I drove up to Maryland this week to interview for a new job. It was very nice to have a couple of days off and to have a change of scenery, and to meet so many interesting people. The campus was gorgeous as was the town, and everyone was nice. The drive was LONG. The husband and I actually had a chance to talk to each other because we were minus the little one who talks constantly. Or sings. Or just makes noise.
I know I've said this before, but I believe in fate. And oddly enough, as I found myself in Maryland tossing and turning in the Best Western where I wound up leaving my "magic" pillow - I wondered what I was doing there, and how the whole thing would turn out. Still don't know the answer to that, but something very neat happened on the way back.
We were driving down I-81 and couldn't help ourselves. We had to stop off on exit 140 to drive by Roanoke College, get gas at our favorite gas station there where we used to live, look for that barbeque in the tub that I used to buy so much. When we pulled into the gas station, which is in the parking lot of the grocery store, there sat a Starbucks! Since I actually emailed corporate back in 2002 and asked them to build a Starbucks in Salem, VA, I had to go in. Hal was funny. He completely entertained my excitement and went along willingly. We walk in and immediately are hugged by the former VPSA and now, special assistant to the president, of Roanoke College. It was so good to see him, this wiry man who put me to shame hiking in the mountains five years ago. We chatted a while, caught up with each other a bit, and then he said something that made my heart swell. He said, you know Heather, when you left it was so bittersweet - you had a great opportunity but man you had done such a good job here. Five years later he says this to me. What a compliment. I'm still reeling. It's really great, and the only compliment I have let myself hear in a long time. (I'm naturally bad at accepting compliments.) I did manage to buy myself a cup of coffee but completely forgot my one raw sugar and cream, so as we were driving out there was ANOTHER Starbucks! I walked in there half expecting to see someone else I knew but it was late and they were about to close. It was great to see the campus again and we drove by our old residence hall. At one point I thought I shouldn't have left, but if I'd done that I wouldn't have been there in South Carolina to help my aunt through her last days with bone cancer. Everything happens for a reason. Everything.
So now I'm referring to the Maryland jaunt as my ego trip. Cause now I feel good about myself in a way that I haven't in a while. Fate? We shall see.