Pay it forward

Let's talk about our feelings today, shall we? (I just heard the sound of a dozen men simultaneously clicking out of this post.)

Over the past several days, I've seen a tidal wave of grief take hold of my friends both on social media and in my daily interactions. So many horrible things happened in such a short amount of time, I was starting to get worried that there was some kind of cosmic tragedy at play. From the loss of rights, to the loss of beloved fur babies and family members, the past week has just been rough for a number of folks out there.

Yet in the midst of such profound sadness, I've also had several opportunities to see humanity at its very best, and it has spurred me on to share the wealth and spread the love.

Small, random acts of kindness are never lost on me and several days ago, a friend I haven't seen in years came to my aide for no reason other than she has a sweet spirit and wanted to help.

I'm beyond klutzy and have probably dropped my cell phone or watched it go flying off the back of our treadmill more times than I've securely held it in my hands. Considering how often I've watched my phone crash to the earth only to be picked up totally unscathed, you can imagine my surprise when I finally tempted fate too many times and wound up with a cracked screen.

Cell phone policies have changed a lot since I was in college, and gone are the days when you could run over your phone with your car as often as you'd please and still get a free replacement. Now you have to pay a hefty monthly fee that allows you to pay a hefty deductible if your smart phone meets an early demise. Even then, you have to be able to prove that the phone was faulty and not just the result of you being a moron.

So when I finally broke my phone, I panicked. We're not able to upgrade our cell phones until sometime in September and wouldn't ya know, the warranty on my Android expired exactly one week before I accidentally flung it across the living room in our house at SXSW. I called AT&T and played the "I've been your customer for 11 years, why can't you just let me get a new phone?" card with at least three different customer services reps, but to no avail.

I was stuck and took to the internet to express my anguish and offered up some cash to anyone willing to let me borrow a phone for the next several months.

Almost immediately, our family friend Jennifer sent me a message and said she had an iPhone 5 she wasn't using anymore and that her carrier was AT&T. She lives on the other side of the state but immediately put the phone in the mail for me (and even sent me pics of it beforehand to demonstrate it was in great working order), refusing to let me compensate her in any way (but I did anyway). Within three days of posting my poor-is-me status on Facebook, I had a new-to-me phone in near perfect condition.

I bought a sturdy case for it ASAP. No way I'm gonna damage a phone that's not technically mine!

Jennifer didn't have to help a sista out, but she did. She went out of her way to do something beyond nice, and it means the world to me. Her act of kindness will not go without reciprocation because I want to be this helpful to someone else. Whether it be a physical gesture such as rescuing another person with a case of butterfingers or giving an encouraging word to someone going through a hard time or simply having a positive attitude in a frustrating situation, I wanna pay these good vibes forward.

Because based on everything I've witnessed over the past week? The world could really use some love.

So now I'm committed to living every day like Will Ferrell lip syncing to Beyoncé: exuberant.


And P.S. The very first thing I asked Siri was, "Do you think I'm fat?"
Her response: "Americans seem pretty preoccupied with this."