How Steve Jobs Saved My Life

I pride myself on being a Mac pioneer.  Back in 2000 Manila, Philippines, when the Apple was not yet the computer to buy, when it was known as the maarte (snooty) choice, the one that’s all for show and nothing more, the one that “You’ll regret buying since you won’t be able to connect with other users, said the husband.” I didn’t care.  I just wanted one.  It was one of those gut purchases, you know?  You just know.  It did help that my cool visual artist friend, Xanthé, had one.  She was the only one I knew who had a Mac back then.  Everyone else had a PC or at least a clone.

I’ve used an IBM computer, some for my very short nine-to-five work life and then later bought a boring Vaio laptop as suggested by my then boring ex-boyfriend which was such a boring piece of equipment (the laptop, not the ex-bf but then again…). I ended up using it like a notebook to store entries in, not much else.

Fast-forward to my birthday in 2000.  I asked my generous and loving albeit doubtful pro-PC husband Jack to get me one and off to Megamall we went.  I remember pushing Sol in his baby stroller into the brightly lit exclusive Apple distributor, there were no Apple Stores then, yet it looked very different from all the other computer stores in the whole 5th Level of the mall.  That early in Apple’s evolution, they already knew style, class and presentation.  I looked around for a bit and then I saw it.  A tiny white laptop caught my eye.  It was love at first sight.  Hello, iBook!

This is a photo of the later model.  I had the earlier, simpler one, the G3.

My iBook looked immaculate and was just a beauty to behold.  We were in and out in all of fifteen minutes.  I was so excited that I even gave the car keys to the bored baby in the stroller which was a stupid idea because we ended up going home in a cab that day because the bored baby dropped and lost the keys. 

The curious thing was this:  I hardly used the iBook for the first few months.  I was just blown away at the prettiness of it and all that it could do – What?  Edit photos?  Wow!  Make movies?!  No way!  And create my own songs and then, THEN burn my own CDs?!? System overload!  System overload! I was buzzing with excitement I kept the shiny white toy in its brand new computer bag.  For months.  This you will find is my reaction to anything overwhelming.  Shelve, store, see you later. 

I put up with the behemoth IBM desktop, the husband’s, for a bit longer…until we moved to Canada.  We left the behemoth.  I hand-carried the iBook.  Hello, Toronto!  Happy to see you or so I thought I would be.  The life of a recluse in this freezer of a country soon got on my nerves and mind and spirit.  I was struggling to adapt!  Somehow I knew I needed to connect with other people.  That or die.  And when I use the word “die” and you are an immigrant mom like me with none of your own family members (and alalays!) around, you know exactly what I mean.  Most days it was simply too cold to go out.  When I say Toronto is cold, man, it’s COLD.

Solution: The Internet.

But, see, this meant I had to overcome my apprehensions and get friendly with my pristine iBook. Thankfully, this was the easiest thing to do!  All my initial fears were baseless (aren’t they all?) and I discovered a whole world out there that was so vast and hey, through mom and womens’ groups online realized that people out there were having the same experience as me?  Wow.  I’m not alone?!  Halleluiah!

Two of my favorite toys: My iMac and my Moleskine.

Then came the fun discovery that I could share share my photos online.  Hello, easy-peasy iPhoto and with that, an amazing community of friends on flickr.  Then came my home movies phase starring the kids.  I would sit and create and enjoy whatever free time I could squeeze out not spent on just cleaning, breastfeeding or washing yet another kid.  I enjoyed that I was able to easily share this with family and friends back home and all over the world via my iWeb.  I was able to listen to my music and audiobooks more with iTunes and was able use ease the 3L’s/linislutolaba pains by using my iPod.  In a nutshell, life became more bearable and even enjoyable because of these gadgets.  But no, sir.  These were not just gadgets.  These were actually lifesavers.  

It’s been eleven years since my first Apple computer and over a dozen Mac crossovers later including one very stubborn husband who kept insisting IBM/PC was the way forward because Mac was just not business savvy enough! But I’ll give you one guess as to who couldn’t let go of my MacBook when his… erhrmp…P.C. broke down and waaay after it got fixed?  :p

As I type on the keys of my present-day MacBook Pro right here at our kitchen table with my iPhone sitting like a loyal pet beside it, I hear the boys on the desktop iMac upstairs watching a video while my girl listens to music on the iPod.  My first Maclove, the iBook, is safely tucked away in one of the drawers of my bedside table along with baby booties and a decade’s worth of memorabilia, I think about how far we’ve gone, my Apple and I.  How many photos and movies have been created, music and life stories shared, how much life has been infused into me and how much more will be via Steve’s once-upon-a-time crazy ideas which included “a computer in every home”.  This is why I say the man who was a genius and a visionary is also my saviour.   Steve Jobs saved my sanity, my life really, by touching it in the simplest yet most profound ways.

Crazy Man, I thank you.  I don’t know you but when I look at your photos and listen more intently to your words now, I realize something:  I do know you.  I know you and your brilliant mind through your creations.  And it makes me so very happy to be a witness to a life so well-lived, very sad because you will be missed and most of all so very grateful for you have touched my life in ways that will continue to keep on giving,

and the beautiful cycle will go on and on because of you lived, truly lived, and gave us your crazy-beautiful-brave ideas.

Rest in peace, Crazy Man.  I miss you already.


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