I feel like I’m unpacking from a life-long journey. There’s a carry-on bag strapped tightly across my back filled to the brim with all my superficial thoughts easy to access and throw into conversation. But lying all around me are suitcases and bags stuffed with waded-up memories and crumpled-up stories on the brink of combustion. I look at my life-cases and I don’t know where to begin.

Should I start with the familiar purple roller we took on our honeymoon after escaping from our overwhelming wedding? Or the large green duffel with a hole near the bottom where a mouse gnawed through; that oversized case I used as a thirteen year old girl to pack up my life every other week to travel to my “other” broken home? And what about the pink plastic tub with ballet shoes etched in Sharpie across the lid and all those old costumes I used to flaunt across the stage? That one shouldn’t be too bad, right?

I stare at these cases piled up in hoarded stacks and feel a sense of identity. I recognize them, I resonate with them, I flash back to various times in my life when I carried and filled them, but I have no desire to open them; I’m afraid of what might be rotting inside.

And yet, how else can I air out those stale memories without unzipping the corroded metal seals and digging through my own suppression?

That is why I’m here: writing and facing what I haven’t ever faced. With each strike of a key, each tap of the space bar, I pull back those zippers carefully and slowly, praying my composure won’t burst into pieces.

The most comforting part of this endeavor–to make sense of the past, accept the present, and anticipate the future–is that I am not alone. While Christ steadies my shaky hands, you the reader, my audience, stand in support as my witnesses. Truly am I ever alone?

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