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Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's All Luck

A woman e-mailed me today asking, "Is it all just dumb luck? I mean, I see so many people in the media who are stupider than the schwa key on my computer keyboard, but for some reason there they are, famous, with the eyes of the world upon them. Meanwhile, truly talented folks like myself wait tables, re-shelve library books, or nanny children, while waiting to be discovered. I'm a really good writer. Lots of people have told me so. I've been assured that I have plenty of talent."

For a moment I paused, wondering if I had been insulted. Is she implying that I'm the equivalent of a schwa? Useless, stupid, but still hanging around because someone else hasn't been discovered, and, thus, hasn't yet replaced me? Then, I quelled my self-doubt long enough to respond to her query:

Dear Ma'am,
A couple of years ago sitting in the hair salon hot seat, otherwise known as "under the dryer," I read a magazine article about successful women and how they achieved it. One woman interviewed said that everything she accomplished in life was due to luck, all luck, that she created. She did everything she could to put herself in the right place at the right time so that luck would come her way. Yes, it is all luck, but anyone can have what you refer to as dumb luck, with enough persistence.

After I hit the SEND button, I decided that I had been insulted and I carried on a monologue with my computer screen as an audience, the e-mail question still staring me down. And I asked the lady, "Ever watch American Idol auditions? All those people traipsing through, crooning their hearts out for the judges, bragging that they each will be THE next American Idol? When those contestants come out of that room crying because Randy, Paula, and Simon said they didn't make it, what do they always insist on? Yes! They tell Ryan Seacrest, 'I can sing. Everyone tells me I can. When I sing in public, people crowd around me and they stare. I'm good. Those judges just don't know what they're talking about.' Sound familiar? Don't let your family and friends fool you."

As my hand hovered to close the e-mail, that nagging voice of self-doubt broke in. What if my friends and family have been lying to me, too? Praising me just to make me feel good? Saying something nice only because it was better than not saying anything at all?

Guess I'll have to go out and create more dumb luck for myself.

1 comment:

Leeuna Foster said...

Hi Lucy
I gave your blog an award. You can pick it up at my blog. (just copy/save the pic and you can put it on your blog if you wish to...or not. :)
I enjoy reading your work. I also have you in my blogroll.