When You Look For Something

March 05, 2009 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor


Tonight something interesting happened. I was unpacking from my latest travel (only to re-pack in just a few days but that's another story) and was putting away jewelry and could only find one of my favorite earrings. I was sure it was with the other one in my jewelry case. My whole trip flashed before me, the packing from my last location, did I do a final walkthrough? When was the last time I saw it? When I can't find something, the same thing happens; I get this tightness in my chest. Did I lose it? Drop it? Was it my mistake? Was it an accident?

I retrace my steps, I check and recheck my jewelry case, even when I know they're empty. I look under and behind where I'm sitting. I look in the suitcase. Then I start to try to trick myself, like if I'm not thinking about it, I'll find it. If I can force subconscious thinking than I'll put one over on myself and up will pop the missing item.


I'm so incredibly sure it was there. I confront my own memory to quiz myself. I think about it, and am increasingly more certain that it was there. I sit and wait for a moment of revelation, like "oh don't you remember silly self, you were wearing them in the car and took one off to talk on the phone and so it's in your ____ (jacket, pocket, car console)." I wait for a moment of clarity where I'll see something that was right in front of me the whole time but I had missed it.


As it so happens on this evening, I had plans to go to the movies with my sister. She picks me up, I'm mildly distracted. I put it behind me so we can talk and then we go see a movie and she drops me off. I march straight back to the scene of the crime and look carefully where I had looked before. I open each section of the case gently, and I don't rummage, I sift and move things ever so slightly.

POP. There it is. Tangled into a necklace, also gold, and pushed aside.

Relief sets in. I didn't lose it. I didn't make a stupid mistake. I just had an oversight.

Most nights, this would be whatever. We all misplace things every once in a while, and sometimes we find those items and sometimes we don't. However, that's not the point. The simplicity of it, I mean. Tonight, I had the overwhelming thought and mild chuckle to myself that this earring - this stupid earring - is so much like my life right now.

I thought I knew where everything was. I thought when I put something down I remembered where it was so I could go back to it, I trusted my intuitions. Suddenly, I'm not so sure all the time. Most of the constants I knew in my life to be true; job, apartment, boyfriend - they no longer exist. When I look for something to be there, I can't trust it always will be.

What I've realized, is that if I step away, remain calm, don't get all worked up by the little stuff - then more than likely what I'm looking for will come to me. If it doesn't? Than maybe that's ok. How novel is that! The notion that something I may be looking for, might not come to me. That instead something else will replace that.

Little moments every day either build our foundation and sense of reality or shake them and create doubt. The serendipity of our lives can either be accident or on purpose. We can see these instances as a sign, or just the way life goes and never look past the surface.

Tonight I found what I was looking for, but that's just a material item. It's just a thing. What I really found was that no matter how sure I am of something, like where I placed something of sentimental value to me, or things much greater like a conviction I had about a person, or a company, or an event - that sometimes when I go to look back for that person/place/thing, they will be there right where I left them. Other times, they might be missing entirely. However, more than likely, if I don't find something the first time I go looking for it, maybe I need to take a step back. Look again a little closer with a fresh perspective and the acceptance that it may or may not be gone forever.