I received my good luck charm five years ago now as a Christmas present, and not a day has since gone by where it hasn’t been on my person.
Mostly, I wear it around my neck on a thin chain that I’ve exchanged for another at least twice. It’s small and it’s unimpressive – nothing more than a star made from sterling silver, bought on sale at an already cheap gift shop. In tiny, swirling lettering, the word ‘wish’ is printed across it, so faintly that I’m fairly certain the only people who know about it are me and my mom, who was the one who gave me the necklace five years back. I certainly own prettier jewellery. I own necklaces made out of more expensive diamonds and metals, and I own necklaces with finer detail and more sparkle than this every had. And yet, this is the necklace that I almost never remove. It is the one that I feel naked without.
On the rare occasion where I have forgotten to put my good luck charm on, it’s always been the reason for anything that’s gone wrong in that time. Following a failed interview, I’ve stumbled upon the small star with its borrowed chain laying forgotten on my bedside table, and I’ve thought to myself, “oh, that’s why I kept stuttering through my answers.” I’ve also strung the necklace around my neck before leaving for something important, like an exam, and I’ve thought to myself, “there. Now nothing can go wrong.” It’s my security blanket – the thing that keeps me safe in this big, wide world where too much can go wrong.
And, to be honest, that doesn’t really make sense, because in the past five years since I began wearing my good luck charm, things have gone very, very wrong.
I’m fully aware of that every time I blame the absence of the necklace for something going wrong. I recall wearing the necklace on a daily basis when I was struck so hard by depression that it took me a year to get back up. I recall times when the necklace failed to keep me safe from harsh realities, from being hurt, from selfish people who expended not a thought about me. I have worn this good luck charm through panic attacks and through deep-felt loss, and yet, somehow, none of that ever stripped it of its magic for me.
So then that begs the question of why. Why do I turn to this necklace again and again as a sign that everything will be alright when it’s failed for me before?
Because the way that I see it, this necklace is not intended to keep me from harm. I do believe that there’s magic in this world, but I don’t believe that anything, not even a good luck charm, could keep me from getting hurt. That’s going to happen whether I want it to or not.
But there is something else about this necklace, something that does make it more special than any other: it’s the ideas that it’s imbued with.
From the moment that my mother saw this necklace for sale in a gift shop, from the moment that I pulled the gift wrap from it and revealed the little star inside, it had already been provided with a very important meaning, one that I know that I should keep close to my heart at all times: that I need to keep fighting.
The little word in tiny, swirling lettering, that little ‘wish’, reminds me to keep dreaming of better things, to keep striving toward them, to never give up.
It reminds me that if things aren’t okay now, then I need to make them okay, because I am capable of doing that.
And so far as I can see, my good luck charm has never failed in this regard.
I’m still here, after all. I’m still fighting, and I’m still striving for my best, and no amount of pain that I couldn’t have been protected from has stopped me.
And that is more important than anything else this good luck charm could have done for me.