LOST & FOUND
Some pretty weird things end up in the lost and found.
In college I worked at ‘the’ bar, the one that every one ended up at at the end of the night, embraced in the total side-hug, belting out sweeeeet carrrrollliiine (bum bum baaaah). I was both a bartender, and a DJ, and when I think of college, I think that some of my happiest times were at that bar, with all my favorite people, 3-7 times a week. Especially around midnight, when my drunk girlfriends would come running up to the bar and launch themselves (as though it were the horse portion of a gymnastics competition) over the bar to say hello. When you are drunk, the way in which you say hello becomes very spirited and athletic.
So greek-life, was kind of a big deal at my school, and every sorority and frat had a designated area in this bar they would gather in. Me? I was a phi kappa pi. Our reputation was the girls that ‘party, dance, steal your ‘good’ pot and your electric toothbrush from a party. We’d take the toothbrushes to the bar and put up to peoples crotches and run away before anyone knew what happened. Yep, so if you’re reading this, and you are a former Geneseo student 1999-2003 and wondering whatever happened to your fancy tooth-brush, (and/or why your crotch was vibrating for 5 seconds) It probably ended up in the lost and found, with all the other random things that got left behind each night.
Theme nights were a big deal at our school, something we tried to carry on well into our mid 20’s. But you reach a point of almost adult-hood where you are looking around the room and realize that pimps and ho’s is not nearly as fun as it was 7-years ago, and it’s 11pm which means you should really go to bed, and anyway, this afro is itchy.
Back to the lost and found. All the stuff that got left behind at the end of the night would end up in big random pile down the stairs to the basement. As the semester went on, the pile grew and grew. When you worked at the bar, you pretty much got a VIP pass to go wherever you wanted on the nights you had off. And that included a trip to the lost and found, should you ever choose to accessorize.
I would often run down the stairs and reemerge wearing an inflatable inner tube, a glitter vest, talking on a plastic walkie talkie. Sometimes someone would shout, hey! That’s my flava flav Viking hat, or that’s my disco ball. And you’d happily give things back, happy you had helped someone find what they had lost.
This past-week has been a very different lesson in lost and found. Not nearly as colorful, or immediately solved with a round of soco lime shots.
On Saturday, Moose went missing.
I was almost 2 hours from home when this happened. I was working at my new gig on a super cool project, and was set to leave to make it back to my other gig to round out the day. 6 am start, 11pm end. It was going to be a doozy, but I was all-in.
I got the text towards the end of my first gig. ‘don’t panic but Moose wandered off, it’s been an hour, we wanted to let you know, just in case you get a phone call’ I looked at my phone, and this message long and hard for a good minute. I wanted to make sure I had it right. Moose was at a place he has gone many many times and is so loved and cared for there. (side note, telling people not to panic has a 100% guarantee not to work)
I called to find out what happened.
‘I was in the yard and I turned around and he had gone’
‘what do you mean, gone?’
(gone = lost. and I have found, that whenever I have lost something I care about…I need someone to say it, to tell me, to give me proof beyond my imagination. We all know what gone means, we just cant believe it)
‘well, he wandered off’
‘okay, well he needs to come back’ (as though I was reporting an unfinished job to the cable company. stoic. stunned)
‘we’re doing everything we can’
I put a quick post up on facebook, and went on airplane mode, I had to complete what I had come to do. It involved cameras, and people , and paying attention.
45 minute later, I was on the road.
At that point, I had already had 27 texts, 9 voicemails, and a shit-ton of facebook messages. Flyers were being made, search parties were going out, friends were driving up and down the street shouting Moose’s name, all the shelters had been called. The amount of effort and love, it was amazing. 45 minutes had passed since I put the message up, and everyone I love, did everything I needed. In the 4-years since Moose and I, and have a team, I’ve learned more about love, than the 29-years that came before.
It was almost 2-hours to drive home. I don’t remember it. I talked to a few people, my sister, my dear friend, that was about it. Mostly, I just drove in silence.
I felt nauseous and dizzy, I had this overwhelming feeling that Moose was not wearing his tag. I got him a new collar 2 months ago, and did not put it on. I got home, pulled into my parking garage like the last lap of the indy 500 and ran up my stairs 2 at a time. I foun his old collar. I closed my hand around his blue Moose tag, laid on my kitchen floor (this is a theme for me) and just starting sobbing, picturing Moose walking around, no tags, no chip, just wandering. What if he was in the woods? What if he got stuck somewhere. What if someone found him and kept him? What is someone found him and didn’t bring him to a shelter. I went through a lot of what-if’s. Mostly I wanted to know that whoever found him, would be kind to him.
My best friend from NY called, and she’s crying, and I’m crying, and she’s nursing her adorable new baby, while crying, and then I started getting back to back calls.
His picture went up on a shelter site! We think it’s him.
Granted, the shelter identified him as a 2-year old female (he’s a 4-year old male) but I just kept yelling into the phone, are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure? 6-hours had passed. I needed to be sure.
It was him.
He had found his way to a house in the neighborhood, down a 100 foot driveway, up 3-flights of stairs, and jumped on the door still someone let him in. These sweet people took him in and over to the nearest shelter. Moose even ended up on reddit, which apparently is a big deal and he is now officially famous.
An hour later he was home (and chipped) and I stared at his scruffy little face, and kissed it 100 times. He knew something was up, and didn’t move a whole lot, he rolled on his back so I could rub his belly, he just kept looking up at me.
He was no longer lost. Here he was. But when something you love, is lost, you often think about what would happen if you lost them again.
