Host of the Success Snap Podcas
What can I say? I was spanked in Head Start for talking during nap time (I've never been much of a sleeper!). My kindergarten teacher said I was a 'busybody' in my report card. One of the reasons I got so good in Spanish is because Senora Vrable kept giving me extra homework for talking. So, all my life I've been that girl.
It makes sense that someone like me would get a degree in Broadcast Journalism. My first definition of success involed me anchoring the evening news or my own talk show. However, that career was very short-lived. I started in radio and I was being paid so little that spaghetti without the meat sauce was a pleasure and I would get religion at the end of every month as I prayed there was enough gas in the tank to get me to work.
My definition of success needed a makeover. Soon, I fell into a career as a corporate trainer and fell in love with learning and development. That became my career. First as a trainer and now as an instructional designer (professional course creator). So, professionally at least, I was seeing some success.
However, success for me involved a husband and a child, a son. After several years with a boyfriend who had no intention of ever being anything more, I was discouraged, so I left Maryland and headed for California to try my hand at screenwriting. I made good friends and actually got a short film made, P.N.O.K. - Primary Next of Kin, featuring a performance by Danny Glover. Hollywood was anything but glamourous for me and I yearned to go back East. So I was Charlotte, NC bound.
I loved it here and I even appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and won $100,000. after I spent most of it, I placed a down payment on my home.
So I had professional success with work I enjoyed and was good at and a beautiful home I got to decorate (your decorating hands are tied in an apartment). Personal success still alluded me. where was my husband? I knew I wasn't cut out for single motherhood. I wanted the nuclear family. That was success.
By this time, I was in my 40s and that biological clock was ticking loudly. Then I met him! Mr. Right! It looked like everything was about to fall into place. And then it fell apart. Mr. Right was married with a family of his own. Cue the Sam Jackson monologue.
So here I was older, alone, unloved and even work wasn't working. It wasn't a good look for an over achiever who was used to achieving. In my eyes, I was a failure. I asked myself constantly, what was the point?
Eventually, I realized there was no point. At that point, I tried to take my own life.
While I spent a week in the psyche ward, I came to a realization. My definition of success needed to change. It wasn't about my career, my marital status or even motherhood. It was about happiness. It was about being happy and fulfilled.
Yes, a husband could love me but even without a gold band on my finger, lots of people loved me, family and friends, and I loved them. I found a better job and reawakened my love of learning. I didn't have a child but I was okay.
Yes, if someone asked me, I could say, "Yes, I'm a success."