By the way - if you're wondering how exactly I define Weird Bad Luck I'll give you my favorite story of Stacey's. Being raised a Good Catholic girl, Stacey decided she was going to wait until marriage to have sex, and to avoid temptation, would never spend the night over at her boyfriend's (now her husband's) dorm-room during college. Except for that one rainy night, after they both got back late from a concert, when Stacey thought, What the hell, I'll just sleep here one night, and won't tell my mother, and then found herself confronted by her Even More Catholic mother a few weeks later. Are you having pre-marital sex?! Stacey's Even More Catholic mother screamed, and Stacey had no CLUE as to how her mother could have found out that she spent the (sexless) night over at her boyfriend's dorm.
Turns out, there was a drug bust in the parking lot of campus that night, and the police took photos of all the cars and then mailed them back to the registered owners to make sure the vehicles weren't stolen. Stacey's Even More Catholic mother got photographic proof from the police that her only daughter spent the night at a college campus. With a boy.
And that, my friends, is Stacey's Weird Bad Luck.
Two weeks ago, I decided I was going to take a majorly fat step towards my own happiness by paying off my car with my savings, thus allowing me more room in my budget to take every other Friday off of one of my two part time jobs. I drive over two hours a day, five days a week, and it was running my car (and my soul) into the ground. So I decided: pay off my car, pay myself with the money I save each month, work less, have the same amount of money, and be more happy. Sounds simple right?
The day I mailed in the check to pay off my car, my car died in the middle of the intersection I was driving through, literally on my way to my tire mechanic's because my front brake sensor was going off. I had just enough in my checking account to make room for paying for brake pads, and enough in savings to pay off the car.
What I didn't have money for was the distributor in my engine, which was what quit on my car the day I paid it off. Which was about $350. That I did not have. And after I finished paying the $350 to my regular mechanic, I drove straight to my tire mechanic's, where they happily replaced my front brake pads. For another $200. I will be honest here, guys - I cried. Like a girl. My money was gone, my car was working - for now - and I had very little hope that I would recoup my money losses.
Except that Thursday, three days after having one of the most expensive days of my life and a month after I'd asked my boss at one of my part-time jobs for a raise, when I'd just about lost all hope - my boss came back and told me he'd agreed to give me a raise. A $5/hour raise. He explained the reasons why, something about me being a great employee who works hard, but honestly, I didn't hear a single word because I was CRYING OUT OF JOY INSIDE MY BRAIN.
Then, on Friday, at my other part-time job, I told my boss how happy I was that I had received a raise at my other job after waiting to hear back for more than a month - and as I left that day and my other boss paid me, she included a note with my payment - that said she was also giving me a raise. I cried out of gratitude the entire hour long drive home.
And lately I've been thinking - all my life, I have taken responsibility for the bad things that have happened in my life, but I've chalked up the good things to luck. What if I got it wrong? What if it's been the other way around my whole life? What if there was nothing I could have done to keep my distributor from dying (which my mechanic confirmed), but the fact that I got two raises in two days IS something I made happen? I work hard, I'm loyal, and I'm damn smart. I've put in the work that caused me to deserve the good things that have happened in my life. And what if it's good luck that my car died while I was on a surface street, as opposed to going 70 mph in the fast lane on a California Highway?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that part of why I'm so happy, why I'm so deeply, incredibly grateful for my life these days - is that it's full of good luck, great people, and wonderful opportunities. And I'm beginning to think that almost all of that is my fault. It's a result of how hard I work to create my own luck, to maintain friendships and relationships with great people, and track down and explore new opportunities.
And every once in a while, when things get weird, I can just shake my head, laugh, and know that it's gonna pass.
(photo credit: I got it here)