stuff i carry

Author: angiem, 11 08th, 2011

When I was a little girl, I loved sneaking looks into my mom’s or aunts’ purses. Treasures awaited. Every little scribbled note was a mystery, a secret message. The backs of wallet photos were especially important. I was looking for hearts and xo’s and I love you’s. Zippered compartments with their spare change, ticket stubs, receipts, and discarded candy wraps were scrutinized with suspicion. Perhaps I was just looking for candy. Or perhaps I was looking for something more, something deeper. A look inside the hearts of these women so dear to me.

I was remembering all this as I cleaned out my purse today. It was starting to weigh me down, starting to slow my walk. And I got to thinking about the things I carry with me and within me. How much is treasure, and how much is trash? Hoarding wrappers and unacknowledged addictions, receipts and guilt, lists and forgotten dreams, photos and great love, love notes and memories. Getting rid of the junk, and keeping the real.

It was surprisingly easy to let go.


18 Responses to “stuff i carry”

  1. Jena Says:

    Oh hey Angie!!! I’m glad I saw this before I went to bed, gives me something to think about while I fall asleep. Must say I never thought much about purses and hearts having something in common. Great analogy!! Now when will you write more fiction? I miss you stories!

  2. Julie Says:

    Hi Angie
    I think I still do it.. in a way.. whenever I come across a forgotten box of treasures belonging to my parents.. I sift through them as if it was all new to me..

    You are so right about what we hoard.. metaphysically and physically.. I’ve been unloading all year.. still working at it..

    Have a great week.. ciao xxx Julie

  3. Lori Says:

    I have been thinking of writing a post like this for a long time, Angie. I am obsessed with what’s-in-the-bag photos and posts. I think we are very much alike here — you mentioned somewhere earlier how much you loved bags, right? Anyway, I truly believe that in our bags we carry much more than just stuff and they are very meaningful objects that deserve symbolic decoding. I love your post. And your bag. I like how everything is black and red. It shows that you have given thought to every single thing you’re carrying with you when you are out in the world. I have seen many interesting what’s-in-your-bag posts on fashion blogs. I would love to see it on writerly blogs. Wouldn’t that be very interesting?

  4. Ava Says:

    I have a hard time getting rid of stuff. I think my problem is that I think that everything I have is a treasure. I just can’t let go!!! I have movie stubs from 2 years ago in my wallet!!!
    That pic is great by the way.

  5. Jessica Nelson Says:

    Ooooh, great insight!!! And so true. I loved peeping into my family members stuff. My younger sister’s backpack was of particular interest. *grin*

  6. Susan Tiner Says:

    I am a big fan of letting go of literal and figurative trash. Good for you Angie.

  7. Char Says:

    You’re amazingly well-edited in accessorizing your handbag. Love it!!! Mine is a mess, I can never find anything in it! Come to think of it my mind’s so overflowing with stuff too. I love the idea of letting go but find it hard to practice.

  8. Gina Says:

    I like this. It’s an eyeopener for me actually. My purse is very much like my mind at the moment, so cluttered I can’t find what I’m looking for.

  9. Diane Says:

    You put a lot of deep thoughts in such a small post. Love this and the lightening of our lives both physically and mentally. :O)

  10. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita Says:

    I’m a compulsive bag cleaner. I guess it started because I used to change bags literally every day. But I still do it now, and always go through my bag before I leave the house to make sure I have everything I need and don’t take anything I don’t. OK, so I’m a little type A! ;) But people always tell me that I have the neatest bag they have ever seen. I love not having to dig through “stuff”!

  11. Francesca Says:

    i like the metaphorical meaning of this.

  12. Mwa (Lost in Translation) Says:

    You made me worry now. I keep a notebook in my purse which is DEFINITELY not for children’s eyes. I thought it was safe. I should maybe rethink.

  13. Jeanne@Collage of Life Says:

    Angie..leave it to you to give us something so thoughtful to ponder. It is a mystery to others yet so clear to us, the rhyme and reason for all the things we carry around with us. I admit to having a few candy wrappers floating around in mine with so many other little essentials. With each year, with each move, with each additional hormone circling thru my body, it changes….my little collection. The one thing I have not been able to leave home without is a little pad of paper and a just never know when the thoughts will come. :)
    Best wishes Angie…
    Jeanne xx

  14. sharon Says:

    Oh I would love to have a neat tidy bag, but I cumulate and then forget to take the time to sift through and eliminate the rubbish. Things improved a bit this year though when my bag was thoroughly searched as a security check, on a particularly full and busy day - I was so embarrassed, I vowed never to have such an untidy bag again!
    I love the romance in your post Angie

  15. Ange Says:

    I always have my passport (in case of a surprise trip!!) and 4 different books to write ideas in. Of course - this makes for a heavy bag!! If I could make you laugh more Angie, I would.
    Much love

  16. Ange Says:

    I also notice you carry those aniseed or violet balls of which the name escapes me right now. I only carry wrappers though because it’s the best place to put them after I’ve pulled them outof my pockets after picking them up off the floor after the kids ;-)

  17. Veronica Says:

    I really enjoy your posts! It’s ironic because today, I caught my son looking in my purse. Must be for some goodies that he thinks I hide in there. Or maybe for some of his lost Halloween candy:) I’m constantly cleaning my bag out because I find that I need to switch shoulders constantly because I carry way too much. Kind of makes me think about what we carry in our purses and in our hearts. Thank you for the insight.

  18. The story inside my bag | Loredana Tiron-Pandit | Blog Says:

    [...] posts for a very long time. I do find them fascinating, and I know I am not the only one. Now that Angie posted her thoughts about her bag and its contents/a, I felt compelled to finally write do this [...]

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