When I went on the Greenville, SC trip my old travel set handbag broke. In total denial I schlepped it to Ireland not wanting to believe it was beyond repair but the damage was severe and rendered it unsalvageable. It had been a gift to myself on my 26th birthday, a rare Nine West purple pattern luggage set that had jetsetted the world with me. Its matching carry on had betrayed me three years ago and had been replaced almost immediately but for some reason I couldn’t bear leaving my companion handbag behind. The unfortunate and undignified end relegated my old purple and silver bag to the corner of the new walk in closet where it landed next to a Coach outlet paper bag. 🤔
As I began to unwrap it, the memories I had buried with it came rushing back. I felt like an archeologist who found proof, untouched by time, of an ancient civilization; an ancient people who had not lost hope of giving this artifact a rightful heir, of having a firstborn son or daughter. Those Coach baby bags were status symbols, a statement to not compromising style for the unglamorous life of feeding, burping and changing babies. 😥 I had purchased the baby bag the summer of 2009, right before our miscarriage, before failed attempts at conceiving naturally had us second guessing our marriage and good fortunes. By choice or by design, our lives had taken another direction, one that had worked out rather well considering the pain and sense of loss that we endured.
Holding the baby bag, changing pad and all, I realized it and I weren’t that different; we both wanted a second chance, an opportunity to find value beyond what we had been designed to do. Silly, perhaps, but serendipitous. I needed a new travel companion, a bag with numerous pockets and zippers that marched my purple travel ensemble. The bag, expensive as it once was, could handle the rough and tumble of motherhood, therefore the stress of planes, trains and automobiles would be a piece of cake. I took it out of the closet, prepared it for my trip to Austin, and we have been together ever since.
It may have taken forever to realize that the bag could be more than a sad reminder of the past: it could become a symbol of the future. As more things get repurposed, reused and even replaced, I am grateful that we never decided to exile the memento and carried it with us into our new home. The broken promises of the past had not phased this particular item, who had come out unscathed and in better shape than the rest of us. Now when I fly, I enjoy its versatility as we make new memories as a family. A happy ending, if there ever was one.
I challenge you to do the same. Get rid of what doesn’t serve you and find new purpose for those things you are not willing to part with yet. Everything happens for a reason. You just have to be open to accepting it without question. The best is yet to come. With a little courage and some faith, we will all find our way home. 🏅🎉