The Things They Carried

One of my classes at Oakland University was called Modern Literature, in which this class entailed that we study closely short stories. One of the short stories in particular was called The Things They Carried and it was my favorite story for a few reasons. Mainly because I could relate to the soldiers in the story. The story describes what these soldiers during the Vietnam War carried; physically and metaphorically.

We carry a lot of burden in our lives. We tend to associate the word “burden” with negative connotations. According to the Internet, the actual meaning of the word “burden” is “a load, typically a heavy one” and that is exactly what I mean.

I was discussing with my best friend last week how I sometimes give myself a small kiss on the shoulder as an act of self-love. I have been doing that a lot lately. She told me how it is good to do such things to our bodies, to show our bodies that we appreciate them. It is our individual bodies that carry us through this life and who physically suffer for us. Sometimes, I can feel that my body has had enough. It is as if it is just done from carrying me around. It needs to just relax from my life. I know I sound like my body is a thing working on its own, like it is disconnected from my mind. In some ways, it is. It’s all how you look at it.

However, getting back to the story, I felt like I could relate to the soldiers because I felt like I was carrying burdens. You can feel certain tension in your shoulders. This week I had a mental breakdown. The cause was too much stress. The irony is that last Sunday, the blog post I posted was about mental health in which I wrote that my mental health was finally good. But yes, I was too stressed. I tend to overthink. I tend to reach too deep into the dark places of my mind. I start to question the things around me.

Therefore, what are the things that I carry? Why should you care, anyways? I just want to discuss. Maybe you can realize something here too.

I carry the burden of being away from my country. I carry the burden of not getting the education I wanted. I carry the burden of financially trying to save up my money. I carry the burden of overthinking. I carry the burden of not fitting into the culture in Malta. I carry the burden of not having my own room and my own space like in Michigan. So yes, my body is tired. I wasn’t like this before Michigan. I keep mentioning Michigan. Jesus Christ, if you read all of the blog posts I’ve written since I left there, they all mention Michigan or New York. Before Michigan, I fought so hard to get back to America. My body was strong and solid and capable. I’m not so sure now. I guess I still need time to get back to that self. To the things I carried.

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