View from the Dragonfly’s Back 

MomsGetReal Soulfeeder Chris Wilcox

toadflySo, I’ve spent this Mercury Retrograde in my Way Back Machine – because if an astrological event has the capacity to make you dredge up your baggage, for better or worse, I far prefer the former to the latter.  And I’ve gotten lots of opportunities to do so.

It’s so interesting to me how we account for our baggage – we know we’ve all got it but some people throw it up on the train platform soon after they unload it the first time and are able to leave it behind. I can do that with some things – like ex-husbands and shoes that pinch my feet. But I’ve gone to great lengths to decorate the baggage I stubbornly hang onto with all-weather leather and topstitched coordinating trim and handles.

So here’s how I got here.

First, I lost my driver’s license. While I’m fairly certain that it fell out of my purse at some point in the Spokane airport or on the flight back to Boise, no one’s ‘fessing up to having it. I discovered the loss of said identification when I was at the bank yesterday, and had to deposit a check into an account that I had no way to prove was actually mine – apart from the debit card attached to the OLD account I had up until October 18, when I realized there was an asshat still listed as a signatory. Then, my bank educated me to an important fact: you can’t just take someone off an account – you have to close everything and start over.

So, license-less and feeling that first flush of obsessive-what-did-I-do-with-it-ness, I politely reminded my brain that it would do no good to fly in six directions like a dragonfly and I needed to calm down.



6 AM Monday – Boise to Philadelphia.

And the TSA gets picky about letting you on a plane when you can’t prove who you are.

No worries, I thought. That’s what passports are for, right?  I just need to get my passport from where I keep my passport and the passport will get me on the plane.

You know what’s coming next. Right! My passport was not where I thought I last left it.

Where this gets tricky is I moved last April, but (a) I wasn’t the one to pack my house, and even though (b) I remember holding my passport at some point this year, (c) I don’t precisely recall when that was, exactly. It could’ve been in Fort Worth, it could’ve been here. Who knows? And this is where the “go through the baggage” stuff begins.

Gratefully, my friend Jennie (her real name – because anyone brave enough to dive in and help me navigate my baggage deserves full credit) helped me to unload many of the boxes that filled up my house, so I called. She came.  5 hours later, still no passport, but I did manage to find both my divorce decrees, 3 copies of my birth certificate, college transcript, a savings passbook for a bank that no longer exists, college ID card, every yearbook from school and an album of wedding pictures that somehow survived what I’ll refer to as The Great Fire of 2009.

Needless to say, by the time that exercise proved futile, I had looked at, held, unfolded, opened, questioned and ultimately kept or tossed a lot of baggage that I either didn’t realize I still had or had been unwilling to recognize was keeping me in a place that wasn’t good for me.

Oh, and about 10 tubes of various lipsticks and glosses, $57, and a bottle of Body by Victoria that became Jennie’s finder’s fee. I was happier about that list than the previous one.

What made it easier? Jennie was here – and more importantly, Jennie is one of the key friends who can cut through emotional bullshit like a hot knife through butter. She’s the perfect counterpart to go through everything with me because there are few triggers for her. She can hear me say things like “But I remember where I was when I got that!” and still look at me with an expression that says, “That’s nice. Would you like to take a photo of it before I throw it out?”

Through all of yesterday’s panic and consternation, I realized one very key thing about this year: I’ve not asked for help enough. I’ve taken too much personal responsibility for sorting through my baggage on my own. And I realized how grateful, lucky and blessed to have my friends, and how much I love their help.