I had somehow procured a pink satin jacket with rainbow cuffs. It was the late 70s, so yes it was as cheesy as it sounds and likely made from the worst materials available. I can't remember how we acquired said jacket, as we didn't have much in the way of "stuff", and I almost never owned anything of the current trends. This satin atrocity was a treasured possession.
I only had it for a brief time because when it got wrinkled, I decided to iron it. With the hiss of hot metal soaking up the plasticized material, my little tween heart broke. I can remember the insult being exacerbated by my Mom's anger over the now "mucked up" iron. My inquiry about replacing the jacket was met with (understandable) frustration and some form of shaming about our money situation and my foolishness.
The pink satin jacket was the only "cool" thing I owned. I loved it. I was devastated.
I had a lot of real-life ugly crazy shit to deal with as kid, so looking back, it's sometimes easy to forget I was just a little girl, with little girl concerns. In fact, I had completely forgotten about the jacket until two days ago when I made another big mistake with a prized possession.
SIDEBAR: Growing up, I did not have the "latest" anything until several years after everyone else I knew (i.e. vcr, microwave, answering machine, etc.). However, as a young professional, my adoration and awe over the reach + magic of technology led me to become an early adopter of the smartphone concept and me and mine have been inseparable for a LONG TIME.
Two days ago my husband and I made a quick stop at Target on our way to celebrate his Mom's birthday. We made a lap around the store to pick up a few items beyond the birthday card that brought us there. As we perused the cards, I suddenly realized I no longer had my iPhone which I had (for sure) used after entering the store to check a shopping list.
I frantically retraced my steps. Alas, no luck. We checked with guest relations -- again, no luck. My husband did one last sweep of the store, to no avail.
I got mad. I got teary. I became momentarily panicky about the sensitive personal data accessible from that device. Then I switched into a mode of simply taking the steps that needed to be taken.
- call the carrier to report it stolen
- log into iCloud to use the "find my phone" app (unsuccessfully)
- remotely erase the phone, and then
- get back to the day which involved getting our butts to my in-law's house as by then we were then fairly tardy.
I will take a moment to claim a large portion of personal growth here, as a former me surely would have raged and railed against "the bastards" and chucked blame and wallowed and sulked (mostly to displace my own shame and guilt over my mistake).
But I didn't go there TOO much or for very long.
I AM irritated with myself for being careless with my beloved smartphone. And yes I am disappointed in the person who found it and decided to keep it. BUT, the reality is, my phone will get replaced. As far as I know all of my apps, data, contacts, photos and emails are backed up or housed elsewhere.
So, my experience with the stolen phone is merely an inconvenience. An expensive one, yes. And, a big chunk of time, energy + effort will be expended on this when I have LOTS of other things I need and want to do.
But this morning, as I contemplated the larger themes or messages available in this experience, I remembered the pink satin jacket and realized that as a child, the mistakes I made got organized as:
NOT OKAY. VERY COSTLY. YOU'RE AN INGRATE. FOOLISHNESS = LOST FOREVER
Holy Moly! I can't even imagine how many experiences have been filtered through this layer of childhood disappointment and hurt.
Let me take a moment to offer a few clarifications…
No, I don't think it's a great thing that we live in a society where everything is "replaceable" and I'm sure parents of small children have difficulty imparting concepts of value and responsibility when most things are so readily available and easily replaced. And yes, I realize that smartphones are just things and that there are MUCH larger and more important topics to worry about, value and focus on.
But, it is my practice to look at the events of my life and ask, "What can this tell me that I don't know or don't remember or need to shift a perspective around?" This is my way. I stay curious about everything.
And while there are a thousand layers here and angles to see and decisions I can make around this event, TODAY I choose to imagine myself cradling that younger me in a supportive hug as I stroke her hair and tell her softly,
"I'm so sorry you're upset. Everybody goofs up. I know you didn't mean for this to happen. It's okay to be sad that it's gone, but remember it's just a thing. I promise that good stuff is still coming your way, but more importantly, I promise that good stuff is building INSIDE you. You are beautiful and amazing and yes, My Love, that is TRUTH.
I know life feels hard. I know A LOT seems unfair. I know your pain and confusion run deep. Again, I'm sorry you're upset. It's going to be okay. You are okay. I love you."
And to the person who took my phone ---> "I'm disappointed in you. And I wish you had made a different choice when you found my phone. I want to forgive you. I am working on it. I am moving forward."
As with most things shared online, there is more to this story than what I've revealed here. I ask that you hold this sharing with kindness regardless of your feelings about it, as today is my birthday. I choose to celebrate it (and me) with a light and grateful heart for all that I have, for all that I am and for all I am yet to become. This is a choice I am living into today. It's not as simple or easy as making the declaration and *POOF*, it is so. It is simply an aspiration I hope to meet.