And on this day. I learned about love. (I am learning about love, every single day)
What I know about this day, is how very loved, cared for, and supported I am. I mean Moose is an absolutely exceptional dog, so of COURSE people would do anything for him too. But what I got to, is everyone sees how much I love him, and just wanted me to have that. I can ere on the side of lonely and isolation. This was the opposite. People. Came. Through. And I? I let them. I had to.
My final lesson in lost in found this week came by way of finding the perfect house to move into, and losing it 12-hours later.
My current living situation is good. I live in a small 600sq foot apartment, and have for almost 2-years (a record for me) it’s close to everything, my neighbors are fantastic, I can get out the door and walk or run anywhere. I live right down the street from my favorite yoga studio. But. As I move towards working from home starting next week, I need to expand my space.
I just started the search. And on Monday night toured an absolutely beautiful home in an up and coming neighborhood in Sacramento. This house had everything. Everything I could hope for a house to have. Most of all, it felt like a HOME, something I’ve been missing for a while now. I have a house in Rochester that I barely lived in, my work has taken me all over. I haven’t felt home, in a long long time.
The owner is a super sweet man, he had lived there for the past 7-years. I was immediately comfortable with him. So kind. So thoughtful. So sincere. I asked him if I could have till 12pm to send over a final choice, and he said no problem.
It’s more rent than I’ve paid ever. I got stuck. Guilt, that I could afford it, old patterns surfaced, no you cant. Logic in, yes you can. I can completely afford it, but yet as I’m walking through the process (and you shouldt do this outloud in front of a your tentative landlord), I started to let doubt creep in.
And dammit. I think that’s the moment I lost what I had found.
I went home that night, and started dreaming about moving into this house. A real house. With space, and a yard, and more space. It felt like mine, I pictured moving in. I pictured how happy and safe Moose would be there.
I sent the heck yes, it’s a go email at 11am. My friends who lived in the neighborhood drove by and said, this is your house, go for it.
I didn’t hear back.
I didn’t hear back.
By 7-pm I called. It felt off. I could tell I didn’t get it. I imagined someone had offered more.
He answers the phone and said ‘Lyndsey, I have bad news, I rented it to a woman who makes 6-figures and could commit to a mid-november move-in date’
I paused. And teared up slightly. I saw myself in this house.
I got attached to something that was never even mine.
I got attached to the life I could live with a porch, and a yard, and big giant shower, and space. And that I could be in my 30’s living in a house. That maybe I could finally stay, and make a home. I could have people over on Sundays, and we could pour wine and sit by the fire. I could take a nap in all the rooms, and make a garden. All the things I want, that have felt out of reach. I could have a welcome mat.
I lost what was never even mine. An idea of life that I cant quite seem to get my hands on. This apartment I live in now, has been a perfect place to be, but it has never felt like home. No matter how many fresh flowers I put here.
And so. In life and in love, you will lose and you will find.
You will be lost. And. You will find your way.
What you love most, will be gone. For 6 hours that you cant remember. Or maybe, forever. And it’s hard to remember forever.
The people you love most in your life right now, you likely will not love this way forever, some you will love more, and some you will lose, the ones you cannot imagine losing, you may, the ones you cannot imagine loving, or staying, just might stay, you will lose ideas of perfect Sundays….but if you are gentle, you will find that the most perfect day comes on a Tuesday night. Maybe on this night you fall in love. Maybe on this night you sit around and drink wine till 2am. Maybe on this night, you dance. With bare-feet. And you’ll throw your head back.
Space is this sentence ‘this is more magic, than I ever knew existed’
What I know is, nothing is owned anyway. On paper and in handshakes, maybe. But that’s about it.
You can ask again and again ‘well, what do you mean, gone’ but what you are asking to know, is something you already know.
Gone means space. The very space you are asking for.
And so I connect this fully, let me just say, the space I am asking for.
Space and loss.
Space and choice.
How often I have looked at what was lost, and thought to myself, I will do anything I can to never lose (him, her, this) again. Instead of, all the beautiful things that have come. My attention goes to not losing, instead of turning to, what could be gained.
This past week, I was given plenty to fill the space. On Thursday night, I sat on the ground after a long day, in a beautiful home, in a beautiful circle, close to the ocean, my source, among woman who I suppose time would say are new to me, but my heart would say have been with me for a long long time.
Maybe home for me, is this. Small circles, that move. Teams.
Conversations that go late into the night, that flow from tears to laughter to dreams.
The next night, another beautiful night of home. A friend who has become a best-friend, her husband who’s become a brother. Take-out, and bourbon and laughing till 2am. All 400 miles from where I pay rent. Home on this couch, in the guest room with the grey sheets. Safe and sound and loved.
Something tells me my whole lifetime will be a lesson on coming home. It is the one theme that is woven through all my experiences. It is complex, and sometimes it hurts, when I think of all the places I have lived that have felt unsafe. Where the love is not. I get further and closer to where it will be. I get lost and found one million times a day.
So I will keep dreaming of what home feels like.
Of who I’ll ask to be around my table.
Of the song I’ll play when we dance I the kitchen.
And in the meantime I’ll see that I am home everywhere. That I have built my life to be welcomed into so many different places. That I have 87 options for thanksgiving dinner. That it doesn’t look like, how I wanted it to by now.
But if I was limited simply by what I could see.
I’d have never made it this far. I am living a live, richer and fuller than I could have ever imagined.
Lost and found.
Lost and gained.
Lost. And that’s okay.