Here’s a fun exercise: who were you four years ago? What were you into? What did you wear? What possessions seemed important? I got the chance to rediscover my 2013 self when I was reunited with a suitcase of stuff that got left behind after I relocated countries.
A good friend is someone who’ll look after something of yours for four years, even though it was supposed to only be a couple of months, and not give you any shit about it. So it was with the purple suitcase, ‘temporarily’ making a home with the legendary Caroline in London, patiently awaiting my return.
Rewind to mid-2013: a special time in my life where I technically lived nowhere and was trying to come up with some semblance of a new life plan. I’d packed up and shipped out of Canada, and was bunking with Caroline while trying London on for size. I loved London. It was a place I’d dreamed of living since age 17 when I spent three months there after finishing high school, and I was fairly confident that it would finally be my new home. That’s why it was no biggie when I left a few things that wouldn’t fit in my original suitcase with Caroline, because, you know, I’d be back in a few months.
Except I wasn’t. London turned in to Melbourne and a few months turned into four years. So it was with excitement and curiosity that I finally came to collect my suitcase at the end of a recent trip around Europe, finally relieving Caroline of the purple nuisance she’d so kindly taken in. Opening it up felt like Christmas, as I reacquainted myself with all the random items I’d deemed essential way back when.
I had a vague idea of a couple of things that might be in there, but the rest was pretty much a mystery. I definitely wasn’t expecting …
Three different perfumes, one of which was practically an entire, full bottle. Score! Side note: turns out perfume doesn’t go off after four years if kept in a suitcase in the dark.
Bad shoes. Interesting how your taste in fashion can change in just a few short years. These spent four years in captivity only to be released into … the bin.
A baseball and phrasebooks. I went to my first ever baseball game in Toronto and that’s when I discovered that baseball … is the game that never ends. At least I took home this cool memento. Aaand this Italian phrasebook would have been really handy during the three weeks I just spent in Italy.
Target practice. Now this brought back happy memories — of the time I visited my friend Miriam in Missouri and held, and shot, my first ever gun. I imagined my ex-boyfriend’s face as the target and bazinga, bullseye. I think I’ll frame it.
A collection of 2013 inflight magazines. I guess it was research? I really wanted to be a travel writer back then (confession: still do) so I suppose I was holding onto these as an arsenal of inspiration. But let’s face it: magazines are way heavy. Plus, dated. Yep, ruthless 2017 Lani chucked these right in the bin.
The purple suitcase — half emptied of its 2013 secrets, then topped up with new items overflowing from my Europe suitcase — finally completed its journey. We’re currently calling Melbourne home.