First of all, I don’t like the word “handbag” for purses. It’s a stuffier version than my utilitarian, but cool, brightly colored or patterned purses. My purses hold many secrets… memories even… and this occurred to me while searching for one a few years ago.
As I unearthed it from the depths of my closet (still with moving boxes behind the clothes from 8 years ago by the way…), and opened it up, I discovered the last time I used that purse was at a friends wedding many many years prior. There was a napkin, a white chocolate anchor still wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon- albeit a little crushed, a program and a wine cork. So… this wedding was on a boat in the harbor and now, it was all coming back to me. It was a fun time with some of our best friends… we were so much younger then- not yet parents, just bought our first home in CA. This purse find represented our dreams and the future to come.
Another purse revealed a work trip to NYC… a hotel key (I never turn in the plastic key cards after hearing that they embed all of your credit card information on them) from Times Square, a boarding pass from my flight (middle seat- what??), my old L’Oreal building ID card for 575 5th Avenue (the very building we watched the World Trade Center get hit from on 9/11 and knew that life was about to change for many), stale travel snacks (I’m lucky there were no ants along for the ride in there!), probiotics to ward off travel sickness and try to stay healthy + many other “necessities” I always dragged around with me on every trip. Need a Splenda, mint, lipgloss, B12 for energy or green tea chocolate? I’ve always got one while on the road. As I looked at all of this- forgotten until now- I wondered how necessary it all really was. Overkill? Yes! My shoulders and neck are still paying for all of this “stuff” I had to have with me. (Add the water bottle, book, computer, travel pillow and… too much.)
The final purse I will mention was another great memory… a much-needed vacation to Kauai. A brochure from the Pono Kai resort where we stay, a Koloa rum tasting room brochure, a map of the beautiful island, a keepsake from the luau we went to and of course, the ever-present room key! This purse wasn’t filled with all of the unnecessary stuff from my work trip- no, it had all the relief of traveling unburdened. The freedom of not planning too far ahead and flying by the seat of your pants for once. This purse proved that I could pack “light”… well, my definition of light anyway. This purse proved that I could relax and enjoy a moment in time… Ke’e beach, Barking Sands state park… my favorite, peaceful places in the world most likely. When I meditate, or attempt to, I imagine I am in one of these places every time. It’s the only way I can even take a stab at checking out for even 10 minutes.
Maybe some day, I’ll write a book about all the stories my purses tell & in the interest of research, I will leave all of the paraphernalia in them. Whew… thought I was almost going to have to clean them out.