March 17, 2006
I’ve got some Irish blood in me, but I don’t know about any Irish luck. I think my brother got that–the kind of luck that brings famine but at least not everyone perishes from it–he’s the one that crashed a truck into a pole and flew out through the windshield and walked away. I’d probably have hit my head on the steering wheel and suffered irreparable brain damage, so I try hard to avoid crashing in the first place. I believe in not tempting fate; my brother seems to go out of his way to piss fate off. Or is that just what I tell myself to explain why he’s ended up in less fortunate circumstances than I have?
Sometimes I feel very lucky. I wouldn’t have this job that’s the best thing to happen in my whole working life but for an e-mail my current boss sent to Mr. Karen about seven years ago. My boss wouldn’t have sent that e-mail if he and Mr. Karen hadn’t roomed together in college and stayed in touch afterward. They wouldn’t have roomed together if Mr. Karen hadn’t been walking down a particular hall in a particular dorm when my future boss was playing a particular album that caught Mr. Karen’s ear, causing him to pop his head in the open door and start a conversation. If Mr. Karen and I had broken up like so many high school sweethearts do, I wouldn’t have even been around when that e-mail came. There are a lot of places that chain of events could have broken down, but it didn’t, and here I am, happily (mostly) ensconced at Purple Systems. Is that luck? Fate? Destiny? I don’t know.
I wish I did know. I like things to make sense. That’s pretty typical, I think–most people would choose order over chaos, wouldn’t they? Barring that, I wish I could be more comfortable not knowing. But I’m always looking for reasons, for the why behind what people say and do. The first therapist I tried going to as an adult told me “why is not important”–I should have known right that minute that she was not the right therapist for me. Why is important to me. Knowing why helps me make good choices. Are you being pissy with me because you’re not a nice person, or are you just having a bad day? If the former, I would be wise to stay away from you in the future. If my brother had stayed away from the woman he married twice, perhaps he’d be in a better situation now. Or perhaps not–I wish I knew what the grand plan is, if there’s even such a thing out there in the universe.
I’d like to believe that I have some choice in the matter, that I’m not just living out a life that’s pre-ordained for me by some mysterious force. I’d like to be able to take some credit for my successes, and understand the reasons for my failures. Yet–I take comfort in thinking some things are meant to be. Little things like not being able to find more of a particular fabric for a quilt project, and big things like my mom getting breast cancer the same summer my dad was dying of throat cancer. If there’s a reason, if it’s fate, if it’s destiny, then there’s nothing I could have or should have done differently to make things turn out another way. Not having control is easier sometimes. Did I just write that? Me, Ms. If-I-were-queen-of-the-universe-things-would-be-so-much-better? Yes, I did. Funny how these entries turn out sometimes.