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Pickles & Chapstick: success

Thursday, June 27, 2013



Forgive me if I start to ramble. Pretty sure I've been on a rambling cycle this past week. Moving on - For as long as I can remember, teachers and sometimes even parents try to embed their idea of what success is or try to give you pointers on how to lead a successful life. They're using their knowledge, life experiences, etc. to help guide you down a certain path. Maybe it's the oldest child syndrome, or the fact that I hate being told what to do or perhaps it's the Aquarian in me but I've never 100% agreed with what their ideas of success was. 

I believe an education is very important and I may be a nerd in secret (i keep most of my old text books and reread them when I'm bored - dork!) but I know for a fact that college isn't for everyone and I know not everyone is ready to attend college at the same time. I'd never advise someone not to go to college but I do know how I was around 18 and the idea of making me go to college was like trying to teach a pig how to fly - it wasn't going to happen. I was very stubborn in my mind set and I was going to do things my way (interesting - some things never change). So what did I do? Move out to California after just turning 20. I needed to move away from a place where I felt suffocated. It didn't hit me until five years later but I realized that was one of my first successes. 

By most people's standards (& sometimes my own) I'm not a very successful person. I don't have some amazing job or career where I'm bringing in the cash or have a 401k, I don't drive a fancy car (fact - I never desire to drive a fancy car), I don't own a home, I have never been outside North America, I have debt & yes, i'm a single mom. I'm sure there a bunch more things to add on here but that's not what I'm trying to focus on here. To some or maybe to most this looks like an unsuccessful person but these things don't define success to me. I think success is more personal than some may realize. When I was pregnant I had gnarly morning sickness and managed to still go to work. I managed to deal with a very difficult pregnancy by myself. These may not like seem much to someone else but it was a huge success for me. It taught me a lot about myself and my nature. I've had highs with jobs where money wasn't a huge issues and I've had a lot of lows where it was and have lived paycheck to paycheck and somehow still managed to stay afloat. Mostly everyone has been there, its tough and it sucks and sometimes it does a number to your self esteem but you're a success in my eyes cause that's tough to do and you aren't throwing in a towel. If you're doing something that you love and not making much money as you would like but you're still doing it - you're a success in my eyes. You could be homeless or perhaps even crazy but still the most gentle and loving human being - you're a success. 

My Opa pretty much grew up in poverty and my Oma had nothing after WWII because Germany was completely bombed out, but they found one another and got married and had nothing upon moving back to the states (where my Opa was from). But they worked and somehow managed to make a little life for themselves and made a life for their children. My mama and uncles went to catholic school and never went without anything they didn't need. My Opa was a mechanic who would also work a part-time job here and there and my Oma was a full-time mom up until my mom went to school all day then got a part-time job. I've seem them struggle and I've seen them overcome lots of things. My grandparents are the most giving and loving people you'd ever meet and they've given my brother and I so much. They'd give you the shirt off their backs if meant you'd be clothed. I'm pretty sure my they love me more than my own parents do (no joke). They are two of the most successful people I have met in my entire life. They may not have the best of everything but they make the best of everything and for everyone around them. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't enjoy constant struggle and having more money would be amazing but I'm not going to sit here and think of myself as a failure because I'm still working towards things I want in my life. I want to eventually gallivant around the streets of Paris, snuggle a koala bear in Australia and hike machu picchu. Oh, and lets not forget sporting a pink wig and run around Tokyo like Scarlett Johnansson did in Lost In Translation. At some point would like a little family that I can dote on. I want to own a home so I can have a beautiful garden of my own vegetables and sit outside on warm summer nights and watch the lightening bugs come alive. I know for a fact that it can't rain forever and brighter days are ahead but for now I will dance in the rain and make the best of it. So if you're going through a rough time and you don't feel like much - I think you're a success. So if you come across this post somehow - I think you're pretty darn awesome! 




At June 27, 2013 at 4:06 PM , Blogger Meg {henninglove} said...

i love this post! sometimes we think in america we have it made if you have the biggest house, nicest car and biggest bank account you are successful. but that definition of success will bring you happiness for only so long, i love your definition of success, it is the things most important to you and is what makes you unique and wonderful!

At June 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM , OpenID said...

It's whats in your heart that matters - that's pretty much it.
Stand tall and know that only love is real.

At June 30, 2013 at 7:29 AM , Blogger Sara Gerard said...

Girl! I love this post! I HATE that we base these life accomplishments on what people call 'success'. I started college at 17, failed over and over again and then didn't get my shit together until I was 23. I finally got my BA when I was 26 and I had to work full time the entire time. I hated watching all of my friends finish school and get better jobs while I was working at Mc Donald's, scraping by. But, I have made some amazing friends those last few years of school. If I didn't take my sweet time to finish school, I never would have met them.

The point is, do what makes you happy, on your OWN standards, not someone else's. You are a great person, and an amazing mom. Just keep doing your thing lady!

At July 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM , Blogger Leigh Ann Fisher said...

I know, sometimes we see all these folks in online land making it, having it all, doing fun things for a living and then we look at ourselves and we are like, what the hell about me? I do it too. You are not alone. You are awesome and I am so glad to have you as my online buddy! From one coast to another!! Cheers. Leigh Ann


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