Who’s the Turkey Now?

A few weeks later, I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. It was such a hassle to travel back to the midwest for such a short trip, that I was happy when a sorority sister invited me to her family’s Thanksgiving dinner.

However, I was worried that all of my high school friends would have a pow-wow, giving Adam a chance to talk shit about me when I wasn’t there to stand up for myself.

Regardless, I made it through the holiday, and was looking forward to coming home for winter break. But when I got home, I had to deal with something I’d never dealt with before: baggage.

Relationships with Holly A. Phillips {published on Monday, January 23, 2006}

I spent my winter break getting rid of baggage.

“Baggage” is that pesky reminder of your ex; the good, the bad and the ugly.

In my case, there were a lot of bags—and they were harder to get rid of than I imagined. With a broken heart, I was forced to rid my world of items that reminded me of my ex. From pictures, e-mails and text messages right down to clothing, CDs and even his phone number.

Home, I thought, would be an easy place to get over my last boyfriend. But I was wrong. Home turned out to be a nightmare filled with far too many memories from my lost relationship.

I wasn’t surprised to find my room cluttered with his pictures and his clothes, but other places bothered me even more. Certain restaurants became off-limits because we ate there; even the video store was a disaster.

Sadly, my closet was full of baggage from exes I’d forgotten about—how delightful. But I felt so much better after I threw everything away—a fung shui for dating.

Now that I’m stripped of the physical reminders of my ex, I’m working on the emotional part. It was easy to throw out the things I could touch, but the memories are burned in my mind.

Somehow, I’m expected to erase not only a beautiful relationship from my memory, but also a meaningful friendship.

As hard as it is, emotional baggage is important to get rid of. Everyone’s got some, but too much can really get in the way of your next relationship.

I’ve heard most guys move on quickly to a new girlfriend just to “replace” their ex. I can’t think of a dumber idea. Emotional baggage can be more damaging than the physical stuff. If you go into a new relationship still upset with or attached to your ex, you’re doomed.

You have to separate the lessons you learned from the baggage. For example, my ex taught me even great guys can be jerks. But I have to separate that from my next relationship, because my ex does not represent any man other than himself.

If you’re going through the baggage routine, remember it is part of life; it happens to everyone. And seriously, who cares what your ex is doing or what he/she thinks?

But whatever you do, don’t let your ex win. It might be impossible to “white out” an entire relationship, but don’t let it affect your next ones; unless it’s for the better.

So get rid of your bags—even that Dior one—and say “hello” to your single self.

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