It's okay to try to fix what's broken.
I'm not the best with laptops. I won my first Macbook Pro in a freak raffle incident my sophomore year of college, six years ago. I accidentally walked into an event I was supposed to be part of but didn't realize I was invited to. They gave me one of the last raffle tickets upon entry and, minutes later, I won their top tier prize: Final Cut Pro software, which was then-valued at $1000.00. I already had full access to Final Cut through my university, so I took the software to the Apple Store where they gave me a MacBook Pro (which at that time came with a free iPod for student purchases) in exchange. It was totally unreal. I managed to hold onto the thing until sometime last year when my then-boyfriend, now husband, stepped on it as he was making his way through our rather cramped bedroom.
Don't let the five years I managed to keep it prior to the stepping-accident fool you. Every time I took my poor, gum-stained, dented, post-apolocalyptic looking macbook to any public space, I would get at least one or two comments from passers-by noting its epic wear and tear. I really don't know how I managed to make a perfectly gorgeous laptop look like an atom-bomb shard, but I am a very skilled woman...or so I've come to understand.
Just after Ben accidentally cracked the screen on my already-busted piece of technology, he made an over-the-top offering when he gave me his much newer, much bigger, much nicer MacBook Pro. A 15-incher, this thing was like the incredible hulk: there was no way I was going to smash it and bash it and make it look like a 1970s technological relic.
Oh, but wait...there was a way. And I found it.
Somehow over the short period of time that would follow I would manage to bruise and batter this poor baby in a way that made my husband insist I follow up on one of my life's dreams and get a desktop computer for the house (in the interest of not tearing apart yet another beautiful apple product by carrying it around with me everywhere.) I've never been the kind of girl who knows how to be gentle, delicate, or flowery. Even as a two-year old, my friends were all sweet and blonde-haired but I was always the very brunette, hairy, clunky one that wore oversized turquoise corduroy pants that her fashion-industry Mom bought her (I'm assuming this happened because masculine was "in" that year.) I always ate my dessert the fastest. I didn't understand eating slowly, taking care with things, not having a unibrow. I was a tiny but chunky, unorganized, furry force to be reckoned with. My history proves that my "things" tended to match my big and messy and loud appearance: I wasn't one for a perfectly tweezed eyebrow, nor was I one for keeping my stuff looking like I'd just purchased it. I'd grown accustomed to stomaching these self-imposed losses and would either live without what I once had or resentfully replace it when I could no longer go without whatever my "vivacious" personality had unwillingly destroyed. I was prepared to do the same with my laptop when, low and behold, just before our honeymoon, I couldn't get it to turn on.
I assumed I would have to replace it before buying myself the desktop I'd been dreaming of. My laptop must have been broken, I must have worn it so very into the ground that there was no hope for using it again. I wasn't even considering taking it in for repairs.
Ben suggested I give the Apple Geniuses a shot at fixing it, and somehow I let go of my unwillingness and surrendered to whatever embarrassment I might inevitably face at the Apple store. Ben was onto something - since he had just weeks left on the Apple Care plan he purchased almost exactly three years prior, they were able to make all of the repairs (I'm talking so many that they basically gave me a brand new computer) completely, 100% for free.
I am a de-cluttering addict, but in the process of getting rid of everything surrounding me that doesn't work, is expired or is starting to smell kinda funky, I know I have a tendency to get rid of things that haven't seen the end of their life yet. The new 2015/2016 class of MacBooks at the Apple Store yesterday looked so shiny and beautiful when I was waiting to see if they'd had any luck fixing my "old" one. When I got it back, shiny and almost-new, I loved it. I didn't feel like I needed a new one anymore.
How many of us give up on things just because they seem broken and we don't feel like putting in the time and effort we need to in order to fix them? Laptops aside, what happens when we start doing this with relationships, jobs, pets, most importantly: people we love?
Things don't have to be new in order to be beautiful. So much of what we have actually gains value the longer we hold onto it, the longer we work on it, the longer we show it how much we care. So next time you're reaching out, thinking that the next new thing is the only answer to whatever is ailing you, try reaching inside instead. There's probably a lot more in there than you thought.