Yesterday at the horse races a stranger helped themselves into my bag (as it hung enticingly across my back) and took my:
1) Revlon Compact, Caramel
I'm still debating which loss devastates me more. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, the gaping absence of my phone gives me pause to think about the material things that we/I find important. It's not the hardware of the phone that I'm sorely missing, but what the phone represents in my life - my contacts, my blogging camera, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, email, all my photos for the last 6 months, my smudged fingerprints on the screen, my carefully selected screensaver, my Calendar, reminders, all my virtual tools of daily work and play. So it's not difficult to convince myself that the ridiculous petty thief I encountered yesterday (who may be able to re-sell my phone for a a third of its worth) has also taken from me a bit of my life.
But then I think of what a phone actually is - A PHONE! - and I bring myself crashing back to the ground. In the grande scheme of life and love and memories and experiences and colour and sound and laughter and joy and loss and pain and nature and grief and gain, losing a phone is really not a big deal. In a day or two when the sting dies down, I'll saunter back to the store, pick another handset that suits my lifestyle and "personal aesthetic" and dote over it as much as the last. And life will continue without so much as a blink.
I'd do better to value the material things in my life that really mean something, the things that connect me to who I am than to a world full of ambient noise. The blouse my mom gifted me last week, retrieved from the bottom of a suitcase that hasn't been opened since the '80s. The costume jewelry I wear everyday, fashioned for hours at a kiosk in Kibera together with my friend Mr. Mwangi. My threadbare books from undergrad, recommended reading for a Literature degree that have become reference points for life. These things - they mean the world to me and are literally worthless to anyone else. It's probably these things (which will never, ever be stolen) that I should hold dear. Certainly more dear than a phone.