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.
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
A credit card and a debit card
My night guard and retainer
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.
Eye gel and eye cream
Facial mask sheets
Prescription acne cream
Sunscreen for face and neck
Sunscreen for lips
Alright. Yes, of course those are all to be checked in. I have a suitcase after all. Oh… clothes. I need clothes …
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
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
Cute/ slouchy tank tops
Workout gear: four sets
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
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.
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.