The past week has been weird. And by weird I mean trying and enlightening.
The touchscreen on my iPhone 6 went out on a Thursday. Now this truly is not a big deal. In the moment I was frustrated. I rely far too heavily on that device, but it was time for its four year-old life to end. I went to the Apple Store and weighed my options. The husband recommended I get a used phone through a third-party provider, however, I’d have to wait a few days for the phone. In the moment I desperately wanted my phone back so I asked my husband to pay extra (like a lot extra) to have the phone express shipped. I would receive my phone in 2-3 business days, rather than the typical 5-7 business days. (Continue reading and you’ll see why this specific detail is comical.)
I survived over four whole days without a cell phone, and guess what? I was fine! On Monday evening I received my new-to-me iPhone 8 and all was right in the world!
The unexpected cell phone expense was a downer, but triathlon training was making me feel great! I crushed a 2000 meter swim in the pool. I created a 5.5 mile sweaty, drippy trail during a training run in what felt like a billion degree heat. Things were great! Until they weren’t.
Now it’s Wednesday and I’ve had my new-to-me iPhone 8 for almost two days. After a long day of teaching I had dinner with a friend. The humidity was breaking and it seemed like a lovely idea to have our dinner outside. After a great meal and even better conversation, my friend and I paid our bills. We were wrapping things up when all of a sudden a person on a Nice Ride rental bike rode by and swiped my clutch/wallet/false purse (describing it to the police made me realize its classification was too confusing) from the table. After a brief moment of shock, my instinct was to run after the person. Sadly my legs could only manage a few blocks and I lost him.
In the moment I knew what was happening, but it felt as though I was watching it from outside myself. That clutch/wallet/false purse was just stolen by someone on a Nice Ride rental bike, but that’s okay. It’s not your clutch/wallet/false purse. Unfortunately, that’s not at all what happened. It was definitely my clutch/wallet/false purse and it contained just about everything important. The person on the Nice Ride got away with my drivers license, debit/credit cards, car keys, passport (yes, I’m very much aware that one should not regularly carry their passport), and the iPhone 8 that was in my possession for 48 hours.
That experience sucked. I needed to let myself be upset. The police heard me drop more F-bombs than I’ve probably ever said in my entire life (totally false). Eventually all I could do was cancel everything, utilize my spare car key, and move on. I didn’t sleep a wink that night and literally made myself sick. Feeling out of control and vulnerable is the worst feeling ever, especially for a control freak like me.
The next morning I rolled out of bed and had to take control again. One by one I checked off the list of all the things I needed to replace or renew. I gathered every single important document in my possession to renew my license after waiting for an hour at the DMV. I shared my story with horrified bank tellers who replaced my debit card. I went to not one, but two AT&T stores to replace my new-to-me iPhone 8. It’s kind of sick, but by the end of the day I felt like a boss! I checked off that to-do list and felt incredibly accomplished. The person on the Nice Ride may have ruined my Wednesday night, but I was going to make my Thursday glorious!
Although I was busy cleaning up the mess the thief had thrown upon me, all day Thursday I kept being overwhelmed by gratitude. It was odd. I mean I should have been raging mad for weeks! But I wasn’t. As I waited to replace my drivers license at the DMV I was grateful I had a flexible job where I had a huge chunk of open time in my day. I didn’t have to take a day off, file PTO, or sub out classes to sit and wait for my number to be called. As I drove to the bank to replace my debit card I was grateful I had proper transportation to get from point A to B. When I was setting up an installment plan to pay for a new phone at AT&T I was grateful I had a job and the resources to pay for a new device.
Weird stuff happens sometimes. It’s the weird stuff, however, that keeps things in perspective. That jerk on the Nice Ride did what he did and I can’t undo his actions. I have the ability to dust myself off, move on, and take a look around at the brighter side. On that brighter side I had a husband who held me up when I was falling down on Wednesday night. I had an incredible friend who watched the madness unfold and afterward generously and kindly did anything and everything he could in that moment. I had two amazing women who, although they didn’t know, tried desperately to follow the person on the Nice Ride in their car to help me out.
People on Nice Ride rental bikes might swipe your belongings from your table, but I promise you there’s goodness out there too.
On a final note, I’m happy to share that my belongings, minus the cell phone, were found on Friday night. Of course this was after I had canceled everything in the clutch/wallet/false purse, but I’ve got my car keys back and the piece of mind that my belongings aren’t just floating out there somewhere.
Before I wrap up this blog post that went on for too long, I want to be clear that having your sensitive information stolen is terrible and looking at the brightside isn’t going to fix or change anything. Looking at the brightside in many instances isn’t even a freaking option! But when it is an option, take the option! If you’re like me and something as small as a hangnail ruins your month it can feel impossible to think positively. But the longer we allow ourselves to fall further and further into the hole of despair the harder it is to get ourselves out. When stuff gets weird, let it get weird. When you want to freak out, let yourself freak out! Just remember that perspective is also important. A brief look around might be exactly what you need even in the weirdest of times.