I shouldn’t be too surprised that a bunch of Virgos took issue with one of my blog posts. Nothing says “perfectionist, critic, and hard to impress” than Virgo. I should know. I’m a big time Virgo and proud of it.
So, several blogs ago I made a proclamation that I had no baggage. No baggage in the sense of “no regrets,” nothing that was dragging me down, no history that popped up at the most inopportune moments. One of my readers was incredulous, “How can that be?!”
So, like a good Virgo, I defined baggage in a way that worked to my advantage. You know, made me look good. “Well, baggage is only baggage if you have regrets – if it keeps you back or if you haven’t accepted that you did the best you could and can’t do anything more about it.”
Tonight I went out with two Virgo friends to celebrate our month of birthdays. Everything was going well until one of them reminded me of my smug little “I have no baggage” comment. Naturally, as a good polite Virgo, she didn’t call me smug, but I knew where she was going.
We chatted about lots of other things and sure enough as I shared some stories, it became obvious that I was harboring a few resentments of my own. Resentments around family, resentments around work, resentments around virtually anything. And, according to these Virgos, harboring resentment is code for “baggage.” It just wasn’t the way I had conveniently defined baggage. The more we talked, the more I felt I should write a blog called “I could fill the entire plane with my baggage!”
I’m not some blithe, nothing bothers me person. So, yes, I have unfinished business and things I wish I had handled differently.
When I was in college I made a big deal about a poem by Elinor Wylie called “Beauty.” I expected everyone in my orbit to understand this poem. Truth be told, I didn’t understand it and I tested people far superior to me in their literary genius to understand what I barely grasped. One brave soul told me that he found this poem a “hard lesson to learn.” Here is the text:
SAY not of beauty she is good,
Or aught but beautiful,
Or sleek to doves’ wings of the wood
Her wild wings of a gull.
Call her not wicked; that word’s touch
Consumes her like a curse;
But love her not too much, too much,
For that is even worse.
O, she is neither good nor bad,
But innocent and wild!
Enshrine her and she dies, who had
The hard heart of a child.
So, you’re asking, what does this poem have to do with baggage? Well, I guess I have divided the world into people who understand this poem and those who don’t. And while I’m fine with those that don’t, I’m better with those that do. That’s something I tend to do: create some litmus test and then decide which side of it you’re on. No baggage?