Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Oh, that's society you say? So I'm not alone?
The definers of success were my grandmother, a famous novelist, and my father, a rock star priest. Everybody else was a loser, including me. If you weren't making a major impact on the world, you just sucked. What about doctors? Lawyers? Nah. They didn't have a big enough of a captive audience - my dad's preaching drew huge crowds and my grandmother's words were read by millions - they both had a similar philosophy/theology and they WERE ON MESSAGE. What about teachers then? Surely they have a captive audience. They were the biggest losers of all. Those who can't do, teach.
The standard of my grandmother and father's success was impossibly high for everyone. (See, I told you I was an asshole.)
Well, what was the MESSAGE of your grandmother and your father then? That we ALL matter, and that we're not losers! Basically, we're all children of God, or we all have God within us, however you want to look at the semantics of it.
I see you scratching your head. Why then, couldn't you internalize this?
(And then there's the whole money issue - you not only have to captivate an audience, you have to make money too! Because everyone knows success is about money, right? )
I internalized everything - there was good stuff of course, but a lot of BAD stuff, and my foggy brain couldn't sort it all out. I had to grow up and have my own struggles with this ethereal notion of "success". I continue to grow and the more I am in touch with the Divine, the more in-love with the world and my life I am.
I am not my grandmother and I am not my father, but like them, I am a writer and a teacher. I have internalized their message, and I share it with you as you share with me. I write to remind myself of who I really am, because this is the best way I know how to think clearly.
I needn't define myself by their success, or by anybody's. My definition of success is the ability to embrace and appreciate life, and having the physical and spiritual space to do the things that make you a better person, and bring you more toward your authentic self.
Which is what writing and teaching do for me. It's not making me rich for sure, but I am solidly middle class.
And best of all, my life is right sized, no better or worse than anybody else.
(This is the good part about getting older folks!)
What about you? Do you struggle with any of this?