When I first started working at fifteen, my two goals were to finance my itch to travel and to buy a fancy handbag.
Now that I’m twenty-two and officially in the post-college workforce, I can say that I have achieved both! I spent a year interning in London, where I visited everywhere from Edinburgh to Lisbon to Naples, and I have my own fancy handbag. I’m pretty sure I’ve now made it.
On good days I have a section for every item I could possibly use, and on bad days it’s overflowing with receipts, loose change, and heaven knows what else. The pockets have been a pretty good deterrent for these bad days, but one should never be opposed to a good mini-spring cleaning.
No matter what, here are the tried-and-true, must-have items that I always carry around with me.
In high school, I always carried a pack of gum with me. My Spanish class was the only period where the teacher was truly strict about chewing gum (he was really strict about everything, really, except that he thought the students were friends enough to call him Sr. Barbaroja–Mr. Redbeard), so I got really good at chewing covertly. Now I have a pack of Altoids for smelly-breath emergencies, peace offerings, or power plays.
For years I opted for the more “feminine” wallets–you know, they always came in bright colors with clasps and plenty of room for change? Those were like coin purses plus wallets plus delicate handbags. Finally I said enough, and I wanted a flat wallet that I could keep in the back of my jeans–because of course women’s pants don’t have suitable front pocket space. When I was in Oxford, my friends and I went to this cool steampunk bookstore, where we ogled the antique books and I sang along to the “Largo al Factotum” that was playing on their speakers. That’s when I spied the perfect leather wallet, and it has been with me ever since.
I had to jump on the fuzzy keychain trend! No matter which purse I’m taking my keys in (and usually it’s this one) I never have to rummage around the depths of the fabric to find them, since all I have to do is feel for the big fuzzy poof. I keep my work ID, my Planet Fitness card, my movie theatre rewards, and a whistle. I’ll probably accumulate many more things to my handy dandy floof keychain.
I’m truly terrible with re-applying lipstick throughout the day, but that won’t stop me from keeping some in my purse. My current favorite is this matte lipstick from Bare Minerals. It’s a slightly darker color than a typical nude, and it’s especially great for days when I’m not wearing lots of makeup to work.
There are about four pairs of headphones lying around my house. One is an over-the-ear bluetooth wireless pair, one is over-the-ear but with a headphone jack, another is the apple earbud that comes with your phone, but the one I typically keep in my purse is the Vi headphone set. It’s wireless, hangs around your neck, and has earbuds that track your pulse. These headphones work best with the Vi running app, so you have a virtual personal trainer in your ear. Of course, you don’t need to buy the headphones to use the app, but they’re my favorite workout headphones.
On the blog I’ve talked about how I suffer from anxiety and depression, and it has only been in the last few months that I decided to explore medication. For the longest time I wrote off my illness thinking “other people have it worse” and “it’s not that bad, I can deal with it,” but it wasn’t until late last year that I asked to be prescribed some medication. Now I keep these pills with me for emergencies, because in case I have a panic attack, I will be prepared. It is also comforting to know that they are there, even if I don’t have to take them.
Now, that is everything I keep in my trusty handbag! They say a boy scout is always prepared, and it certainly helps to be able to whip out a bandaid or altoid in the event that you or someone else might need it.
What do you keep in your purse? Let me know in the comments and we can swap suggestions!