This is the first in a new series called ‘Monday Musings’. For a long time I have been yearning to write more. You know, really write. In fact, I have written so many posts in my head that I should be quite the seasoned writer by now. But alas, I am probably somewhat still rather mediocre. That being said, I always loved to write and share my thoughts. Whether it was in the form of diary writing as a child or eulogising on my Myspace ‘Notes’ as a student. I have a long history of getting words down. Thinking about it, one of the main reasons I started Rosalilium was my compulsion to keep writing every day after my original travel blog of 2008-2009 was over, and my daily writing for my Masters degree had forged a pretty solid habit.
I learned a lot about writing during my postgraduate studies. I was by no means accomplished in any way. But I did gain a bit of confidence and reconciled that actually if I did write every day there is a chance I might improve on this writing malarky. Marry that with an almost obsession about sharing my thoughts daily (sorry to all those who knew me growing up, I really was quite the chatterbox) and you have the makings of a blogger.
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I started to feel rather despondent with Rosalilium last year. My juices had run dry and I wasn’t really feeling any particular direction.
Then, after several more posts being written in my head I had an epiphany. Maybe I should, you know, write more on my blog. Tis my blog after all.
It occurred to me that I could share both opinion pieces alongside personal style, easy-to-make recipes, interior ponderings and general pretty things. Hell, that’s what the magazines have been doing for years. Why not create more of what feels good?
And so… after quite a rambling introduction … here is the first instalment of Monday Musings. Hope you like it, do let me know your thoughts in the comments as it’s most useful to know what my readers are thinking.
No Such Thing As Lucky
I don’t really believe in luck. But I do believe in fate. Is that even possible? Aren’t they one and the same?
Well, for me, they are not.
Luck implies that the recipient is passive, that something great happens by itself. Whereas with fate I believe that some things are meant to happen, that there is journey or lesson in life and with that is a sense of agency from the participant.
But I’m not here to talk about fate. I want to address luck.
You see, luck is a term that is bandied around too easily. “Oh, so-and-so is so lucky because they have x, y and z.”.
No, just no.
So-and-so most likely has x, y and z because they worked damn hard for it.
One recent example that has cropped up time and time again on my social media feeds is that “Zoella is so lucky … blah, blah, blah (insert comment about her looks, friends, contacts, family, general nonsense). She’s so lucky that she got this opportunity, or that opportunity”.
Now, I have a major problem with this point of view because it completely negates the hard work and dedication this brilliant young woman has put into her craft (yes, vlogging is a craft. As someone who spent most of the past year getting to grips with filming and editing, I can attest that it is incredibly time consuming and takes skill). Zoe is 25 year-old woman who has spent the past 5/6 years learning her craft, building her audience and most importantly, showing up. She makes her own videos, she is engaging and she is successful for it. There’s no luck in that. All I see is hard work.
Recently, I have been on the receiving end of a few ‘lucky’ comments. Whilst I am absolutely sure they were said with the most genuine of intentions, they still kind of hurt.
You see, when you say I’m lucky for an opportunity that I know has taken years of hard work, sacrifice and pain to get to, well, it diminishes all that I’ve done.
Going abroad for a few months. That wasn’t about luck. It was a necessity. For us, we needed to do that for a number of reasons (believe or not it was cheaper to fly out to and live in Thailand for four months than being here). Having the opportunity to do things such as spending the best day ever with the elephants, that wasn’t luck, that was work that made that possible.
I haven’t received so-called ‘freebies’ because I’m lucky. I was offered them as review items for this blog. A blog that takes a huge amount of work to maintain, for a review that is actually work (did you know it can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours per blog post?).
My hair isn’t long because I’m lucky (yes, I have had this a few times). My hair, sometimes bane of my existence, has taken years of growth and patience to get this long. Believe me, it’s far from perfect and not helped when crazy hairdressers cut most of it off. Like most women, I wish I could change my hair somewhat, whether it is having it a bit thicker, or losing it’s persistence to go a bit frizzy in humidity. My hair is hard work to maintain and take care, something I take pride in when I can.
I feel like we hide behind ‘lucky’. We use it as an excuse. A reasoning. A way to explain away why we haven’t achieved. A word that distracts us from what we already have.
Another great example is the competition blogger Super Lucky Di. I mean, she uses the term lucky in her blog name, but she is not lucky per se. She is smart, strategic and dedicated. Winning didn’t happen to her. She made it happen.
We are all, myself included, susceptible to overusing, and perhaps misusing, the word lucky. We might even be guilty of giving in to envy. But I believe we need to recognise that in ourselves, take stock of what we really mean by lucky, and take a moment to delve a bit deeper into another person’s ‘luck’.