People give me way too much credit.
Maybe I shouldn’t “out” myself like that, but it’s true…
I had lunch today with two very dear friends, and at various points in the meal we each discussed different facets of our lives: spouses, kids (or lack thereof), present jobs, future career options, financial standing, short-term plans, long-term plans, pie-in-the-sky plans… During this meal I got to share news that I might be participating in a new project opportunity at work, and my friends praised me for being so strategic and thoughtful about my career.
Oh dear, if only that were true…
The fact is, I have lucked into much (most?) of my life. Now, to be fair (and honest), I have done some work on my end to help myself out. I studied hard in school, learned as much as I could, and got good grades. I worked hard in every job I have ever had, made as many contributions as I could, and received generous recognition and compensation as a result. I push myself to continually grow, and I try to remain open to whatever life sends my way.
But. A *lot* of my life has been the result of straight-up luck. I’m lucky that I was born to parents who love me with every cell of their bodies. I’m lucky that those same parents are intelligent individuals who provided a mentally stimulating and intellectually challenging environment for me to grow in. I’m lucky that I got to go to excellent schools as a child, adolescent, and young adult; and I’m lucky that I had teachers who simultaneously pushed me and supported me. I’m lucky that I had a wonderful group of friends who were innocent, and who didn’t tempt me with sex, drugs, or crime. I’m lucky that I fell into a job immediately after college that led to a career that I didn’t even know was possible. I’m so lucky to have an abundant number of top-quality people in my life who believed in my skills, abilities, and inner strengths long before I ever believed in them myself; and I’m ridiculously lucky to have so many advocates in my life who have helped smooth the bumpy, rocky, pot-hole-riddled road that lies ahead of each of us.
And none of these things are a result of any special skills of mine, strategic or otherwise.
So back to my lunch conversation today: As I was simultaneously dialoguing with my friends and reflecting on my own spouse/job/plans, I was struck with a physical, palpable feeling of gratitude – literally. In the middle of my chest, in the area of my upper ribs, I felt a sensation of oddly-comforting pressure, and energy, and “oomph”. I was literally hit with a wave of recognition that I am one very lucky girl.
Opportunity keeps on knocking at my front door – and I’m deeply grateful for that. And yes, when opportunity knocks, I do my best to try and answer. But honestly, for the most part, “strategy” and “planning” don’t have much to do with it all. Truly, I’m just really, really lucky.
And I’m very grateful for it.