I've been missing in action a lot these days, at least when it comes to blogging. I wish I could say why but I think it boils down to me just being busy and encountering a bit of rough seas. Despite the stormy waters, I'm rather optimistic. The funniest thing happened on Saturday...

Friday night I celebrated a friend's birthday downtown. After a late night, complete with a delicious late night wrap at Never on Sunday, I slept in Saturday morning. My only plans for Saturday were around dinner time so I had the whole day free. Instead of sitting at home, I decided to go use the Groupon I had gotten for the Body Shop. I trundled down to the harbor, debating what to buy once I got to my destination. Body butter? Foot cream? Something new and different?

I was disappointed to discover that the Body Shop no longer has a store at the harbor. I didn't want the trip to be a complete waste, so I wandered around Barnes & Noble for a while. Y'all there's something seriously intoxicating about the smell of a bookstore/coffee shop combo. Bookstores have always been my happy place. There's something magical about being surrounded by so many pristine books filled with adventures to discover. Do I want to solve a mystery? Fall in love? Learn about a period of history? Do I want to learn some new recipes or possibly a new language? Do I want to laugh, cry, or laugh and cry? Simply holding a few books is enough for more; it's like holding a tiny universe in your hands and it feels almost sacred.

After about an hour in B&N I puttered over to the mall across the street from the Harbor. Somedays I swear the people at Victoria's Secret think I'm stealing. That's partially my own fault for wandering around and being so darn indecisive. It turns out that when you continually pick up and put down small products like underwear or makeup (ahem Ulta store clerks), people tend to grow suspicious of you. I promise I'm no thief. If I was stealing you would know because it would be written across my face. I really don't have much of a poker face. After sufficiently confusing the poor women working at the Victoria's Secret I realized I was hungry and that it was probably time to eat lunch.

When the bus didn't show after about 10 minutes, I started walking. I normally follow the bus's route, just in case I can catch one further on. While I was walking, I was pondering the pickle that I was in. Several areas of my life were starting to crumble, and one of the major areas was out of my control. I hadn't caused the collapse and I wasn't sure how to deal with it. All the available options were grim. About a block from the next bus stop I noticed something on the arm of my sweater.

It was a little red ladybug.

Aside from being the eaters of aphids, ladybugs symbolize several things. The most common is that they're a symbol of luck. In Ireland they're considered a symbol of protection. To ancient farmers they were considered a good omen.

Suddenly, everything looked a little brighter. The ladybug stayed with me for about a block, even allowing me to move my arm around to get the perfect picture of the little guy.

No I can't stop certain "buildings" from crumbling in my life. But no matter what, I have a protector. No matter what, it's going to be okay. I may not be able to see a way out but that doesn't mean one isn't there. Somehow, seeing my little spotted friend reminded me of that. As I move into an uncertain future I will carry that ladybug with me. Not physically because it would probably die and that would be weird. But mentally and emotionally that little guy will stay with me for years to come. I think Albus Dumbledore said it best, so I'll let him wrap up this post for me:

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