on luck

I like to think everyone is lucky in a few ways, but that it can take years to identify your particular pockets of luck. You have to pay attention. You have to appreciate the little wins in life. I don't want to think luck is binary - either you have it or you don't. Let's instead believe that at birth we were all dealt a handful of luck fortune cookies. Sometimes the print is faded, or in Chinese. It's part of our life's work to decode and identify our luck.

I'm lucky in small, weird ways and I'm lucky in huge, wonderful ways. I always take note when the luck hits. I try to keep it close to the surface of my memory so that in harder moments, I remember to have faith that it'll come around again. 

I'm lucky in money. A central theme of my life and one that I expect will continue, is the coming and going of a lot of money. That's just how it's always been. I was raised with a decent level of financial security, nothing crazy. But once I was grown up and fending for myself, money started to materialize in my life in sums that really didn't make any sense. I made a fortune dancing. My mom didn't leave much behind when she died but my dad's estate was substantial. The one "real" job I've ever had, this one, has been surprisingly well-paying. Then there was the settlement from the crazy dude in Bel Air I used to work for. And now, apparently, I am part of a class action lawsuit I wasn't even aware was happening, and am going to receive $$$$ when it concludes this summer. I always find money on the ground (a hundred-dollar bill once), and am routinely overpaid in transactions at stores, restaurants, etc. I've had very serious payroll fuckups in my favor. This past summer West Elm sent me two cabinets, instead of one, and never realized it. Then they sent me a $500 gift card in error, with no name assigned, so I was able to use it without issue. 

I'm lucky in transportation. I often catch the bus or the train in the nick of time, and am able to grab my favorite seat. After my second vaccination and I started taking the bus to work, I realized my stop is literally across the street from my building, in a chill, shaded little spot with rarely any other riders waiting. My bus lets me off literally at my restaurant's back door. On the way home, my stop is the only one that comes up after the route's single right-hand turn. So no matter how tired or zoned out I am, feeling the unmistakable 90 degree turn of the bus means I never miss my stop. 

I'm lucky in my living arrangements. Recently I sat down and counted out how many apartments I've lived in since I moved out at age eighteen. Fifteen apartments. And I'm pretty sure that in every single one of them I lucked out in one aspect or another. Some had ideal proximity to some amenity I used a lot, or prime exit access for Chaucer. The apartment I'm in now has to be one of the quietest in the entire building, on the almost top floor and far back corner away from the streets and the sidewalks. It's truly unreal how quiet and peaceful it is, considering I live in DTLA. The stairs are located right outside my door, which has been perfect for avoiding the elevator during COVID.

And finally, most incredibly, I am lucky in friendship. If you know anything about me, you know that my friends are everything to me. But I don't always keep them. They don't always keep me. People move, or change, or just drift apart. But these vacancies have a magical way of always getting filled. I lose someone special to me and then boom, someone new comes into that cleared space. It's not an exact swap, but the energy is often extremely similar. I know this isn't as mystical as it seems. We attract the same kinds of people into our lives again and again by nature of our own character. But this cycle has saved me, emotionally, so many times. It's a source of real joy and celebration, and always makes me feel so lucky. Timing is everything in love and in friendship. And timing is a kind of luck.

There is one more way that I hope my luck holds. My sample size so far is tiny - just one. But if my next dog is even 1/1000th as amazing as Chaucer, I will have no choice but to conclude my perfect luck in finding perfect pups.