Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day and it’s got me thinking about the concept of luck. It’s a strange one. What does it mean to be lucky, to have bad luck or good luck? Is luck completely out of our hands or does luck just present us with opportunities that we can either take advantage of or not? I think I believe luck to most often be the latter (though there are certainly cases where the former applies); good or bad fortune rears its head and it’s up to the individual to make the most of it. I feel like I’ve lived a very lucky life, one I’m grateful for and have tried to make the most of. But there have been a few experiences in this life of mine that stick out as particularly lucky. Read about them after the jump, and then share your lucky experiences in the comments!
- The time I luckily didn’t get kidnapped. This is how I remember it — I was five years old, playing in the front yard by myself in the middle of the day. A van with tinted windows pulled up in front of the house and a man rolled down the window. He beckoned at me, saying he had a toy or candy for me, I can’t remember which. I refused. He opened the van door, got out, and started to approach me. At that moment, my mom suddenly shot out the front door, and the man turned around quickly and hopped back in the van and took off. I didn’t understand it at the time, but it was likely that this fellow was up to no good, that I had narrowly avoided something terrible. My mom had been in the kitchen washing dishes, when she said she had a sudden feeling that something was wrong. I’m very lucky my mom has such sharp instincts.
- The time I luckily met Lucca. My boyfriend and I had been kinda, sorta talking about getting a dog for awhile. We had been together a year and a half at that point and were completely in love, but having a dog, especially in New York City, with its small apartments and lack of backyards, still seemed a little daunting. Could we handle the responsibility, the cost, etc.? One Sunday, we went to check out a mobile adoption unit — adopting, rather than purchasing a puppy, was a priority. Still, we were just planning to look, to window shop and check out our options, but not actually go through with anything official that day. That was the plan — until I saw this little 5 lb. puppy staring at me from behind a window. The minute she sat down on my lap — that’s her on the left! — I was madly in love. Not taking her home was not an option, even though the shelter workers told us she was likely part Lab and could grow to be 40+ pounds and we had intended on getting a smaller dog. I started to cry and her sweet little smile assured me that she was the dog for us. In truth, she adopted me first and I followed her lead. And as an extra dose of luck, Lucca — which does not mean “luck” in Italian, though it sounds like it could — turned out not to have any Lab in her at all and has stayed a perfectly compact 20 lbs.
- The time I luckily got hired to start/edit The Frisky. This job has been a challenge and a blessing in so many ways, but it’s one I almost didn’t get to experience. I went though the entire long interview process, convinced that I didn’t have a shot in hell of actually getting the job — I didn’t think my resume demonstrated that I was actually qualified. But as I got further along in the process, it became clear I was a serious contender and I panicked. I might get the job — but could I actually do it? Maybe it was a fear of failure, of not believing in my own abilities, but when I was offered the position, I almost turned it down. A number of people — my ex and John DeVore among them — are responsible for getting me to see that I needed to seize this opportunity, and I feel lucky to have had them in my life. There’s also not a day that goes by where I don’t feel incredibly lucky to have a job I love, especially knowing that there are so many who are unemployed or unsatisfied with their careers. Lastly, I feel lucky to have had this job during the roughest point in my life, where I was heartbroken and needed both a place to express that heartbreak and a challenge to immerse myself in.
- The time I luckily got dumped. I didn’t realize it at the time — or for many, many, many months after — but I was lucky that, for whatever his reasons were, my ex did what I couldn’t and wouldn’t by ending our engagement. Though I wish it had happened less painfully, less cruelly, I’m lucky he ended the relationship before we got married or had children. We would not have been happy, I would not have been challenged to be a better, stronger person, and I would not have had the opportunity to meet someone who could truly be right for me. Speaking of…
- The time I luckily went to a book reading and met him. And that’s all I’ll say about that.