Sunday, 19 June 2011

Luck be a pain in the...

"The more I think about things, the more I see no rhyme or reason in life. No one knows why some things work out and some things don't. Why some of us are lucky and some of us get..."

The quote featured above is from the movie Notting Hill. Now before you go off and laugh at my choice of reference, let me plead my case. That quote has been resonating in my mind for the past couple of weeks and after the events of this past Friday evening, it couldn't ring any truer.

I feel as though I'm on this ridiculous roll of bad luck... even though it's not a roll of any kind. It just... is. I always imagined - and to a certain extent believed - that we created our own luck; charted our own destiny. But I realize I'm wrong. Sometimes the way things work out really isn't up to you.

A few weeks back I was informed that a couple of positions became available at my previous place of work. A place I thought I could really thrive in. When I was there, I was told on numerous occasions that there would be no chance of me ever getting hired on full-time because of budget cuts and other issues. So I found another job at a company where I absolutely enjoy working right now.

And it's the first time in a long time that I realized there's truth in the saying, "It's all a matter of timing and good luck."

A lot of successful people will freely admit that they achieved their goals and dreams through hard work, determination, and a 'little' bit of luck. I'm realizing quickly that it's not just luck... it's a whole LOT of luck.

Then, while all this was mulling around in my mind, I spent the last week feeding my brain at this wonderful three-day conference in Toronto, where I had the chance to listen to 50 speakers from different walks of life. Including one Mr. Deepak Chopra, who reminded me about the importance of listening to my heart. And about the importance of self-reflection as well. I used to do this all the time when I was in university... but somewhere between searching for a career and figuring out how this whole 'being a grown-up business' works, I got lost. And to be honest, I feel pretty lost at the moment. I feel like I've lost balance, and I want to find my feet again.

And then, just when I thought I couldn't feel any worse about my life getting all tangled up in itself, I ended last week with my wallet being stolen on the subway.


So you can imagine that right now, all I really want to do is look up to the heavens in an open field and scream, "Is that all you've got?!"

I'm frustrated. It seems like these days no matter what I do, I'm either too early or too late. I'd like to be where I need to be on time. Just once. I'd like to be able to say, "I'm going to spend Saturday rolling in my bed, watching movies"... and actually mean it, without having to run around trying to sort out the contents of my lost wallet.

I'd like...

And then I force myself to look at the bigger picture. Last week a young girl in Toronto went for a drive to sort our an errand. She made a regulated turn, and ended up killing a child crossing the street. She didn't plan for that to happen. It just happened. And now her life, and the lives of the families involved, will never be the same again.

The other day a man went out to watch game 7 of the Stanely Cup finals in Vancouver. The Canucks lost, and he ended up in a post-game riot. During this time, he tried protecting a car about to be torched, and ended up getting beaten up by the rioters. I bet he didn't see that coming when he left the house earlier in the day.

So you see where I'm going with this? I'm really starting to believe there's no real formula to this whole luck thing -- it just happens. Que sera sera. What will be will be. We can only do our best, and continue to have dreams, and make attempts at having them come true. But this business of who gets the sprinkles of fairy dust, and who doesn't... that part isn't really up to us.

Who decides...

... How two people can be born into the same family, and achieve different financial outcomes as adults?

... Whether you'll succumb to a disease, just because the genes that blended when your parents had you, are actually warring against each other in your body?

... That out of two plants planted in the same soil, mere inches apart, one will survive, and one will fail to grow?

... That even though you may dream of your future in one way... there might be a diffirent plan for you, that's out of your control?

... That no matter how cautiously you lead your life, you too can be caught in a freak accident?

So... who decides? Definitely not us.

I'm really trying to continue with my regular optimism. But some days, because of this whole 'being human' factor, it's pretty darn difficult. I'm struggling to embrace my mother's ability to have faith in fate. I don't want to become one of those people who looks back on her life and thinks, "I really wish I had... when I could..."

I'm really trying...

And as always, even though I'm a terrible Catholic, I'm going to turn to something here that my grade eight teacher always told me to say when I felt unsettled:


Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...
The courage to change the things I can...
And the wisdom to know the difference...


Image courtesy of Google Images

Friday, 10 June 2011

The ripple effect

I've spent more consecutive days in heels over the past week than have in the last couple of years. Work related stuff. But as you can imagine, the poor gams were on fire by week's end. So yesterday I decided to fill up the bathtub and soaked them in salt water. Therapy! Oh, I can't tell you how good it felt to just sit there and let the hot water massage my poor nerves.

I've had a lot on my mind these past few days... work stuff, life stuff... the usual stuff. I guess I was deep in my own thoughts when I realized I was staring at the tap dripping water into the full tub. One drop at a time, spaced out over a few seconds. I was mesmerized how that one drop of water caused such ripple effect. Just one drop would send tiny waves through the tub, which was otherwise still.

It made me realize how one tiny event or shift in our lives can leave such an enormous impact. Whether it's meeting one person, or experiencing one moment... little things can shift our lives from the mundane to the colourful (or chaotic) within seconds.

There's truth to the ripple effect, and I suppose I don't need to convince you of that. I'm just amazed, that's all. Because sometimes I sit back and look at my life the way it was a few months ago... a year back... a decade earlier... and I think of all the events that have led to me to where I am. Decisions that I or someone else made, and moments that quietly shifted the course of my entire life. It's profound when you think about it, really.

I don't know. Maybe I just need to sleep. And soak these toes-ies again.

Happy Weekend!

Image courtesy of Google Images

Monday, 6 June 2011

Set fire to the rain

Ever encounter a musician who feeds and ignites even the most wounded parts of your soul? Here's Adele. I love her. Her lyrics are awesome and they resonate. Such a raw and wonderful singer/writer.

A travel destination where I love the people

30 Day Travel Challenge
Day 7 - A travel destination where I love the people

You're probably learning quickly through these posts that I haven't travelled to that many countries around the globe. As much as I'd love to say I've visited numerous exotic locations and written about the strangest customs in the furthest of places, the truth of the matter is, I've really only been to a handful of countries. But I'm OK with that. For now anyway. This exercise is forcing me to look back on where I've been, and really focus on what I took away from each of my travels.

So...  from my experiences so far, I'd have to say I loved the people I met in Seoul, Korea. The people I'm talking about are a handful of expats -- not originally from Korea. In fact, they're kind of from all over the place (The U.K., South Africa, USA). But I'll always associate my happiest experiences in Korea with them. They're kindred spirits, and fellow wandering souls. They get me and I get them. And it took me leaving the comforts and familiarity of my life in Toronto to finally experience people with a shared wavelength and understanding of life.

I say I love the people in Seoul, because some of them are still there. They went back to their native countries for a while, and then chose to go back to Korea for another round of work.

These are some of my soul mates. I know that they'll always be a phone call, e-mail or Skype chat away. And I also know that I'll be seeing them again, someday soon. I really do love them! And I'll always be grateful to Seoul for bringing me a group of kindred spirits from around the planet, without having to go in search of them.

Check out:

10 things I miss about Seoul, Korea

The world in my shoebox

FIFA, Football and Family

Image courtesy of Google Images
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