Saturday, May 14, 2016

Luckiest Girl Alive

I recently listen to an audio book called "Luckiest Girl Alive." The beginning made me nauseous, with the narrator's stuck up view of the world. She had a giant rock on her finger, worked at The Women's Magazine and fluctuated between a size 0 and 1 (oh the poor thing had gained a pound and a half! ). I guess I get why the author titled the book so, but I would not consider this character, or even just the front she puts on, as lucky. She worked hard for those things, clearly, and anyone calling her lucky must be jealous, which I guess is the point. Anyways, as the story unfolds, you see that the past she is coming from is terribly unlucky. When everything is revealed, you may conclude that she is truly the unluckiest girl alive, if you assume luck had anything to do with it. The only way for her to be less lucky, perhaps, is to be dead, and that could really go either way.

Anyways, I've always considered myself lucky and fortunate and smart. I say these three together because some people associate the latter two with being lucky, and I think that's a grave disservice to all the people who have contributed to my life, and a downplay of my work ethic and insight. I'm fortunate that my parents supported me through college, that my Dad steered me into a major I loved and excelled at, that they had the money to send me to study in Japan. More recently, I'm fortunate that I have a sister in HR who gives me great career advice, that I have a colleague who has my back and helps me out, that I have an immensely supportive manager. These things are out of my control, so I consider them fortunate aspects of my life. I know all too well what it's like to be stuck with a two-faced, selfish ass-hole of a manager, and while leaving a job is always an option, sometimes staying is necessary or at least smart in the short-term. I am grateful for these blessings.

I am also grateful for the things in my life that I've worked at. I worked hard to get a house right out of college, I went through lots of relationships and growing pains to understand what I want and find a man to fill that role, and I continually work very hard on my career. So I don't consider those things lucky. They are, in my mind, more a result of effort, personal growth, and smart decisions. If it wasn't this house, it'd be another, if I didn't do this for work, I'd do something else, and if I wasn't with this man, I would still know what I want and not settle for anything less. I am grateful for these things, but they are not results of luck.

Luck is always getting the best parking spot in a crowded lot on the first pass. Luck is never getting rained on. Luck is getting good news immediately before a vacation, putting me at ease. You can't work to make these things happen. No amount of effort will stop the rain or free up the parking spot. And some how, right before leaving for Vegas after college graduation, I got a job offer. It happened again just before I left for Japan 10 years later - I got the news of my promotion. I think this is lucky because the timing of hiring people is always a bit unpredictable - things never seem to happen as fast as you think they will even if you don't think you're being overly optimistic. Vacation timing, however, is usually more planned and set, so the loose timing of hiring can float all around the firm timing of vacations. Yes, in the most recent situation, the hiring manager knew I'd be leaving for Japan, but still, he was restricted by other powers and barely was able to give me the news before my departure.

So here I am, on a plane headed for Tokyo with my loving, supportive boyfriend, and I get to enjoy comfortably knowing that I got the promotion. I think I am the luckiest girl alive.

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