bad things do happen; how i respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. i can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or i can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift i have
-- life itself.
no matter how many times you hear the phrase "it could happen to anyone" you never believe "it" could actually happen to you.
two nights ago at a bar in west hollywood--my purse was stolen.
don't get me wrong, i'll own up to this part all day long: it was my own fault. it doesn't matter that i left it with a group of my friends. it doesn't matter that we had our own reserved area. it doesn't matter that this was an upscale place with bouncers everywhere. my purse was my responsibility, and trusting that it was in a safe area reminds me of the naive ways that my mind still processes things. i know to look before you cross the street, never walk home in the dark, never eat questionable seafood, and lock my front door at night--but this weekend taught me a very important lesson.
this is a picture my best friend took about two years ago. we had thrown on t-shirts and decided to treat ourselves to some outback to make our thursday night a little more interesting (that's right sar--i remember what day of the week it was). while waiting for whatever we had ordered after our bloomin' onion, sara decided she would clean out her purse. i had made one too many jokes about whether or not her cat was in there. seeing as i was also the kind of person to carry around everything but the kitchen sink, i decided i wanted to play along too.
spare car key.
extra beer pong ball.
i'm actually surprised that's all i had in there.
incase you're wondering--sara still beat me.
yes, that is a full-sized deodorant, lotion, and perfume.
i'm the type of person that likes to be prepared for any situation. you never know when you're going to play beer pong right? well, that aspect of my personality hasn't budged these last two years. the contents of my purse that were stolen were as follows:
makeup ($50 worth of NEW makeup)
spare car key.
travel size deodorant.
peanut butter crackers (i have blood sugar issues).
lavender and peppermint essential oils.
a stone from my mom.
three different kinds of chapstick.
two packs of gum.
a watermelon blowpop.
i can't tell you how many times i would go through my purse prior to going out and sort through anything i might not need for the night. none of these things from the list above ever crossed over to the "not needed" side. of course i've gone through a range of emotions since this has happened, but i can't help but feel an immense amount of anger. what truly gets me is the fact that this a**hole was only after things of value.
cash is valuable, and i didn't have a single dollar in there.
phones are valuable, but my screen is broken and it's not even a smartphone.
for all i know--this person took the flipcam (i hope he enjoys the 27 videos of olive on there) and threw everything else away. i thought that feeling violated would be the worst part. instead i'm overwhelmed with the fact that the things that had value to ME were probably just tossed into a dumpster. aside from the fact that it was a brand new purse and a brand new wallet--there were other non-material things that can never be replaced; sentimental pieces of my life that are now forever lost.
from this point on these things will forever remain in my heart:
notes from my dad saying things like "good luck on your first day."
a beer cap from a kona longboard six pack that i shared with my best friend the year she made it to hawaii with us.
a guitar pick i've had since i graduated high school.
an old, extremely worn winning lottery ticket that i carried around with me for good luck (that's ironic...)
my peace college ID (which had a very tired-looking picture of me that was taken the morning after my little adventure to california so many years ago)
a video on my phone of my sister.
pictures of olive's ride home the day i got her.
there's one more thing.
the second it hit me saturday night that everything was gone, this is what immediately popped into my mind: on my phone were pictures i took of wilbur's last few days. of course at the time i had no idea that his passing would be so soon--but i knew that he had really begun to slow down. it was a few nights before my trip here to look for an apartment that i took these pictures. his movement has slowed down significantly ever since the trip to the vet, and i had just draped my covers around him to keep him warm.
i remember laughing at his willingness to let me tuck him in like a human, but also thinking at the same time how small he looked.
when i take a handful of pictures at a time, i tend to go back and only keep the best ones. i could never bring myself to erase these photos. not a single one. i kept them on my phone for no one else but myself.
i know these memories are mine and no one can take that away from me, but to think that someone else is walking around with them makes me feel anger on a level i've never even experienced.
i know if wilbur had any say in this, it would simply be:
i've gotten a lot of loving comments and reminders from friends and family that the most important thing is that i'm safe. i know that this situation could have been a thousand times worse. i don't even want to think of all the other possible scenarios that could have happened. i'm still in a place where i'm having trouble looking on the bright side, but there is one extremely important silver lining:
for about a month, my dad has been telling me to go get my california license. although procrastination usually isn't usually a positive trait, the fact that i've put it off for so long only means one thing: the ID in my purse was for north carolina. this means that even though someone else is walking around with my car keys AND my apartment keys--they have absolutely no idea where i live. i know that this is an incredible blessing, and it's the one thing that's helped me to cope with everything that's happened. i'm going through a ridiculous amount of obstacles to put all of my life's pieces back together--can you imagine driving around a big city with no license and not even a single quarter for parking--but the most important thing is that i'm okay.
i may not feel like it, but i am still in one piece. i'm blessed to have a dad who is jumping through every hoop imaginable to put my life financially back in order.
i'm blessed to have friends who not only helped me break into my own apartment, but came back the next day to take me wherever i needed to go. i'm blessed to have a sister and a mom who immediately offered their love and support and reminded me that i could buy a new purse and wallet on our trip to hawaii in two weeks. i'm blessed to have a best friend who would not take no for an answer, and gave me her credit card number to order thai food for dinner last night when i didn't have a penny to my name.
it's hard to not feel alone being 3,000 miles away from home in a situation like this. thank goodness for skype and the ability to see the faces of my family reminding me that everything is going to be okay. there's nothing like feeling a sense of normalcy in a time like this--and it doesn't get more normal then getting to watch your best friend clean her room.
the morning after my purse was stolen--i woke up and rolled over to face my bathroom. ten seconds later, olive hopped on the shelf and knocked over a glass. i immediately ran in there to pick her up, and as i stumbled backwards out of the bathroom--i ran into my fan, which fell over and broke. after JUST being laid off at my job, and then the events from the night before--you would think that the instant my fan crashed down to the floor--i would have curled up into a ball and hid under my bed.
the truth is that i almost couldn't help but laugh. i know that "when it rains, it pours" and "bad things come in threes", and somehow i was able to find humor in that. i'm sure there is a lesson in all of this, but i haven't figured out what that is yet, and i sure as hell haven't lost any of my anger.
but what i DO know...is that at the end of the day,
when i was let go from my job two weeks ago, my dad reminded me that there are a thousand other people who would love to be in my situation. that is what keeps me breathing through all of this. for any of you going through something terrible, think of how many people would love to be in your shoes. believe me--the last thing i want to do right now is compare myself and my situation to others, but when i realize how blessed i am and how lucky i am to have such a wonderful support group around me--nothing else really seems to matter.
i don't like to wish harm on anyone.
but i will leave you with this: