By Louis Baragona

*Editor’s Note:* This week we say good-bye to our very first column, Unpacking. We have been so lucky to have had Louis share his thoughts with us over the last few months. We are grateful to him for his dedication to and support of The Donut Shop in all of it’s forms, especially in the baby stages. We wish Louis the best of luck – onward and upward! <3

Facebook memories tend to plague my life.

It’s painful to be alerted every morning with the humiliation of my dramatic high school Facebook statuses, all of which involve emotional song lyrics and weird hidden meanings probably about shitty men.

There are occasional hidden gems, and today’s Facebook memory was one of them.

Five years ago today I was accepted to Ohio University and I made an excited Facebook status about it. I remember crying (always with the drama) and practically zipping around my room with the thoughts of my future as the male Carrie Bradshaw having studied with the greatest scholars of the world. I’d be unstoppable.

This was also very strange and immature, but in the end, I’ve really come to believe that everything happens for a reason.

Since then, I’ve had so much to pack. I arrived at college so different than the person I am today. And no, I’m not Carrie Bradshaw, but I am a person who has accomplished so many of my personal and professional goals.

Sometimes it seems like there is so much of my experience to think about, so much that I want to write. It has been years since that acceptance letter and in those years so many aspects of my life have been heavy. In five years so many things can change, so much can go wrong and can hurt, and even more can go right.

And I’m not the only one.

As people, we’re taught that our stories are for internal analysis. They aren’t meant to be retold unless they mirror certain aspects of common, shared experiences.

Here’s the problem: the things that have happened to me or you in five, ten, and fifteen years deserve to be discussed. They weigh us down, they bind us, and they keep so many of us from realizing we’re connected and able to exist freely.

Telling your stories is important, whether it means writing them down or taking photos or making art. I hope that by telling mine in my own medium that I’ve helped you in feeling comfortable in telling yours… or at least knowing you’re not alone.

As I let go of my luggage and pack what’s left from this journey of five years since “adulthood” and five months since “ADULTHOOD FOR REAL THIS TIME” I am saying goodbye to Unpacking. It’s not that there isn’t much left, it’s that there are so many other stories to be told in different formats, ways, and perspectives.

If you’d like to keep up with me as I pack up again and wait for the next chapter, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@lounicorn_), through my writing for work (CollegeCandy.com), or checking out my new side hustle doing cosmetic reviews and writing for VeryGoodLight.com.

The Donut Shop represents a place for creative people to create, relate, and connect. I welcome you to do the same by telling your story in whatever way you see fit on the website.

And if you’re not too faint of heart, check out your Facebook Memories sometimes. The hidden gems might just be enough to help you unpack.