Don't we all wish we could go back in time and undo a thing we did? I'm no exception.
Last weekend, I took my beloved iPad to a local shop. You may be wondering why it is beloved. In 2012, I won my iPad. I was enrolled in college at the time, taking Economics. Students making an A or B were given an opportunity to enter an essay contest sponsored by a major college book publishing company, and a handful of students would win an iPad if their essays were chosen. It was a nationwide contest - and so I entered, my essay was chosen, and they sent me a brand new iPad! iPads were a hot item - still are - so I was floored to have earned such a cool thing for free. I worked hard to get it, and it was a very groovy reward.
A few years later, in a moment of insanity mixed with blind rage, I smashed my precious iPad against the concrete on my back porch. I was immediately heartbroken. What a stupid, childish thing to do. Something I cherished, I had ********. Although Paul Varjak says in Breakfast at Tiffany's that there's no law against busting up your own apartment, nobody in my family had died; my immediate reason felt petty by comparison. And my lovely prize had always served me well. What gave? Maybe it was all of the frustrations that had built up over many years that I had never quite resolved. Maybe it came from a place where I felt I didn't deserve anything of value. Whatever broke in my head in that moment, the fact remained: my iPad was gone.
I put it under my bed. Perhaps one day, I would get around to swallowing my shame and restoring her to glory.
It took three years, but that day came last Saturday. I took it to a local shop after asking around. I told him, cost be damned, fix it if you can, it's sentimental. He was skeptical. He said he would try, no guarantees, and of course, I would still pay either way.
Today, I picked up my precious baby, all repaired and shiny! She has some dents and scars. She is literally rough around one edge where she hit the ground. Those imperfections make her even more beautiful to me. Of couse she also works! Best of all, I have all of my old things back, especially meaningful precious photos and videos, so bittersweet to look at. And a certain game I love playing that is no longer available. So, something old, finally made new again, to revive the old. I cried happy tears at this rare gift of rebirth.
The analogy that I took away was this. We can get smashed to the ground for nothing we did. Lay in a corner for years gathering dust, shattered, inert and useless. But, when we feel ready, we can go to the fix-it shops of our choice; our doctors, shrinks, pharmacists, therapists, peers. We can stay in the shop for as long as we need to and get the help we need to come back as a useful item. There's no guarantee we will get better either. If we are lucky to get put back together enough to work, we won't look exactly the same. We won't feel exactly the same. We will still have scars and bruises and be rougher around the edges. We may go to the shop repeatedly and need many repairs over time.
But our rise from the ashes will mean more to us than anything else. As we heal, we will feel real joy and triumph, for our rebirth and our resilience, for our determination not to let the fckers win, for the mere fact we still live, despite the scars from all the trauma inflicted upon us. Against tremendous odds, we can be victorious, and we can rise up again.