I didn't anticipate giving it away. I knew the purpose, the story and the goal of paying it forward when I bought my necklace, but I had become so attached to my word and its powerful meaning – GRACE. I wore it constantly. It became something to literally cling to as a tangible reminder on tough days. Give grace. Receive grace. Be gracious. It was mine... or so I thought. Then I woke up this morning and headed to interview someone for my project, ATL 1X1. I met Abigail at the front desk, and we chatted while I waited. She was a sweet soul, and I felt an empathy and understanding with her almost immediately. We talked for almost an hour. I learned about her background and family. I learned how she starting working at the center. She asked about my key, and I told her the story of the giving keys. She asked what word was on mine, and I told her – GRACE. It was apparent that she had a giving heart overflowing with love and grace for everyone that she met. I went in to do my interview, and I knew... I needed to give my key to Abigail. It was so clear. So after I wrapped up taking pictures, I went back to the front desk. Before I could even say anything, she asked if she could give me a hug. Of course, I said. Then I packed my bag, took off my necklace and turned around to hand it to her. "I think I should give this to you." She went silent for a second and then said thank you. She held it out in her hands and looked at it. I hope it helps her to remember to give grace and receive grace even on the hardest of days. Now, it's time to get a new key so I can continue to pay it forward.
Thanks for starting this movement, Caitlyn.