on luck (an ode to 2013)
My best friend Nicole just left for a five-week adventure in Costa Rica. An unexpected string of events led her to the pristine beaches and mystical forests of Pura Vida land, where she is taking time off for the first time in a long time. In her first email to me, I could feel her excitement through the screen as she told me what the first few days were like. And then she ended it with this:
“We both lead lucky and charmed lives.”
It stuck with me. Nic’s one of the hardest working people I know, and yet she’s always first to feel lucky for all of the things she’s done.
I used to believe that everything I’ve done has resulted from a combination of a lot of hard work and a little luck. Yet, the more I think about it, the more I realize ‘hard work’ and ‘luck’ aren’t two separate things. Instead, they’re pretty much one and the same.
Sure, I work hard to save money so I can travel. I work hard so I can run fast and appreciate my body. I work hard so I can grow to an executive level at Greatist (fancy). I work hard so I can rest and spend some weekends doing absolutely nothing.
But I am given so many things to set myself up for working hard. I am given an education and a stab at the working world. I’m given a gym membership and a new pair of running shoes. I am given family and friends who support me, whether I tell them I’m moving across the country or moving around the world. (I’m not doing either just yet, so don’t worry.) And I am given not only the freedom, but the crazy-encouragement, to go after my dreams.
I am given a lot, which is pretty darn lucky. And without all this luck, I wouldn’t even be able to give hard work a chance.
2013 was not the best year of my life. In fact, a decent portion of it really sucked. And it’s easy to get caught up in all that — the unfairness, the confusion, the extreme doubt — and lose perspective.
But despite everything, I had a whole lot of luck this past year (I traveled, I ran, I worked, I rested) and know I will always keep working incredibly hard to keep that luck on my side. And for that reason alone, 2013 was pretty darn great.