In an instant, when I was riding in the back of a rental car on my way from a fire camp in Entiat to Wenatchee to get more rental cars and cookies from the Best Aunt Ever, I had a complete paradigm shift. It isn't about matching our baggage. It's about unloading it. Unpacking. Settling in. Coming home to stay and not holding on to the temporariness of lugging around, well, vintage luggage. Because no matter how whimsical and quirky it looks, that crap gets heavy.
So I sat there and I stewed. Almost literally since it was like 137º outside and the guy up front seemed to have difficulty running the AC with pictures on the buttons, but mostly I stewed theoretically about how successful (or not) I have been in helping Josh unpack his baggage, or him mine. Or has that even been our goal? Maybe we have been comparing baggage so much to make SURE it matches that it has turned into a competition instead. Who has the worse sob story. The most drama. The biggest justification to be a poop head. Unfortunately, on all of those fronts, we both win. But instead of unpacking that junk and airing it out and folding it up and filing it where it can be useful, we drag it around and beat each other over the head with it like a couple of dumb apes. Or the three stooges. But only two of us. Dude. WE'RE DOING IT WRONG.
The problem is, unpacking it takes some things that we are both a little short on. Maybe because that damn baggage has been so heavy for so long. We're low on things like patience, because we're all on edge and crabby from sore shoulders and backs. And humility, because look how buff we are with our big old steamer trunks of bad luck. And empathy, because nobody took our baggage for us - so grab yer own bootstraps and suck it up! And gentleness, because we're just gol-darn tired. How do you help somebody unpack their baggage when your hands are jam packed with your own? How do you learn to set aside all of your aches and pains and help to take off all of someone else's? It takes a lot more strength to do that then to just cling to your own baggage and trudge along bitterly. For a minute there, you might be stuck balancing ALL OF THE BAGGAGE, while he catches his breath and realizes that he'll be ok without it. And that is terrifying. Because we all know that I am buff - but that buff?????