Couple of things happened in the last few months. I've been going back and forth home a lot more and I had to make better decisions about what I wanted to pack and take with me. I needed to learn how to pack light. Some facts: the more you take, the more money you have to pay for your bags and really, it becomes a drag taking the bags back and forth. Packing light my last three trips have been a wonderful experience and because of it, I have gone through my clothes in my closet and began purging what I don't wear and won't ever wear. Getting rid of that weight has been awesome. My physical lightening as I travel got me thinking about life and places where too much baggage is causing some sadness.
Remember the song "Bag Lady" by Erykah Badu. Good grove but even deeper words. We all have baggage in our life. What we experience sometimes sticks to us and goes into the next experience. I guess in some ways some baggage can help you in the next experience, but too much baggage, just like Ms. Badu said, "One day all them bags gone get in your way."
I was talking to a friend who had recently married and I asked how married life was for her. She said that it was better than she ever expected. I had never heard that statement referring to marriage and it intrigued me. She said she picked right. I agreed. Then she said, "some of my friends think I picked right because I picked white." She being a black woman marrying a white man, I get it. She didn't agree with the rhyme, but I have heard it before. I know that my friend married her husband because he is a good person. But there are many of us that make the decision to marry people who do not look like us, who are not black, because there are some beliefs out there that other races are better and by marrying into them, you are better. There are beliefs that life is better when you marry a white person. They (white people) do not come with the baggage and bullshit of our own. But as I said at the beginning. We all have baggage. It just looks different and some of our baggage is heavier than others. In the case of race, black people have a lot of heavy baggage that makes some of us hate who we are and run away from who we are. It makes us dislike others like us because they remind us of the things we are trying to run from. It is easier to run than to face the hurt and pain and maybe even heal it through love. A black person marrying a white person does not change your blackness or the baggage. It just gives some of us the permission to ignore it.
Real love is truly blind and when you love someone and decide you want to commit your life to them, color, culture, age, gender doesn't matter you know. But if you hold any of these beliefs that exclude you from loving because of some very warped thoughts. Let's drop those today. There are some amazing black women and men out here and if we do not see the beauty in our own, someone else will
Race is one of many bags I see carried around. I have a personal bag that I carry around that I need to either downsize or put down. That baggage is loyalty. I am very loyal to my friends, my job, my family. That loyal bag has given me a wonderful reputation of being someone to count on and getting things done. I am consistent, I am dedicated and devoted. I do a lot for others. Unfortunately, this bag has gotten way to heavy and I can't pull anything out of it that helps me. Loyalty has put me in one-sided relationships, in jobs that I hate, experiences that suck the life out of me. This bag has made me very unhappy for a long period of time. The past couple of weeks I have been staring at this bag and deciding what to do and today, I think I have decided to keep it, but to use it for only my things for a while. I need to be loyal to my work, to my health and happiness. That may mean some people around me won't get things done, or get my help or have me to count on, but they will live.
The wonderful thing about any type of baggage is we have the choice of leaving it, making it smaller or carrying it. I am learning that Badu was right. In most cases, we will be most happy with our bags, when we "let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go."