with the girls! I had a colorful assortment of sandals, cover ups, and just in case attire. A girls’ trip is the only time a woman can over pack and no one makes a snide comment. All you hear is “Ooohhhh, that’s cute!”

Upon seeing my eyes fill with tears, the agent said if I found a smaller bag suitable for carry on, he’d walk me to the gate. I had five minutes. My backpack was full. I could not imagine that journey without my stuff. Besides, I didn’t drive. Where the heck could I buy a bag, pare down my clothes, and securely leave the rest in five minutes? In dismay, I left the airport and returned home because I was too attached to a bunch of old stuff I ultimately didn’t need. Now, my head is clear and I can do the math. I should’ve left the bag somewhere–anywhere–boarded the plane with my backpack, and enjoyed my trip. Instead, I bought another very expensive ticket (that cost more than everything in my suitcase) and left the following morning with that big bag. My friends felt bad for me but they had to go on or suffer the same fate.

I had two problems that day: the obvious physical baggage and the less obvious emotional baggage. The difference is excessive emotional baggage cost more than any of us can truly afford. When we fill our minds with negative thoughts, painful encounters, and lies we tell ourselves, reason is clouded and we cannot move forward without unnecessary delays. Consider this alternative. Unpack your past one piece at a time and discard anything that doesn’t help you fly into the future stronger, faster, and better. Are you carrying the weight of yesterday’s mistakes?

Check your bags.

© 2023 Monica F. Anderson. All rights reserved.

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