When Things Don’t Go Your Way

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[Image: Sage, a white non-binary person with messy, short hair, looks at the camera with a serious expression. They are wearing a brown shirt. The whole image has yellow tones and is rather faded].

Let me tell you a story.

 

I came back from the woods yesterday feeling like I had a lot to do. I need to write my exams, polish off this round of courses, and sign up for new ones this month. I need to deal with many layers of bureaucracy to make sure all of this goes smoothly. I also need to finish papers and begin studying for exams. I came back from the woods and suddenly, August was upon me. The pace picked up and deadlines loomed.

I came back from the woods yesterday but my Mac charger did not. I came back with less than 55% battery power.

Did you know these chargers cost $100? I didn’t know that until today. Obviously, I did not buy one.

Instead, I had to wait for my mother to get home from work so I could drive us back out to the woods to get it. It was a two-hour round trip. Not too bad, but substantial.

And, of course, I couldn’t write e-mails, book exams, polish off essays, or review course materials for my online courses.

Last night, when I went to plug in my charger and realized it wasn’t there, I panicked a little bit. This threw a wrench in my plans for today. I was so worked up about it, and about how much I felt like I had to do, that I had difficulty sleeping. I’d drift off only to wake up twenty minutes later from stress dreams about buying knock-off chargers (which I think aren’t a thing for Macbooks) and calling my local college to arrange my exams, only to be told that they were all booked up for the next three months. Nights like these are hard. I manage to calm myself down while I’m awake, relax, and fall asleep, but then my unconscious brain goes right back to the anxiety. I half-wake up thinking that everything is the worst, that there’s no way I’ll figure a way out of this situation, and then have to do the work of calming back down again. It’s a vicious cycle.

Nights like these are hard. I manage to calm myself down while I’m awake, relax, and fall asleep, but then my unconscious brain goes right back to everything that’s making me anxious. I half-wake up thinking that everything is the worst, that there’s no way I’ll figure a way out of this situation, and then I have to do the work of calming back down all over again. It’s a vicious cycle.

Today, however, I just had to let go. In the morning, I walked over to the store to check the prices on chargers. That confirmed for me that I had to let go. What else could I do?

I showered. I filmed a video. I read. I watched Stranger Things. I cooked dinner. Then, I drove my mother and I out to the woodsland for the charger, which I have since given a strict talking to. It now understands that wherever my computer goes, it follows.

At least I got more driving practice in. Clearly, I was supposed to.

We can make all kinds of plans. We can feel comfortable and in control. Then, suddenly, something goes wrong and we feel betrayed by the universe somehow, like something is conspiring against us. At least, I know I feel that way whenever these kinds of things happen.

How could I have done that? I kept asking myself. How could I forget the charger for something that’s so essential for my work?

Well, I did, and it was fine. My plans had to change and I ended up having a far more relaxed day than I would have otherwise. And at the end of the day, maybe it was for the best.

I plan to sleep well tonight. I suppose we’ll see how that goes.

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