college, writing, opinion

Luck schmuck

In life, people do bogus things to get fate on their side. Athletes wear their overused lucky bacon-gartered underwear for the win. Gambling hopefuls blow on their dice—sometimes kiss them like they would a lover—toward the jackpot. Some people consult their horoscopes religiously. Others, the calendar. This year is very lucky. Especially on July, 7, 2007. Opportunity will open its doors and all your wishes will come true.

That, my friends, is the day when my mother’s water bag broke over a mahjong game she was winning and gave birth to me while she was sedated. My birthday this year is 07-07-07. My name is Frances Kristin Jamille (777). I turned 23. Two plus three isn’t seven, but you get the picture. If luck were based on numbers, then I could be considered pretty damn lucky.

I didn’t get emergency superhuman powers. I didn’t suddenly wake up in the middle of the night with the body of Wonder Woman. Johnny Depp didn’t magically apparate in his Jack Sparrow costume to wish me Happy Birthday. Basically, I’m still me. Unlike probably thousands of people that day, I didn’t bet on the number seven in the Lotto. I didn’t hit the slot machines at the casino. I didn’t get married and have babies.

So what’s the big deal? Sure, my fellow Cancerians had something to brag about that day; it would be a cool license plate to have. Never again in this century would we have a triple number “lucky” date (okay, maybe in the year 2077, but that’s a long way off).What happens the day after? We become ordinary again?

Sure, luck can be delicious if you get to have the better bite, but in the pot of stew we call life, it’s not the main ingredient—it’s the salt and pepper added to taste. We still have to get up in the morning with the obligation to give ourselves the boost to work hard to be able to achieve what we want to make out of our consumer-driven lives. We still have to face the consequences of our actions with heads up high. Celebrate if something goes your way. Suck it up and take responsibility for the unsuccessful decisions. Basketballs won’t magically shoot themselves ringless because you have your undies from high school on; practice does make perfect. Rolls of the dice are not pre-ordained—you win some, you lose some (Note: Winning gambles on a regular basis is not a sign from God that you abandon your studies and pursue a career in professional poker. Do it for fun!). Just because Libre tells you that you will come across your future girlfriend at the Vito Cruz station, it doesn’t mean you stop making a good first impression.

Doors to opportunities do open, but not all the time, and not to people with nothing under their belts but blind hope. The cliché is true: there are many fish in the sea, and luck is not the thing to make you different from every other fish. Work hard, play hard, pray hard. Sure, make a wish when you blow out your birthday candle, amuse yourselves with your horoscopes, light a candle and burn a paper with your list of wants on it while chanting—it could be fun. Just don’t sit on your ass wishing on the first star you see with crossed fingers, waiting for something magical to happen. Get out there and show them what you are made of—a unique and industrious individual with substance and a great attitude. Take an actual step forward nearer toward your goals.

Being born on July 7 didn’t make me a better person. I still lose my homework. I still get seatmates on the bus simmering in their body odor. I still get viruses on my computer. I still say stupid stuff that gets me into trouble sometimes. That doesn’t stop me from being me, though. The me who stays up all night just to re-type my paper. The me who steadfastly stands on the aisle of the bus carrying a humongous bag. The me who refuses to kiss her external hard drive goodbye without exhausting all possible solutions. The me who knows the value of saying sorry. And the more I think about it, being me isn’t so bad after all.

(Published in The Benildean, the official college paper of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde)