Sitting in a local book/coffee shop, totally focused on writing and studying this second year of law school mess I am currently in, multiples of files open on my laptop: from lecture handouts, to essay drafts, to reading lists, to a legal dictionary, to statutes and you know where this is going. Of course studying isn’t complete without Facebook, twitter, youtube, google and the dailymail tabs. You can imagine the hassle, but hey what’s writing an essay all about without procrastination?. This place I am sitting in is pretty cosy, where it gets to the point that the other customer may be sitting next you at the same table. I was so into my work, when this little warning tab appears saying ‘Your startup disk is almost full. You need to make more space by deleting files’. I have had that message appear over and over again and I hated it because it made my laptop slower hence my working slower and puts my files at risk of being lost (& I can’t deal with that now!). Anyway, when I read it I was like: eeehhhh. I don’t think I realised I said it out loud, nor did I realise the old man sitting next to me. oops. I thought I’d act like nothing happened and continue with my life, but no. The man had other plans. He quickly said: is there something wrong my dear?. I smiled, I didn’t really have the energy to be kind anymore, and told him ‘it’s just a computer issue’. ‘What’s wrong?’ was his reply. My mind was shouting oh God please make him go away. My mouth uttered ‘I just need to delete some files as my laptop’s memory is apparently full’. ‘And that bothers you why?’ was what I got in return. I was really losing it but I didn’t want to be rude to what seemed like a sweet soul: ‘because I really have no time to deal with extra memory or anything slowing down my work’. You know what I got as reply? I got the most amazing most extraordinary most brilliant analogy, that even I, a literature and double-meaning enthusiast, couldn’t think of :
“That is what exactly happens to us in life. We reach a point where our problems, our music, our readings, our work, our studies, our friends, and yes even our family, constitute as burdens on us. Whatever you got on that computer is more than it can handle. Too many issues you’re dealing with at the same time. Our brain is like a robot, you cannot pressure it with all of this information and overwhelm it with such pain and happiness. You might hate that subject but love that piece of news. Keep that news piece on your laptop, and throw out the subject. And I get that sometimes you need to go through a tough time, that’s why you sacrifice your happiness. You leave the good thing, the thing which initiates happiness, and accept the thing which provokes anger and frustration. That’s ok. As long as you learn from it and win the battle, you can throw it out eventually and receive double doses of happiness in return. I am going to leave you now, leave you to balance your options. And if there is one thing I can advise you, as my brain is probably fuller than yours, is to throw out the negatives, not the toughness, but the negatives. Throw, no actually KICK out, kick out the people who put you down, those who make it a goal of theirs to defeat you, and most importantly those who make you doubt yourself. Those are taking a lot of your memory space. Empty it, empty it all out”.
I couldn’t wait till he left, so I can shed a tear and start deleting my files. Thank you laptop and thank you stranger, you have, in two minutes, cleared my view.