2023 has been off to a rocky start, despite my best intentions. I aimed to have positive beginnings in both 2021 and 2022 as well, to no avail. But this one has been somewhat different in tone. I have felt more hesitant, more afraid – but also more eager for change.

Over the course of a month, I’ve found myself in situations I’ve never dealt with before in my adult life, with a higher intensity. Crippling uncertainty. A nasty, soul-crushing wake up call. Heart-pounding fear of the ever growing unknown ahead of me, and apprehension of moving forward. A strong sense of failure growing in me like a weed. And I threw out my back again. So, yeah. Not great.

Around the middle of the month, I was walking into my apartment when I noticed my keys felt lighter than usual. I stopped to examine them and discovered that my favorite keychain – one of Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII, that I had for almost fifteen years – was gone.

I don’t know for how long, where, or when it happened, but he was gone. Fallen off. Vanished to who knows where. He was not in my car, on my doorstep, or in the entryway of my apartment. Not at work in my desk, not in my kitchen. At this point, I am sure he is lost forever.

I felt a disproportionate amount of sadness due to this event. Like, it’s probably not normal to be pushed to the brink of tears over a keychain. But he’s been with me for a long, long time. Through many milestones. Many keys have come and gone from my trusty lanyard, but I always had Squall. I think what upset me the most is that I don’t even know how long it took me to notice because I can’t pinpoint when it happened, and yet, I did consider that keychain to be something important to me. A representation of many happy times in my life, and many struggles as well.

I feel as though I lost something important, even though it was something so small. Maybe it’s the culmination of life woes putting my emotions on the edge. The last straw, so to speak. The final crack in a crumbling wall. Or maybe even the impetus of all of this was losing the keychain in the first place. A trigger.

I have come to terms with the fact that it’s gone, as silly as that is. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a difficult thing to do, but it was. The tension on my shoulders has not eased, and the cloud above my head has not yet cleared, but I am hopeful that they will soon, even without Squall. And I know that it’s okay to be upset about things, even if they are small. Because the smallest things can feel enormous, at times. And who knows? Perhaps this loss is a signal, a signal to turn a page, or listen to what so many people have been trying to tell me to get my wheels spinning again.

Squall is lost, but I won’t let myself be. And I’ll look forward to putting the right foot forward in February.

2 thoughts on “Lost

  1. I lost my first ring decades ago. I was sad However, I still look and “see” it on my finger. I know where my grandfather’s, and fathers’s rings. Karma. Be at Peace. Fr. David in snowy Canada


  2. I’ve been there. Lost my favorite key chain just before a major life change. The good news? It preceded a couple of majorly positive life changes! Maybe that will be the case for you. Sending positive vibes your wife.


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