What is baggage? Some of us like to refer to the peeps we date as “having baggage.” Daddy issues, trust issues, weight issues…my ex ripped out my heart like a disgusting savage and ate it issues, maybe. But I feel it’s more that we have been bulldozed—by relationships, by friends, by anything where we expose ourselves and then proceed to get crushed.
As soon as you open yourself up, for love, for passion, for friendship, something happens. You become vulnerable—like a blinking energy light in a video game or a guy confessing his love for a girl with the rain pouring down (see my first book for additional details). The armor has been thrown off and you are one sword thrust away from emotional destruction (I know, super dramatic). So as the years go on, you decide to put yourself out there less and less. How the hell are you supposed to GO FOR IT when you have ten pounds of baggage dragging your ass down? Dude, baggage sucks.
What’s even worse is the great relationship that baggage and its friend, fear, have developed over the years. Because fear of getting hurt is directly correlated to the amount of baggage you carry with you. You trust people’s intentions less. You get annoyed with optimistic people. You store your dreams in a file called, Grow up, Peter Pan. You fear the future and imaginary pain of what MIGHT happen if you put yourself out there again.
Eventually, you get tired of the rejection letters or the criticism or the empty bar that you’re playing for. Tired of exposing yourself and being knocked down. Tired of falling in love only to be breaking up in the middle of PF Changs five months later. So you quit. You pack up all your baggage as a reminder that exposing your heart is stupid and this shit hurts, and you’re better off staying under the radar.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be like that. Maybe we accumulate so much baggage because we’re all so hungry for approval. Like we need someone to approve our dream or some relationship to approve us as a person. But what if we just loved and chased our passion because that’s what you we were born to do. Not because someone told us to do it or someone gave us a pat on the back. Yeah sure, maybe it doesn’t happen right away and we hit a few roadblocks. But that’s life.
I had my first girlfriend at 16. I was in love. And guess what, it didn’t work out. Neither did the next six. And yes, there were times I cried like a little girl while listening to dramatic music (see book #1 again). But in the end, I wouldn’t take any of it back. Cliche time? Oh yeah, get ready for it…. It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. And that goes with your dream. I’d rather touch it once or chase it till I die, then to give up and wonder what if.
There have been so many times, I was scared. I’m scared I’ll be rejected and embarrassed and laughed at and be dumped and end up drinking malt liquor penniless because I gave everything to chase love and passion. But once I start walking the path, I realize that my worst fear is never the case. And the best case, well it’s easy, I am living a life full of love and passion. Because once I begin walking on a path without the need for validation is the moment I start to let go of the baggage that has held me down.