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  • Junko

Things Simply Happen: On Circumstance, Luck, and Fortune

People from all sorts of backgrounds can have all sorts of luck.

For example: I think I am very fortunate, but rather unlucky. I find it fascinating, the ways my good fortune and god awful luck push and pull at each other. The bad luck of being bullied, alienated, and abused by peers as a child twisted into the good fortune of loving parents who wanted to push me academically and resulted in my escape from my local school district to a private high school. The good fortune of being at that high school couldn’t fully protect me from the bad luck of my own brain chemistry. More recently, the bad luck of my worst episodes collided with the good fortune of having a family with the love and capacity to be a real safety net, meaning I was able to ride out a crisis at home, across the country.

Knowing I always have the indescribable fortune of an abundance of loving relationships to fall back on protects me from the daily aggravations and more dramatic episodes which punctuate my unlucky life.

But I’m starting to think my luck is changing. On top of winning three separate raffles in the past year, I actually got a job I’m very, very happy at, a housing situation I feel endlessly excited about, and, the thing that feels most "lucky," I’m performing in Brooklyn in August with a group of people who I really, really admire.

Lucky, lucky, lucky me!

In sharing news of my good luck with one of my friends (who happens to have amazing luck but less good fortune), she pointed out that maybe what I’m talking about isn’t a result of luck at all.

The job fits in with the trajectory of my career thus far. The housing situation was carefully cultivated. And even Zack Schweikert’s invitation to me to play at the end of August at Brooklyn Music Kitchen is a direct result of my own relationship-building with his band, Strange Neighbors. I’ve gone to at least a dozen of their shows since coming to know of them, and am lucky enough to know them early enough that I can be a friend to the band rather than just a faceless groupie. That means that when I followed them on Instagram they saw I had my own music account and considered me a music person, too.

My point is, maybe some small portion of luck is made. Maybe some luck is just strokes of misfortune, but maybe sometimes calling the fruits of our labor something as arbitrary as luck is a disservice to our own efforts. Maybe calling myself lucky as of late is a disservice to my own efforts.

I’m grateful for the circumstances of my own design, good luck, and better fortune, for coming into the shapes they’re forming these days.


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