Happy Friday to you all! This week’s post is a bit of inspirational content, and the Bibliotheca blog prompt: “What’s in my bag?”
First, please see our latest posts for updates on Royal Vegas Retreat 2021:
(CW: cigarette smoking mentions)
So Nif - what’s in your bag?
Thanks for asking, that’s a really good question.
When I thought about this blog prompt, I was flooded with memories of events past - carefully picking out the perfect brand bag for the weekend, filling it with RVR fliers and PPC business cards, feeling dismayed after the bag’s vinyl cracked from the strain of the weekend and the constant torque of my clumsiness. But I kept sticking on a question - what is in my bag these days?
I have been exceedingly fortunate to be able to stay home throughout the pandemic. I can do my day job from home. I can order groceries and takeout for delivery. I can hang out with my friends on any number of internet platforms. So when I tried to take some photos for this post, I found myself having to pry my bag out from where it had been stashed for months. In what undoubtedly represented some moment of frustration, I had crammed my bag into my work backpack.
Inside my bag were artifacts from just before the pandemic. Biscoff airplane cookies. An expired courtesy voucher from Alaska Airlines. A flier explaining how to go through customs. Larabars. Hair ties. A lint roller. A compact mirror. A favorite lipstick - sparkling rose gold. And then there were things I stashed in my bag before I stuffed it out of sight: a packing slip from Ikemen Mode. A stray flower from the flower wall I built. Several bags of honey lemon cough drops that I hid from one of our cats.
The bag I’m holding in the picture used to be my daily carry bag. I bought it using some of the money from the cash bonus I got when I started my current job nearly 5 years ago - my debut into the FAANG world. I was so proud of what I accomplished - from getting kicked out of school, to getting my degree, to my internship and first job, and finally to a role that would pay me competitively and shower me with challenge and responsibility (or so I hoped - that’s a whole ‘nother post). Looking at this bag that I’ve not touched for some time - I remember the pride I felt at the time, to be able to afford something so luxurious for myself.
But now when I look at my bag, I am wondering - what goes in it? Even with all of the excitement of planning for RVR 2021, I am having trouble right now imagining going out, going to a meetup, going somewhere just for fun. In about a week and a half, I will be fully vaccinated. What will I fill my bag with? I no longer smoke cigarettes, so something that used to take up a bunch of space in my bag no longer needs to be there, despite the continued presence of loose tobacco in the corners of my bag. I suppose I’d still carry a lighter or matches, just in case someone needs them, or for 420 reasons. I don’t really need cough drops anymore. I guess I should bring an extra disposable mask or two. Of course, my wallet and my cell phone. If I get a new phone with a working front-facing camera, I could bring a selfie stick. All of my fliers for RVR are out of date, so maybe I should print new ones - but would that be wasteful? Will I use them? Does anyone want them? Should I get new business cards? Maybe I should bring an extra cloth mask, too. Just in case. And a pack of cinnamon gum. And a lint roller. Always need a lint roller and a Tide pen. It probably wouldn’t hurt to bring the cough drops, either.
What is in my bag? Right now, nothing and everything. I won’t know until that first post-vaccine meetup what I really need, what is now superfluous, what makes my bag too heavy, and what I wish I had.
A note on my wig: the wig I’m wearing in the photo is not a purchase I’m proud of - it is from a fairly well-known company that I hesitate to mention here because I don’t want to drive traffic to them, and I don’t want them to come after me. They have a reputation of blatant racism and mistreating their models - as many in the community, especially Black folks, have taken care to publicize. My message here is that no purchase is too small to warrant a little bit of research. I bought this wig after taking a recommendation from people at face value - I’m not sure if they knew or didn’t about this company’s behavior. In retrospect, all of the information was available to me to make an informed purchase - it was my fault for not pursuing that information. I will continue to wear my wigs from this company (and not profit by selling them on the secondhand market) with the caveat that I will always take care to explain why I do not recommend anyone else buy from them, and if that conversation is inappropriate or triggering for the space I am planning to be in, I will not wear these wigs. I hope this helps others who have made similar purchases.
Call to action : Pride is approaching, but trans rights are under attack throughout the US, especially in the southeast. Cis people: talk to your friends and family about the struggles trans people face. Trans, non-binary, and all gender-non-confirming people unequivocally belong in the Lolita fashion community.
Keep paying attention to the ongoing attacks on Palestinians. Even though there was a “ceasefire,” apartheid and colonization are continuing in new areas. Boost posts on social media to combat the effects of censorship.
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See you next week!