I Dropped My Computer

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A few weeks ago, I found myself standing in a public restroom on the brink of tears. We were in a library and Heath was the floor above me. I pulled my phone out of my back pocket to text him.

“Come downstairs please.”

I typed the words slowly, slid my phone into my pocket, and walked out the bathroom door. Our eyes met. As he descended the stairs, I saw visible worry in his face.

“What’s wrong, babe? What happened?”

“I tried to hang up my bag on the hook in the bathroom. And…and…my bag fell and I dropped my computer…”

I dropped my computer

I hope you aren’t laughing right now while you sit reading this on your flawless screen. Truly, I nearly cried.

My lovely, beautiful computer is a little broken. He works just fine, but he’s a little less beautiful. I suppose the cruel irony is that I had just taken off the case. (Just to top it off, later that day I knocked the case off a counter top and then stepped on it, effectively breaking that too).

My stomach sank to the depths. It’s the same feeling I had when I was five and I had time-out for the first and only time in my kindergarten career. I talked in line. I clearly broke the rules and Mrs. West gave me time-out. I disobeyed.

I felt horrible. I made a mistake. I failed.

And that punch to the gut feeling sunk into me as I opened my formerly flawless Mac computer to see a bent corner and cracked glass.

It ruined the rest of my day.

I could go on here and tell you how ashamed I felt because I got so upset over a silly possession. I could tell you how it taught to me to be less attached to my belongings, which feels ironic to say since most of my earthly possessions are in a closet in my parent’s house. I could tell you that physical treasures are worthless.

But those lessons are secondary to what I realized about myself. Last week I wrote about putting too much of my identity into what others think of me. Breaking my computer taught me just how much.

I imagined sitting at my computer for the next couple years working in coffee shops, watching Netflix, attending meetings, and showing links to friends when I find something cool online.  I imagined everyone locking their eyes on this cracked corner of my screen, seeing nothing but the flaw. Here’s what they would think:

How irresponsible is she?

She dropped her computer, how can she be trusted with xyz?

These are ridiculous thoughts. Right? It is just a computer afterall.

As my computer dropped to the floor with a horrendous, life-shattering clatter, all I could see were the small shards of glass lying on the keys and the slight fracture of my screen. I missed noticing that the rest of my computer remained resolute and perfectly intact. I missed seeing how this one crack did not affect the purpose of the computer.

I think all too often, this is how we view our lives. Even though we try to tweet our best thoughts and share the best pictures of us, we fear people will only see the small, indiscriminate flaw off in the corner. We assume people look past everything that is beautiful and shiny about us to focus on the failures.

I tried to take a photo of this broken corner of my computer, but guess what? My camera couldn’t focus on it. It’s too insignificant.

Our mistakes, like dropping our computer or talking in line when we’re five, are insignificant compared to our greatness.

2 Responses

  • I didn’t break the screen (knock on wood) but my last laptop (after 6 years, right before Christmas it finally died for good) had been dropped numerous times, survived getting soaking wet while I had to run from one building to another with it in my backpack (which wasn’t waterproof) during some of the worse weather I have ever seen in South Louisiana, when I was working on the BP oil spill cleanup. The screen on it also had coffee stains on it, because one day, I had just taken a sip of coffee and someone made me laugh and I ended up spitting coffee all over the screen and in just the few seconds it took for me to grab a towel to dry it, the coffee had done soaked in and left permanent brown spots on the screen (luckily it was only noticeable on a light colored screen). As much damage as that Asus took, it was a beast, other than the stained screen the only other major thing that went wrong with it was, it did do a header off my sisters recliner onto the hardwood floor and I had to replace the hard drive. So what I’m getting at is, it will be ok. I would highly recommend backing up all your data though, because you might end up having hard drive issues as I did and have to eventually replace the hard drive on it and I would hate for you to lose all your data in the process.

    Also, on a whole different note, I must say I love your blog. I just found it today and have been reading your posts all afternoon.

    I am wanting to do like you and your husband did and purchase an RV and travel around the country full time. As of right now that isn’t possible, because I am taking care of my elderly grandparents, but I hope to embark on this journey sometime soon.

    • Wow! Your computer was a trooper. I have a Mac, so dropping it was traumatic, but so far it’s only slowed down some and had a few issues with battery life. Nothing too bad at least!

      Thanks for reading my blogs! I really appreciate the support. I hope I can help inspire you or give you helpful advice for starting RVing! Let me know if you ever have any questions and I’m more than happy to help 🙂

      Best,
      Alyssa

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