Is the Universe Speaking to Me? And If So, Does It Sound Like Kelly Clarkson?

What a strange morning! Just as I was about to leave for my annual gynecological check-up, which falls somewhere between dental cleaning and death on the "Things-I'm-Not-Looking-Forward-To" spectrum, I received a call about the job interview I had last week.

The recruiter said, from the feedback she'd gathered, things had gone very well. (This would be the first "shocker" I'd receive today.) She asked what my impressions were and if I'm still interested. I was honest and said I am but it sounded like they had a veritable militia of candidates coming through this week. She said, yes, the editors want to do their due diligence and screen all applicants before making any decisions. That's fair, I said. She closed by telling me she'd be in touch as soon as she had more information. So, barring a pack of Woodward and Bernsteins interviewing this week, and the editors finding this blog, I could be advancing to Round 2.

Driving to the doctor's office, I couldn't help but feel heartened. Sure, no one had offered me anything, but still, it was encouraging. Before I allowed myself to get too excited, I started thinking about the commute. Could I really be on a train platform at 6:41 a.m.? I like to imagine only birds and old people are up before 7. And I wouldn't see my children before they left for school. Would my husband be able to remember where I hide the secret stash of Girl Scout Cookies reserved for lunch box emergencies? Could he negotiate carpools and administer my patented look-me-in-the-eye polygraphs when the boys attempt to lie about homework? But...this would be an amazing opportunity for me - to write more than grocery lists and thank you notes - at a major corporation with room for growth.

I've never liked the thought of not being there when my children arrive home from school-even if the only information I can get about their days is delivered in grunts through a spray of cookie crumbs. But... I also don't like the idea of celebrating this Christmas in a double-wide.

I know it would be a huge adjustment to throw on non-elastic waist pants, sit upright at a desk and pay attention for longer than your standard Judge Judy segment, but it would put an end to the constant "what next?" worry that keeps me up long after teens and Internet predators have gone to bed.

Just as I was having this internal debate, Kelly Clarkson urged me to consider what deep down I already know: "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger." Huh, I thought, is the universe speaking to me through the radio? If so, the erstwhile "American Idol" winner surely seems an unlikely messenger, yet I took heed and braced for my appointment.

Explaining that she couldn't locate my right ovary (try looking behind the strawberry shortcake, doc) my gyno gave me "the shocker." If you don't know what that is, Google it or consult your urban dictionary. I'd tell you, but it would only embarrass us both. Anyway, I took this startling action as a metaphor, as in: If you don't figure out where you are and where you're going, you will continue to take it up the backside.

Upon leaving the building, I checked my email. In the span of an hour I'd received two rejection emails for jobs I'd recently applied for. This isn't horrible considering the number of resumes I jettison into cyberspace, but these came within seconds of each other. Coincidence? Again, I can't help but think the universe is reminding me that decent jobs are harder to find than flattering bathing suits. Embrace opportunity if it comes your way, the world is whispering.

On the way home, I again heard Clarkson's spin on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's credo. What are the odds? Previously when I'd listen to that song, I'd immediately envision a herd of obese women running up a steep hill and thought about sharing this bit of marketing brilliance with Jenny Craig. But now I realize Kelly is singing just for me. If I make it to Round 2, I'm all in.


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