"My day, my week, my weekend, ruined. This seriously cannot be happening to me."
Ok, so that's exactly what it said. Now, you may be wondering: "What on earth could have been so bad to ruin an experience in Australia?!" Many dear friends even commented and messaged me letting me know that I was in their prayers and at the time, I felt like they were well deserved. So here's what happened....
On Wednesday's, my friend Gini and I always make something special for dinner. We always stop at Cole's (the grocery store) on our way home from school that day since we usually decide what we feel like last minute. Before meeting Gini on campus, I always listen to my iPod. It's always in my wristlette because it's he most perfect fit since it seems I rarely have pockets. This week, Gini bought the groceries for dinner that we would later split, and I bought another box of baked cheese crackers because they are my new favorite afternoon snack. We stopped in the self check-out, as usual. But unlike usual, I had some change to pay for the box of crackers as opposed to using my debit card. In order to get the change out of my wristlette, I took out my iPhone and set it on the counter. As I paid, I looked down and thought to myself...do NOT let yourself forget that, because I know that's something you would do. I wasn't in a rush, so I wasn't too worried about it, but as I was trying to stuff my change back in my purse, grab my receipt, and crackers a line formed and I felt rushed and in the mix of it all, I just grabbed everything and left. As soon as we made it outside, I opened my box of crackers and snacked while we waited for the train. We then made dinner as usual, ate, and got ready to go out for a little while with our friends.
When I got back later that night, I got ready for bed, turned off the fan and lights and laid down. After a few moments, I realized I needed to see what time my alarm was set for so I reached over where I usually put my phone when I get home from school...and it wasn't there. So I got up and checked my backpack. And it wasn't there either. I proceeded to empty all of my drawers, threw the papers on my desk on the floor and then emptied my backpack again and it wasn't anywhere. I started thinking back, as fast as I could, to the last time I used it and it was right before I met Gini. I took it out to pay for the crackers at Cole's and remembered looking at it thinking, do NOT leave that. And then that guy came up right behind us and I just wanted to leave and we left and....we left. I had left it. I knew I did. That was the last time I had seen it.
So I got redressed and ran to Cole's. Yes, at 2 am. Luckily, they're open 24/7, and I've never understood why, but I couldn't have been more thankful for that. The whole walk over there, which was quite a few blocks and mostly sketchy considering the time of night and the fact that pubs were closing down, I just kept having flashbacks of the first time. My ruined 19th birthday. The panic and the disappointment and worst of all, having to tell people that I was so irresponsible. And then I started walking past groups of drunks in the alleys, ignoring cat calls, and with my security/rape whistle tight in my hand, I just started to pray. The conversation kind. And I prayed to stay calm and focused and I prayed that I wouldn't get mugged on my way or jumped and stabbed in one of these alleys. Ridiculous? Yes and no, you know how silly I can be sometimes.
When I finally made it, I just asked if anyone had turned in a phone, which they hadn't. Tears started breaking in the corners of my eyes and we talked about security cameras on the self-check out, but they said I'd have to come back at 8:30 to see it. I walked outside, I sat on the curb and I just let my face fall into my hand s and I cried. Just when I thought I was becoming more responsible, I start making freshman mistakes. The thought of having to tell my mom and my sister...again, was painful. I just let myself sit there for a few minutes before I started walking back. My plan was just to not go to sleep. To stay up and get ready for the day, make breakfast, and be there promptly and professionally at 8:30 am. So I stopped at the Hub (city campus computer lab building place), and got on FB, updated my status, checked my email, and then encouragement hit. Friends were commenting on my status and sending messages and letting me know that whatever happened, it would be ok. I had their prayers. I felt even more sick. But this sick wasn't just any guilt sickness, it was the serious kind of guilt sickness.
I live in a world of wristlettes and iPhones and MacBooks. Trains and daily groceries. The other day, Megsy was telling me about how sucky classes have been this semester and that finding a silver lining was getting to be really hard. My reply? At least there aren't bombs going off outside the window as she was trying to do homework. Jokingly, yes, but seriously. There are people in so much more need than me and a small piece of technology. Even if my entire life was on it. Which made me realize something very important about myself....that's not very good. Yes, I'm dramatic...to say the least. I've never really thought of it as a problem, but too much of anything can be hazardous...including myself. Especially myself.
I realized that I spill milk, I don't just cry, but I lay down in it, throw a temper-tantrum, and then get up-soaked in milk, and walk to the grocery store to ask them why me. And then I wear a milk stained shirt around so everyone knows just how not perfect I am. I'm doing it right now. Airing my dirty laundry.
I'm finding it harder and harder to find a place in between. To live in the tension of 2 lives. Either I am as honest as I can be, so that I don't trick myself into believing I'm someone I'm not, or I just stop. I stop spilling the most intimate parts of me and waving them around like I surrender. I just don't know what else to do. And I'm so young to feel like I live in a crisis for Christ, when I have my entire life ahead of me still. I haven't hit anything close to hardships yet but I feel stuck. Stuck in the middle with you.
On top of that, I wasn't entirely surprised that I had lost my phone, again...because like I said, I was waiting for the plug to get pulled on the fairytale I've been living. And when all this happened, I knew it had been coming.
The rest of the story?
I left the hub after about 30 minutes, now making it 3 am. I walked back up to Brown Street and decided to throw in the towel, and go to sleep. I figured out how to set the alarm on my Australian phone and checked and emptied and moved everything one more time and then fell into my bed. After what seemed like just a short period of time, because it was, I could hear a buzzing. I thought it was an awful trick my subconscious was playing on me. And then I heard it...Bruno Mars singing to me as he does every morning and on this particular morning at 6 am. Of course, I jumped up and started ransacking my room again, homework papers flying everywhere before I realized it was in my backpack. And there it was, letting me know it was time to get up.
I'm honestly not sure how it happened. I checked my backpack 3 times. Twice by completely emptying the contents onto my bed and yet there it was, as if nothing had happened at all. You can think I'm crazy, or that I didn't thoroughly check it, but why would I risk my life at 2 am to go to the grocery store if I wasn't 1000% sure it wasn't in my room. Oh well.
The point is this, I am the "ye of little faith." I have been looking for something to go wrong, instead of just letting things happen. I had come to the conclusion that my life and trip was ruined over something as small as a telephone. I was so convinced that God couldn't just let my life be, that anything could have happened, a paper-cut, and I would have acted hysterically. If I spend my life focusing on all the bad things that happen (or in this case, didn't even happen), I won't notice the amazing things that come along as well. I'll never let myself fully enjoy anything if I continue to focus on what could go wrong and not fully put my faith in God.
I'm not entirely sure what I was supposed to learn from this experience. But these are my thoughts. I guess that's just me. Maybe someday, I'll look back and read this and know exactly what I gained from it. As for today, I'm just glad that Bruno Mars will continue to wake me up in the morning and that there aren't bombs going off outside my window.
I love you. As much as ever. Which is more than usual because of all the oceans it has to span to get to where you are.