How many times have you heard someone say, “when it comes to starting a new relationship, leave your emotional baggage behind”?
Easier said than done, right?
Take it from someone like me, who can’t say the words “this is my boyfriend” without stuttering over the B-Word a few times before finally spitting it out. Not to mention it took me nearly two months of monogamous dating before I could even agree to giving someone that title.
Or someone who can’t bring myself to apologize for the smallest of relationship slips, simply because I can’t allow myself to come minutely close to budging on anything for fear it might mean I am losing my individuality (once again) in a relationship.
And these are just the things I’m willing to share with a public audience.
Today, while washing a sink full of dishes and listening to premature Christmas music, I reflected on a conversation I had with my significant other this weekend. It began as a discussion, transitioned to an argument, and finally ended in tears and comforting. It centered around a topic which I am sensitive to, due to past experiences. He didn’t know how just how sensitive I was about it, until he hit certain buttons which caused me to become angry, stubborn, and eventually curl into the fetal position. This was not what I had expected of my sunny Sunday morning.
Back in my kitchen, as I absentmindedly scrubbed specs of food from the plates, I realized that while the interaction may not have brought us any closer to an agreement or resolution, it did give him insight into my opinions and feelings on the matter. I shared a closely guarded secret, which opened doors to who I am, and how I got to be this person sitting with him today.
So here’s what I have to say about emotional baggage: Embrace that shit. Claim your baggage. Every experience, good or bad, shapes who we are today. Without these experiences we would be very boring and unlearned. I believe that we ought to love and embrace ourselves for who we are, including the baggage we have collected along the way.
You are who you are- you are what you have lived, and you are just as much nurture as you are nature. Through all your experiences in all your life, you have become the person that your significant other came to know and love. Without that baggage, you may not have attracted the person you are with today. Make your baggage work in your favor.
To all my brothers and sisters- Claim your baggage, load it up and take it with you. Just don’t let it’s weight keep you from your grandest adventure.