That success thing…


I know you’re expecting that whole blog about why-success-doesn’t-equal-money thing.

But no.

I feel pretty solidly sure that most people can figure out how they define success by now, especially anyone who went through any kind of job interview in the ’90s. It’s rote.

This next phase of growing up for me isn’t about defining success, but about handling it, I think…

For me, I figure success starts with the act of trying. I’m terrible at that. Somehow my head just fills up with my heartbeat, and nerves tell me to sit back down and shut up. Thankfully (for me anyway), I’m terrible at shutting up, too.

When I do try stuff, things work out pretty well though. I mean, I think my disaster to not-that-bad ratio is above average. So why don’t I try more, why not dare more greatly?

First, I’m trying… I mean, I’m working on trying. Really, it’s a process, you know, a journey.

Second, it’s not that I’m afraid of failure. Seriously. Failure happens, it’s necessary. It’s how we learn stuff. And I’ve learned a LOT. So no, I’m not afraid to fall on my face. What I’m terrified of is success. I watch how easily friends of mine can handle temporary star status – things as simple as a birthday celebration with (yech) tiaras and stuff. I’m in awe of their ability to stand up, stand out, raise their arms up and say TA DA! They shine like they’re meant to shine, in the full knowledge that they deserve to shine. Glorious.

But I’m not that girl. (Yes, bonus points if you can name the show or sing a few bars.) With me, as soon as praise happens, I’m trying to figure out a way to crawl under the table. The crowd claps, and I run off stage, perhaps never to return. It’s a crazy flirtation with the glory of recognition and the near certainty that the mountain is about to collapse and crush me under its weight. It’s the sense that I’ll lose myself, my humility, my humanity if for just a few seconds I allow myself to feel truly special. Look, I’m smart. I know I’m special (and you and you and you). But that’s just book learnin’.

So along with trying, success for me is going to have to mean, scary as it is to face, that I will feel that moment of greatness when it comes, revel in it, smile, leap up and yell TA DA! Except, I’m not gonna yell TA DA. That’s just over the top…

1 Comment

  1. Lisa W

    I could sing a couple of bars, but they’d probably be off-key. And you should be saying TA-DA pretty regularly, just because you’re fabulous!


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