Growth & Revelation

As dramatic as it may sound, one year ago today, my life changed. November 22 started out as a fairly typical Saturday, except that I had a nagging feeling all day. I was extremely sad. Lee and I hung out at home all day, and even watching comedies couldn’t cheer me up. I called my mom to make sure everything was ok with our family. I called my cousin, who was pregnant at the time to make sure everything was ok with her. No news. So I posted this status on Facebook: Sharmaine Mitchell has been really sad all day. Don’t know why. Is everything ok with everyone? Please let me know…

Finally, Lee decided that we should go to the movies to distract me. It was near the end of that movie (“James Bond: Quantum of Solace” – I’ll never forget it), around midnight (which is why it was technically November 23) that we got the phone calls: one from our next door neighbor, and one from Ackerman Security. Our back door had been kicked in.

My world turned UPSIDE DOWN when I realized that my work laptop had been stolen. I had only officially held the position at my job for not even 5 months. I was sure I would be fired!!! Ok, now that’s dramatic. I didn’t really think I would be fired, but it wasn’t news I was itching to share with my boss. About 95% of my files were backed up on my hard drive at work, so I was ok in that sense. Lee’s laptop was also stolen, but his information was also backed up.

My trust in humanity was shaken, my sense of security in my own house was GONE…COMPLETELY GONE!! I didn’t even want to be at home, much less, alone. So even when I was sick, I didn’t want to stay home, because I was afraid. I carried my gun everywhere, even to the kitchen to cook dinner. I worried every time Lee called me on my cell phone during the day. We had fights because of it. I demanded that he send me a message on BlackBerry Messenger, so that I would know something was truly wrong when he called. I had heart palpitations, I couldn’t sleep, our house turned into a fortress. Phone conversations with our friends (and neighbors), Mike and Raven, always started out with, “Everything’s fine”, when the intention of the phone conversation was only to extend an invitation to dinner. We had all become programmed to panic when receiving phone calls from each other. It was RIDICULOUS, and it was absolutely no way to live!!

Last year, on Thanksgiving morning, Mike came over to get some butter for Raven, who was also cooking for Thanksgiving. Shortly after, he noticed a car casing the neighborhood. Yep, on Thanksgiving morning. So he came back to pick up Lee, and they followed the car, so they could get the tag number and report it. The story did NOT end there, BY FAR!! That night (next morning, actually) felt like a crazy scene from a movie, but that’s another blog post all by itself.

In a year, I have grown so much and learned so much, and I am so grateful for it all. I really am. I love where we are now. I love that we’re still close to Mike and Raven (in proximity), and that their beautiful baby girl doesn’t have to grow up in such a stressful household. Stress can’t even begin to describe the atmosphere in that neighborhood!

One thing I’ve never admitted to the world (until now) is this: I realized, after reading A New Earth and participating in the web class, that my laptop was my ego; it was the thing to which I was attached. When I took this position, that laptop defined me. That laptop was me. It represented EVERYTHING to me. It represented completion of my master’s degree, a promotion, my dream job, my salary increase, my new status…everything. And they stole it. They came into my house – INTO MY BEDROOM – and they stole all of that from me!!!

And God said, “Yeah, because that was your idol.” That’s a POWERFUL lesson, folks, and that’s why I said, “one year ago today, my life changed“. I’ve learned not to put my faith in material things. Of course I “knew” that, but I truly LEARNED it. And for that, I’m grateful.

Truly grateful.

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