I’m usually not into superstition (outside of sports, that is–case in point, my first FSU jersey did not get washed during my entire undergraduate career–gross, yes, but they didn’t lose a single game in four years when I was in Doak wearing that jersey [15 total wins, thank you]). However, I do find myself taken with the idea of numerology from time to time. Just the other day, I was reading a blog about the number 23 and its presence in the life of one of my favorite musicians, Jason Mraz, when I got to thinking about my lucky number–11.
I was born on 11/11/84 (at 9:00 p.m., though it would be a cooler story if it was 11:00) and therefore from birth the number 11 has been a part of me. Other than little coincidences and one small-time lottery win when I was younger, the number didn’t seem at all magical or important until 2001. That year, I took a two-week trip to Spain as an exchange student–part of a program between my city, St. Augustine, and its sister city, Aviles, Spain. It was an extraordinary, life changing experience. But for all it taught me about the world, I learned more shortly after I came home.
Eleven days after I returned to the United States on U.S. Air Flight #11, on the morning of September 11, 2001, the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. began when American Airlines Flight #11 collided with the twin towers (which, when you think about it, looked like a #11 in the New York skyline). Also, September 11 has 11 characters in it. New York City has 11 letters in it. I could go on, but I’m afraid to dig any further.
My second thought–after calling to make sure that my cousins who lived in the city were safe–was if that horrible day had happened eleven days earlier, I could have been involved. I could have been on one of those planes, I could have been stuck in Spain for weeks–separated from my family and terrified, alone on the other side of the ocean. But eleven days saved my life. Eleven days ensured that I was safe in my biology class, a few miles from home where my parents were there to hug me that night and tell me that everything was going to be okay.
The thing is, I don’t like to read to much into things and I’m not even sure that I believe in the idea of numerology. What I do know is that since then I have paid even more attention to the times in my life when the number eleven happens to pop up. On clocks, in lottery numbers, and on New Year’s Even when the ball dropped and we began the year 2011.
I also know this: If 2011 is going to be my year, it won’t be merely by circumstance. I have set goals for myself this year, determined to make strides toward a new future. I want to finish my second novel, get a new job, build up my savings account, and just get myself in a more stable position.
As the voice of my generation, John Mayer, has said before: “Everything happens for a reason is no reason not to ask myself if I am living it right.”
I can’t hope that the numbers alone will align the universe for me, I have to do my best to put things together, too–hopefully before 11/11/11 when I will turn twenty-seven (that’s right, 11 letters).