I believe in luck. This may not seem a very unique belief, but those who know me are always shocked to hear it about me. I am an atheist, and a determinist. I do not hold any metaphysical beliefs and have always had the skeptical mind of a scientist.
Even stranger than someone like me believing in luck is the story of how I came to believe. I am 27 years old. I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for almost three years – we were living together for almost two. I was very excited at the idea of spending the rest of my life with him and raising a family with him. Unfortunately, this left us at a sort of cross-roads as he does not want to have children or get married . . . and his love for me cannot overcome his desire to be alone and independent.
So two days after Thanksgiving, he told me he could never give me what I wanted and he walked out the door. That was the last time I saw him. We arranged for him to come move his things when I was not here and now my house is half empty and his absence is very real and very painful.
I believe in luck. More than that, I believe I am lucky. I live in Seattle where it never snows. The day after he left me, it started snowing and Seattle is so ill-equipped to deal with snow that the whole city shut down. I ended up not having to go to work for two days. I have the most amazing friends – they keep stopping by to check on me, cry with me, and bring me food. Many people have expressed sympathy about ending a relationship during the holiday season. And though I don’t think any time is a good time, I feel lucky that it happened now. Because I have time off to go be with my family in San Diego for a couple of weeks and let them take care of me while I start to heal.
And so it is – one of the most painful events in my life has made me realize how lucky I am. I am the kind of person that people would expect to explain luck away as a matter of perception. Perhaps it would make more sense to say I believe in friendship and kindness or the love of family, or the ability of social support to get you through hard times. But that seems as absurd to me as saying I believe in snow. Instead I will count myself lucky for the support of my friends, the love of family, and snow days – just when I need them!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.