It’s 11:30 on Tuesday night and I’m thinking about being lucky.
A friend of mine, the soon-to-be-published Abby Wittnebert said something the other night as we were drinking wine at Kristin Harmel’s book party. We were talking about publishing and luck and taking chances, and how bravery frequently pays off.
We were sharing stories, and I told her that it was part of me to take chances, to try to accomplish the things that were in my heart, even if statistics were against me. I always think, even if the chances are one in a million, somebody’s gonna get the big prize/book contract/coffee date with Oprah, it might as well be me. The great thing about it is, I’m lucky a lot. Great things happen to me on a regular basis, and I am both immensely thankful for them, and certain that I have some power steering in the control of my destiny.
“You have to be brave to be so lucky,” Abby said.
I thought about that, and told her about my mom — a person who never uttered the words “most writers can’t make a living” or, the most crushing piece of parental advice ever given, “You should have a back up plan in case (insert dream here) doesn’t work out.”
My mom told me I’d make a great writer. She told me to “go for it” , whatever “it” was. She told me to speak up when I had something important to say. She told me not to learn to type (there was a feminist plan in action here, which served its purpose on my first job, but sadly backfired a bit, as I am now a writer who can barely type.) She told me it was a waste of my talent and life if I didn’t try for the things that set my soul on fire.
“You’re lucky to be so brave,” Abby told me.
And she’s right. I am lucky. It was my mother who gave me the bravery that enabled me to follow my dreams. I spent many years of my early life wondering why some people were afraid to do the thing their heart wanted them to do, to take the chance to get the relationship, the job or the life they really wanted. And I never really understood it, until I was older.
I am lucky to be so brave. I was given wings as a child, when many children end up with their feet and their hopes stuck in cement. They have to break free, and sometimes that takes a very long time. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen at all, and those adults who were once saddled with cement shoes, are never quite able to step out of them.
I am lucky to be so brave. I am lucky to be who I am, to have the family I do, to have the opportunities I have, and to feel empowered to create the opportunities that aren’t immediately before me.
I hope you’re as lucky as I’ve been.