Being, Living, Sense of Self
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Summer Stories 2

Click to read Summer Stories 1 here.

I am great at packing as long as I can bring everything with me. If that means checking two bags instead of one, or jamming an extra pair of shoes and another sweater into my personal item so my carry on isn’t too heavy, I will be fine. In the case of my summer story, I did all of that, plus sent a heavy box via media mail days before lift off.

Though I had a couple of days to prepare before heading away for the summer,  I didn’t pack my suitcases until the final few hours before leaving.  A girl can learn a lot about herself when she is prepping to be away from her day to day life. In my mind, I needed very little.  All I cared about were the essentials. Absolute essentials.


Louis Vuitton teaches the art of packing

When faced with having to decide on what things are most important to us, we hear things like “photographs, my mother’s this, my father’s that.” Since I wasn’t just going on a trip, but taking an indefinite amount of time away, you could say my perspective on packing was different for this endeavor.

I wouldn’t be worried on my trip as long as I had the essentails:

My father’s ring

My journal

My passport

A credit card and a debit card

My night guard and retainer

My iPhone

Notebook where I log my mom’s household management information

My dietary herbs and hormonal balancing supplements

My prescription pain relief (for that time of the month)

That was it, I told myself.  Done. No other worries. These are the things that I need most and must never have without me for too long lest disaster and bad luck may strike. And then I thought, oh, toiletries, those are super important and specific to me too.

Facial cleanser

Microfoliant scrub


Eye gel and eye cream

Overnight serum

Facial mask sheets


Prescription acne cream

Lip salve

Neck cream

Sunscreen for face and neck

Sunscreen for lips

Scalp treatment

Alright. Yes, of course those are all to be checked in. I have a suitcase after all. Oh… clothes.  I need clothes … 

smoosh the suitcase

Summer time … in Boston. It was freezing cold in San Francisco in early May, so packing for what I knew would be extreme humidity and scorching heat was hard to do wearing a sweater with the heat on in my apartment, but I was able to dig up:

Four t shirts

Five blouses

Comfy sweatshirt

Jackets: black leather, fatigue green, off white blazer, sporty hooded jacket

Two pairs of jeans

Two pairs of black pants

Two pairs of skinny khakis

Three sundresses

Cute/ slouchy tank tops

One jumpsuit

Workout gear: four sets








Flat sandals

Sparkly heels

Black heels

One purse

One knapsack

One clutch

Done and done.  I was so happy. So easy though not so streamlined, but good. As I placed items in my bag one by one, more things came to mind.

How could I forget?!?


Laptop & wireless mouse

Selfie stick

Stationery pieces: 30+ gel and colored pens, washi tape, stickers, cards, envelopes, stamps, scissors, string, glue sticks

Personal library:  15 lbs of reading material sent ahead via Media Mail that included my resource books from Todd Henry, Steven Pressfield, Austin Kleon, etc etc, the usual suspects, plus a few art books that I like to look at while I am home.

Curling Iron

Eyelash curler



Blush brush

Hair ties

Hair claws

Jewelry box


I was all set, two suitcases, a carry on, and a respectably sized personal item on hand holding my blanket, headphones, book and magazine, and all of my top essentials I wouldn’t dare check in.

I was confident that having all of my “stuff” with me would ensure a smooth stroll down the road ahead. It’s easier to believe you’ve covered your bases when your temporal needs leave no space in your suitcase for emotional ones.  For at least half a day while travelling to your destination you convince yourself that there isn’t a reason to feel insecure or question yourself, because you have all you could need packed tightly in your luggage.

Then you land, and you start feeling that pebble in your shoe again. Friggin pebble.

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