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Baggage Is Not All Bad

We all have baggage of some sort that we store deep within our souls. But why does that baggage need to be considered flawed? It is a collection of memories that make up the journey of life.

When I started thinking of baggage, I first thought of the time capsule of my favorite trunk. I got the black trunk with silver hinges when I first spent three weeks at camp. I carefully placed photos of my kitty, Peteo, in a window-type layout as I knew I would miss her while I was away. The camping experience did not turn out as I had planned, and I ended up coming home early. I do not remember the specifics of why, but I remember needing to escape for the first time.

That trunk today has traveled everywhere I have. It has been spray-painted gold and painted over to be a plain white. It is filled with memories past. It is the time capsule of my life, the memories that can conjure up both good and bad.

The sweetness of first love, the education on human behavior, a small brown pencil sack hold nothing special because the sack itself is the special thing. The book on John F. Kennedy that I was obsessed with understanding what happened that day in Dallas and the tragedy of a beautiful young woman losing her husband so violently and publicly. There are cards from friends and a name tag or two. My awards from years of swimming as a youth and one of my most prized possessions of a certificate deeming I was the “Hardest Worker” on the swim team that year. You will even find a rolled-up dollar bill that was from someone special in my life. A Miller Lite bottle cap that was from a restaurant I worked at and made lifelong friends.

Truth is little in the trunk is worth much to anyone but me, other than those who want to touch the things I held onto throughout my life. It is my baggage, and I am proud of all it contains.

Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Raissa —What a beautiful reminder to keep the belongings that bring joy, wonderful memories for our lives, that inspire us about who we were then and who we’ve become now. I don’t ever tell clients to rid themselves of belongings that hold great meaning for them. I remember a woman who had a white handkerchief that she planned to keep her entire life as it was her late father’s and allowed her to feel the love and connection with her dad. Thank you for this simple, yet poignant message-that if we can choose to have a treasure box-then fill it with sacred, beloved belongings.

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