My backpack

my backpack 2

I think we all get an invisible backpack when we are born. At first we just carry it around empty, but then -just after a short while- we start to fill it up.

We fill it up with memories, experiences and feelings – all of it- the good and the bad. Over time the backpack gets heavier and weighs us downs. Then it’s time for a break, it’s time to sit down and look at our inventory.

There will be a pile of good things that we treasure, we can’t let these go. We continue to carry them around, no matter how far we will go. Priceless memories of joy and love, of laughter and people that were dear to us.

Then there will be a pile with things that hurt us; it’s a nice sized pile with little and big things that weigh us down. Many of them we started to pack when we were just little children. I arranged and rearranged my backpack numerous times and often put back, what I should have left behind.

I thought I had to hang on, because one day it would make sense. I wanted answers to questions that I didn’t dare asking. I didn’t spend much time with my real parents, only 6 years when I was little, but I carried the actions of my parents around for a long time, until I realized I just had to let go. No matter how often I thought about the things they did and didn’t do, nothing changed.

“They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad,
They may not mean to but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra just for you.”

Many hikers have a little shovel in their backpack, that they use to bury the human waste they leave behind. So the shovel is there, dig a hole and get rid of some things that wear so heavy on your shoulders. Bury them deep and don’t leave them behind to be seen.

I had to take a few breaks throughout the years, because I packed the wrong things and my shoulders were hurting; the weight I was carrying around had been too much.

The good things and the good memories don’t weigh us down, it’s the bad stuff that seems to weigh a million tons and it slows us down.

From an early age on we learn to say Goodbye to friends and family. We move around and we adjust our life to new circumstances, but what we never learn is to say Goodbye to the bad stuff that can’t really be seen. The hurt, the scares and the tears -we carry all of it around.


“Some of the hardest battles we fight are those against the demons of our past, over which we have no control.”

I hang to the “Good stuff.”  I travel light these days~!



Sandbox writing Challenge

What are you holding onto from the past?



25 thoughts on “My backpack

  1. That analogy is amazing! People always call the stuff we lug around with us “baggage” but I love the backpack analogy better because it’s more intimate. This is the stuff we keep close to us after all. It’s a great image. Thanks for sharing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost wish you hadn’t reminded me of some of this stuff, but I do like what Anna (SanFermo) said. I do quite like my current reincarnation (on a good day 🙂 ) and it’s good to tap into other people’s insecurities too. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Everybody should do this”cleaning”now and then!
    Just like when we get rid of all those old useless magazines , recipes and photographs , or past Christmas-cards , to make room for new interesting items….
    It’s so good to reinvent ourselves , to add new friends to our list and face life with renovated experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There’s nothing I could add to this Bridget. It’s a great post.
    I wish burying the past was as easy as it sounds. It has a nasty way of resurfacing unexpectedly and then needs to be re-wrestled back into the ground :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember one night when I was in my early 40’s. I couldn’t sleep and my mind wandered off and things of my past came up. My parents, the ghosts of my past, had a firm grip on me -so it seemed. I just had enough. How could they still be present in my life as an adult, when they were never present when I was child? I made peace with it and let it go. It was time.

      I like was 76anfermo said. We have to declutte our life the same way we do our home. It does make sense.


  5. Touching and poignant xx

    I carried around a nightmare as a child/adult of waking up and finding my family had left without me, there I stood in an empty house with just newspapers on the floor. It took many years to see I had abandonment issues from being left as a baby in hospital and consequently adopted. I’ve since met my birth mother and have peace. My bag is lighter – as is hers xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my Gosh, you just made me swallow hard. I can not even imagine. My parents were “just” useless alcoholics,that’s how I ended up with my Grandmother, who gave me the best childhood a kid could have.

      I am glad you are at peace with your birthmother, I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult that must have been. You are a better person than me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not really darling x I’m sorry about your parents, my adoptive father also was an alcoholic, a very loveable one but useless but like you with your grandparents, I had the best adoptive mom.

        I realised as I got older just how hard it was for my birth mom to leave me – she is now elderly and has lived in torment for all these years – we only met a month ago for the first time 😊

        My post The Reunion was about that but I didn’t elaborate that it was fact x

        I wish you continued contentment and happiness – I loved your post xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s an amazing and poignant post, Bridget. What a GREAT metaphor. Especially the packing and unpacking part. I loved this: I thought I had to hang on, because one day it would make sense. I never would have thought to say that, but you’re absolutely right. I thought if I could find the answers I could be more in control. It’s that need for control that keeps my backpack so stuffed. That’s one of the best posts I’ve seen since we started doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: The Sandbox Writing Challenge 27 — Can’t Let Go | Impromptu Promptlings

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