Tech Crashed


This week I entered into technological failure.

It began a few weeks ago when my hard drive died on my original 2006 MacBook. I own an external hard drive, but I don’t back files up that often, and actually, since you’re asking, many of the files I have on my external hard drive I don’t actually have on my actual computer.

Then the apps stopped downloading on my new iPhone. They all said, “Waiting…” Waiting… I could relate.

I consulted a few experts about my broken hard drive and they recommended data extraction, which would cost $890. However, in the meantime, I would need to buy a new computer. Having committed to Macs, I recommitted and bought a year-old refurbished one for $980. I had bought my old MacBook six years ago for $1300, when I was making half of what I make now (but paying less than one quarter of the rent). I took a deep deep breath before clicking Submit Order.

After three glorious computer-less weeks, the new silver rectangle arrived. However, asyoumayknow, Macs don’t come with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, et al) automatically so I began to agonize over another purchase. I went to plug in my external hard drive, which has not died, yet, and due to the upgrade on my computer hard drive-wise (or is it foolish?), the cable no longer connects.

Did I mention that while on the phone with Comcast trying to figure out my why-fi problems, I also asked why (on earth) my monthly bill had jumped from $24.49 to $63.99 in just over six months. “Well, Sir, your promotion ended.” Am I no longer being advertised? “The only way to move you to a lower price is to reduce your speed.”

That isn’t a direct quote. But I remember it that way. It’s true, I am moving too fast…in my mind. Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re not getting anything done, but everything’s seemingly moving so fast. The question I had to face, for at least the thousandth time, was, Do I create my own reality or do I live in an objective one?

Like all good questions, there are multiple right answers to this one. I wasn’t wrong when I almost always believed all the thoughts in my mind. Whether those thoughts told me that God didn’t exist, or that I wasn’t good enough, or that I would never live up to my potential. What I believe isn’t wrong. It is only an option.

Another option can travel across the spectrum from those choices. When the techno-nightmare was dominoing all over me this past week I could feel the walls of my apartment caving in. The emerging sanctuary regressed into that familiar cave, from which no one outside the windows and walls can transcend or comprehend. Despite these darkening prospects, an ounce of light spilled into my brain and oxygenated my consciousness. A new thought tiptoed in, like a new kid from out of town, anxious but hopeful. The message the kid brought came across as—“I know it’s stressful. There’s probably no way to fix this all at once. Maybe take one issue at a time, don’t make any rushed decisions and you can find your way out.” The thought also encouraged me to take a deep breath, and put one foot in front of the other—whether in getting dressed, doing laundry, going to work, eating some fruits and vegetables, or going for a run.

There is a garden where I unconsciously go to pick this fresh crop of thoughts. Apparently I had wandered through it absentminded and probably distracted by my storm clouds of doubt, and isolation. There, in the form of a radish, or maybe hanging just ripe from a plum tree, was the out of town kid, mixing my metaphors.

Imagination, inspiration, and wonder keep us alive. When the material world, as it often does, hands us a raw deal, or a stacked deck, a fixed match, or a dead end, we need an alternate solution. I ended up ordering a new firewire cable, downloading a free Microsoft Office alternative, and trying wireless passwords until one miraculously worked. Miraculously. Such is the way a thought can move, when we haven’t predetermined its outcome. Just as a human would when we choose to believe in him or her.

Yes, this computer will break—or die, as we like to say—as well. It’s what happens beyond the inevitable that makes life worth living.


One Response to “Tech Crashed”

  1. Chris Says:

    Wonderfully put. I spent the last week dealing with a virus called, “backdoor” something or other which required a change of most of my passwords and much stress on the mind and wallet. The bright side? No data loss. Thank you tech god.

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