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The Things I Carry

The things I carry are largely determined by luck. I’m a very forgetful person, so if I’m lucky I’ll remember all of the objects of necessity. Hopefully at all times my body will be carrying clothes, a jacket in case I get cold, Advil for my frequent headaches, a cell phone, a wallet that includes a little extra cash and a picture ID, an extra hair tie, a camera just in case of a great photo op, a pen, a water bottle, my iPod, a little makeup, and obviously a bag big enough to fit it all. If I’m extra lucky on any particular day I will have also remembered to grab an extra snack before going out the door. Maybe the things I carry aren’t necessary for someone living halfway across the world, or even to my next door neighbor, but to me they can be just as important as food and water. That is, of course, when I can remember them.
If there is one thing that always comes up on my mind before I leave the house or even my bedroom, then it’s Chap Stick. Chap Stick in all flavors. Vanilla, Mint, the Medicated kind, Strawberry, Pink Lemonade, Watermelon, Chocolate, Pomegranate, Peach, Mango and my favorite, Cherry. Maybe for someone else it’s unusual to find several flavors of Chap Stick on any person at any given time, but for me it’s the most necessary thing I can think of to carry, and that’s why I always have it. I’m not quite sure why I have this addiction if I may, to Chap Stick. Maybe I just can’t stand the feeling of dry lips, or maybe I just like the way it smells. Maybe I’m just prepping myself for a kiss. My first boyfriend always used to point out how he thought the scent of the Chap Stick enhanced the feeling he got when he kissed me. Maybe he was just trying to sound sweet, but my last boyfriend said the same thing too. In any case, I always carry this lightweight stick of delicious smelling moisturizer.
The things I carry are to some extent determined by my nature. Now they could be determined by superstition, but I’ve given up on that since my wishes at 11:11 never seem to come true. I carry thoughts, feelings, emotions and my positions in life. And never did things so weightless feel so heavy. By nature I carry my mother’s heart; by nurture I carry my grandmother’s soul. I carry the secrets my mother and father would tell me in confidence when the other wasn’t around. I carry the shame and embarrassment of a recent divorce that isn’t mine and for some reason I feel as if I’m carrying the guilt too. I carry the responsibility of teaching an ignorant younger sister how to become an established woman, when I’m not yet an established woman myself. I carry the great achievement and the pressure that comes along with it of a soon to be first generation college student. I carry high expectations to have high dreams and aspirations; they’re just so weightless I don’t know what they are yet. I carry the constant questions of, “What if?” and “What’s next?” I carry the indecisiveness of never knowing what I want, but always knowing what is certainly the wrong choice. I’ve carried my heart on my sleeve just to have it slip off and shattered by the returnee. I carry the fear of falling in love but I’m terribly afraid of being alone. I hopelessly carry a compass and a map as I’m trying to search for the hidden meaning of life. These things I carry, the actual objects, the confusion, the pain, the feelings, the pressure, all of them feel pretty heavy in my hands. Sometimes I just want to drop all of the things I carry and be careless. But that’s not me. The things I carry carry with them the things that make me who I am. Maybe then, the things I carry really carry me.





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