This I Believe

Catherine - USA
Entered on January 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Not long ago, maybe less than a month, a friend and I went to a gathering at some specific place for some specific reason which eludes me now as I can not seem to remember the circumstances. Yet no matter, as the important segments lies on the fact that prizes of some sort were to be given out to those certain lucky people. I remember my friend leaning toward me to tell me that the one thing she wanted now, and for actually quite a while before, was that prize. Maybe the magnitude of her want for that prize, the size of her determination to obtain it, and the rest of the crowd’s lack of desire for that object compared to hers contributed to the outcome of the situation: that she did, in fact, win that same prize.

It was astonishing. Out of the many people in the audience, she, with the most likely chance for disappointment, actually got what she wanted. Ironically, maybe two months before this “gathering,” I read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I wanted to believe that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” though from previous personal experiences, belief was a difficult task. Though, after such an event occurred, when my friend got what she most desired, I actually considered the phrase to be true.

What’s more surprising is that the very next day, I went to the second gathering yet again, where another friend told me he wanted the same prize as the first friend mentioned. And yet again, as if to spite my inability to believe the Alchemist’s sayings, he got it; he got the prize. Purely coincidence? Maybe not. But frankly, I’m practical. I still believe greatly in luck-of-the-draw.

Two events a bit out of the ordinary may begin to sway favor to the “dreams do come true” saying, yet I hold a lifetime of other events that certainly help prove the latter theory instead. Personally, I know that given the choice, I would definitely have chosen to live elsewhere than Austin, Texas, let alone the United States. Yet, I remain where I am. I’ve wished on stars, I’ve wished at 11:11 o’clock, I’ve even wished on my doorknobs that I could be somewhere else . . . London, perhaps. Yet, still, I remain where I am. I am absolutely certain that this one want of mine significantly exceeds that of both my friends combined for that material object being raffled at a get-together. So why haven’t my “dreams” come true? The answer is simple: luck-of-the-draw. I’m simply not lucky.

Some people are naturally born with the “lucky” gene. There are those with amazing athletic abilities that go on to win Olympic gold medals; there are those who end up being immensely rich merely because they were born into the right family; there are those who are born into certain cities that they happen to absolutely love everything about. As for the rest, wrong cards were drawn. No special one-of-a-kind talent is achieved, and “average” would be a fitting character definition.

I can’t believe that all those famous movie stars and millionaires wanted the life they have any more than those sitting on the couch watching them on their television sets. A myriad of young girls want to be a skinny as the models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show; numerous aspiring engineers want to invent the next iPod in order to pay bills and maybe even start their own company; many starving and homeless men, women, and children on the streets want just enough money to get through the next day. I hardly believe that that person not even yet born, was about to be admitted into a billionaire family because he or she wanted it the most. I honestly think that those lucky few came across their “treasures” because at one moment in their lives, they happened to be at the right place at the right time.

A person can spend his or her entire life attempting to achieve one goal, and never accomplish that one thing because the surrounding circumstances were not right. In order for a wish to come true, drive and determination are not enough. The circumstances surrounding the dream have to be in an exact order so as to allow the dream the possibility of coming true. I can wish all I want to go to Venice someday. I can learn the Italian language, I can be accepted into an Italian university, and I can even research the country to the point at which I am able to pass the Italian citizenship test. But, unless I have the money to stay there, let alone just to get there, everything else I have done is virtually useless.

Dreams can come true, but those that do are very limited in number. Some people are just magically given the opportunity to have that desired life. Others are just not. Sometimes, in a brown bag of two blue cards and four-hundred and ninety-eight red, one person may indeed pull two blues one right after the other. Very rarely will this occur, but there is still that miniscule fraction of percent chance – it all depends on luck-of-the-draw.