The Volume of Your Baggage Is Equivalent to Your Attachments
We have something that comes along all throughout our entire lives, through all the sites we pass through and all the ones that we, at some point, wanted to go back to. This is baggage that makes us special because it contains all of our dreams, all of our hopes, and above all else, all of our attachments, the ones we travel with when we decide to go.
In that suitcase, we pack all of the emotions that make us tremble from the inside out and the people who cause this sensation in us. So, it is not easy to observe, but it is there. It comes and goes with each of the steps that we take and it says a lot about who we are.
“People’s affection makes my heart flutter like each time is the first”
The attachments we have make us emotionally and spiritually unique. They are signs of relationships that are personal and of the degree of emotional contact we maintain with them. This is why we like to share experiences with our loved ones who are far away once we go: because we carry them close, in our heart, in the form of love and nostalgia.
Attachments and NOT goodbyes
We arrive at the station, we make our way to the airport, or we get into a car, ready to face a new experience. It doesn’t matter if it will last months, years, or even hours, because we will prepare our baggage in the same way.
Then we will think about filling it with material objects that cover what we think we will need: clothing, electronic devices, documents, and depending on the duration of the trip, maybe reminders of home like photographs or postcards. After that, at some point we all go through the moment of saying goodbye.
They call them meaningless goodbyes, as if we were leaving behind the people who are staying and who physically are not coming with us. As a general rule, we do not let go, we do not throw away, we do not get rid of others. We all know why these kinds of short-term goodbyes hurt so much.
“We go halfway around the world
to say goodbye
so that, even if it takes a while,
we will want to return” […]
Precisely because in that station or airport, we are turning our back on someone, hoping with all our heart for a welcome-home hug as soon as possible. These goodbyes are hard because deep down, they never were: they are spatial parentheses of affection that will continue in time. Attachments keep us safe from the cold wherever we are going and they keep us from feeling empty and alone.
Affection is in the goodbye
Leaving to go somewhere else and leaving your home behind is a very brave step, for it implies putting ourselves in positions that we have no experience with. And to top it all off, the people who usually help us when we have problems will not be able to help us in the same way.
When the journey is long, you discover, for example, that inside that baggage full of attachments with which you started, the adventure suddenly starts filtering what it has in it. In other words, we realize that sometimes some of those short-term goodbyes weren’t as short as we thought or that we had put people in our “suitcase” without our knowing it.
We continue to collect and fill volume in that baggage. And, in the end, we will understand that there wasn’t room in there for everything, that the material was what took up the least space, and that the more weight we handle, the stronger we will become.
Emotional baggage is heavier
Home is inside us and not outside, not in some physical house. Upon returning, we look at the people that we had said “see you soon” to and it is in them that we see our house, our home, our essence.
In the end, there will always be a glass of wine waiting for us along with the friend we drank it with a while ago in Italy, a hug that we owe to that friend from our university class, a conversation with the stranger you talked to in Geneva and whose memory will accompany you on those rainy days…
“The quality of the trip is measured by the number of memories you gather along the way”
This will be our baggage and we will give ourselves to others in the same way: we will not talk about the clothing we brought, but things will get heavy remembering people. It is simply another sign that love and affection keep holding onto little pieces of our hearts and that we carry pieces of others with us: invisible, they bring us together and give us meaning.
Illustrations courtesy of Claudia Temblay