It’s funny how life seems to coordinate and choreograph the many components that add up to define one’s day-to-day as a ‘life’. These components which we use to self-define a ‘successful’ life, or a ‘meaningful’ life can not only blind one from acknowledging the true efforts being made to make an entire life an unequivocal story with depth, but they also allow us to become clouded as to how our efforts affect the life of another.
In another tale, yet one which associates itself to the self-descriptive complexity of a successful life, as life develops its numerous layers of co-dependent experiences, it adds obstacles into being able to accept a fruitful story, however one chooses to define it as such.
Lately, I’ve felt a difficulty in understanding, accepting, and focusing on what defines itself as a success in my life. My life has various components: experiencing loss at a young age and many times thereon afterwards, social struggles as a youth, successes in athletics, moving out of my home country at the age of 18 to only drop out of university at 19 and moving abroad a year later at 20; embarking in a long-distance relationship, returning to university at 23, graduating quite successfully at 26, entering a second long-distance relationship and moving abroad again, completing a Master’s degree from a top university at 27, and finally returning back to my home country as a resident just before turning 28. All superficial components that can be dissected into all of the delicate petals and pricking nail heads that make up the substance of my life. But now, I’m struggling with this picture as it continues to unfold. My substance is built up of extreme effort, troubleshooting, sincere sweat and tears, and lessons of which saying I have learned from would be a massive understatement. High school teachers didn’t think much of my academic endeavors in the culmination of my four years, even though 75% of my time there was rewarded with Honour Roll status and my name being listed on many athletic trophies. What I’ve noted in the past decade is how easily one’s credibility can be erased due to superficial circumstances. Job titles, grades, university rankings, income, relationship status, geographic location, exotic travels… all superficial if we ignore the story of substance, the explanation, the details.
I have found it hard in the past few months to understand my story versus my status. I have pride over my postgraduate degree due to the massive personal struggles leading up to that exhausted success of which was so condensed in its timeline that there is no shortened version to its story. However, now in what appears to be a shortcoming in my employment and professional ‘success’ following my academics I feel obligated to explicate the pride and ranking of my achievement to level myself out with my peers. I know my story of working through my degrees, paying my living expenses through an undergrad and postgrad degree, managing my limited yet earned finances, immersing myself in challenges to engage in personal success (as I truly define it), and maintaining a loving long-distance relationship. But the superficiality to my success (or lack thereof) are clouding my pride in my plan. My life’s plan. The components I want included in my storyline.
I’m trying to figure this one out.
Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo