on losing stuff.

Do you lose stuff often? I do. Do you have any advice on how not to lose everything all the time? I don’t.

Why do I lose everything? Is something wrong with my brain? Is there a missing space that isn’t filled in with memory and it’s just a black hole and all of my ability to not lose things is sucked into it and completely eliminated? Am I moving too quickly through the world and not taking a moment to check for everything? But who has this many moments to check for things every 5 seconds?! I have shit to do! Am I just an idiot?

Everything I ever really need to survive and make it through the day (phone, wallet, keys) I have lost at least 3 times. I’m all too familiar with that roller coaster drop feeling in my stomach, the cool sweat that breaks out and the shiver of panic that shakes through my whole body. The world goes silent and blurry for a moment and I come to the realization…something is LOST. An empty space in your bag where you expected your wallet to be, an empty hand where you can’t help but still feel the weight of your phone. Then you have some kind of Pavlovian response to use your phone to find your phone, and you reach for it to dial. But you can’t. You reach out into mocking empty space. Because you lost your phone.

One time I left my phone in a taxi in middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. I went to FarmAid with some pals and we did the stuff and had the things and then the next morning I was like wait where is my phone? I’m surprised it took until the next morning to realize. There must have been a real overload of stuff and things.

Long story short it took me AT LEAST two weeks to get my phone back because the (very kind!) man that mailed it back sent it via the kind of mailing where they literally put it onto a snail’s back and tell it what direction to go. And I was dying without my phone. 100% dead. And it was my fault.

Another time I flew back into La Guardia from a shoot in Texas for a short weekend in Philadelphia for my sister in law’s bachelorette party (woo!) and arrived at my parents’ house in western New Jersey, hung out with them a little bit and then got packed up, then my dad drove me HALFWAY TO PHILADELPHIA until I realized I. Did. Not. Have. My. Wallet.

My poor dad, who is used to a lifetime of shenanigans, had to haul me up the turnpike while I was (probably, I’ve blocked a lot of this out) sobbing and on hold with the airline. The worst part was this was a HUGE wallet. Like one with space for a checkbook. I had no business having this huge wallet but also how the heck did this huge wallet even get lost?! I don’t know. And I never will.

Things worked out okay and they found it on the plane and we got it after I answered no less than ONE MILLION questions at La Guardia because “security,” and I made it almost on time for the bachelorette festivities (woo!) and wore a fun dress and my brother and sister in law are married to this day with two badass children.

My issue, I think, as I’m going through this, and writing it down and genuinely exploring my behavior, is that I always leave my purse unzipped. I think it’s easier to get to things that way? BUT ALSO EASIER TO LOSE THINGS SHAN, YA DUMBASS. My mom always tells me to zip my bag, random ladies on the street, police officers, the guy that makes my iced salted caramel mocha with skim at Starbucks, the bartender at Pet Shop, all of these valuable people in my life also tell me to zip my bag. And I thank them.

But I don’t zip my bag.

Today I set off on a journey to the Finger Lakes via Brooklyn and on the first leg of the trip, where I’m carrying 3 bags and have a cold so I don’t feel great and hate everything already, I got off the (BULLSHIT! STUPID! UNBEARABLE!) NJ Transit Light Rail shuttle bus from MLK, waited at LSP for 20mins, got on the light rail, got off at Exchange Place, AND DIDN’T HAVE MY WALLET (if you don’t live in Jersey City you don’t know what these transportation acronyms and complaints mean but just know that I traveled on two forms of vehicle and was away from my house for about 45mins).

Today’s lost item

I felt the sick roller coaster feeling, the cold shiver of panic. I started to get outraged but then I took some breaths. This sounds ridiculous and corny but breaths are a thing that can work and thank goodness they work for me or else I would kick everyone.

Retracing my steps back to the LSP stop, I approached the NJ Transit employee overseeing the (STUPID!) shuttle bus (for what it’s worth the shuttle buses do SUCK but they try to make you feel like they care by having helpful employees around so that is a win in a way).

As I approached the employee, I tried a new method where I really pushed myself to have hope and stay calm so I wasn’t mean to this man just minding his own business and doing his job and I think that was real growth on my part.

He radioed the bus driver and couldn’t reach him at first, the panic was building. Finally the bus that I was on pulled up and they went in and they searched with flashlights which seemed a little dramatic and I started to get embarrassed but then they found it! VICTORY LET’S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD.

Live update of my purse as I wrote this down on the subway:

Some gals never learn.

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