I'm not a light packer. I take a huge duffel bag for a weekend trip. I am the girl with the overflowing purse that could fit a small child. I carried a 50 pound bag around Europe for 12 days and still thought I hadn't brought enough clothes. The phrase "Don't leave home without it" applies to me. I don't leave home without EVERYTHING. My packing philosophy is borrowed from the Boy Scouts. I am always prepared for every possible clothing situation. I like options.
Luckily, I have worked hard to unpack the baggage in my emotional life. I was carrying the weight of David and all that drama around with me for so long, until a good friend in college told me some very wise advice. I tried not to take TOO much relationship advice from her since she had been married two or three times and had yet to blow out the candles on her 30th birthday cake, but that's besides the point. She gave me a real gem on this particular subject.
Emotional baggage shouldn't be something that you carry around with you on a daily basis. It's something like an old trunk of stuff that you keep up in the attic and never think about. Once in awhile, you go up to the attic, rummage around in the trunk, throw out some stuff and reorganize. You shut the trunk up and don't go back there for awhile.
Baggage is not a bad thing. It's a necessary evil of life. Like bridesmaids and groomsmen hooking up after weddings. It's not always what you wanted to happen, but who doesn't get a little pleasure out of being accosted in an elevator?
Everyone has baggage and when entering a relationship, you have to be aware that your potential partner will have some. And it's not always pretty.
Baggage can come in many forms from "Mommy and Daddy Didn't Love Me Enough" to "I Gave Her My Heart and She Stomped On It." Anyway you shake it, if the person doesn't have their baggage locked up in their attic storage, run far away.
When I was little and we would return from a trip, it was always my job to unpack my suitcase and sort the clothes out for washing. I could never convince any other member of my family to do it for me. Same goes with emotional baggage. It's not anybody else's job to sift through your baggage. It wasn't my job to solve or cure David's Daddy baggage, his I'm Not Good Enough baggage, or his It's All My Parent's Divorce's Fault baggage. He was carrying the Louis Vuitton of luggage - the complete set. And, as is in real life, the cost was way to high for me to invest in that type of luggage.
I don't want to have to help any more guys to get to a better place in their life - whether it be emotionally, economically or job wise. I'm where I want to be and I deserve a guy that is in the same place. I've packed away my baggage from David, but it doesn't mean that I'll ever forget what he did or how he made me feel. It's that knowledge that has and will (hopefully) prevent me from falling into the same trap. The more I live on my own, the more I get over the "Desperately Seeking Parent's Approval" baggage. I live my life to make ME happy and satisfied. I still have the "Be Number One or Be Nothing" baggage - but I think that's just part of who I am and not necessarily something to be "dealt" with as the other two were.
Bottom line: I am relatively baggage free and I deserve the same from the person I'm in a relationship with.