of one’s own

My beautiful, sleek MacBook Air is really and truly dead, and I would like to memorialize my fallen friend.

If that sounds over-emotional, I can understand. But it was a gift from The Fella, who saved up for a whole year to surprise me with it. It was both a huge (expensive) treat and a symbol of faith in my writing. He knew that I needed my own computer, not the one we shared for years, and when I could not even afford to dream of it, he made it happen.

No longer having to share a computer was, for me, the modern equivalent of Virginia Woolf’s “a room of one’s own” — it gave me all the breadth and time I needed to grow as a writer, to value my own work as much as my husband’s (paying) writing, and to let my instincts and impulses move me to write more than my (and his) schedule.

On that MacBook, I wrote my first published article. On that MacBook, I stored my first paying contracts and received my first money for writing. On that MacBook, I earned my first income in several years. On that MacBook, I learned how to edit photos to accompany my first published recipes. On that MacBook, I applied for a dream job, a job so far beyond my then-current hopes that I assumed I was applying just for practice, and on that MacBook, I learned to my astonishment that I got it.

That MacBook gave me freedom and hope and opportunity. I am so grateful for it. I know it’s just a hunk of metal and plastic and circuits, and now that’s all it will ever be, but it was also a little box of dreams. And I made them come true.

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2 thoughts on “of one’s own

  1. I’m lucky, too: through the generosity of some colleagues, I’ve already lined up a replacement, an old model that will do all the things I need and see me through until I can buy something new.

    But no other laptop will ever be the one I’m grieving — and grieving isn’t too strong a word. It saw me through a lot of changes and let me conquer them all.

  2. I love this piece. I don’t think grief is out of place. The tools we use to shape our lives and do our jobs and become ourselves are important.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your computer. I am glad that it helped you and that you have a replacement.

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