It is interesting to me what things contribute to our sense of identity.
There are the obvious, mostly unchangeable things like race, gender, age and nationality.
Then there are the fundamental, but constantly evolving things like faith, education, social awareness and morals.
But then there are the funny bits of life that stick to us like how we like our coffee, what stores we frequent, what is our current haircut and what do we wear.
I kinda like that things of cosmic importance mix with trivia to form our own awareness of ourselves. Obviously one is more crucial than the other, but i like that there is a balance.
I bring this up because different people have commented on my new briefcase recently.
This is the old briefcase.
It was an integral part of my identity for almost a decade.
I bought it at a National PTA Conference that was being held in Baltimore; fTM Karen and i were working in the exhibit hall and we both bought these awesome bags. They had inflatable air bladders on the strap and along the back for lumbar support.
I loved that bag.
Everyday it went to work loaded down with my purse, my camera bag, my emergency overnight kit, my first aid kit, duct tape, writing utensils and paper, playing cards, my water bottle, my book, current projects, work folders, an umbrella, spare gloves, a winter hat, my goggles, back-up goggles, a brush, various hair implements and a toy Bruce the Shark from Finding Nemo with light-up eyes.
For a while the team referred to it as "The Bag of Bags" because of all of the separate bags it held and then it was "The Boulder Bag" because it felt like it was full of rocks.
Time and use have taken their toll.
But i couldn't imagine going to work without my bag.
I mean, it is my work bag - how could i work without it?
Anyhoo, last year for Christmas i asked my dad to find me a new briefcase.
I gave him very specific perimeters and he managed to do pretty well.
It's lovely - no question about that.
I just... well,... it's not my bag.
It sat in my dining room for 10 months.
I just couldn't bring myself to switch over.
Finally, my briefcase was losing structural integrity so i made the switch.
It still feels weird. When i go to and from work i look for the old bag. I don't know which pocket contains what. It has been an adjustment and the comments about the new bag over the last few days has really solidified my opinion that my old briefcase really was a piece of my identity.
There has been a silver lining in all of this, though.
There was no place to safely store my goggles in the new bag so i was forced to make a case for them
My sewing skills are suspect and my seam doesn't really line up, but i like the pattern and i am proud of the crafty details.
Yes Rea, that is jute.