Ever since my third knee surgery, I've had incredible parking karma.
Take a second to soak that up. I don't know where you live, so this will mean different things depending on your location, but it's a true statement. I find parking spots close to entryways at rush hour, slip in just as a car is pulling out, or take a gander down a street with one strip of curb left for me so I can avoid paying for parking.
I don't think it's the universe feeling bad for me - I just think I accumulated some karma over the years. Without getting too murky or controversial, I'll just say that I don't have strong ties to spiritual beliefs or the Easter Bunny or anything. I do, however, believe in karma.
I don't think I'm rolling around in good deeds that shield me from life's tougher moments, but I do think I've put enough out there to have some lingering positive vibes awaiting an epic embrace. If that turns out to look like finding a parking spot in the Trader Joe's lot at 5:15pm on a work night, so be it.
There are, however, two sides of karma, and I believe in both of them. Over the weekend I told a group of my girlfriends about a petty incident I was involved in a few months back. It was during a game of musical chairs. Yes - you read that right - musical chairs. I had claimed a full seat with only a handful of people left, and when the judge turned his back, another participant came in and pushed me off of the chair! I couldn't believe it! Then when the judge asked, the player just kind of shrugged and gave a confused look. That cheater ended up winning the whole game.
Was karma defected? How was there a reward for such cruel, conniving behavior? There wasn't. Karma is never in a rush. It's not unfair. Karma doesn't take the cheaters and liars and thieves and bash them with trauma or tragedy - that's not Karma's MO. Karma is the swing vote in the moments that are close - the moments that matter - and the moments that level out a playing field. Karma, contrary to popular belief, is not a bitch.
Every gut-wrenching, life-changing, questionable moment in life does not equate to payback for a poor decision or action you've previously made; it's just life. Karma steps in when the time is right.
This is exactly where I wanted to be. And it was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I worked hard to earn this job - I am qualified and educated and skilled - so landing it was not karma. The evolution and timeline, however, is a different story. I am chalking it up to karma. I am chalking up the sequence of events in my life - good and bad - to karma. The downward spiral of the "unfairness" led to the upward climb of accomplishment, and it feels awesome. The person who pushed me off of the chair doesn't deserve anything awful, but that karma lingers and waits to decide where the cards will fall just a bit differently when the time is right.
Karma pushes us and teaches us and questions us. It doesn't hand us unwarranted gifts or punish us with blindsided grief. We don't win because helped someone with his/her groceries and we don't lose because we put a nail polish in our pocket in 3rd grade without paying for it. But we do win. And we do lose. Sometimes it's well-earned and sometimes karma is working for or against other elements that we can't see. Maybe karma keeps us safe during a loss or keeps us humble during a win.
Whatever the case, I feel as though that feeling that I had yesterday - being exactly where I wanted to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing - was sprinkled with the right kind of karma.
And, of course, I'm not mad about my parking karma either.