I stood looking around at the pile of things (normal things, clothes, shoes–lots of shoes, and books) that represented my life for those nineteen years. As I packed to leave for my year abroad it didnt make sense to leave things behind. Then, it made sense to me to take everything. It made sense to pack pictures of a life that I had left behind, as well as a life that I was about to leave behind. She sat on my bed. She said things like “can you believe it?” I remarked that I couldn’t believe it. I could not believe how old we were getting. Looking at that vingette, I should have laughed. I could have taken all of those things out of my suitcase. I could have packed only a pair of New Balances and a credit card. I could have laughed at her and said, “We are only going to continue to get older.” But then again, hindsight is notorious for one thing only.

I packed oreos and pringles. Those things were important to me then.


I waste time saying that I do not remember being born. No one remembers being born. If someone could remember being born, I imagine it would take years of therapy to stifle the memory of gasping for air from within a mother’s birth canal. I can imagine that after months of breathing in warm liquid air, taking in a first breath of air outside the womb is the most traumatic thing that people go through, relatively speaking. The creator of the universe knows better than allow us to keep those sorts of memories. Starting your life with the inkling to end it is counter productive.