Updated: Jul 10
The Smiths are on the road again! We are headed back to Virginia today after what felt like a whirlwind trip. We rolled into the Airbnb in Stow, Massachusetts at 530 PM after spending a really long time on the highway in the purgatory of Connecticut.
Our time in Massachusetts was filled with friends, family, our favorite stops, Andrea’s favorite “beehrz”, traffic, and, for me, a work meeting in Boston.
The work meeting came about following the completion of a recent acquisition. I drove into Boston well before a reasonable wake up time in an effort to beat the traffic - and, blessedly, it worked. After the meeting on Tuesday, I joined my work colleagues for dinner and spent the night downtown.
My time in Massachusetts was also filled with me repeatedly refreshing UPS tracking to figure out where my books were - I had received an email Friday evening notifying me that they had shipped.
I’m a big believer in signs & have been since I was a kid - I’d say, “It’s a sign.” And my mom would wonder where I got that shit from. I am not sure - but I believe the universe speaks to us all the time, we just have to pay attention. So when I saw a rainbow on Sunday, I chose to optimistically interpret this as a sign that my books would arrive.
By Wednesday, it was clear that the books were not going to arrive during my time in MA. Printing a UPS label and shipping are 2 different things.
This was disappointing because I was here to place the book into the hands of those who had been interviewed for the book, who had read chapters and provided some advance praise, who had supported the pre-sale campaign months ago.
Andrea and I arrived at the Tiki Bar early & I briefly wondered if people would show for the bookless book launch or would I have to attempt to bury my feelings under a mountain of Tiki Bar pizza?
As we walked into the tiki bar, something small on the ground of the parking lot caught Andrea’s eye and she stopped to pick it up. It was a small, toy dinosaur - a treasure I tucked into my pocket.
I didn’t have to bury my feelings under a pile of tiki bar pizza. People showed up. People I am grateful for - people who supported my career, who supported me through bad bosses – several of whom were women who did not support other women (no names 😉. Some who had supported me as I pursued my undergraduate degree (nod to Joan Hyde), graduate degree (Bob Moran) & HR certification through both SHRM & HRCI. And of course, Andrea, who has never once scoffed at a dream of mine - no matter how big or far flung, but believed in me and reminded me I could do it - whatever it was - even when I felt I was in the deep end, paddling frantically, the water (book, job assignment, other) creeping ever higher.
This morning, I looked up the symbol of the dinosaur & here’s what I learned:
Dinosaurs are often associated with strength and resilience, thanks to their ability to survive for millions of years before going extinct. For this reason, the dinosaur emoji can be used to symbolize strength, power, and perseverance in difficult situations.
Sometimes, we misinterpret signs. I saw a rainbow and naively believed it would mean my books would arrive on time. But maybe it really meant, “Hey you big, dummy. It will be okay. Not in the way you thought or had hoped. But in a way that’s better than you thought or hoped. You have people who care about you, who cheer your success. And? You're a resilient fucker - here's a tiny dinosaur to remind you.”
As we drive back to home in Virginia, I think of all the friends I've been fortunate to have in a reason, season, or lifetime. I remember Jeanette today - she left us far too young 12-years ago today. And I'm unsure how to tie this all up, other than with immense gratitude and a Taylor Swift lyric.
Long live the walls we crashed through
I had the time of my life with you
Long, long live the walls we crashed through
How the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
And I was screaming, "Long live all the magic we made"
And bring on all the pretenders, I'm not afraid
Singing long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
And long, long live the look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered
Taylor Swift, Long Live