Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Luck, Superstition, and Coincidence


This month, teamTEENauthor is blogging on this topic: do you believe in luck? 


Here are three things I’ve never admitted this in public before.  1. I believe in luck.  2. I’m more superstitious than your average major league baseball player.  3. Even the tiniest hint of coincidence in my life gives me a thrill.

I don’t typically own up to these things because my pragmatic side tells me it’s all just a bunch of foolish nonsense.  And yet, there’s a part of me that wants to find a deeper meaning in everything, even if it means helping create meaning that’s not inherently there. So, it’s easy for me to get excited when the book I’m reading mentions an obscure town in Europe that I was just talking about that very day!  Or when I’m daydreaming about my latest six-figure screenplay sale when I just so happen to drive by a mailbox with my “lucky” number on it:  14.

The rational, intelligent voice in my head can shoot down this faulty logic quicker than a critic of “The Secret” can point to Darfur and wonder why it’s power hasn’t worked for all of those poor folks over there.  But no matter how illogical it is, I can’t seem to stop seeking out these magical connections in my own life, which feel sacred to me, even necessary.

I am not a religious person, but I consider myself a spiritual one.  I love feeling connected to my fellow man and to the Earth, and for me, that’s where my sense of spirituality lies.  Some days I feel more connected than others, but during the times when I’m feeling most “at one” with the universe are when my best “luck” seems to emerge.

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Aruba with my family, and my mother made plans to take me to the casino for Ladies Night.  Normally, I don’t like to gamble, but I’d just gotten some good work-related news earlier that day, and was feeling very positive about life and generally “in the flow” of things.  It was with that attitude that I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would win money that night.  So, when I walked away from the casino $195 richer ($80 at the slots, $65 at the roulette table, $50 at blackjack), it felt great, but not too surprising. 

Did my positive thoughts manifest my good luck, or had I simply recognized that I was tuned in to the flow?  Of course, the sensible side of me says it all pure coincidence.

I’m not sure I’ll ever know the real answer, but I’ve experienced this feeling enough to know that when I’m feeling like I’m “in the flow,” good things come my way.  The real trick is managing to stay in it. ;)

Side note:

My young adult novel, Reunited, plays with the theme of luck and coincidence quite a bit.  Here’s a short excerpt from Chapter One, just after Alice learns about Level3’s one-night-only reunion show. 

“How could one day be this crazy? And yet, it was like everything had always been with her old favorite band—meant to be. Tiernan used to have a Yiddish word for all the coincidences between Level3 and the girls.  Beshert.  And when something was beshert you didn’t tune it out. When something was beshert you went with it. It was all you could do.”


Hilary Weisman Graham is a screenwriter, Emmy-nominated TV producer, filmmaker, and the author of Reunited (Simon & Schuster), her debut young adult novel.  Visit her at:  http://www.hilarygraham.com

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