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.