I believe hope exists so it can be crushed. It started during my junior year in high school; my friend Dave first discovered a phenomenon when he went camping at Big Basin with his family. Every time he saw a cute girls, party goers, or something fun to do, his parents would pull him back to the campsite and every time he would say to himself, “…just my luck.” After the trip, Dave realized how often he used that phrase and how much it applied to his life. He shared his story with all of his friends including me. We came to call similar occurrences “Just My Luck” or JML for short.
To clarify our philosophy, JML is not just the bad outcome of a situation; it also has to do with hope. It preys on hope, builds these hopes up, and eventually crushes all hope. JML results in one of the greatest feeling of disappointment.
The first time I heard Dave talk about JML, I disregarded his wisdom and decided that it couldn’t be true – or to be more accurate, JML would never happen to me. Luck could not possibly be a contributing factor to my future. Nonetheless, I fell victim to JML as Dave did before me.
I met a girl at a party during the middle of junior year in high school. During the party, she was spontaneous, intelligent, enjoyable, and seemingly a normal girl. I got her number and proceeded to call her in the upcoming week to go out on a date. The date went well and I wanted to go out with her again. We got together a couple more times in the upcoming months before I decided to ask her to my junior prom. She said yes and I was happy; everything turned out exactly how I wanted.
It was only a matter of time before JML triumphed over me. One day I told Dave about the girl I met and my prospects of her becoming my girlfriend. As it turned out, the girl I liked happened to be Dave’s crazy ex-girlfriend. I felt disappointed, to say the least. I remembered Dave telling stories about her and she did not seem like the same girl from those stories. I thought I could turn my situation around; I thought I could beat out JML. In the back of my mind, I knew I was wrong.
Soon after talking to Dave, the girl I liked backed out of our prom plans, told me she didn’t want a relationship, and then got a boyfriend; I found out about him on my prom night which I spent at home.
I look back on my own life and see countless moments where JML applies directly. The problem of JML can’t be solved. Although bad moments may be a plague in life, good moments offset the bad ones; during senior year I met a girl who I am still with today. I believe JML makes me appreciate good moments.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.