Let It Go

We all have baggage. Some of us carry ours in a cute little bag that we hide in our underwear drawer and only take out when we’re PMSing while others lug theirs around in a Louis Vuitton Speedy 40. There are some who keep theirs in a garbage bag on the front seat of their car and others who’ve locked a laundry bag up tight in the front hall closet only to have it come spilling out anytime a guest comes over and tries to hang up their coat. No matter how loudly a woman proclaims to not have any baggage, she does. Our lives are shaped from our experiences and how we handle them and not one of us has emerged from a life-altering tribulation without a package. Some situations take a lot longer to let go of, but life can’t go on until you’ve emptied some of those huge bags, put them in a storage unit, and buy some smaller, compact bags incapable of holding much more than what you need to learn from your past.

Superficial baggage is the most common and the easiest to shed. You were poor growing up, your mother gave you a Jheri curl, and your clothes came from Kmart. Yes, I’m talking about myself. I didn’t hit my fabulous peak until college and even then I was a little sketchy. So what your body is flat in all the wrong places or someone posted and tagged bad pictures of you on facebook. Get over yourself! No one gives a rat’s ass. I used to drive a 1994 Ford Tempo…in 2000…and I STILL valeted my car WHERE EVER I went! I care very little what others think of me and I refuse to let the purse that I carry contain foolishness like the fact that I could only afford the medium patent leather handbag and not the large one my best friend bought.

Friendship baggage is almost as bad as boyfriend baggage. Women tend to hold on to mediocre friendships for the sake of sisterhood when in fact, friendships are quite similar to relationships. You wouldn’t keep a lying, deceitful, untrustworthy man around so why on earth do women hold on to other women who possess the same characteristics? I try not to tell too many personal stories (to protect the not so innocent) but I had a friend who didn’t trust me…for good reason, but I digress. She wanted to “make it work” when all I wanted her to do was keep her crazy ass away from me. Everyone isn’t meant to be friends and shouldn’t try to be. Now she hates my guts…and NOT for good reason, when all she had to do was realize our friendship, like a relationship with a guy, just wasn’t going to work. If you have a crappy girlfriend, treat her like you would a crappy boyfriend and LET HER GO!

Family baggage requires more than just a wise-cracking, smart ass with a blog and a summer’s worth of posts about random foolishness. If you hate your mother: YOU NEED THERAPY! If you’ve been sexually abused by your uncle: YOU NEED THERAPY! If you just met your father for the first time and you’re 30: YOU NEED THERAPY!!!!! Before someone gets offended, hear me out. All of these things are traumatic and potentially damaging to one’s psyche and emotional well-being. Many black women look at therapy as a sign of weakness when in fact, seeking help for a situation you can’t handle is showing great courage and strength. We could all use someone to talk to during a difficult time, and if your entire childhood was difficult, you can’t just sweep it under the rug and rock an S on your chest for Strong Black Woman. So what you read TD Jakes, Iyanla Vanzant, and Steve Harvey; they don’t have the cure for what ails you. A licensed therapist does and as long as you continue to pretend that you can handle being beaten daily as a child with a broomstick, you will always drag a very large set of luggage. Do yourself a favor, call the bellhop and let someone help you with those bags.

I’ve tried to rid myself of baggage, it’s a daily struggle and a work in progress. I’m taking baby steps to empty one bag at a time. What’s crazy about an empty bag is that someone or something always wants to try to fill it up again. Make the choice to either get rid of the bag or zip it up and put a lock on it. Let. It. Go.

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