There’s a lesson if we look for it. Sometimes shit happens. That’s what some say. But I believe life is more intentional; there’s learning in every situation if only we scratch the surface. Last week, I lost the keys to my Manhattan apartment. Ever since I took over the apartment three weeks ago, I feared losing the keys. What would I do? The landlord lives an hour outside of Manhattan.
Last Wednesday was a rainy day. I had scored a discount ticket to the Broadway matinee of “Ragtime.” It was terrific. At the end of the show, I stood up and reached for my keys, and to my horror my pockets were empty. I looked around my seat. No keys. I went back to the restaurant where I’d had lunch. No keys. I called my landlord. No answer.
Panicked, I walked to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, sat in a pew, took a deep breath, and gathered my thoughts. Where would I spend the night? Once I calmed down, I decided to call Roy.
My friend Roy lives in New York; he was in Atlanta on business. He arranged for me to pick up a key to his apartment. Twenty-four hours later, and $125 poorer (my landlord demanded a $75 damage deposit and $50 replacement key charge), I was back in my Chelsea apartment.
That afternoon, my inner critic birthed an inner chorus. In unison they berated me for my lack of responsibility. I began to journal to quiet their roar. Perhaps if I looked at this incident as a dream, I’d find an insight, and that insight would be worth my trouble and the $125.
Losing my key was my biggest fear in New York, and it happened. The truth is, it wasn’t so bad. Roy’s apartment is far nicer than mine, and it’s close to Central Park. One of the highlights of my trip was the walk I took the next morning in the park.
I came to New York three weeks ago seeking clarity. As I reported in last week’s blog, I found it. Maybe not “burning bush clarity,” but I did receive several insights that were valuable. Here’s another: fear is the only thing holding me back, and after losing my keys, I now know that even if the worst happens, I’ll be okay. And if I look for it, I’ll find an unexpected gift: a lesson that will help me live a richer life.