How Do You Measure It?
What's Yours is Yours; What's Mine is Mine
What does it mean to be successful? We are persuaded from our teen years and on that being successful is measured in specifics. A blueprint is painted before us. Fancy clothes? Fancy car? Fancy house? The most numbers in a bank account? Successful.
However, not all measure success in the same ways. Sure, having a decent wardrobe, a car that does not make you question if you will even make it from point A to point B, a decent enough house that does not feel like it will fall apart right under your feet, and enough money to your name to never have to defend it are great accomplishments for one to achieve, but not everyone places the same limitations upon what success is to them.
They may work to achieve all of the above, but some work to accomplish even the most mundane, like myself. Having the energy to get out of bed daily? Successful. Having the willpower to run a brush through my hair? Successful. Forcing myself to eat because I do not have an appetite? Successful. Making it through one day without feeling even a little hatred for myself? Successful.
What others deem simple and easy to maintain is daunting and tiresome for myself and others. It takes a toll on our already fragile and susceptible minds. We are fed information daily on what image we should nurture through the tips of our fingers and consumed by never-ending doses of tailored personalities.
The past couple of years, I started down a spiral into trying times, causing my health to both quickly, yet slowly decline. I sought medical attention to address the issues, but the results never brought about a reason that could be pinpointed. The more I tried to push myself to find answers, the more debt increased. Bills multiplied, despite having insurance; it was not enough. I had to stop scheduling appointments, as I could not continue to watch the numbers add up and not have the funds to match.
It was a testing slope of rapid weight loss and pushing a tired body that wanted nothing more than to lie in a bed and not get out again. On the outside, I appeared as if everything was what others considered normal. "You look so good!" "You look great!" "I wish I could be as small as you!" "You're so fit! Ugh! You're so lucky!" People that I know and strangers would approach me and echo the same words, phrases that from their end appeared as compliments but left a sour taste in my mouth. All the while, I would mutter a small "thank you," and try to steer the conversation in another direction. It was hard for me to face people who seemed to not see the damage I could. I felt as if maybe I was crazy. How do they not see it? The numbers on the scale kept getting smaller, and I have never been one to even weigh 100 lbs., as I am on the petite side. Still, the outline of my skeleton exposing itself through my skin was so apparent to me, and it cut like knives to be complimented on my ability to lose weight so easily.
As I struggled daily to maintain both physical and mental health, I had to learn to appreciate the successes I had achieved. I had to look past what others deemed successful and focus on cherishing myself and all I had accomplished. I had to learn how to measure success for myself.
We do not all have the same experiences in life, and I feel it is important to remember when engaging with others that very detail. We can try to tell others how they should live, who to be, how to think, how to rise to the top, but I do not believe we should have the power to make those calls for them, just because it does not match the lifestyle we would prefer to live for ourselves. Placing limitations on the idea of success leaves many with a sense that they have done nothing but failed because of what they do not have, and we start to lose appreciation for what has been accomplished.
I got out of bed today. I am successful. I brushed my hair and my teeth. I am successful. I did not react to a reaction that normally would have brought about a panic attack. I am successful. I ate today. I am successful. I am a better me today than yesterday and continue to try. I am successful.
I lived when I wanted nothing more than the opposite.
My legs may be shaking and trying to buckle, but I am still trying to stand.
My pot and soil may have changed, but my roots are still growing.
I am successful.
About the Creator
My name is Sierra. Writing is a type of therapy that allows me to express myself or the world around me in ways one-on-one conversations cannot. I hope you enjoy my works!
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