What is success?

I was recently at my community group and we do some ice breaker questions sometimes. I got this one: “what is success?”

Well, that should probably be easy, right. I mean you can go with the dictionary definition of success or what success means to you or any number of answers. Besides there are no right or wrong answers anyway. I had no answer, right or wrong. I finally came up with something random, like being happy and providing for yourself.

Why was it so hard to define success? Maybe it’s difficult because I don’t necessarily feel like a successful adult. I know that’s weird. I have a job. I pay my bills, more or less on time. I have a degree (or several lol). So why don’t I feel successful?

I’m not sure. Maybe part of the problem is those are traditionally man definitions of success. Female versions must add have a family, and I most certainly haven’t accomplished that.

Maybe that’s the problem, society’s version of success. Before you roll your eyes, I know. I hear you. This is starting to sound like the lament of single people. The funny part is I’m not even 100% sold on the idea of being married. Having a husband that lives in another state has always been appealing, but I digress.

It’s funny. Sometimes even in groups, I feel like I’m playing grownup. I wonder if I have anything to contribute because these people are all older and wiser than I am. (And then I realize that I’m one of the oldest people, if not the oldest person in the room.) Something about having a family makes people seem so old and wise.

I also don’t feel like a grownup so that doesn’t help. I feel like I’m not old enough to be a grown up, though that’s certainly not the case. Sometimes I wonder if grownups (you know the married kind) are just putting up with me playing grownup or if they can really be my friends. (I know…my crazy has come untucked).

I think it’s part of embracing this life that I’m living. I need to rectify myself to the fact that I am successful. I need to realize that I have things to contribute. I have life experiences. I might even be old and wise, but let’s not push it too far.

I may not be able to tell you what to do with your husband (because tell him to move to Texas and visit would top the list). I most certainly have no advice for having or raising children. But there’s more to life than that.

Even if this is the life I continue to live until I’m old and gray (older and grayer anyway), I am a valuable member of society. I have things to offer. I have been given much. (Believe me I’m writing to convince myself as well.)

I like the Maya Angelou definition of success above. I like how it starts with liking yourself. It does no good to wish life were different because it’s not. It’s time to start liking myself, where I am and embracing my life, and even liking it. (I’m working on it.)

There are good things. I don’t have to share my bathroom…or my money…or really anything. I can make whatever decisions I choose without working about what someone else thinks. I can sleep through the night (well sometimes).

I am successful. I adult quite well. Go me.

In other news, I did not find a house today. I found a house I didn’t like. I also had to answer the questions, what didn’t you like? Um…I didn’t like that it wasn’t the one. I think house shopping is not as fun as I might have imagined, and I might continue to reside in my rental for the rest of eternity. Probably not. But it’s an option. See I’m not a real adult. One day at a time.

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