Well, this was not how I planned to start off my year.
Apologies for my temporary and abrupt leave. My laptop broke. It’s four years old and over the past year gradually lost all it’s little stubby legs one by one, and I forgot this when I put it on a surface which had a slight, nearly unnoticeable incline. After several minutes, it slid off completely and fell two feet onto the floor and then couldn’t do anything that required connectivity, like wifi or bluetooth. So I took it to get fixed and in the meantime had to survive five long days without it.
I don’t know about you but I’m one of those people who requires a laptop to live. I use it for everything from work to entertainment and I have it with me everywhere, all the time. So this was a big loss for me last week. The first night I was having withdrawal symptoms. Extreme boredom, the five stages of grief, you get the idea.
Step one of surviving was my phone. I could access the internet on it. Social media all had their own apps and I could check my email, so the bases were covered. I tried to write on it but it was not a great feeling to be honest.
Step two, I resorted to more old-fashioned methods of getting things done. I was writing longhand again, which is how I started out writing. It felt kind of good to go back to my roots like that, plus there was no internet to distract me on my paper. But I didn’t have scriptwriting software available and I didn’t have my novel pages to look back on so my writing was mostly just blog posts.
Besides writing without distractions and going to bed earlier, just from pure boredom, I’ll be honest, there weren’t many other benefits to not having my laptop. I found that I actually read less of my book than I did with a laptop, which was interesting. I had the time to pick up my book, and it was an interesting one, but I was trying to use it to replace my laptop. Books are books an nothing else, and are generally best enjoyed as books and nothing else.
I had other problems, too. There was the fact that I couldn’t blog, it was more difficult to check emails and respond to them, and then I had editing to do, scripts to send out, scenes to print, and things to design and create. And I was stuck unable to do any of the things I knew other people were waiting on me for. For the whole week, I felt pretty useless. I mean, sure, there are things I am good at and useful for that don’t require a laptop, blah blah blah, but I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do. I wasn’t helping people or creating things the way I knew best. It was a shitty feeling.
But now I have it back and I have to think about how lucky I am. I mean, I realize to be born in a first world country and have internet and a laptop of my own already puts me in the top 1%. But then there’s the fact that I know what I want and what I love and I have the tools and the ability to go for it. I have a sense of purpose and there are things that I’m passionate about. I’m not someone who goes through life because they have no other options, or they do what is expected and don’t even know what they enjoy.
I am incredibly lucky. I thought my first couple of weeks of the new year were pretty bad, but actually they weren’t. A lot of crappy things have been happening recently, and I’m realizing these things just happen to be perfect for the new year. I’m better prepared to work hard and improve myself now. I’ll probably run into more problems and I hate how cheesy I’m sounding and yeah, I might give up once or twice and there are a lot of things to figure out yet. I don’t know how I was going to finish that sentence actually.
Basically, things will suck. Things suck, that’s life. But I’m determined to get through it all. And having a laptop helps.