Back Pains

I’ve always wondered my my shoulders are so tense.

When piecing together the image above, I observed each and every object that I pulled out of my backpack, and sure enough, I found each one to be essential to my every day. Here goes the list:

  • The backpack itself (got it from Mexico a year and a half ago, last one left, friends were jealous)
  • Umbrella, which shoots open with the press of a button, not unlike a light-saber (works like a charm, whenever I carry it, no rain. If I happen to forget it, expect downpour)
  • Folder (containing anything from 15% of my Sociology grade, to last week’s to-do list I never finished)
  • Notebook
  • Notebook
  • Notebook
  • Notebook
  • Planner (because I’m convinced that the concept of “memory” is a myth)
  • Stitches (in the vain hope that if I ever have free time, it’ll pop up and guilt me into reading it)
  • Wallet (Two dollars, a bunch of American coins I don’t get, and a Barnes and Noble gift card from 2015)
  • Laptop (AKA life)
  • Pencil case (fun fact: I don’t actually have a single pencil in there)
  • Pink hair tie
  • Blue hair tie
  • Green hair tie (what? I never have one when I need one.)
  • Lucky Charms Bar (Yeah, they exist. Granola doesn’t agree with me: too healthy)
  • Flash light (Always be prepared. I once survived two days in the middle of nowhere with no electricity or water off of just this tiny flashlight (mostly true story))
  • Lip balm (I once traumatized my little cousins with my bleeding lips. So this is a necessary precaution.)
  • Earrings (I was wondering where those went!)
  • Compact Powder (because the walk from the WoodPec back to my dorm is too long)
  • Image of the Virgin Mary and little statue of an angel (Doesn’t hurt to have a little support)
  • Hair clip
  • Bigger hair clip

As you can see, I made a plethora of discoveries as I emptied my bag.

Both the way I wrote the list and the way I arranged the objects are supposed to clearly represent the fact that I’m scatter-brained, a little all over the place. You could also say that looking at all this, I don’t like to be caught off guard. You can tell I have a lot of stuff that falls under “just in case”. I rely heavily on objects, I find my own head much less reliable than whatever I write down. I prefer to take notes on paper, which is why I have so many notebooks on me all the time.

Despite all this, I think it’s hard to tell exactly who I am through this exercise, because there are a lot of things I don’t carry with me that are even more important. Their absence in this photo tell a story. There are some things that are “too good” to be carried around in the filthy world, and must be kept safe in my room. Objects like those might include my teddy bear, the quilt my mother made for me when I went off to college, the good food, my drawings, my iPad, and so on. You can also notice that my phone isn’t in the picture either, both because it’s usually in my pocket, and because it’s not uncommon for me to forget it completely.

So yes, you can gauge quite a bit about a person by looking at what they carry with them, but it’s equally informative to notice what they’re missing, often those gaps tell an even better story.

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