If you looked up the definition of success in the dictionary, you may find this result, “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Sounds simple, right? Well, that’s what I thought at first too. But the truth is, the answer is a lot more complicated than that.
“Success” is one of those rare words that has a bunch of different meanings—over 7 billion to be more precise. What do I mean by this? Well let me backtrack, this past month was probably the most challenging month of my life by far. In my personal and artistic life, I was at my lowest to a point where I didn’t know if I could get back from it. Fortunately, I had a big support group who helped me up from that darkness and they were my resounding force of encouragement. They never left me alone—not even for a second (even if I wanted them to haha!) During this time, I had to do a lot of soul searching, I had to ask myself the tough questions about my life choices and artistic path going forward. I felt I was failing at every turn, my writing had taken a tumble near the end of August, and when the chaos of September hit I didn’t want to touch my laptop or my notebooks, to say nothing of the film venture. Everything was collapsing around me and I felt destroyed by the hurdles life had thrown at me.
Until just this week in fact. My best friend in the whole world had come up to visit from Florida. Between her and my husband, they helped me out of that last leg of the darkness. In fact, she and I were in a store today and we came across some candles that had the Zodiac signs with their elements on them. Mine was air and hers was water. I don’t exactly remember what I said, but I commented on how I felt that the air sign was definitely not applicable to me in my current predicaments. And she said, “But maybe you should be like air…and keep moving!”
Boy, did that flip a switch in my brain—like a light that had been turned on after years of unuse. The entire ride home the word, “success”, pounded against my mind and I started realizing something. Up until now, success was about how far I could take my already accomplished goals. I remember always telling myself, “This is great, but I can do more!” This, in itself, isn’t a bad mentality to have, in fact, it’s a good thing to push oneself to achieve greater things. But, I had focused so much on that concept, that I forgot the little things could be considered a success as well. And it was those little successes this month that helped me get out of that darkness. Some days just getting out of bed was a success, others making it through the day without a breakdown of some sort.
What’s my success at now, you might ask. Success to me is best put by Sylvester Stalone’s Rocky, “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Our definitions of success may change or even stay the same throughout our lives. It may range from getting that car you’ve always wanted to becoming a CEO in a multi-million-dollar company. For what it’s worth, I’m proud of you. Did you get out of bed this morning? I’m proud of you. Did you finish that project you have spent months trying to complete? I’m proud of you. Did you overcome a mental obstacle? I’m proud of you.
Just remember to be proud of yourself for the small and big successes in life. And before I get messages of “Are you okay, Ceara?” Let me tell you, if you had asked me that question two weeks ago, I’d say that was a hard no. But now? Now my current version of success is, I will be!