I am a naturally superstitious person.
I hold my breath both in tunnels and when I pass a cemetery, and I don’t think there’s a single human (aside from maybe my great-grandmother) who crosses themselves while driving as much as I do.
My worst superstition, though, is invisible. Essentially, it boils down to the idea that if I think anything good will happen, only bad will.
I think it stems from the concept of “low expectations,” that phrase that, I imagine, has been preached at every preteen girl since the beginning of time. I have a tendency to hyper-imagine potential situations and conversations to the point that when they don’t play out the way I wanted them to in my mental one-act, I feel disappointed.
So I go with the worst possible scenario.
“It probably won’t work out.”
“I’m sure they’ll go with someone else.”
I don’t want to be the person who fishes for validation, but in those moments I feel so convinced that if I don’t say the negative thing festering in the back of my mind, the moment will carry too much anticipation. I’ll look like an idiot when it doesn’t pan out. I’ll feel disappointed.
I guess it’s an attempt at humility, uncontrollable anxiety and a fear of cosmic interference rolled into one, but, for lack of a poetic description, it sucks. I do not like it.
My new superstition, then, or the one I’m working on, was found in an unlikely place. On a bumper sticker. If you live in Florida, you’ve probably seen them:
It’s called Gene’s Law and, according to Gene’s website, it was created to juxtapose Murphy’s Law, which says, rather pessimistically, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Gene says soon after he adopted his new way of thinking, he got a check in the mail from his trust fund.
Call it confirmation bias, but Gene’s Law sounds better than Murphy’s. So that’s my new philosophy, too.
If anything can go well, it will. If it can’t, it won’t, and it’s not your burden to “call it” before the bad stuff comes.
The waves never stop. There is no power in seeing them coming. The more helplessness you allow yourself in moments of discomfort, the more at peace you’ll feel, no matter what the outcome may be. Cross your fingers, wish at 11:11, and let the universe (or God, if you’re feeling it) work it out for you.