My alma mater’s credo was “in omnia paratus,” which translates to “In All Things, Prepared.” While my college geared me up for at least 25 years of debt by way of Sallie Mae and had me sweating out of every orifice imaginable for nearly four years because hardly any of the dorms had air conditioning (a crying shame considering the amount we paid), they did give me this sweet lil Greek term. This term kept popping up in my head this week given the situation I found myself in. Let’s make like Kendrick Lamar and diiiiiive into what happened.
This week in particular was one of the worst weeks I’ve had in recent memory. Outside of the coronavirus mishegas, I was fortunate enough in these harrowing times to have scored myself a part-time freelance gig at a pretty reputable website news and urban media. While attempting to fix a problem I was having on the new site’s backend, I decided to do something I never do–– clear my cache and browser history for the past day in order to alleviate whatever tf was happening. This was a terrible idea, dearies, and I’m not too proud to admit that I had forgotten that “in omnia paratus” lifestyle entirely.
Clearing my browser history resulted in being I locked out of all three of my emails: personal (which is incredibly important to me as a freelancer and adult human being who has to pay bills), my new job email, and an email for a former creative project that’s now basically a burner email for when I want to get more free subscriptions to things I’ve already subscribed to (won’t tell you what I’ve subscribed to, because as you know, snitches get stitches). Even though my passwords are saved on my computer, nothing was working to log me back in. I was able to retrieve the job and burner email, but the personal email has been entirely irretrievable.
Three days. I’ve tried to get that shit back for THREE DAYS. To no avail. Two-step authentication didn’t work, because the recovery email has been set to my college email all this time. I graduated from college five years ago. I haven’t been able to log into that email in five years. The “in omnia paratus” mindset would have made me TRIPLE CHECK months ago to make things easier if situations like this arose, but alas, here we are. I even enlisted the help of a hacker who couldn’t help, and had to make an entirely new email.
While I felt like the biggest moron on the planet, my network is helpful, and one thing I will never screw up with is my job. As a journalist, I have kept every email for artist’s publicists, editors for sites and more stored in a very special place, so I was easily able to reach out to all of them and alert them of the issue. In this instance, I was the captain of the “in omnia paratus” brigade. While I didn’t have any pieces in process, parting ways with my Google Doc access through my old email was fine. Changing my logins for my bills over was also super easy to do, as all of those passwords were saved as well.
While I lost my sanity and had to really work to get a few things back in order, the most important things to me– my job and my bills– were taken care of if nothing else was. As we grow up (because each day, I’m reminded that adults are literally just grown teenagers who don’t know what is happening and are just figuring it out as they go along), we’re going to make mistakes. But if we try to be prepared to get through the inevitable ones, the mistakes aren’t as hard to deal with.
Spent money on something ridiculous and now you can’t afford to pay a bill? Make sure that you set money aside for those crazy purchases to use when the more important things are already taken care of (there’s a difference between wanting something and needing something. You WANT those Jordans, you NEED to pay your loans).
Accidentally spilled Merlot on and got chicken nugget crumbs in your iPhone while binging Tiger King during your classy night in, and now your phone is acting up and you can’t use the lock button for shit? Make sure you can access assistive touch, so your phone can turn off.
If you equip yourself with information to make sure you can still perform optimally, and make sure you do everything in your power to make sure what you need to do is done, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
Or as old heads love to say… Stay Ready So You Ain’t Got To Get Ready.