success used to look like a business woman in pretty stilettos who wearily returned home from a long but powerful day in the office to a home cooked meal and a bottle of wine awaiting her. yes, the truth of the matter is that is what i envisioned for my future as a corporate executive. i wanted to climb that ladder into a position of power and to me that would define my success… it took a few of seattle’s donuts, a cup of coffee, and some divine friendships to open my eyes to the ways i had changed and grown.
a lot of seattle was filled with some deep conversations, we aren’t talking surface conversations of fluffing each others feathers, it was a lot of soul searching and honest conversations that left me floored with the friends i had made. over eggs benedict and some of seattle’s best coffee we sat in our booth, looked each other in the eye and talked about life. the success and the failure and the emotions those words evoked in a place deep within our soul. it wasn’t those friends who you pat on the back, sing praises to, and then go on your way… it’s those friends who you vow to hold accountable, to push, to challenge, and to encourage far beyond that breakfast date.
i am a brave gal. that doesn’t mean that i don’t cautiously crawl into bed and hug my legs crying like a little girl every once in awhile, but i am more the brush yourself off and rock the dirty look like it was made for you until you can pull yourself together again. as i sat there and questioned my friends about their lives, i realized that i sometimes don’t have a filter and although it can leave me with “foot in mouth” points of conversation, i am glad that i can get to the core of their beings and ask those questions i am dying to hear the answer to. as life goes by i realize that i don’t want everyone around me to agree with me, i don’t want to be in a pack of people who think like i do, i want to be challenged, to be questioned, to have a reason to defend myself and exactly what it is i believe in. i think those are the extraordinary people you want around you because they allow you to be utterly and completely, you.
i think one question everyone should stop and ask themselves is “what does success look like for you?” does it look like six figures in a bank account and a shiny car in the garage or are you like me and dream of waking up every morning to kisses from your husband and pups, and a life that allows you to soak in the moments and experience the journey of life as each twist unfolds? to me success isn’t an award, a number of a fans, a magazine article… although tangible and amazing things, success to me looks a heck of a lot like a simple life filled with happiness. i think that we often get stuck looking up to these “ideals” of what success means to us, whether it be published books or thousands of devoted fans, but we often lose ourselves in those visions and find ourselves scrambling for a life we weren’t meant to live.
i never grew up wanting accolades for photography or a studio lined with pretty little letters of praise, i wanted a house with a handsome husband that was filled to the brim with love and life. i wanted a life that left little to be desired a whole lot of laughs. i wanted night time prayer and coffee dates with girlfriends. trips to the grocery store in pajamas and late night ice cream in coffee mugs. what does success look like to me? as simple as it may sound, i am already a success because i am truly and madly a happy girl. i am in want for nothing, i have what i need and i have high hopes for what is to come. somedays i think we need to stop and define success for ourselves, not off of images of others or what we think we need, we just need to stop and realize that we are likely already a success. stop with the surface and reach deep into your soul, if i am still this happy in ten years then i am, indeed, one great success.
so, what does success look like for you?