My grandmother is getting ready for Chinese New Year after a Denver Broncos Super Bowl victory, carefully placing red and gold envelopes on the dining room table covered with oranges, candies, Chinese sweets and a vase full of red roses. The red accoutrements adorning the table are all to bring good luck in the New Year, and I’m happy for any opportunity to rope in a little good fortune. Although I agree most people make their own luck through hard work and dedication, I decide to work on a Lucky Knot to make my own rabbit’s foot. My grandmother asks if the game is over, but for me it seems like it’s all just begun. With multiple applications for jobs and school in the balance and two possible places to land for a while, I wonder if not washing my hair and refraining from eating meat on Monday will give me a little bit of hope I’ve been looking for.
I decide to consult a new companion, the I Ching, for additional advice. Currently it’s been telling me I’m seeking nourishment and fulfillment, which comes as no surprise because I’m ready to know where to go next. However, the answer isn’t going to come quickly. It requires patience and faith. Patience I struggle with, faith comes and goes but always seems to be there. My time right now, however, has been a test of both. I constantly wonder, is success possible or do those who have it all have all the luck?
It seems everyone has a different meaning for luck and how to get it. My Instagram account is filled on a daily basis with accounts promising more followers and likes if I just follow the link in their profile. Twitter constantly reminds me if I just show them a little green, I can grow my followers to the number I’ve always wanted. Maybe I’m just stubborn, but perhaps it’s not my determination speaking this time. Maybe this time, it’s my sense of faith, the belief that if I keep at it something will break through. I have faith in my hard work, but perhaps I need to have a little faith in something else. Wearing red, not washing my hair and avoiding meat may only seem superstitious, but this Chinese New Year, I’m thinking a little faith in these traditional practices may bring me what I need: direction. Going from place to place and job to job has had its excitement, but this year I’m finding I need them to move me in the same direction.
Getting ready to finish my work, I find my grandmother has placed the final red envelope in front of the frame of her and my grandfather. She knows her next destination is watching Chinese movies before heading to sleep, and I’m beginning to see that perhaps I already know where I need to go I just need to have faith in others and hold onto my Lucky Knots for extra security. The hallway is dark except for her bedroom, and I begin to realize what Chinese New Year has brought me: a flicker of hope in a dark and uncertain pathway.