Some people think that life is all about blind-luck, but the thought of not being able to control anything is way too spooky for me. I’m not a fan of thinking you can control everything through hard-work and sheer willpower either – because well, you’re definitely not getting anything if you don’t work for it, sure; but working for something is not a complete guarantee that you will get it, you’re not god! You’re not omnipotent! There are external factors and you can’t control it all! And I think anyone will know at least one person to whom this applies. I do feel one has to keep optimistic, but assuming you didn’t get something because you just didn’t put your heart into ir or because – bullshit alert – you were unconsciously sabotaging yourself because deep inside you knew it wasn’t for you…. well, that’s the slippery slope towards self-loathe.
But it doesn’t all come to blind-luck. If you remember being a kid and trying to fool someone, you might remember closing your eyes to the point where they really looked like they were closed, but you could still see through a fine blur of your own eyelashes and “guess”. We grownups seem to have mastered the art of seeing life’s choices through the eyelashes and make what we called “pondered choices” or at least “educated guesses”. Looking between the lashes will sometimes even help focus things that aren’t clear.
You still need a certain amount of luck. You can write a kick-ass job application to your dream firm and if you get the job, you might become successful enough to be quoted in bold in a magazine saying you “worked hard and that’s how it goes”, but if you get to a certain age, you’ll know more than one person who wrote a kick-ass job application to their dream firm, worked really hard and only got a nervous breakdown and lasting psychic damage to show for. And you better pray that someone isn’t you!
It isn’t me. At least so far, and I’m still willing to try everyday until this ridiculously resilient body gives up or I get into a constant comfort zone. But on a bad day, the thought of this randomness will knock the air right of my lungs. Some mornings, I’m performing the easiest tasks at work that even a simple monkey can do, listening to the same people telling me the most obvious stuff I already know about my tasks, alternating between “Yessir” and “I know, I know, you told me before” and letting my thoughts roam free, and I’ll suddenly have to force myself into sighing for breath and mutter “Jesus f***, how did my life get this complicated?”.
I’ll tell you how: I squinted, like everyone else. My best friend squinted and got all the happiness she deserves. I’m still working at it: trying to make better choices based on squinting, waiting for the results of my squinting to land me to a better place and working on accepting what I can’t change. I’m miles away from where I want to be and miles ahead from where I was only a couple of years ago. Like the Germans say “only those who don’t do anything never make mistakes”. But just in case the mistakes aren’t really always mine, I’m looking for solutions.