I live in Buenos Aires, a city where it’s 99% likely that at some point, you’ll get your phone stolen.
Argentinian thieves are among the smartest in the world: they can take your phone from your hands when you’re on the bus, pickpocket it when you’re having lunch, or make it disappear at any point like they’re David Copperfield.
You can be extremely careful, don’t even doubt it: your phone is surely going to end up on the black market.
So far, things were going great for me: all my phones had survived endless dangerous situations and drunken party nights. I had mastered all my security measures and was even able to help others take care of their phones. If you’ve read any of my posts before, you already know I’m a control freak, which has proven to be very helpful in not having my phone stolen.
But luck was running out.
I had my graduation party last week, and after 4 years of hard work, I decided to go wild. I entered the nightclub, already tipsy, yelling “someone get me champagne and a boy NOW!” and just like Cinderella with her helpers, life made both of those wishes come true: while holding a glass of champagne, I met this cute boy, who was taller, older, and an engineer.
We talked like people do in nightclubs, about nonsense that no one is going to remember the next day, and he asked me to join him on the dancefloor.
My control freak self has always hated the idea of recklessly kissing someone I meet at a nightclub, wondering things like “What if he turns out to be a serial killer?”, “What if people take pictures of me kissing him that then end up on Twitter?”, but the champagne had already taken over.
We danced and kissed for what felt like hours.
So far, things were going great for me: all my phones had survived endless dangerous situations and drunken party nights
It was fun. I was having the kind of fun my friends were having when we were 17, going out and kissing random guys – while I, on the other hand, was staying in my house watching home remodeling documentaries to avoid wearing a short skirt. It was the kind of fun that makes you smile when you remember it, the kind of fun that you shouldn’t overanalyze, and turns out… the kind of fun that gets your phone stolen.
So, all of a sudden, I found my purse open and without my phone.
Strangely, I didn’t cry or panic — my drunk self decided that it was okay, and that I was going to let it go.
But after a few hours, I started thinking about the infinite amount of things that losing my phone meant: losing pictures (please, don’t be stupid like me and always have your cloud up to date), text messages that I loved to reread when I couldn’t sleep, most of my social media accounts because I have the memory of an ant and can’t remember a password.
I couldn’t even get an Uber to go back home and cry.
But why was my phone stolen anyway? Was this life’s attempt at telling me I’m a person who can’t have fun? Does this reinforce the idea that I should always be a control freak, without ever relaxing?
And what if, and this is some sort of stupid conspiracy theory that I know is not true but I’m still working on like a detective on CSI, the cute boy I was so happy to kiss was just a smart thief?
To most people, having their phone stolen would be just that, a fact, an event in their lives. But I don’t believe in coincidences: there has to be a reason why I would have my phone stolen at this stage of my life, where many changes are happening, and a week before New Year’s Eve.
So I started thinking: The thing I kept saying to the security guy who promised would get my phone back was “my whole life was in there”. My phone was a companion, had seen me in my best and worst moments. It had been with me through so much, it was the carrier of the best news and worst news.
I felt lost and sad because yes, my phone was an extension of my life
My phone contained stories.
Stories of how I first started flirting with my ex-boyfriend, or what I told my friends after I lost my virginity to him. The voice messages my mom sent me when my anxiety got too bad and I wasn’t at home. The jokes my friends sent when I posted a bad selfie on Instagram. All the times I said “I miss you” to my best friend who lives in Switzerland.
I felt lost and sad because yes, my phone was an extension of my life. Years of conversations and pictures and notes that now only live in my memory. It’s sad to think about, but… it also gives me hope.
Having my phone stolen because I was kissing a cute boy (who, I still hope IS NOT a thief) gives me hope that I can now make a fresh start. The good stories can be remembered and rebuilt, and the bad ones should just be let go. It’s not a punishment for losing control for a second, but rather a lesson that it’s okay to loosen up a little.
So it’s okay. I can say goodbye to my phone now. And to everything else.