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Lucky by Marissa Stapley


The only people Lucky has ever trusted are her dad, who is currently incarcerated, and her boyfriend, who just disappeared without a trace. Lucky’s upbringing was unique. She didn’t attend school or make friends. Instead, her criminal father trained her to be his little accomplice. Later, with her boyfriend, Lucky became a partner-in-crime.


At this point, Lucky is an adult and has run quite a few independent scams. But she’s realized that she wants to turn her life around.


As a therapist/person, I believe that people can change and that people are more than the total of all their mistakes and bad decisions. But change is never easy.


So, let’s talk about how to change. We’re going to start really nerdy and theory-based. It’s going to be fun.


The stages of change are:

  • Precontemplation (Problem? What problem?)

  • Contemplation (OK, this isn’t great. But I’m ambivalent about changing.)

  • Preparation (I’m doing/learning these things to get ready to change.)

  • Action (Putting the plan to work. Change, here we come!)

  • Maintenance (Now that I made this life for myself, I’m living it.)


Lucky is in the preparation stage of change for much of the book. Her decisions can frequently be boiled down to: one more scam so I can stop scamming. In honor of Lucky, here are some ways to move from preparation to action.


  • Write a list of the reasons that you want to change. Remember that changing will be easier if you truly believe that the benefits outweigh the downsides of staying the same.

  • Create a set of goals that are specific and reasonable.

  • Work on a plan to attain those goals, paying particular attention to planning around barriers that may pop up.


I’d imagine Lucky’s reasons would include lessening her fear of going to jail or facing other consequences and being able to create honest relationships with friends. Her goals might be finding a stable job, living within a budget that obviates the need to steal, and making a few friends. Finally, her plan might include applying to jobs, creating a realistic budget, and joining free or inexpensive community groups (like book clubs, adult sports leagues, etc).


If Lucky took these steps, she would be more likely to succeed in her new, more honest life. The only downside is that the reader would get a more stable and less dramatic story.

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