Campus Life sixpence

lost and found

“always looking back and i don’t know why/something always there in the back of my mind” - 5sos, “carousel”

10349 vi trinh email
an example snarky email from a friend who lost her headphones
Vi Trinh–The Tech

if you check your email at all, there’s a non-zero chance that you’ve seen an email that goes something like:

“i’ve lost my favorite [item] and i will give you [eternal gratitude or boba or cash]. please let me know if you’ve seen it! last seen at [insert list of locations here].”

they’re funny, because you wonder how someone could lose something that valuable to them, but it’s even better when they come from someone you know. 

one, because you get to call them a loser and get banger responses like this:

and two, because you get to know them a little better. what is so valuable to them that they’d beg thousands of strangers to help them look for this item?

i’ve lost many valuable things over the semester: part of the phone charm that i custom ordered from latespringstudio (a queer jewelry business on instagram), a my melody keychain that matches with the pompompurin keychain i gave a high school friend, a braided usb-to-lightning cable, various clothing items (such as the dress i wore to the december 2022 beabadoobee concert, which was my first concert ever), and star hair clips (which i put in my hair after i wish on them.)

this list is non-exhaustive but still omits many of the things i’ve lost. sadly, those are not things that i can dormspam out — if some random person could find my self-respect, motivation, self-esteem, or my desire to get over the one ‘25 i’ve somehow had a crush on three separate times this school year, i would be thrilled. (apparently, “it’s better for [me] to be with someone [my] age.”)

but losing things is not as devastating as i thought it would be (or maybe i say this to convince myself to not add to the dozens of lost item dormspams.) for some reason, i am never upset that i lost something - i acknowledge it, am slightly disappointed that i didn’t notice before i lost it, and then press it deep into the recesses of my mind.

at this point, you may be asking, “but vi, don’t you miss what you had? don’t you ever wish you could go back in time to the moment right before you lost whatever you lost and prevent it from going missing? don’t you yearn for it?”

i do, sometimes — i look at old texts and photos, the trinkets sitting on my shelf (a collage of years of collecting and receiving), the songs lingering in my past three spotify wrapped playlists, the clothes that my exes got me (or that i borrowed from them and never gave back), and remember what it all used to be.

this lingering doesn’t consume me — if anything, i’ve learned to anticipate loss so that i’m less devastated when i lose something. i’ll let go preemptively so that i can convince myself that i’m in control of those feelings. but over the past few months, i’ve found bits and pieces that i never want to let go of. i hadn’t  realized that i’d lost them (or perhaps they were never truly mine in the first place). they include:

most of these found items have something in common — they’re people who make me feel whole.

finding things, it seems, is never intentional. it’s such a strange thing to search for something only to realize that it was by your side the entire time. i am immensely grateful that i was able to find these things — for the longest time, i’ve craved to be known, to be seen, and to be loved, so i kept looking for these things in a blind frenzy. 

of course, this produced no results, the reasoning for which is summed up with this quote by ocean vuong:

“too much joy, i swear, is lost in our desperation to keep it.”

i sent this quote to a friend of mine (attached to a dphie wooden rose), and he echoes it to me whenever i’m spiraling about not being complete. there are more aspects of myself and my life that i am still waiting to uncover, but this time around, i’ll let them find me instead.