I don't consider myself superstitious, but growing up I had a perhaps-nonsensical obsession with "signs."
Back when I was 9 or 10 and living in Brazil, my grandfather, who had lived with us my entire life, was rushed to the hospital. I had no idea why or how long he'd be there -- my parents' attitude was "what they don't know won't hurt them" -- but I missed him and I wanted him to come back home.
So I started playing silly little mind games with myself:
If I get an A on this test, it's a sign that he will come home this week.
If I beat my next opponent in the tennis match, it means he'll be OK by this afternoon.
When the signs didn't match up to reality, I'd just come up with new signs.
If it rains today, it means he's coming home tomorrow.
• • •
In my teens and 20s, the obsession with signs continued:
I drove past two cars that look just like his, so it's a sign we'll end up together!
I ate an orange instead of an apple, so that's a sign I'll get that job in Florida!
Of course I knew then that these "signs" and correlations were ridiculous, maybe borderline lunatic. But they kept me going.
As I got older, the obsession with signs faded. But today it came crashing back.
• • •
I woke up and my favorite bracelet was missing. This was the one my grandmother gave me about a month and a half before she died. It was one I wore every day, as a reminder of unconditional love. It was my little security blanket, and now I just can't find it.
My grandmother was the one who encouraged me to pursue writing and study journalism. She was the one who always sent care packages, even when I was more than old enough to take care of myself. She was the one who always tried to call at 12:01 am New Year's Day, so she could be the first to wish me a happy new year.
My grandmother gave me the bracelet on my 33rd birthday, about eight months after I started working at the Tampa Bay Times. It's now about seven months since I got laid off from the Times and ventured into the full-time entrepreneur world.
The timing is interesting: Got it eight months after life at the Times started, lost it seven months after life at the Times ended ... almost the same amount of time. Surely can't be just a coincidence. This must be a sign. Sign that it's time to go back into the "real" world, look for a job with benefits? Or a sign to continue on the more exciting but unpredictable entrepreneurship path?
I'm going to go with the latter one and hope for the best.
• • •
Flashback to when I was 8 or 9, living in Brazil. I can't remember if I got an A on that test or if I won that tennis match or if it rained that day. But my grandfather never made it back home.
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