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Goeun Park: Not a good year for my suitcase

While I’m back home in good ol’ Detroit Lakes, my suitcase is somewhere between Los Angeles and Fargo. I don’t exactly know where. This has not been a very good year for my suitcase.

The first time I (or more accurately, the airline) lost my luggage in the maze of conveyer belts, I was too tired and thrilled to process the situation like a normal human being. Tired because it was three in the morning and thrilled because it seemed like one of horrific things that happened to other people, never to me.

Sure, it was annoying, but also terrifically novel. Out of everyone in that cramped plane, I was the only one unfortunate enough to be stuck with a missing bag. What were the odds, right?

The second time around, I was not so amused.

Let me first say that I do not consider myself an unlucky person. I have too much faith in statistics for that. But losing my suitcase again (and at the same airport, no less) didn’t feel all that funny this time around.

After an hour waiting by the help desk, I was practically drowning in self-pity. My internal monologue sounded a lot like, ‘How dare they lose my luggage, my life is awful, I hate everything, indignant this, despairing that — you get the idea.

I like to think that my reaction to an event like that was pretty normal. Not exactly admirable, but understandable. I had a lot of stuff in that suitcase. Important stuff. My stuff.

And I’ve been sitting at home, sulking about my misplaced material possessions for the past day and a half and I know that I should get over it. Slowly, I am getting over it. Since the third paragraph of this column, I’ve done some self-reflecting and came to a conclusion that it won’t be the absolute end of the world if my suitcase never shows up.

After all, my suitcase was mostly carrying my clothes for the next two weeks and a few books — nothing money can’t replace.

But that’s not the point. As a collector (or, depending on who you ask, a hoarder) of trinkets and tokens and things, I place a lot of sentimental value on objects. Almost everything I own acts as a keepsake — therefore, if I lose something, I feel like I also lose the memory associated with it.

Which...sounds a little neurotic, I suppose. Hmm.

Last winter, it took four days for my luggage to get back to me. Up to 98 percent of delayed bags gets found and delivered within five days. Once again, I’m a big believer in statistics.

Even if by a fluke of chance, I’m in that 2 percent that never see my bag again, I’m sure it’ll learn to live with it.

And someday, after I get over my weird obsession with never throwing anything away, I’d like to squeeze all the essentials in a backpack and go places. Somewhere new and exciting, too memorable to be captured in a box filled with sand or a souvenir. By then, I wouldn’t even bother checking a bag at the airport.