Saturday, March 9, 2013

What I had to lose


If you're active on any form of social media, you're familiar with the "OMG, I lost all my phone numbers" posts that regularly litter the news feeds. And you think, "What a bummer. I'm really glad that will never happen to me, because why would it?" And then it does. At least, that was my experience.

It's partially my own fault. I had no diligent contact-saving strategy. But I assumed since I was saving the numbers to the "T Mobile Back Ups" option on my phone, my numbers would be saved in some magical back-up land in the internet.

Then I went into T Mobile to try and settle some "issues," and a stereotypical salesman (I've decided not to say anything unkind about him, but he doesn't  get a nice description, either) pulled out my old SIM card and plopped in a new one  while trying to "schmooze" with me, without asking me where my contacts were saved.

Needless to say, when I arrived home and went to text a friend and realized half my numbers were missing, I was not happy. Apparently saving contacts to "T Mobile Back Ups" is saving them to thin air, because they weren't online. The next three days were spent traveling back and forth to the downtown store (not an easy or cheap place to get to by car), trying to figure out what happened. I now have a new phone, and I never want to see that bloody neon pink lighting again, but still my contacts are missing.

Finally, I hung my head in shame and put up a post on Facebook. And slowly but surely, I've been getting my numbers back. Luckily, in these modern times, losing one's phone number is a mere annoyance and not the end of all communication forever.

Still, I was upset. I got more upset over this incident than I normally would have, and that didn't sit right. People make mistakes, after all. Things happen. This stereotypical salesman wanted to make money off me and do his job, not ruin my life, for crying out loud.

So I tried to analyze my anger. Was it misplaced, because I've been upset about other things? Did I overreact because I've worked in a fast-paced, high stress environment for two years and it's carrying over into the rest of my life? Was I (oh God) taking on the traits of my mother after I've spent a decade lecturing her on overcoming tension and stress?

The answer came to me on a random Thursday after a particularly horrendous day. The two wonderful women I've been spending a lot of weekend time with lately called an "emergency wine and carb session" because all three of us had been getting our asses kicked by the universe all week. I tried to bail, listing excuses, but in the end, the idea of their company beat responsibility.

Hours later I sank into E's comfortable couch, savoring her delicious pasta and chasing it with wine, taking turns venting about life's annoyances. It was more therapeutic than I ever could have imagined. And it was then that I realized that I was pissed off because the contacts I'd lost from my phone were my Seattle friends. It was like one little mistake erased two of the most amazing years of my life in one fell swoop. Though that wasn't actually the case, it was still troubling to think about.

And I can't believe that two years ago I didn't know who most of these people were, because I truly cannot imagine my life without them now. I can't imagine not being able to call D and E for an impromptu bottle of wine…or G-Chatting all day with my San Francisco sweetheart…or seeing Sydney more than twice a year. Just the idea of any of that being taken from me subconsciously pissed me off.

Losing my contacts was a terrible way to make me feel grateful for the time I've had here. But it worked. And really, if I lost any two years of my life, I'd be pretty pissed off too. Lately I've been feeling the effects of the things that I've done wrong in my life. But this painful but effective reminder has made me realize that in some ways, I'm living right.

It's pretty easy to be reminded of things you're doing wrong. But if you reflect on everything wonderful you've drawn to you, you realize the mistakes are just part of the learning curve of life and you're actually better off than you think.


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