What is Success? Some Extended Thoughts

I used to believe that the only way to make it in this world was to succeed—in the traditional sense of the word, with some 21st century flair.

You know the kind: best selling book, external validation from strangers, those strangers telling you that whatever you did (insert creation/company/product here) changed their lives. The narrative is so cliché it makes you wonder, because of its popularity, maybe it’s not.

It’s just human desire, because who wouldn’t want to live in a world where you think you’ll be happy and fulfilled forever; where nothing bad can ever happen again, like a little bubble of safety.

But fulfilled and happy sometimes don’t go together and stasis is a myth.

If your definition of success, like mine is, is about reaching a peak, you’d be just as surprised to find that there’s a descent, then another ascent, then maybe some plains.

It never ends.  Only until something decides to take you off the trail. Permanently.

Wow that was pretty bleak.

Point being—everyone’s just trying to do their best, hiking on a trail they don’t know why they’ve been put on in the first place; following multiple paths, scraping their palms while climbing over rocks every so often, shivering in a little tent because they forgot to bring an extra blanket to account for the cold.

The peak is seductive and it’s easy to be impatient and beat yourself up over how you’re too slow, or not prepared, or too this and that (insert other demeaning adjective here).

Well this millennial who just started her journey on the strange plains of “adulthood” is only realizing that sometimes we get tired, sometimes we don’t make it, sometimes we give up but as long as we keep trudging on, maybe, just maybe… we’ll find what we’ve been looking for.

And maybe sometimes the sun will shine through the thicket. Where our minds blank, unencumbered by the weight of Why, only feeling each drop of sweat, each aching bruise, each sharp intake of cold air, noticing every detail of the rocks up ahead and feeling a slight breeze from behind. Only too eager to step forward.







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