One night in college, I was sitting in my best friend’s apartment going on about the shitty string of events that happened that week. This was the norm for Dylan and I. Consistently shooting the shit, but also divulging into the black hole that was my life. You might think I’m being dramatic, and trust me, Dylan always thought I was at first too. But somewhere down the road one night, Dylan took a deep breath, looked me in the eyes, and said something that made me feel both more anxious and totally relieved.
“You really do have horrible luck.” God, I thought I was overreacting about the things that happened to me, but genuinely, it felt so good to hear that I wasn’t crazy. That someone else could acknowledge that the things that happened to me were somehow so much more shittier and unlucky than the average person. But by the same token, hearing that confirmation made me feel like I would never be able to turn my luck around. And I don’t at all blame Dylan for those feelings, nor think he tried to make me feel bad on purpose. He was just being your normal best friend who was being a situational realist.
In high school, my beloved soccer coach, school mentor, life mentor, and second father, turned out to be a pedophile. I was sexually assaulted by one of my close friends on my 18th birthday. I consistently had men and woman drawn to me, who made me think that it could all work, just to be horribly burned and scarred. I’ve kept to myself and kept my head down, only to have life throw rocks at me to make sure I was giving it my full attention. I’ve had more flat tires than logically reasonable, especially because I’m the type of person who constantly checks to make sure her tires are up to par. I’ve had my car break down numerous times or refusing to start, needing a tow truck to get it to a shop, just to have to pay a fee because the car ended up starting when the truck got there. I’ve invited people into my home and had them steal from me. Money, clothes, jewelry. I’ve been accused of awful things by people I thought were close to me, because somehow no matter what good I do, they always chose to listen to others. I’ve missed college exams because for some reason my perfectly good and new phone charger stopped charging my phone in the middle of the night and rendering it dead. I’ve broken phones and computers back to back with no way to pay for both, but needing to have both. I’ve been cheated on, lied to, and mentally/emotionally abused. I’ve dropped more milkshakes than I can count, and I’m not a particularly clumsy person. I’ve been stranded in a remote city I know nothing about because of car issues exactly 4 times. I’ve taken mental health days on the exact day that important changes in classes were discussed, causing me to miss deadlines. I’ve had a drunk guy pee on the bed I was sleeping with (and Casey too), and I’ve had a drunk guy vomit on my shoes on the train. I’ve experienced 3 separate car break ins, though nothing stolen. I’ve been in 5 car accidents, only 1 semi being my fault, and 1 of them totaling my car. I drove through 3 hours of an intense and probably life threatening snow storm on my way to California, and I’ve gotten parking tickets that literally should not have counted, but were denied when contested with evidence anyways. I’ve gotten a black eye from an overexcited concert goer (totally an accident), and I’ve recently gotten a black eye because I was punched in the face while being mugged for my phone. While being mugged of said phone, I was screaming and screaming for help, and no one came out or opened their windows. I was lucky to flag down a car who did call the cops, but he refused to try and step in. I was on the phone with my boyfriend during said mugging, and he had to experience the horrific and intense cries and screams, unable to reach me for an hour after. 2 days before my phone was stolen, I had just dropped 2,500 dollar on car repairs.
Lately, I’ve been feeling weak. Defeated. Small. I’ve been asking myself, why me? Why is it, that no matter my karmic good, karmic bad, or mix of both, does it seem that all the bad things to happen to me outweigh the good? You might read all this and say, psssssshhh the same or worse happens to me or someone else. But the thing is, in between all those horrible things, things never really were good. They were just neutral and sad.
But, I’ve been able to take the time to reflect. And no, this isn’t some reflective journey where I tell you that those neutral and sad things were actually better than I thought or remembered. But rather, I have to acknowledge the few good things that keep me going. It may be only 30% of my life, but I am eternally grateful for those things.
- I live in an area where every time I step outside, my lungs fill with salty ocean air.
- Even though I got punched and mugged, I live in an area that has been so welcoming, accepting, and freeing.
- I have the most amazing, comforting, caring, adventurous, loving, heartwarming, funny, goofy, dork of a boyfriend who makes me feel so cared for, cherished, beautiful, and radiant.
- I have a talent for painting, which when I do, I am infinitely in those moments at peace.
- Theatre is my home no matter where I go. I have always been accepted and welcomed in every theatre community with the biggest and warmest arms.
- My theatre family may be all over the world, but they are always in my heart.
- I’ve got to do some amazing traveling, and even a successful and 1000% awesome solo trip to Ireland.
- I’ve ridden so many roller coasters that I itch to go on more.
- I have a best friend who would drop any and everything to come comfort me with words, a hug, or junk food. Sometimes all three.
- I have the most supportive boyfriend and best friend, as they are constantly pushing me to extend my limits and be all I can be, and they encourage me when I try new things.
- I have the most sweet and loving cat I could ever ask for.
- I spent a whole year WALKING. DOGS. FOR. MONEY. I mean, c’mon. Best money you could ever make.
- I’ve touched the ocean on both coasts.
- After 22 years of not having it, I was finally able to afford Netflix and Hulu.
- Andrew and I got Indian food yesterday, and the guy gave us 7 dollars off just because I paid in cash and had a ton of singles that they needed for the register.
- I have an insane amount of people in my life who are constantly checking up on me and sending me whatever good vibes and well wishes they can.
- I’ve recently become a small author on a small interactive app, and I feel so creative, free, and supported not only by my friends but people I’ve met in that community.
17 really small things. There might be more, but probably not much more. And that’s okay. Sometimes we have to make that 30%, or whatever small percentage of happy things in your life that seem to hide in the shadows of the bad things, feel bigger than they are. That is the only way I can keep going. For now, it is enough to beat the bad luck blues. Things will be okay. They will fucking suck, and that’s not me being pessimistic. That’s me looking at my personal life history realistically. I just have to keep rolling with it.
Do not let anyone, ever, tell you to suck things up. To stop being sad and moody to stop being pissy and pessimistic about the bad shit in your life. They’re all valid emotions. Get better friends. But also, don’t be that prick who is all “woe is me everything is terrible and will never be better” all the time. You can complain, yell, cry, scream. But then keep going. Keep going. And find those small things.