In Which Our Heroine Checks Her Privilege

Life lessons and slaps of perspective can be terribly painful sometimes. Still … I like it. I like personal growth. I don’t know why—if it’s my secret competitive side, my perfectionism, my desire for adventure, or my love for a little drama—but no matter how harsh it may be, a part of me always enjoys the challenges that come with it.

I’ve already mentioned how I’ve been getting fresh perspective on myself and my life, after being way too depressed and feeling like things should be somehow different from the way they are now. Since then, I started to think, “Well, maybe life isn’t exactly the way I’d like it to be, but maybe that doesn’t have to mean I’m on the wrong track or that things are bad.”

This weekend, that “maybe” turned into “definitely.” 

Let me tell you a little story...

Feel free to grab a cup of tea and a croissant for this one.

Feel free to grab a cup of tea and a croissant for this one.

On Friday, settled into a hotel in Hartford after a hectic, awesome, people-filled week and prepared to have a fun introverted evening of fish and chips and Firefly, I accidentally knocked a cup of water on my computer. After much swearing and wiping up of the spill, I backed it up, shut it down, let it dry, and resolved not to turn it on again until I could get it to the Apple store. (So I fell asleep watching Iron Man on TV instead. Decent substitute, I suppose.)

I destroyed a computer not 18 months ago—but with wine. So I’m going, “Ugh, I’m such an idiot, how could I let something like that happen AGAIN??” But because I am trying to be a little less terrible to myself, I also made an effort to go, “Well, this time it was more a freak accident rather than blatant stupidity. And at least it happened on a Friday night. And I have a spare PC notebook at home for just such an emergency, so I can still do my work come Monday.”

But still, when I started the long drive home on Saturday morning, I couldn’t help stressing out about the possibility that I ruined yet another computer, that I’d have to spend an obscene amount for another Macbook, or at the least pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars to salvage the one I already have. I thought about all the other stuff I wanted to save up for: a printer, a new car in a couple years, a road trip out West next spring, taking myself to Paris for my 30th birthday, French lessons, another trip to England sometime. Not to mention that I was paying for hotels and gas and food on this trip, and my quarterly taxes are coming due, etc. etc. etc.

But if I can nab a time machine and meet Fitzgerald and Hemingway, I WILL DO IT.

Then it hit me, like a God-slap to the face: Everything I was worrying about—all those things I wanted and was concerned about paying for? Those were gorram luxuries.

I have a job—a steady (if not 100% secure, simply by virtue of being self-employed) job with a paycheck that covers all my necessities. Even if I completely lost my Macbook, I could still do that job and earn that paycheck. Even if the absolute worst-case scenario happened with all of this, it would not actually impact my standard of living. I would be choosing between a new car and a vacation—not between eating for a day and having electricity. The worst thing that could happen? I don’t get to go to Paris in two years. Boo-f**king-hoo.

So when this realization came crashing in on me, I was like, “Well, shoot. Life is pretty good. Thanks, God.” And I just stopped worrying about the outcome of this little computer-related misadventure.

On Sunday, I took my computer to the Apple store. When the guy there assessed it and ran diagnostics … everything was fine.

So if I’m not head-over-heels grateful for pretty much everything I’ve got, I’d say there is something deeply wrong with me.

(This whole post wasn’t intended to be a vehicle for bragging; it’s just me saying “Hey, I’ve been a pitiful and ungrateful idiot lately, and that is going to stop.”)