Notes to the things I’ve lost

Sophia Alfaro - India


March 10, 2019

I’ve been away from my permanent home for 7 months now. In that timespan
I’ve lost too many things. Here’s my final goodbye to them all.

The chain from a necklace that my first committed partner gifted me, that
was accompanied by a one-of-kind topaz pendant that my mother and I picked
out by the beach in the Dominican Republic:

I had taken you off for the first time since the summer so that I could
wear something else around my neck for an event. I remember when I first
took you off a few months before. How antsy I was when my friend’s father,
who was keeping you safe for me, couldn’t find you at first. How scared I
was to lose you.

A few days after the event in India ended, I knew you needed to be back on
me where you belonged. My neck and chest felt bare and naked without you.

I was in such a rush that day. I had everything that I needed to get done
checked off, and as I ran out of the house with you in my hands, I
completely forgot to put you on. I completely forgot that I was gripping
onto you. Where you are now, I have no clue. Where you could have been
released from my clutch, I’m also at a loss for. Once I realized you were
gone though, once I really knew I would never see you again, I cried. And
then I felt stupid for crying over a materialistic item. The worst part is
I didn’t realize I lost you until the next day.

I called my mom. She told me “sometimes when we lose things, it’s because
they’re no longer meant to be in our lives,” I cried again. I’ve heard this
before, I’ve told myself this as well. But I didn’t want you to not be in
my life. I wanted you forever.

I apologized to myself for being so forgetful, for being so irresponsible.
I apologized to myself for calling myself stupid. I acknowledged that I
cared about this necklace, that it meant a lot to me, and so I was in every
right to be upset.

I made myself move on. But I still think about you often. I’m still sorry.

The water bottle that Global Citizen Year gave each of its FY2019 fellows:

I’ll admit, I love freebies. I become more attached to the things that are
given for “free” (I’m not sure if the water bottles were exactly free
seeing as to how we pay a tuition and so that money must have been utilized
in a number of ways). Freebies are given with no expectations of receiving
something in return. And I love that. I also love things that have company
names or associations that I have worked with. I joke around that I did
something (such as volunteer somewhere) “just for the T-shirt”. So when I
lost my GCY bottle, I was crushed. Another precious gift, gone. This loss
had me distraught because it was something I used daily, and I lost it with
no explanation for where it could have gone. One minute I had it, the next
I didn’t. I also customized my bottle with stickers from Welcome Week,
stickers that I only had one copy of. So that stung a little too. My unique
bottle was out in Pune somewhere without me.

Every time I saw a fellow with their water bottles, I was triggered. I miss
mine. It was functional, aesthetically pleasing, and my very own. It’s been
replaced now by the grace of my Team Leader, but with a different version.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of the fact that I have another GCY
bottle… but it isn’t the same. No replacements ever are.

My Aloha Freestyle Watch:

This one’s a little odd. After losing so many precious things, I was kind
of over it. I was like, “what now? What else do I possibly have to lose?”
I’m still upset. Especially because it wasn’t even me who lost my watch. It
was my host brother. I can’t be mad; however, because I shouldn’t have left
it where I did in the first place. No one is to be blamed. It’s just
disappointing.

I’ve noticed most of the accessories that I brought to India have either
been lost or rarely used. I’m going to keep the latter going because I’m
afraid to lose another piece of home.

This watch meant a little more to me than a regular watch would because I
spent more money on it than I normally would, and because it served as a
reminder of my future: soon I’ll be saying “aloha” to my university in
Hawai’i.

But it’s gone now, and time doesn’t matter anyways… so why do I need a
watch… and I’m moving on.

All of the little items that I knew I lost but didn’t care about that still
deserve recognition:

The GCY loaner phone that I would use for WiFi for 20 minutes before it died

The ₹20 earrings I bought in Bangalore and lost in the hotel bathroom in
Udaipur

The 20-in-1 balaclava that I left behind in the rickshaw to Hindi class

The jio hotspot my host family let me use and keep

The ball to my industrial bar

My relatively new wallet that was functional and had my bank card (which
I’ve already had to replace three times before it), my travelers insurance
card, and ₹2,000.

Losing all of these things that had sentimental value to me made me less of
a materialistic person. I rarely buy anything anymore, with the
apprehension that I shouldn’t invest in anything because I’ll probably just
end up losing it and hurting my spirit and bank account anyways. And that’s
a sad mindset, but one that I have to stick to in order to make myself be
more responsible and dutiful with the things I own now.

I apologize to all of these personal belongings that I’ve lost. I’m sorry I
wasn’t better, that I didn’t give you the respect you deserved.

And I thank each and every one of these items for bringing me joy at some
point in my life. I thank them for representing more than what they
outwardly are.

I hope someone has found you all, and is making you useful to them.

Sophia Alfaro