We’ve all had those days when you woke up late, your car won’t start, you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth, you forgot to do an assignment, and your returned test paper looks like a Jackson Pollock painting with red pen ink. On these days, some might feel like Dorothy fleeing from the tornado as it wreaks havoc throughout the Kansas countryside.
It’s always a relief when the gray surroundings of Kansas are dispelled by the vibrant colors of Oz.
On Dec. 17, I had the complete opposite of a bad day. I had gotten a call from the Honors Program director at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, who informed me that they were awarding me a significant scholarship. In that moment, not only had I decided upon my major and college choice, but that phone call also eliminated fear of severe college debt from my life.
With my spirits soaring high enough to touch the clouds, more silver linings began to appear throughout the day. I actually understood the lesson in accounting class. My anatomy and physiology teacher rescheduled an exam for the next week instead of that day. For lunch, the school served my favorite sides and a surprise cookie. I finished a charcoal drawing in art that I had been slaving over for the past two months. I was also excited to step foot onto a volleyball court again at an open gym organized by my club volleyball program that evening.
While driving to the open gym, no matter what radio station I turned to, my childhood hit songs were playing, such as “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift, and “Party In The USA” by Miley Cyrus. It was in that moment that I panicked a little. Is it possible to run out of good luck? What if I used it all up and was thrust into a spiraling period of bad luck later on to make up for all of the good fortune I experienced?
Those who know me might say that I was born with good luck. While I have an amazing family, good friends and a safe home, I wouldn’t call myself naturally lucky. I hear sour comments like, “You don’t even have to try because you win everything.” Well, according to my work ethic in the weight room, the sleepless nights laboring over homework, and the hours I’ve dedicated to speech practice, that statement couldn’t be more false.
My dad likes to say, “I’m not lucky. I just put myself in a position to be lucky.” Of course, he’s the guy who wins raffles, poker tournaments and free trips to Alaska, so he doesn’t have much room to talk.
Everyone interprets good omens differently. Some call it hard work, coincidence, fate. A few of my volleyball teammates think luck comes from wearing the exact same spandex, socks and hair ribbon on game days. Heck, my speech friend, Dalton, likes to think of luck as a mystical troll that selectively showers people with good fortune.
With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, luck means leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, horseshoes and being Irish. For some it’s wearing “green underwear” to avoid being pinched. (Come on, we all know you just forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Who actually owns green underwear?)
You don’t have to be superstitious to wish for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Achieving through hard work is what sets us up for success, not just pure fortune. True, some are more well off than others, but it depends on your perspective. Trust that fate isn’t decided by a slip of paper cracked out of a fortune cookie.
If hard work didn’t play a role in luck, Charlie Brown would always be chasing after the football in Lucy’s hands, Rudy Ruettiger would never have played on Notre Dame’s football team, and Daniel LaRusso would have never defeated Cobra Kai with the help of Mr. Miyagi.
To some, good luck depends on chance, like winning the lottery or a new car, but to others it might be good health, a loving family or welcoming friends. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people, but an optimistic outlook can make all the difference. Depending on your perspective, a four-leaf clover can either be a weed or a phenomenon. Enjoy the little things, and face your luck, good or bad, with a positive _________. (I encourage you to read the first letter of the last eight sentences to form the final word. The final word in my previous article was “active.”)