I used to be a pretty successful person back in high school. There was the realm of academics which was usually a piece of cake for me. Little victories could be found all the time as I went out running in cross country/track in terms of feeling good, beating times, and hitting new PRs. I was also highly engaged in various extra curriculars, which not only helped keep me active but also allowed me to have some sense of being needed for whatever reason. But unfortunately, due to a number of reasons that were both within or beyond my control, my grasp on success slowly faltered away. My grades plummeted, my health (relative to HS) worsened, and I became less and less involved in groups/orgs and lost that feeling that I had. I did have work for two year span of college, but a majority of that was spent as an underling, merely clocking in and clocking out, doing mindless robotic tasks as necessary. So that didn’t really fit the bill either. Needless to say, success has gotten away from me, and sometimes I feel as if I can’t quite remember what it feels like.
The whole idea of success came up the other day as a friend was visiting from out of town. He was taking some vacation time away from work to come home for a bit. And as we talked, the conversation slowly drifted to mention of our classmates from our HS days (holy hell we’re halfway to our 10 yr reunion). We talked about what soandso was doing now and where they were and what they’ve accomplished und so weiter. Unfortunately, among our little group, I guess we were slightly less further ahead in life than we expected to be, at least compared to those that we were mentioning. One of the biggest “problems” if you will, for those of us still living here, is the fact that we were still living at home. Financials aside, the mental toll of not having “left the nest” yet can be difficult to deal with. But we soldier on, because life goes on.
That got me thinking; what is success? There’s two general thoughts that I found myself contemplating. One is the general level of success, where people can/will talk about you and what you’ve done in a less personal manner, but see your accolades and accomplishments rack up and be in awe of you. Becoming a doctor or lawyer, landing a job at a highly successful company, or just having a sizable disposable income at such a young age can definitely inspire some feelings of jealousy and the like. But on the other hand, there’s the feeling of personal success that comes with setting goals and accomplishing them, whether it be in a timely manner or finally being able to cross it off the list after an extended period of time. Little victories.
I think for me, it’s going to come down to more of the latter than the former. Realistically speaking, I’m probably not going to make it big, I’m not going to do anything life changing, or leave a legacy after I’m gone. And I’m good with that. With so many people in the world, most of our stories will merely fade to dust after we’re gone. It’s merely a fact of life. But those personal goals, the smaller things that should be attainable, those are the things that I need to be working toward and setting within reasonable reach.
It’s funny because someone recently did one of those personality tests where you answer with the first thing that comes to your mind, and what you say supposedly reveals things about you. A perfunctory google search gives it the name of the “cube test,” with apparently the same questions but different interpretations of the answers. Whatever. But I think someone made mention that my answers meant that I was working towards my goals but I wasn’t exactly sure what they were yet. Humz. I guess that falls in line with the whole idea of wanting to be successful, but, at least at this present moment, my not exactly having an idea of what success, as defined by me, really is. And unfortunately, I’ve sorta been hovering in this area of purgatory for a while now. Well that whomps.