For the longest time I really thought my life and my career was to fit in one of the little boxes that had always been presented to me. In high school we are given career paths like Doctor, Accountant, Psychologist, Marine Biologist, Actor . I truly believed that these labels and boxes were the only things that I could do. I was constantly told to do something predictable and reliable that gave way to paths for pension earnings, regular holidays and medical benefits. I can absolutely say now that I do have a job that gives me all of these things I can understand wholeheartedly the benefit of having such unbelievably amazing perks. When I was in my 20’s working my way around the world I didn’t have any of the such, although I did have the fact that I was working and travelling and living abroad on a daily basis. Now that I have dependents that have teeth and prescription needs I have to say it absolutely helps my psyche knowing I don’t have to pay out of pocket for such things.
For the longest time I also didn’t believe I could really do much more than that which was ascribed as the only way to do things career wise. I really didn’t think I had any talents or was able to “succeed” unless I did fit in to one of these very definitive constructs of employment. Every time I began a project or a business idea I was persuaded otherwise, and told repeatedly that I’d never be able to make a real subsistence wage off of doing “creative” things, and I am a VERY creative human being. I found it easy to believe others when they told me it was just a phase, or a fad, or not a reliable source of income. It was easier to believe them and abandon the project because I had little buy in of myself and what I was able to do. I have spent time, money and effort in launching various forms of design whether it be jewelry, clothing, interior design, painting with various mediums, creating elaborate gardens, recipes, hairstyles. My creativity flows through me on a regular basis and when I have been most unhappy is when I have felt as though it has been unable to have the opportunity to get out. And most unhappy when I truly believed whatever I did would never be good enough.
“Success” in and of itself is a completely subjective term. Some would view success as how much monetary wealth one is able to acquire and retain. This could take the form of cash, property, cars, luxury goods, or even the ability to travel and vacation at regular intervals. Success to others might encapsulate the ability to create and adhere to one’s own schedule, to not have to suffer a clocking in/out fate, to not have a boss or supervisor, to not have to adhere to time for time’s sake. Success is a funny beast however because as I age and continue to be introspective as well as being able to see how others have come about their lives I am noticing that success is also a state of mind. Regardless at how my bank balance continues to struggle, I feel like I am finally succeeding. When I have my days and my moments- and believe me I have them with some frequency still- I must stop myself to reflect on all the ways in which I have actually succeeded. I have managed to survive many bouts of personal and interpersonal strife. I have lived globally. I have been in movies and theatre productions. I have had a few businesses-some more lucrative than others. I have built and retained friendships, I have continued to try raising a very precocious little human. I have written an actual book, and I have not listened one time during that process to all the many people who told me it could not have been done. I have held book signings and prepared manuscripts. I have done marketing, and incessantly approached anyone and anything that would help to further me in my quest. I have rebuilt my health and my psychological state from near ruin, and have made the chosen effort to rise from the ashes and take flight like a phoenix out of the fire. And out of that fire I have found my voice.
I will continue to succeed-and be a success on my own terms because I am no longer listening to people who tell me what I “should be doing”. I am a creator, I am a connector and I am determined to make a difference to my life, and to everyone’s lives around me. Creating a life for myself and my child that is honest and healthy both psychologically and physically has the most power for my being because I know it is the only way we will be able to live comfortably. We live in an increasingly more unsettling time with more unrest, more “reality” shows, and less honesty. We have created our circumstances because of the choices we have made, in a quest to reach what we thought success should look like, based on the beliefs of others who were equally as misguided. We thought that we would be so much happier if only we had the things that they had. We thought that once we reached a level of career success that everything would feel whole and safe and full of opportunities but instead found it increasingly more insular, more bound and more limiting.
We must try to stop when we are beginning to feel bound and limited and reflect on what we have done, where we are now and what it is we want to achieve in the future. We need to remind ourselves that we are all succeeding, in our own way because we are still here. Despite the challenges that are constantly thrown at us to make us grow by beating us down. Despite having others tell us how silly we are to have goals that don’t line up with their own. Despite wanting to achieve things that don’t fit in to any box. We don’t have to fit in to any box. We can create and design our very own, using more than 3 dimensions, and more than one philosophical model. We need to pause and take stock of every accomplishment, no matter how slight or seemingly unworthy. Because every step is worthy of the next, and every human is worthy of creating a life that fits their goals like a well-worn golden shoe. And then we will find happiness, and then we will stop fighting with each other, and then we will stop comparing sizes of armies, we will stop blaming our neighbors and we will stop blaming ourselves. We will learn to love the stories we have lived throughout our lives, regardless of how painful and shameful. We will all get comfortable with who we are, and we will stop trying to project and be projected upon.
I struggled for 35 years of my life to try and fit in to a box that someone else had designed. And for 35 years I struggled to find comfort there, and within myself. I remember writing a piece mostly for myself a few years ago, and I wrote “I am a writer”, and I cried a river while writing it. Because despite spending my entire life not knowing what I was doing, or where my passion or my purpose was, making a statement such as that, so simple, so clear, so straightforward unleashed in me my truth. I am a great many things including a failure but I am also a great success. I have stopped listening to people who tell me I can’t or I shouldn’t or I’m not good enough, because that is the box they have put me and themselves in. I will continue to create, and connect, and succeed. I no longer fear failing, or having others tell me how they think I should be. I know who I am. I know what I am, and I know where I am going. It is honest, it is true, it is beneficial to every single human on the planet, and I am making a difference. Despite others telling me I can’t because they believe (incorrectly) that they can’t. We all can make a difference, and we all will. Once we all start believing that we have the ability to succeed.
Stay tuned for the relaunch of the newly minted Pegasus Published edition of The One Life Movement.
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