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Farewell, MacBook

So last week my laptop bit the dust. It wasn’t totally unexpected–it was 7 years old(!) and had been acting funny for a while, so I knew its time was almost up. I shifted from backing up my work regularly to backing up my work obsessively, which was good because ultimately my laptop’s death did take me by surprise.

Now I am getting used to a shiny new MacBook Pro and having to relearn How to Computer because a lot has changed since 2007/8.

It’s bittersweet to say good-bye to the sturdy white laptop that I wrote my first manuscript on–in fact, all of the five I’ve written were on that Mac. It’s the end of an era. I’m starting a new project now, and it feels a little weird to be typing on a new keyboard. A new backlit keyboard which is both weird and cool.

On my old computer, a scrap of paper taped to the top right corner, right above the display, read: OMNIA QUAE CUPIO IAM HABEO. “Everything I want, I already have.” I stuck that on while I was in grad school and struggling to properly learn Latin for my final exams. I was so, so frustrated that I couldn’t just master that language and move on with my life. The antsiness ate at me. But when I read that line, and it resonated with me. In terms of all the truly important stuff–my (then boyfriend, now) husband, family, friends, health, and home–I didn’t want for anything. I’d read that line to myself, take a deep breath, and get back to work with a little less angst and a smidge of gratitude.

Eventually I finished grad school, and started writing with the goal of publication. And the OMNIA QUAE CUPIO IAM HABEO line had great meaning for me once again. There was a lot of waiting, and wondering, and wistfulness in the years that I worked to get a book deal. It was very easy to get sucked up in a black hole of want. But again, the important stuff–I had that. Including the joy and satisfaction of devoting part of my life to creativity–regardless of whether my writing ever got to bookshelves. And eventually, it did–something that still feels wondrous.

I’m scraping off that weathered piece of paper and sticking it on my new computer. The “wants” never really go away–they just change depending on what stage of the creative process you’re at. So it’s a reminder I will keep in front of me as I work and write–that, truly, everything I want I already have, and I am so grateful for it.

12 Responses to Farewell, MacBook

  1. Jessica Love says:

    I love that line! What a good thing to remember!

    I had a post-it on this (also white Mac) laptop that said “That thing you are writing is awesome,” which is something Libba Bray said at an SCBWI conference. It fell off, but I think I need to stick it on there again.

  2. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    So long trusty Mac! I know I’ll probably feel the same way about my laptop when it finally clunks out on me. Knock on wood it doesn’t happen soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    That’s a great quote. I’ve got several quotes on scraps of paper around my desk including fortune cookie advice that reads “Keep your goals away from the trolls.”

    • Rebecca says:

      Knocking wood for yours!

      I love “keep your goals away from trolls”–that is amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Love that line in Latin! It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the wanting and forget how much we already have. That’s a great reminder to be grateful every day!

    And I had to upgrade computers last year, but I went from a Sony Vaio to an MacBook Air and also had to relearn How to Computer. Of course, now I’m in love and will be MacBook 4 Life ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rebecca says:

      MacBooks are great. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how light the Air is! I didn’t end up getting it because I needed some of the feature on the Pro–but what a lovely writing machine.

  4. Nina says:

    Those are some major work/writing years for you! It’s crazy how 2007 is like SO LONG AGO in computer years! Congrats on the new Mac though. I do hate learning a new one. I just got my MacBook Air two years ago and I still barely know what to do with it.

    • Rebecca says:

      When I took my 2007 MacBook into the Genius Bar, they did act like I’d dragged in one of those original candy-colored iMacs–or a mid-90s Performa. I hadn’t realized how outdated I’d gotten until then!

  5. Jaime Morrow says:

    Love that line, Rebecca! I should blow that up poster size and put it everywhere. I need the reminder. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I made the switch from a MacBook to a MacBook Pro a few years ago and it wasn’t too bad a transition. The Pro is great! I love that quote. ๐Ÿ™‚