I woke up late this morning. I rushed around getting ready, tossed my cats some treats, and restarted my cruddy dryer so that I wouldn't have to wear wet socks to work. You would think that after nearly 3 years of working in morning radio, I would be used to getting up before 4 am, but I am not. It's hard every single day, and I'm never quite prepared.

I finally made it out of the house and to my car, quickly threw my purse over on the passenger's seat, and started it up. It was dark, and I didn't notice until I was halfway to work that my glove box was hanging wide open and my car was a little more messy than usual.

My heart sank.

I realized that you had been rummaging around in my car while I was asleep in my bed.

I want you to know, that today I am experiencing a feeling I've never felt before. I've lived in all kinds of different Lubbock neighborhoods, and I've been fortunate enough to never have been robbed. I can't say the same for my friends, family, and colleagues. It seems like a pretty regular occurrence over the past couple of years and I guess it was just my turn.

I remembered as I pulled into work, that I had left my car unlocked yesterday so that I could unload some boxes from my trunk. I meant to hit the button on my keys to lock it back up when I was finished. It must have slipped my mind. I've been really busy lately, trying to move out of a house that is too expensive and into something much smaller. The last few months have been pretty rough on me and it's gotten me down, but you don't know any of that.

You don't know me.

If you knew me, you'd know that I am the type of person that would give you the shirt off of my back. You'd know that I am a kind person. You'd know that I work hard every single day to keep my tiny little boat from sinking. You'd know that I don't care about flashy stuff and that I don't carry wads of cash. You'd know that I spend more time counting out loose change to buy cat treats than I do shopping for the expensive sunglasses or electronics that you were looking for. You'd know that I don't even own the nice house I live in. You'd know that I can barely pay the rent and keep the lights on. You'd know that I have been struggling.

But, you don't know me.

I parked in the parking lot behind the radio station, flipped on the interior lights, and assessed the situation. I couldn't for the life of me remember what was in my car the day before. I couldn't tell what was gone. I could really only tell that you had moved my things around and that you were looking for something.

I'm sorry I didn't have more for you to take. You clearly need it.

I've spent the entire morning wondering if anything of value is missing from my car. I doubt you found much. Maybe a couple of quarters in my cupholder, if even. I usually go through those pretty quickly for gas and food between paychecks. I guess you didn't realize that people in the neighborhood you were in last night are exactly like you. We still count change at the register and feel embarrassed while others wait behind us in line.

I'm on the number one morning show in Lubbock, and even though that sounds flashy, nobody around here is diving through money like Scrooge McDuck. The money, as far as we are concerned, is in hearing a listener say that we made their drive to work a little bit brighter. We get our kicks from making people laugh and starting their day off with a smile. That's the real money.

I want you to know that while I did feel icky and violated this morning, I mainly just felt sorry for you.

I feel sorry for whatever has happened in your life that has led you to become the person that you are right now. I know times are tough for us all, but if you are bold enough to steal from someone in Lubbock, Texas, you must be either really desperate or really stupid. People around here have guns and a lot of them are just waiting for a reason to use them. Losing your life over a couple of quarters, a stereo system, or maybe even a purse with a few hundred bucks in it, just doesn't sound worth it to me.

I hope that you find the strength to change your life before it's too late, and I bet you'd like to. You can. Maybe you feel stuck in a cycle of crime, but you can break it. It won't be easy, but I believe in you. I think you are much more than petty theft and I think that your family and friends would probably say the same.

If you are looking for help with drug addiction, homelessness, job skills, anger management, grief counseling, or a number of other things, here's a good place to start.

And if you are wondering, I forgive you. You didn't ruin my day. You only made me wish I could do more to help people like you in the hub city.

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