Friday, May 27, 2011

Lucky Duck

My dad always says “I’ve got more luck than brains!” I grew up with him saying it, and it lost it’s humor long before I even understood what it meant. Now that I think about it, I don’t rightly agree with that. I believe more strongly in a quote from Cal Hockley (Titanic, DUH!):
A real man makes his own luck.
Or, if you scoff your nose at this brilliant film, I’ll give you a quote by a real person, possibly more respected than Billy Zane’s character in the 1997 historical fiction masterpiece. Benjamin Franklin said:
I am a strong believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
Whenever I think about people that I think are really lucky — the sucky copywriting student who landed a kickass job when her more talented peers didn't, my sister randomly being awarded a scholarship, my friends who moved to Germany and Jordan with grant money — I remind myself how hard those people worked to get to those places.

My sister for example, who has been rejected for what feels like 10 scholarships before getting this one. Or my friend, who has been learning Arabic for years. Of course he got a Fulbright, and of course when it ended, he was offered a job that'll send him around the world to travel. Because he speaks effing Arabic. (And because he’s awesome in general). Or a more trite example: I get amazing stuff at the Goodwill, like BCBG and Banana Republic dresses, and really cute heels, and brand new jeans. But I pick over every single thing in that store multiple times a week, so I see all the new stuff when it comes it and sweep it up.

For anyone waiting for a lucky break — and these days, especially for someone around my age, it’s usually job related — I don’t really think there’s enough luck out there to go around. It comes down to hard work, and repetition, and failing multiple multiple times before you succeed. Whenever I come across the folder saved on my computer with all the resumes and cover letters and portfolios I put together for the roughly gabazillion jobs I applied for over the seven months I was unemployed, I want to cry just at the memory of it. But, I have a great job now! Might I dare say my dream job? Yes I think so. I’m so lucky to have it.

* The only thing I can’t argue with is someone who wins a vacation via a sweepstakes. That’s lucky. I guess they deserve it by entering the content anyway. But I enter those things all the time and I never win. *

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