A few weeks ago, I went to a friend’s birthday dinner. My friend and I grabbed cupcakes and showed up too early (neither of us thought to check the invite before driving over), so we grabbed a bottle of Prosecco and sat down with the two other people who were there. We were chatting it up and having a fantastic time. I made the rounds around the table to everyone I used to work with, chatting and catching up on their lives: children who are now walking, jobs that are being adjusted to, hobbies that are changing and upcoming travel plans.
"You seem really happy," my friend said. It was perhaps the half a bottle of Proessco I just drank, or it might be that I am actually happy. I smiled and said, "I am doing really well," and continued to talk about everything in my life that's going well (this blog and Richmond Brunch Weekend being successful really does help me feel happy).
I am happy.
Then I closed out the round around the table of catch-ups to check my phone. I pulled it out of my jacket pocket to see that the entire screen was demolished. I mean about 80 percent of it is smashed. Obliterated. Cracks on cracks.
I didn't panic because I bought a very expensive screen protector. It MUST be the screen protector that's damaged. I peel it back and my heart sinks. Nope, that is my entire screen that is actually smashed.
"It wasn't like that already?" One of my friends stalled.
"...No, it definitely wasn't. Did something hit my jacket? It was in my pocket..." I said, curious and annoyed that my phone was destroyed. Even in my wilder days, I had NEVER caused this much damage to my phone. To think dinner could ruin my phone is absurd.
"Your chair did fall over at one point when the waitress knocked it, but I never even thought it would land on your phone. Or that it could cause that much damage," my friend recalled.
Bingo. We've found the culprit. The chair.
Finger pointing started:
Me at myself: I should have put it on the table instead of my pocket. I should have brought in my purse and left it in there instead of my jacket pocket.
Friend at me: Why didn't you buy the tempered glass? Because I bought the Invincible Shield?
Friend at waitress: She probably doesn't even know she shattered your phone. Should you tell her? Absolutely not.
Friend at friend: Did you knock the chair over?
I waved it all off. I wanted to be the bigger person. I don't want people to feel bad for me. I don't want to feel bad for myself. I'm at a birthday party. I remind myself that I am happy. A happy gal with a shattered phone.
I let myself cycle through my emotions quickly: Do I want to spend nearly a grand on a new phone? Absolutely not. But do accidents happen? Absolutely. Is this a big deal? No. No one is hurt. Well, I was a tiny bit hurt and actively bleeding from where a shard of screen glass impaled me. But survivable.
When I got home, I was tired and annoyed. Transferring phones is never as easy as I think it should be (drag everything into iCloud for the backup, transfer SIM card). There's always more to it.
I make a shared folder with Cazey and put literally all 2,000 photos into it. Then, I begin to delete photos, trying to parse out which pieces of my life I can lose to the digital abyss. I shake my head at myself, wondering why on Earth I am so concerned about losing the pictures. I've shared the good ones online already and even printed out a few for my walls. Nothing will happen if I lose every last one of them.
I smile as I scroll through all 2,000 of the pictures. With this phone, I've traveled the world. We've climbed to the top of waterfalls, down to sea level off the coast of Italy, bar crawled across Berlin and floated the canals of Amsterdam. I've spent countless minutes talking to my mom on it. Most of these pictures won't see the light of day. I've shared these memories like a digital scrapbook with the world through this blog and all of our Instagram accounts. I've truly lived.
I went to bed fatigued from stress, but content. When I woke up the next morning, I had an even stronger sense of perspective: phones are expensive, but buying a new screen is only $100 (thanks to my mother who did some research for me). It's almost insane that I was annoyed by something so trivial as a phone screen.
I find perspective to be a really fascinating topic, one that I actually ponder more than any rational human would.
But truly, perspective matters.
I read about it in some self-help books and articles: if you want to be happy, sometimes all you need is a new perspective. Now that I've gained more maturity, it really is sometimes that simple (and sometimes it's absolutely not, and being not okay is okay sometimes too. But we're focusing on the small stuff in this post, not the big stuff).
I try to hold onto the fact that little bumps in the road shouldn't take us off course of happiness. Even when you're disappointed or hurt by someone or something, it's fleeting. Being happy doesn't mean you'll always be happy. And sometimes the dips give you a chance to feel happy anyways. Like when I got a new phone screen in 20 minutes and less than $100.
That's a feeling of happiness that you can't capture until less than 12 hours prior you were pricking yourself on iPhone screen glass.