Thinking about success is what really sparred this entire project. While driving through our quaint little neighborhood, I pointed out my favorite house to my roommate. I talked about how though it wasn’t much, and though I’d prefer a huge plot of land around it, it was enough. It was perfect to me. It was all I needed.
In a culture where big houses often equal success, what am I to make of my dream of a modest, yet absolutely adorable home? I never really thought about the fact that there is a societal definition of success my definition absolutely doesn’t coincide with.
That’s because to America, success is money, work ’til you die, bigger-is-better for things, smaller-is-beautiful for bodies, and fame is the ultimate goal. Hey, I’ll stop being polite and start getting real: all of these things have appealed to me. I’m a human, and I live in the U.S. of A. But as I’ve grown and changed and become the person I’ve learned to find is myself, I have also discovered that American success ain’t really my bag.
Success to me is:
Being with the people I care about. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I chose real life over my career, and like WHO DOES THAT?!?! But a successful life in my book means building my home life first, career life second, and no amount of bullshit culture pressure can make me doubtful.
A modest home on a big plot of land with animals, gardens, and the person I love. Forget cars, mansions, yachts, and private jets.
Working a job I love. My ideal job means being able to write and use all my other passions in creativity, having independence, using my hands, being surrounded by compassion, and making a difference for someone else. That means salary is secondary, and I only need just enough.
Overcoming fears that block me from doing the billions of things I long to do.
Really, that’s all success is to me. Anything you could possibly ask me about success (“What about starting a family? Your TV pilot? SKYDIVING WITHOUT DYING?!”) will ultimately be covered in the four clauses above.
Success to me is… simple.