Whew, even though writing fiction was pretty fun, I'm glad to be back to what I know and love – writing non-fiction.
Guys…lemme tell you…
This past weekend was insane. So good, but insane. I did so many awesome things – I got to go to a meet-and-greet for one of my favorite bands, The YRS (shameless plug – @the.yrs on all socials, go check 'em OUT!), and go to Dollywood for the first time in my life.
But a major thing that happened was…I found my cameras.
Mishy, You Lost Your Cameras?
Yes, the week before I went to Mexico, I lost my Nikon D5300 and my Instax Mini 8. I thought I brought them to a hotel in Atlanta during a weekend I spent time with my mom and sisters, and I called the hotel several times to have them tell me they couldn't find them. I'd searched my grandparents' house, my friends' houses, my apartment, my car, and I couldn't find them at all. I'd decided that they were probably stolen from the hotel I stayed in in Atlanta. And through all this, I experienced several different emotions…
Honestly, I was extremely upset about it all. Those cameras were both gifts from my stepdad, an avid photographer himself, who gave them to me to feed my interest in photography. I reminisced about the times I went out with him to take photos together with my cameras, and it hurt me to think about the fact that I'd been careless to lose them. I looked at the Polaroid pictures hanging in my room in my apartment, and almost took them down because I was sad I wouldn't be able to take photos like that anymore.
I was mad at myself for being so careless, and not remembering where I'd put my cameras. I was angry at the person I'd thought could have taken them, and simply used them or sold them without a second thought to who the owner was. I was angry that, despite normally being able to find things within a several hour span, it was taking me one week, and then two weeks, and then even more weeks to try to figure out what exactly happened to my cameras. It all just made me angry.
Stress pretty much encompassed all my feelings. There were moments I couldn't stop thinking about trying to figure out where I'd misplaced them, who could have seen them last, where they could be. It took me some time to realize just how much the stress of all of this was consuming my every day life.
Even though I was scared to admit it at first, I eventually told my stepdad about my situation, and he sympathized with me, but also said, "Don't let this crush you." And honestly, I knew he was right; from the moment he said those words, I began to think about all the aspects of my situation…
What's More Valuable?
The first thing God was asking me to evaluate about myself was what I deemed more valuable in my life.
When we lose something, we become upset because things like money, time, value, etc. were associated with that thing, whatever it is. And when that thing is lost, we've also lost all those things associated with it. As I was realizing how much my mind and time were being consumed by trying to figure out where my cameras were, I began to realize that my attachment to those things was somewhat unhealthy.
Yes, it was okay for me to be upset because my cameras were special to me – gifts from my stepdad. But it wasn't right for me to obsess over the loss of them, to constantly kick myself for losing them, and to long for the days in which I still had them.
Things are things…they can be replaced. Sure, you may need to spend more money, time, effort, etc., but it can still be replaced. I had to ask myself if I valued my things more than I valued the people and circumstances around me. Would I be more concerned about my cameras, my cell phone, my clothes more than I was concerned about the situations of a family member, or the cry of help from a friend? Those were people and moments that I couldn't get back if I lost them, or if I was too focused on something else to really live in the moment. I really had to evaluate myself when it came to my priorities, and what I really deemed valuable.
Once when I realized how much I was thinking about losing my cameras, I thought of the Friday before my trip to Atlanta when I almost got into a car wreck on my way to work, but didn't. And I thought of the loss of my car over the loss of my cameras, and realized that if I had lost my car – a need, something I needed to get myself to work, and to other appointments - it would be worse than losing my cameras – a luxury, things I used to continue my creativity. Sure, I used my cameras for the creative work I was doing, but my creative work doesn't pay the bills (yet!).
So, with this situation, the Lord opened my eyes to being more grateful for where I was. Yes, I was out two cameras, but I was alive and healthy. My car wasn't damaged, although there was an opportunity for it to have been. Because my car didn't get damaged in a wreck, I was able to travel to Atlanta the next day to spend a weekend with my mom and sisters. And I still had a roof over my head, my job, and food to feed myself. There was so much to be thankful for.
The biggest lesson I had to learn through this was letting go – letting go of the fact that my cameras were gone, and I may never see them again. Letting go of the anger towards myself and that potential person who'd stolen my cameras. Letting go of the worry and stress that I brought upon myself about them.
And I think it was the hardest lesson to learn for me, honestly. Because I'm a perfectionist, when things go awry, I cannot be at rest until it's all resolved. But in this situation, once one week, two weeks, three weeks rolled around and my cameras still didn't show up, I had to face the reality that maybe I wasn't meant to have them back, and I had to move on without them. I had to let them go.
It was difficult at first, but as time went on, I started to accept the reality, and even called my stepdad, and asked if he would help me buy a new camera. We sat on the phone for a while, looking with each other on the same site. He emailed me some options, options I was slightly cringing at knowing I was going to have to drop some major money on one of them. But even though I'd let go of the fact that my cameras were gone, I began to miss the nostalgia of taking photos, and that connection I had with my stepdad, so I was more willing to spend the money.
I prayed, asking God to help me let go of all the things I was holding onto in regards to my missing valuables, and to provide someway for me to get another camera for a cheaper price.
One month after I lost my cameras, an answer to prayer had come. But you'll have to read tomorrow's post to find out what happened! 😉