‘I always thought I was unlucky,’ said a colleague, ‘…until I met you.’
‘Better steer clear of that ladder,’ declared one mate, ‘Your karma’s fucked up enough as it is.’
‘If I didn’t love you so much,’ said another, ‘I’d think twice about being mates with such an unlucky person.’
But, as the kind of idiot who breaks her back on the first day of her getting-over-cancer holiday, such quips aren’t just expected, but entirely justified.
As it was, however, P and I spent new year in Malaysia which, let’s be honest, is still quite the lucky escape.
‘And no falls or hospital visits or broken bones this time?’ asked my neighbour (by which I mean EVERYONE I KNOW) this week.
‘None to speak of,’ I answered. ‘Dare I say I’m pretty much in tact!’
‘See?’ she said, ‘You’re already luckier in 2011 than you were in 2010!’
‘I suppose you could say I am,’ I admitted.
‘You know what, love?’ she added, assuredly, ‘This is going to be your year, I can just feel it.’
I do appreciate people’s this-is-your-year wishes. Each January since The Bullshit, I’ve tended to get a lot of them, and hope that I will for many Januarys to come. But, lovely as they are to hear – and kind as folk are to offer them – I’m not daft enough to let myself believe such it’s-my-year guarantees, in much the same way that you can’t allow yourself to take on board the you’ll-definitely-get-its when you’ve had a job interview, the it’ll-be-okays when you’ve had a biopsy or the of-course-he’ll-call-yous when you’ve lipsticked your telephone number onto a bloke’s forearm. Because, as we all know, luck doesn’t work like that.
Or does it? It’s a funny old concept, is luck. One which I doubt any of us can fully get to the bottom of. But since that’s never stopped my eyes lighting up at the prospect of an impossible task (hello, befriending Dave Grohl while wearing denim hotpants and hatching a plan to reform Led Zep), I’ll crack on regardless. See, as I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, despite the admittedly unlucky nature of much of my last three years, I’ve nonetheless always thought of myself as a lucky lass. But, as the Necker Island Savings Account testifies, sometimes so many people tell you something that you just can’t help but start to believe it. Hence, in light of the running joke that is Lucky Lisa’s Life, I’ve decided to spend ‘my’ year searching for ways to become luckier – and then write about what I find. Kind of like a university thesis, but one in which I’m infinitely more interested, much less likely to plagiarise, and for which I’ll hopefully require far fewer Ginsters pasties.
A hefty chunk of good fortune is, of course, down to the fate you create: the positive attitude you choose to embrace; the lemons you turn into 7 Up; the gameshow answers that prompt a sudden urge to cough. But that isn’t the kind of luck that I want to learn about. Nope, the fortune I’m interested in is more of the down-and-dirty, dying-seconds-FA-Cup-winner, chips-piled-high-on-a-Vegas-poker-table, lone-survivor-of-a-plane-crash, bumping-into-your-long-lost-twin stuff. I want to find out if it’s possible to make that kind of luck the way you make the luck that gets you a promotion or a successful marriage or a gold medal.
But before you picture me rubbing a rabbit’s foot and casting spells beside a Yoda-like Maharishi in a lucky temple (mind you, if that’s what it takes…), I should state that I’m not intending to change the essence of my karma or the way I think or increase my chi or any of that shite. I don’t want to feel more lucky; I want to be more lucky. This isn’t about belief; it’s about physics. See, I’m a practical kind of girl. And while I accept that many things are down to good fortune, I also believe that good fortune is down to you. Which, you might argue, is the very same bull whose horns I’m intending to cling onto. And given that every luck-based conversation I’m party to these days tends to conclude with a knowing smirk in my direction, I think I’m the girl to do it.
Besides, I’m doing this for you as much as me. (I know, right? I’m all give.) Really I am. You see, I’m not foolish enough to think that, just because I’m one of the few twonks gobby enough to have broadcasted my shit luck to the world, I’m the only one to have had any. I’m acutely aware that into every life a little rain must fall – so consider this your welly-stall at a wet Glastonbury, where all I’m asking in return is your help in the comments below.
What I’d like to do, then, is meet the people, try the things, research the theories, test the methods and live the superstitions that claim to make people more lucky. Perhaps you know of some lucky places to go, lucky people to visit, lucky clothes to wear, lucky charms to buy or lucky courses to take? You might have once read about a lucky spell or lucky potion or lucky ritual. Or maybe you don’t have any interest or faith in luck at all and just think I’m a bit of a lunatic – in which case, good luck to you. But whichever camp you fall into, I’d feel very fortunate indeed to receive any assistance or ideas you might be able offer.
I assure you that it’s not out of greed that this is something I’m keen to look into (I’ll say it again: I might not be perceived as lucky, but it’s certainly something I’ve never considered myself otherwise), but more out of curiosity. My aim isn’t to finish this exercise as The Luckiest Person In The World; simply to know that I’ve done everything possible to stack the odds in my favour. (And anyway, a Google search of ‘the luckiest person in the world’ returned answers including Cher Lloyd, Christopher Biggins and an America’s Next Top Model winner, and I can’t say that’s exactly what I had in mind.) Nope, it’s simply that, whatever the situation, I like to know that I've done everything in my power to help myself. So, y’know – wish me luck.