Losing your wallet can be a disaster. Imagine you’re on a night out, having fun, probably a little bit tipsy, too, when you suddenly realize that you don’t have your wallet with you anymore. Depending on what you had inside of it, the night can quickly be ruined, followed by an even more terrible day when you’ll have to get a new credit card, ID, and maybe even a new driver’s license. However, to some people, these small misfortunes can turn into something really good. Take, for instance, this guy named James who lost his wallet years ago. That night, when he somehow parted ways with his wallet, which didn’t have anything inside that couldn’t be replaced, he had an epiphany that led him to fix his own life.
James, who is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Irvine, told Bored Panda that he was around 25 years old when it all happened. “I had just gone through a really rough breakup and was in what turned out to be, for me and for her, a very volatile rebound relationship—something I’d never done before and something I haven’t done since. Losing my wallet was a tipping point,” he said. At that moment he knew that things had to change. “I realized that I needed to get some space from my life in Irvine and regroup—or, perhaps more accurately, figure out what I wanted from and what I could give to my relationships, graduate school, life more generally, and so on. So, I applied for a 1- to 2-year position in Paris to teach ESL,” he said. While living in Paris wasn’t as great as he had expected, it helped him to look at his life from a different perspective. “I was teaching 10 courses of anywhere from 30-80 students with varying levels of English proficiency.
The was very little institutional support and the pay was terrible, especially for living in a city as expensive as Paris. That said, it was my first time living in a big city and I can give a really good poor man’s tour of Paris to anyone who needs it.”
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Now, 7 years after the mishap, James is currently in self-isolation bed-bound due to a broken leg, struggling with anxiety caused by the pandemic. “Like everyone else, I’ve been adjusting to the COVID-19 stay-at-home mandate. The very same week that mandate went into effect, however, I fractured both my tibia and fibula. So, on top of the boredom of quarantine and anxieties over the COVID-19 pandemic, I was largely immobile and in a whole lot of pain. I was feeling pretty down, to say the least,” he said.
However, his days were recently brightened by Kevin, a bar owner who’s currently doing some renovations in his bar and found a booth guilty for “stealing” some of his clients’ wallets and IDs. Instead of throwing them away, Kevin decided to make things right and return the years-old belongings to their owners, without knowing how much it meant to one of them. “The message from Kevin really helped.
He put a lot of effort into finding me, especially since he could’ve just thrown the wallet away. It also reminded me of that earlier moment in my life when losing the wallet prompted me to begin working on being a better version of myself, which really helped to put my current problems in perspective.”