“You need to…”

I was recently reminded of something a colleague said to me almost four years ago.  My roommate at camp is one of my best friends on the planet: we worked in the same department last summer, quickly decided we were two halves of a whole from opposite sides of the planet and returned to camp together this year.  There’s one big difference between us though – I don’t lose things.  She, like most people in the world, loses and breaks stuff.  Not things which belong to other people – she’s careful with property which isn’t hers – but she has some great stories about her own stuff, as well as a current frustration regarding the fact that she can’t find her torch and several other important items.

A little less than four years ago, I began my first job as a graduate, working for a growing but young recruitment company.  I was part of a brilliant team of people who were fun to work with.  One girl in particular was living life to the absolute fullest – a standard I’ve never risen to – and came into the office at least once each week having lost either her purse, driving licence or Oyster card (the Londoner’s most important item: a travel card which is often worth a lot of money).

Having seen her do this several times, I asked her why it happened so often.  “Have you never lost anything?” she asked.  Never, I replied.  Neither of us could comprehend the other’s situation, and she promptly informed me, “Becky, you need to go out and lose some shit.”

Her words came back to me as my roommate turned our bunk upside down in pursuit of her head torch (last seen when performing splinter removal surgery on one of the boys we work with in the middle of her own birthday party… it all made sense at the time).  My roommate shares the other girl’s sentiment that I’m tightly wound: she, too, has informed me that I need to let go of myself.

Four years have passed, and I still haven’t lost anything important, but my precious phone has survived a brief swim in a sugary drink, which occurred during an uncharacteristic lapse in concentration.

Mouse, if you’re reading, I haven’t lost any shit.  I know exactly where my Oyster card is, even though it’s several thousand miles from where I am at the moment.  My phone has never suffered a screen breakage.  But I did quit my job, ditch my smart clothes and run off in search of adventure, which I think in a way qualifies as losing my shit and letting go.

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5 thoughts on ““You need to…”

  1. I absolutely HATE losing stuff and very rarely do so. Occasionally (maybe once every year) I might lose a £5 or £10 note out of one of my pockets but that is it.

  2. Apparently I got all the “losing stuff” genes, if such a thing exists. Almost lost my iPod just yesterday. (Had to turn out both my bags and every pocket, then check the car twice before finding it.) I wonder whether it’s being in a family that doesn’t lose stuff that means I get so worked up about losing things, which, as we know, I do fairly regularly just from being clumsy/forgetful. I’m never as annoyed about having lost the thing as knowing that people are going judge me for having done so.
    (On a couple of occasions, things I’ve lent to friends have been lost, and I’ve never minded nearly as much. There was a very memorable occasion in school where a good friend lost my favourite pen, which I lent to her a few hours earlier. She was really worried about telling me, but when she finally did, I wasn’t angry or upset at all.)

    • I think you’re right about the genes, though I don’t know who you got them from. I’m even more annoyed if I lend something to someone else and they damage/break/lose it – it’s horribly inconsiderate, as you should be even more careful with another person’s property than you are with your own. So I just tend to not lend stuff out, so that they can’t get themselves into trouble with me!

      • I’m always very, very careful with other people’s stuff… but, yeah, not usually as mad about other people losing my stuff as when I lose my own! The most upset I got was when I’d left something at a friend’s house, said friend had promised to take care of it and return it, but events conspired against her and it was never seen again. I was mainly upset because the item in question had been a gift to me, and because I was the one who’d left it behind in the first place. So, again, I guess I get most annoyed when the fault lies with myself!

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