I keep a two-dollar bill in my wallet that was given to me by my mother when I was six years old. I am not superstitious but the bill goes with me wherever I go.
My mother gave it to me so that luck would follow me everywhere. She looked at me and said, 'I want you to carry this two-dollar bill for extra good luck.'
'Thanks mom,' I replied. 'I will keep it close to me always.'
Every morning I would get dressed and my two-dollar bill went into my pocket. My mother passed away when I was 17 years old and I remember taking out my two-dollar bill. I held it in my hand for the longest time and knew that she would be watching over me the rest of my life.
Each time I felt I had a crisis on my hands, I would reach for my two-dollar bill and set it on the table. I would stare at it for several hours and could always come up with a solution.
When I applied for my first job, I was thirty years old and very shy.
The thought of being interviewed for a job was scary but I had to work. On my first interview, as I sat in the waiting room, I noticed there were five women ahead of me.
All of the women were younger and very well dressed. One of them was impeccable in her blue striped suit with matching purse and shoes.
I knew I was up against women better qualified by looking at the length of their resumes.
Mrs. Martin, the office manager, summoned me into her office.
'What makes you feel you are qualified for this job?' she asked.
'I really need this job and there is nothing I cannot do,' I responded.
She asked me a series of questions and the interview was over. As I exited her office, I turned around and said, 'Mrs. Martin, I know that I am not qualified like your other applicants, but please give me a chance. I learn quickly and can be a very productive member of your team.'
I thanked her and went home exhausted. Oh well, I thought, tomorrow would be another day. That evening as I was getting ready for bed, I received a phone call from Mrs. Martin.
'Gina,' she said 'you were not the most qualified applicant, but you have so much confidence in yourself that we decided to give you a chance to prove yourself.'
I screamed out loud, was jumping all over the room in disbelief. I could hear Mrs. Martin laughing in the background and suddenly I realized that Mrs. Martin was still on the line.
'Thank you, Mrs. Martin, you will not regret this decision,' I said and hung up the phone.
I got my wallet and took out my two-dollar bill.
'Thanks mom, I am going to make it,' I said out loud so my mother could hear me.
At that instant, I remember the time she pulled all of us into the living room and said, 'You are all brilliant in my mind, but if you fail once don't give up. Don't fear failure. It is a way of getting us to try harder. You will succeed, I promise.'
I still think of mom every day and keep my two-dollar bill in my wallet. At a family reunion years later, I found out that my brothers and sisters all had a two-dollar bill in their wallet. We all laughed and talked about how special this gift from Mom had been to each and every one of us. It had reinforced the confidence Mom had instilled in us.