Click. Click. Click.
“No, no, no …” I murmured as my mouse clicks failed to elicit a response.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
I pressed four random keys in quick succession on my keyboard hoping that one button – any button – would reanimate my laptop.
In a last-ditch effort to salvage my clunky machine’s vivacity, I did the ol’ “CTRL + ALT + DEL,” but alas, my computer was as frozen as a Popsicle.
My former self would have started yelling obscenities full of F-words and furrowed brows at this stupid malfunctioning, inanimate object, which mocked me with a stubborn mouse pointer that refused to move on command.
But instead, the “new me” – the person I am today – took a deep breath, held down the power button, and attempted to restart my laptop. Unfortunately, a black screen of darkness taunted me as if to say, “Muhahaha! I’m keeping all of your files hostage and there’s nothing you can do about it!”
I pressed the power button once again.
I sank back into my chair. My whole life, which was on my laptop, flashed before my very eyes – hundreds of memorable photos of my loved ones, important tax documents, my unfinished animation film project, scores of recorded interviews from my business journalism days, and worst of all, the five-page document I slaved away for three hours typing RIGHT before my piece-of-you-know-what laptop decided to self-destruct and die.
My old self would have started to hyperventilate, tears would have started streaming down my face, and I would have gone through the five stages of grief all within the span of an hour. My laptop, for sure, wouldn’t have survived the episode – it would have been thrown out a window as my lips curled into sinister satisfaction after hearing its impact splatter all over the sidewalk below.
My new-and-improved self shrugged at my laptop’s defiance. I casually texted a friend and said, “LOL, funniest thing just happened. I was halfway through an assignment, and my laptop decided to crash. Also, it’s due tomorrow. Oh well! C’est la vie!” If you would have seen my sense of calm, it might have freaked you out.
“OMG!” My friend replied. “That sucks! What are you going to do?!”
“It’s no big deal. I’m either going to use my dad’s computer or head to the library,” I texted back nonchalantly.
“How in the hell are you so apathetic about this? I would have lost it!” he replied.
But what does “losing it” ever solve? My memories flashed back to the many times life threw a wrench in my plans, and I’d shake my fist angrily up at the heavens and say, “Why? Why me?”
But then, I had an epiphany. What the heck’s the purpose of driving myself mad over things not going my way?
Did I think that a divine being would suddenly appear through the clouds and say “Whoops! Haha, I didn’t mean to ruin your life. Let me just press the rewind button and let me make sure that never happens again!”?
I mean, did I really believe that bawling in a corner was suddenly going to make the universe pity me and say, “Goodness, you’re really torn up about this! I think I’d better make some readjustments for you so that you can get back on track on living your perfect little life.”?
I can’t charge toward a customer service desk, yell at the universe in a fit of rage and tears, demand a re-do of the last 24 hours of my life, and suddenly, my stroke of bad luck is erased from my life record and all’s well in the world.
No, life doesn’t work like that.
You know what you get when you “lose it” when things don’t go your way? Not a damn thing but swollen, teary eyes and a dark cloud of self-created misery. So what’s the point of getting angry and depressed over something you can’t change?
It was this epiphany that encouraged me to leave my former, emotional self in the dust – I looked back at all the times I threw a fit in the past, realized it did nothing to change my circumstances, and the best part is, I always – let me repeat that, always – found a way to overcome my issues in the end. So why not just skip all the theatrics and dive right into the “Meh, no big deal. I can totally conquer this” attitude?
You, too, dear reader, have had hurdles placed in front of you that may have left you welling up with tears and rage. But you survived, didn’t you? I know, I know – it’s frustrating when it feels like you’re losing control of life, but sometimes you’ve just got to ride the wave.
Unbothered and unperturbed, I breathed in all the fresh air while walking to the library to re-write my assignment – I was all cooped up inside the house anyway. Not even a glimmer of anger radiated from my heart. Like I said, what would be the point?
Finally, after a couple of hours, I completed the document and a wave of euphoria came over me. Not only was I finished and unshackled from this assignment, but the final product ended up being far more superior than the original document that crashed with my laptop.
And when my dad heard about my laptop woes, he gifted me a brand new, high-end laptop that was far more equipped to handle my animation and video-editing programs.
My laptop implosion was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
The moral of the story is that it’s time for you to stop giving a you-know-what – even when life takes a crap on you. Let go and go with the flow!