I’m not lucky. But I always say that I am.
If anyone compliments me on a good show, I say that I’m lucky it hit hard. When an event that I’m in charge of goes well, I say that I’m lucky it all came together. Whenever I catch a glimpse of the skyline at sunset as I’m riding the L to Second City, I feel so damn lucky to be living the life I always wanted for myself.
But none of that is luck.
There are very few things that happened in my life thus far that I can truly attribute to the luck of the draw. Here’s what I can think of:
– Being born into the family I was born into
– My dad being hit by a bad driver
– Winning a $10 Amazon gift certificate at my company’s holiday party
That’s about it. All of those events were just randomly selected. They could have happened to almost anyone. Everything else is clothed in hard work, courage and an immense amount of trust. To say that I’m lucky would be to discredit myself. Things didn’t just happen. I worked really, really hard to be where I am.
So if I’m not lucky, then what am I?
I’m proud. The writer in me wishes that I had a better, fancier, word to describe how I feel at this point in my life but I always come back to pride. I’m really proud that I had the courage to unapologetically move to Chicago when I was 17. I’m proud that the heartbreak I’ve endured throughout my 5.5 years here never drove me away. I’m proud that I always found a way to make it work – whether it’s financially, emotionally, logistically or emotionally. I’m proud that I have the courage to trust in the unknown instead of fearing it. I’m proud that I have the patience, humility, endurance and confidence it takes to chase a dream that people don’t always support.
I’m realistic and optimistic. I see that the glass is only half full… but it has potential to be completely full (oooooh, so philosophical). I understand the way things are now. I’m not naïve and I don’t avoid the truth because of rose colored glasses. But at the same time, I’m a survivor and survivors understand that it gets better. It always gets better. This applies to everything – mean people can become nice… a better job will come along and make that bad job seem like a distant memory… clearly there’s a theme here. When life throws you a curveball, cry it out. Have a Netflix marathon. But never, ever forget that just because today is bad doesn’t mean that life sucks.
I’m intelligent. Katie Novotny once said that Harriet M. Welsch once said, “I want to learn everything I can, and I write down everything I see.” I read, observe, write, question, wonder, daydream and study just about everything. Therefore, when I have to make a decision about my future, I’m not blind. I put myself in the best position possible before leaping. When I was 16 and went to SNL, I didn’t just decide on the spot to be a comedian. I researched where everyone came from, how they trained, how long it took. When I realized that I should go to Chicago, I found a college that fit my personality. I researched flight prices and presented my case. I finished my degree before taking a single comedy class. I let myself live life a little.
I’m hard working. I honestly work really, really hard. Tonight, for example, I have a 12 hour workday that includes an event we’re hosting. Directly from the event, I have to cab it to Second City Training Center because I have a show that goes up at 10:30. That’s a fairly normal day in my life. I know that I have to keep my 9-5 to afford my lifestyle but still find time to work hard on my goals in life. Instead of going out to eat or shopping in the organic section, I live off of $20 a paycheck for groceries & choose to babysit most weekends instead of going out because my comedy classes are super expensive. I sacrifice a lot and work really hard.
Finally, I’m thankful. I see thankful as a great replacement word for lucky. While lucky implies that you didn’t have to work for the result of a product, thankful just means that you are appreciative of the result. That you don’t take what you have for granted. I’m thankful for the incredible people in my life and the lessons I constantly learn from them. I’m thankful that I am happy and healthy – two things that I had to work very hard to achieve. I’m thankful for my family, the freedom I experience in my country, and of every single day I have here.
So… with that said, I promise to not call myself lucky anymore. There are much better words to use.