It’s no secret I’ve been having some financial problems. Or that I’ve been stressed out and distracted and often having trouble concentrating on much else. So, you’d think that when my PC died the afternoon of Thanksgiving Eve, that would’ve/should’ve… well… done some very bad things to my mind. And frankly, it did.
That old PC of mine (age seven at time of death) had been acting up for over a year now. To get it to boot, I had to employ a weird workaround involving partial power-ups and passing an error message. Over time, it had also started bluescreening about once every couple of weeks where, before, it MIGHT happen once a year. Most recently, it would freeze at random and I’d have to wait it out; sometimes, it would freeze during power-up and I’d have to turn it off and start over. And from a simple performance standpoint, it ran like molasses in February. I could literally go brush my teeth, start breakfast and feed my cat and it STILL wouldn’t be finished loading the desktop. And the game engine I’ve been trying to learn, Unity3D? It would take almost as long to load up as the desktop.
Nonetheless, it did sort of work and it was in a lot of ways essential to my life. It was how I earned money when I got freelance jobs. It was the main way I was conducting my search for regular work. It was how I kept in touch with pretty much all my friends, including my boyfriend. It was where I played a lot of old games that comfort and inspire me. It was how I created things and where I kept pretty much all of the music I listen to and, no, I don’t have an iPod. Work, entertainment and social life all depended on that machine.
And then, it was gone. On top of all the other things I was dealing with, all of that… was gone. And of all the times it could’ve happened, it happened on Thanksgiving eve.
Then, on Thanksgiving, my mother called. I hadn’t told her exactly what I’ve been dealing with and I never planned to; she’s done so much for me over the years I didn’t want to give her that burden. But that very big final straw was more than I could take and she could tell from the sound of my voice that something was terribly wrong.
I told her my PC died. I didn’t tell her anything else. Again, I just couldn’t do that to her after all she’s done for me. She was quiet for a while and said, “How much would a new one cost?” So, I told her what I figured a midrange PC would cost. A little bit longer and mom said, “Baby, that computer was your life. It might be a strain, but I’ll give you what you need for a new one. And something more to help you get by,” and said it would be in my bank account tomorrow. Naturally, this was to count as my Christmas/birthday/please-don’t-as-me-for-anything-again gift.
By the time we were done talking, I was in tears. Mostly, I was thankful for her generosity, but I was also heartbroken because I wasn’t sure what I’d tell her when I used that computer money to pay my rent instead. Because, when it came down to it, I knew I would have to.
The day after Thanksgiving, Mom sent me the money like she said she would. I went to the library to check my bank balance… and I saw that she’d sent me $200.00 more than she said she would. I also checked my PayPal. With Mom’s help plus donations received, I could send my landlord enough of a good faith payment to keep things going a couple more weeks AND get a new PC that does all I need it do and does it incredibly well. Which is why I’ve [happily] unpinned a certain blog entry and removed the donation button.
It seems clear that fate saw fit to give me a second chance. One of many, actually, so I’d better not screw it up.