The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as, “favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence” This relatively simple definition doesn’t really seem to hit the mark and leaves me wanting.
I know it may sound silly and maybe even a little naïve to think there could be one word that would measure my life. I always felt success was that word. Success, is a nice strong solid word. A word I thought was quantifiable. No middle ground, you either are or are not. Ahhhh, but that’s the trouble with words and their dictionary meanings. A word like success has lots of room for the 256 shades of gray there are.
When I got out of the military, went to school, and ultimately started a job, success seemed pretty clear. It was a “boatload” of money, a big house, and an expensive luxury car. Wham, then came the dot COM bust and reality set in. Now success had a more humble appearance, keeping the 10 year old car running, paying the mortgage on a 900 sq. ft. home, buying food, and making the utilities, and daycare tuition.
Reality can really be a wet blanket.
Fast forward a number of years, lived thru another economic bust (real estate this time), watched my beloved country attacked from the shadows, and seen my life savings squandered away by unscrupulous financiers. Success, didn’t even make it into my vocabulary. I’ve never really said it, but success was waking up every day.
That was a while ago and success has morphed again. This time it seems more peaceful, even spiritual, and at the end of the day hopefully attainable. The last several months I’ve been working to build my graphic design business. My dear husband has afforded me the resources to build it for the long haul. I do the design work and marketing, while he does the legal and accounting. He’s given me time to be creative, open minded and to do quick turn around projects. Even before my business is turning a profit I’m already a success, because this time success is not something I’ve assigned as quantifiable, it’s squishier than that. Success now is people who are in my corner and have my back. Will, fame and fortune follow? Maybe, but even if they don’t I’ve become a successful human being.