So I’ve been locked out of my apartment for four days.
For the record, I did not lose my keys—which, for those of you who know me well, is an every-hour occurrence. At this very instant, I know precisely where my keys are. My keys are approximately twenty feet below ground, lying at the bottom of an elevator shaft.
I was over at my boyfriend’s apartment [omigod Kara you have a boyfriend!? OMG when did this happen? Stop. Focus and we’ll do this later.] and, since his apartment building was renovated post-Civil War (unlike mine) he actually has an elevator. I stepped out of the elevator like a normal human being, and dropped my keys.
I didn’t learn one flying thing from physics in high school, but somewhere in that textbook from 1962 MUST have been an explanation as to HOW it is possible for a key ring consisting of not one, not two, but SEVEN KEYS to slide through a crack the size of my thumb.
So anyway. I mosey on over to the front desk and explain that my keys have retreated to the center of the Earth’s core, to which they reply they will put in a service request with the elevator manufacturer, but cannot confirm when that service request will be filled.
Excuse me, what?
I waited. I lived out of my boyfriend’s apartment without car keys, apartment keys, his apartment keys, keys to his building, or my bike fob (my go-to for getting around), Sunday through the moment you’re reading this. And while my hatred for cabin fever (to a degree I have not felt since Snowmageddon, ’16) runs deep, my hatred for dropping $200 on a locksmith is far greater.
Because you know what? This is so, so, SO not that bad.
It’s not. Although I’m ranting about this story online as well as offline to anyone willing to listen, these circumstances could be soooooowhoa much worse.
By the grace of God, I was locked outside of my apartment with the following items in my possession: Phone. Mac. DSLR camera. Running shoes. Wallet.
Do you know what that means? That means I have everything I need to 1) earn a living, and 2) work-out or drink-off whatever anxiety being locked out has caused me. It is far from the worst thing that could happen.
The worst thing that could happen is I get locked out in the rain without a phone or wallet. Which has happened to me. You can read about it here.
The worst thing that could happen is I lock myself out without a phone, wallet, identification, or shoes on my feet. This has also happened. You can’t read about that one, because it happened when I was twenty-two. I locked myself out of my office in Rockville-fucking-Maryland on a Saturday, and dialed 911 on myself to get back in. And when the FIRE DEPARTMENT arrived (with oxygen masks, I might add), the only thing they could say was, “Um. Where are your shoes?”
Oh, right—the shoes. I just didn’t feel like wearing them (I was working on a Saturday. Sue me.) I kicked them off underneath my desk, and when I went out to the hallway to take a breather the door locked behind me.
Like I said, things could be worse.
While the shitty things that happen to us are…well, shitty—they make us stronger and more resilient for whatever hits us in the face next.
My friend Chris—the owner of the gym plastered across my social media—and I were just talking about this. Whenever you face adversity—presumably, something far worse than losing your keys down an elevator shaft—that one horrible experience prepares you for the next ten horrible things that come next. Every time you start to feel sorry for yourself or mutter the words, “This is the worst thing that could happen,” retreat to that one horrible thing and realize just how much worse your current situation could be.
Things could always be worse. And if you think that’s a depressing thought, flip that fucker around and find joy in it. You have friends and family who love you and a roof over your head.
And if you don’t have a roof over your head, hopefully you have shoes on your feet.