You know how you always think “if I just finish this thing, I will be where I need to be”? Like, finish school, get the degree, land the job, get in a relationship, get married, have a baby, buy the new car you want, etc.? Well. Here’s the truth. None of that stuff makes you accomplished. How do you measure success then?
I have always wanted to be a wife and mother. I was trained by the very best Mexican lady and her family. I cook, clean (not my favorite chore), bake, am nurturing, just a little domineering at times, but I am a good person. I take care of people. I handle my business. I’m good, responsible, hard working, moral, funny, blah blah blah. Am I successful? I suppose if you look at the things I have accomplished and am still accomplishing, I appear to be successful. Do I feel successful? no, not even a little. I guess we have this vision of who we expect ourselves to be, and if the life we are living does not match this vision, then we are not.
So, am I happy? Sure. I mean, I’m in my 30’s, single, no romantic prospects, and my life doesn’t match the vision I had, but I generally wake up with a smile on my face and pep in my step. I have a career. I own a business. I manage another business. I have lots of relationships with the best friends anyone could want and a close family.
I don’t have my own kids, but I have the next best thing, my brother’s kids. They are perfect. They love me, I love them. They need me. I teach them things that their parents can’t possibly teach them, like how to act and sing at the top of your lungs (properly with breath support), how to love Jesus, why being Catholic is cool, lipstick, that girls can be superheroes one day and wear a formal gown the next, or do anything they want to do, and why aunthood and godmotherhood is the best gift ever. I truly love them with all of my heart. I get the rewards of parenthood: the kisses, the messes, the hugs, the adoration, at a fraction of the cost! I mean, they do cost me a lot of money, but by my own choosing. They are just so damned cute and I enjoy spoiling them. My life changed the day that I became an aunt. They are the thing I’m best at.
I guess anyone can sit around and look for reasons as to why their life isn’t exactly how they planned. I could make excuses. I could badger myself. My dad basically told me when I was younger that nobody would ever love me if I stayed fat. Maybe he was right, maybe he wasn’t. Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t. I would hate to think that my future happiness or current happiness is determined by a number on a scale. I refuse to believe that my happiness will be determined by whether or not I’m in a romantic relationship. That puts my happiness up to fate and in the hands of another person, and maybe I’m a control freak, but I refuse to give anyone else the power of controlling my happiness. Eff that.
I’m happy today. Accomplishments really are more about the journey and not the destination. You may get the next thing you want: the new shiny car, the new job, the new boyfriend, the new house, and those are just things. Things can’t make you happy. You may get a new degree, finish the book you’ve been shelving, or get that garage door painted, but there’s always more that needs done. Do the best that you can every day. The new Cinderella movie says “have courage and be kind”, and that’s really all you need to get through the day successfully.
So, what am I doing with my life? I’m living it. As adventurously and courageously and deliciously as possible. BOOM. There’s so much more to do. I need to get busy.