On deciding what success looks like

I grew up knowing I could be anything I wanted. First it was a lawyer – until I read The Rainmaker. President of the United States sounded catchy – until my history class covered the Kennedy assassination. Being an opera singer or a rocket scientist never sounded fun – because I couldn’t sing and physics kicked my behind.

So I decided in kindergarten I would be valedictorian. In middle school to write for a living. In high school to earn a full-ride academic scholarship. When I was 17, to marry my husband, a month after I graduated college. When I joined my sorority, to be president.

There was no way I’d let the hubs’ support me after graduation, so I got a full-time job – with a bad economy and a geographic restriction. And though it was in PR and marketing – not journalism – turns out I’m way more suited to that anyway. When the 2-hour commute got too much – and I knew it would – I got a job in Grand Rapids.

I’ve always been driven. (My mother would use the word stubborn. I suppose she’s entitled, as I am the spitting image of her.) But I kept looking to other people’s accomplishments and thinking – it’s not enough. But what is enough?

I have no idea what success is. But I do know I need to stop looking at how “people” define success and start looking at how I define success. And I know success is 100% of how you react to what you’ve been given – not what you seek.

I’ve swept up opportunities in front of me, sure. But they’ve been placed there by God. And I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch. But for right now I feel like I’ve reached…a level. A happy level. I get my eight hours of sleep. I have a good job and a good paycheck. I like out new apartment. I have a great husband. I’m closer to family. I get to see my seester two nights a week. I joined a gym and actually like going to work out. I have good friends and Internet so I can keep up with them. I get to cook every night. I’m starting grad school in the winter in a great program.

So, for now, for me, that’s enough. God’s given me success. And in return, I give thanks.

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