Today we celebrate bags and their meaning, which is deeper than many assume
When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them, most of them simply can’t believe that this website and forum provide a job—not only for me, but also for our team. I love bags, I always have, and I’ve touched on what they mean to me over the years, but sometimes I think I don’t share just how important my bags are to me.
The truth is, any ol’ bag will get the same job done if all you want to do is carry your stuff, but my love for bags started right around the time that my insecurity peaked in late middle school and early high school. I was tall—far taller than majority of the boys—and not stick thin or a cheerleader, which made me feel a bit insecure. I found my way with my group, the swimmers, and mostly I wasn’t picked on (thankfully!), but I didn’t feel good in my own skin. Speaking of my skin: I had pretty bad acne! We wore uniforms at my school, and that is when I first started noticing handbags. My chlorine hair and goggle tan wasn’t exactly ‘the look,’ but I truly felt that having a nice bag to carry would be the accessory that made me feel a bit better about myself. And as vain as it sounds, it did. That kind of beginning for my love of bags isn’t ideal, but I will say that a teenage girl finding confidence in something like a designer bag is far better than many of the other routes I saw friends taking.
Fast forward to college, and my passion for bags continued to grow, though I did feel much better about myself overall, too. There were so many other athletes at my school, and I met Vlad and we quickly fell in love, which of course is a confidence-booster. Then we started PurseBlog and PurseForum, and that really fulfilled me in a way that is hard to explain. I created a place with him for like-minded individuals to come together, a place that we didn’t feel judged (though if you were part of the forum in the early days, you’ll remember the raids from other male-dominated forums making fun of us, but we held our own!), and a place that was a break from life. Life has always had its ups and downs—it does for everyone—but my love for bags was and is an outlet, and I know it is the same for so many of you. It’s not like we don’t realize there are more important things in life, but man, sometimes life is just rough and there is no harm in finding something that is a safe escape.
But when I say my bag is much more, I mean what it holds inside is so incredibly important to me. I tend to like bigger bags, and there’s a reason for this. The tiny bag trend never worked for me (mainly because it looks silly on me at my height), but the other major reason is my bag is my safety net. My bag holds everything I need to feel safe and secure. I am an anxious person and have been for as long as I can remember, and at different points in my life, my anxiety and panic attacks have been crippling. I’ve worked through this, and like everything in life it ebbs and flows. But my bag carries so many items that keep me feeling comforted to know they are with me. It’s like Mary Poppins bag, but one made just for me, with all things I need and want for myself. I had severe asthma in college, and though I rarely need my inhaler now, you will never find me without it. It brings peace of mind. I always have a water bottle, and yes I know it’s heavy, but if I ever start to feel a bit anxious and warm, drinking water usually helps a bit. I have a snack, always. I have my phone, because don’t even get me started on how much of a life line that is for me. And since having Millie, I have her emergency pouch with all of her medical needs. My bag may be Prada (I have relied on this Prada Nylon Bag because it’s lightweight and I keep adding more must-have items), but what’s inside really brings me a calmness that is hard to explain.
I have friends that have really important jobs by a traditional definition, but my job is important in an entirely different way. In a world that is so divided and filled with such sad news so often, I find it so peaceful to have this little place we call home to come together. Sure we don’t all love the same bags, but I have a sneaky feeling that each of us has a reason that exceeds what you see on the outside for why we love handbags. And that I want to celebrate today, on our 6th National Handbag Day, just as much as the bags we love. I want to celebrate all of us, because we are all amazing and doing our best in this crazy thing we call life. We just do it with a designer bag on our arms.
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