For nearly a decade or seventy percent of one at least, I have wanted a briefcase, and not just any briefcase. No, it was a special briefcase, one in-particular briefcase to be exact; a $700 briefcase ($900 after a price jump last summer) at that. This dreamed about, longed, hoped, and wished for briefcase – a Saddleback Leather Extra Large Classic Brief in Dark Coffee Brown or Tobacco. I have sold some other briefcases and messenger bags, and attempted to save systematically to buy the briefcase; I almost yearly jokingly posted on social media to ask people to buy it for my birthday. I even went as far as contemplating crowdfunding the purchase of my briefcase (fortunately that idea lasted as long as it took me to even type those words). Today, however, I am laying that dream to bed. You see I received an email from the company, (yes I was such a fan that I signed up for and was receiving email updates from the company), that certain items were being discontinued. I was quite certain that my beloved briefcase would not be on this list. I mean the Classic Briefcase is the bag for which this company is most known. I clicked on the link to the full list really out of amusement and there on the second line of the list of items to be discontinued it read rather dispassionately: Classic Leather Briefcase – size: Extra Large. Surely my eyes were wrong, it couldn’t be. Right? They would not make such a bold and drastic move as this. I quickly opened a new tab to Facebook and went to a group page consisting of fans of the company to confirm what I had read. As I quickly perused through the posts and comments I realized my dream was dead. I even emailed my wife to tell her she could be excited about never having to hear about the briefcase again.
So why did I allow this 7+ year dream to die so quickly? To answer that fully I need to go back to why I wanted this briefcase in the first place. Honestly it was about the size way more than the brand or color or style or perceived coolness of the briefcase. You see it is huge; 18 inches wide by 13 inches tall by 9 inches deep. There is a stock photo on the company website that shows a normal size adult man carrying this size of the briefcase and you can quickly see how it dwarfs his body. Ever since high school (especially during college) my mother would complain that I pack my backpack way to full. It is true. I do in fact do this. Many days currently I am carrying two backpacks to my classroom to accommodate two laptops, an iPad, all the associated cords, a couple of notebooks, a planner, a textbook or two, papers to grade, and possibly a book I am reading or three. So if I am honest with myself and others and it truly was about the size and nothing else then why still want a briefcase that might not completely meet my needs. You see I do have a backpack that comes close to carrying all of that. However I wanted the briefcase because it was slightly bigger than my backpack and it was the only briefcase I have found this wide and deep. Plus it is slightly more professional and carrying it by the handle would not wrinkle my suit jacket each morning as I walk from my car into work.
As I have thought about this silly situation this afternoon it has brought some needed clarity to my life. One of the first things I did after seeing the discontinuation of this wanted item was to leave a couple of Facebook groups dedicated to this company. You seem sometimes we can get so caught up in something that we loose touch with reality. Recently I saw a member of one of the groups post that had spent $17,000 just this year (not even a full four months yet) buying new and used bags and briefcases from this company. I mean he definitely is not a public school teacher in Oklahoma with that kind of discretionary spending. You know, I have already felt some freedom from just leaving these social media groups. I definitely feel less pressure to fit some specific mold or meet a certain expectation.
I am now going to examine other areas of my life over coming days and see what I can similarly eliminate. Who knows what other dreams or hopes may die but I would wager they need to expire and my life will be the better for it.