Realizing that something is missing is not the funnest game in the world, but it does bring a lot of stuff to the surface for me.
On the last day on tour from a month long jaunt I have found myself with some spare time in my luxury hotel room at the Wynn casino. After getting a little sleep from our late night flight, I choose to go through all of my luggage to prep for the departure from tour the next day. For four weeks we rode on our tour busses and for the last two dates we flew. I had re-arranged my bags for the flights, making a point to secure items and find proper homes for items that I did want to lose, including cash that had built up from reimubursements and cash per diems for each week.
I am not a fan of carrying cash around. I do not favor large bills, I usually choose to use my debit card and carry just enough cash for those times when it is neccessary. On the road, I buy things for the tour with my credit card and then turn in a stack of reciepts to be reimbursed. I had waited until close to the end of tour to turn the reciepts in, to avoid having the cash in my possession. Traveling from city to city at night on a tour bus and waking up to start each day in a new town in a new venue doesn't leave much room for me to find my bank and deposit the cash. So, it was all coming home with me. The money added up to give me the security deposit and more for a new apartment in NYC. I was beyond excited to get back and secure a home of my own.
I purposely placed the money in a separate pocket in my backpack in an envelope. Not wanting to put it all in my wallet or even my purse, figuring that if someone is on the search for money that is where they will go first. Or if I somehow happen to lose my wallet on my own, I don't want to lose all my identification, credit cards, and a wad of cash all at once.
We flew from Quebec City to Toronto to LAX. Took a hired bus to Santa Barbara. Checked into lovely rooms off the beach. Checked out and brought all my gear to the Santa Barbara Bowl where it sat in the dressing room and took a private night flight to Las Vegas, where I discovered my envelope was still where I had placed it but it was empty!!!!! I wanted to throw up. I don't have financial security and I am about to sign a lease for a decent rent payment. This was a good chunk of money. Where did it go? What did I do wrong? Why didn't I check it earlier? When did this happen?
I checked all of my other bags in all pockets and folders. I looked everywhere and anywhere, but I knew that I had not moved the money myself and if I had then I would have moved the envelope too, not have left it empty and alone in the odd pocket that I never use in my backpack. The bag was with me on the flights, it was in my hotel room that a maid never entered and it was in the dressing room. The backstage area was the busiest it has been that day, but I was almost always around. Did someone really take it? How would they have found it? There was so much other stuff around too that they could have taken. Was the money really stolen, could it really have been stolen? YIYIYI.
I was sobbing with disgust. I was disgusted with myself. How could I have let this happen? How irresponsible of me! I hadn't had a good cry in a while and I love a good cry, I love the release, whether it stems from bliss, fear, sadness, etc. I thought, "Well, at least I am getting in a good sob, but I really don't like that it is over money."
I didn't have much time to sit in my tears, as I had to get my butt ready to get to work, to be the joyologist in action. Yes, it absolutely, 100% sucks that the money is gone. No matter how it happened, what happened, when it happened, the story is that it happened. I can re-think my steps, I can tell myself what I did wrong in making sure that this didn't happen, but it did. Next time I have a wad of money, yes, I will make sure to go out of my way to get it to the bank asap, but what is done is done. I did act with intention in putting it in what I thought was a safe spot. I don't want to believe that someone took it, but I also don't know how else it could be missing. It just is.
I tell myself that it was my rent payment to the universe for the past month, as I did not pay rent anywhere, except my storage unit. I also get present to the reality that I was not planned to come on this tour, to make any of this income at all, so regardless of losing this money, I am coming back to NYC ahead and with some financial security for me to secure an apartment in my name. The feeling of disgust is not completely gone away, tears are still on tap, but I am present to what I do have.
I go down to the lobby to meet my tourmates and I don't want to tell anyone about the loss of money because A) I don't want to look like an idiot in losing so much money, B) don't want their sympathy, I am provided for and I know it, C) it happened, it is not happening now, what will telling them do? But, there is a part of me that hopes one of them took it as a joke? I have no idea how that would be possible, as no one knew I had that much money on me and it wasn't as if I had a known hiding spot that I regularly put money, but hey you never know???
I chose to tell our tour manager and a regular guest of our tour party who had joined us in Santa Barbara and flew to Vegas with us. It turns out that the guest had money missing too. Money that she had specifically taken out of her wallet and into a separate spot too. We figured it must have happened in the dressing room the night before. The word spread through the tour party and through my friends not on tour (I had text vented to a bestie when I first realized the money was gone). I didn't really want the attention because I was still turning it into something I did wrong and it just plain sucks to be reminded that it was gone.
I was so overwhelmed with the love that was coming at me though, from friends of all levels. So many people stepped up to offer me support emotionally and offered to loan me money if I need it. They knew that money was a big deal for me that I had plans for it (who wouldn't? it was a good amount!) My eyes filled with tears each time someone reached out to me and this time, not tears of sadness, loss, frustration, but tears of overwhelming gratitude and love. I kept telling myself that the universe always provides, that everything will work out, but I forgot about what I do have. Not the material things, not the other money that I have in the bank, but the people. Not just the ones that are offering me financial support if it comes to that, but really everyone.
I am present to all the love in my life, no matter how it is expressed. You may not even be aware of the love that I receive from you because love doesn't have to look like approval. Love doesn't have to be constant contact. Love isn't defined by connection. Love doesn't have rules. Love is all around. Love is in doors opening and doors being slammed shut. Love is in static space and reactive space. Love doesn't stop or turn away, it is our attention to it that diminishes.
I am filled with gratitude and love. You each make a difference. You each are love expressing.