‘If I’m so smart, why aren’t I a success yet?’ I was so hung up on this idea of what success was, I didn’t care if I was happy.’: Woman urges ‘you are a success in your own right’

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“If I’m so smart, why aren’t I a success yet?

If your childhood was anything like mine, you grew up with your parents telling you you were going to be something one day. What that something was, I’m sure they had no idea, but something nonetheless. I always made good grades growing up. I wasn’t the straight A’s type, but A’s and B’s were the norm.

But why aren’t I a success yet?

I listened to what my teachers told me in school; go to college and you’ll get a good job. Well, I went to college…not a university, because I foot the bill on my own and couldn’t afford it. But college is college… right? Wrong. See, my problem was I was so hung up on going to some 4-year university and had this idea of what ‘success’ was. Which was a 9-5 Monday through Friday gig, making more than $70,000 a year. I didn’t care if I was happy there, as long as the job matched those criteria.

But success isn’t measured in the amount of money you make. It’s all subjective. You don’t have to work at a hospital to be a ‘big deal,’ or work for an attorney either. Do you enjoy what you do? Great! Then that’s a success. I think a ‘success’ isn’t an end all be all, but more of a checklist. Everyone’s checklist is different. Mine sums up to: Am I happy? Was I excited to go to work? Did I make a positive impact for someone else? Did I contribute? I think when those things happen, they are little success stories. All of them. Everyday is a new day to be a success.

I went to college, and my career isn’t anywhere close to what I went to school for. Is that a failure? I don’t think so. It took me two years after college to figure out what I was good at, and what made me happy. There is nothing wrong with switching majors or jumping careers. We live this life to work. Why not enjoy what you do?

With all of that being said, I feel very strongly that if you are wanting to be a pillar in your particular field or office, learn to pay your fricken’ dues! Oh, my gosh! I see too many young adults, like myself, wanting immediate gratification in their job. They want that private office or the promotion, but aren’t willing to be a runner and make copies for their first 6 months. We have a sense of entitlement about our generation that confuses me. Most of us were raised by blue collar workers, and yet we see ourselves as above that. My husband comes home every day covered in grease, and literally has a BLUE COLLAR. But guess what guys? He makes more than double what I make!

Everyone’s success story is different. Own yours. Be proud of what you do, even if right now you have a part-time job while you have school or life going on. Own it! If this isn’t the end of the road for you, don’t be ashamed to tell people, ‘Yeah I work at McDonald’s while I’m finishing up my BA.’ You are a success in your own right!”

Courtesy of Harley Murphy

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Harley Murphy. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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