We each have different ideas of what success means to us. It could be something related to our careers, or perhaps to our personal lives. It can be something as big as getting the job you’ve always dreamt of, or something as small as cracking a sudoku. For me, the line between success and happiness has always been blurred. Don’t ask me where this idea came from, but I felt happiness depended on being successful.
As a teenager, I always knew I wanted to move to a city. Coming from the countryside where life is slow, laid back and usually un-eventful, I always dreamt of a place that was fast-paced and had everything going on. Bright lights and all that jazz. I craved a contrast to the life I knew. In my mind, being successful meant leaving the Valleys and making it somewhere, as someone.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve this. I used to think that this blog could only be a success if it was known, if traffic was high and if people recognised me for it. Success used to mean making it with the blogging elite, but the truth is I’ve never felt like a blogger. I just loved writing.
But things change. When you’ve had tough times in life, when you’ve left what you’re used to behind, your outlook on everything changes. I know now that happiness shouldn’t have to rely on success. Being successful doesn’t come from being someone, and being happy doesn’t have to rely on being successful. My very definition of success has changed.
This blog is one of my biggest successes purely because it’s something I’ve created, not because of how many hits it gets each month. It’s something I’ve put time and effort into and I’m proud of it. I write because I have the right, and not for the recognition.
That’s not to say I don’t have goals, or don’t see the importance in ambition. Obviously, being recognised for work as a published writer will always be a huge personal success and reaching key moments in my career will too, but so will fighting through the day when my anxiety levels are at their highest. My 6 year relationship with my boyfriend, baking pretty good scones the first time round and staying true to myself are what makes me feel successful.
Weirdly, now I live in a city, I crave the slow, dreamy life again. I’ve realised being successful is about being happy and not the other way round, and it’s about celebrating the little things as well as the big, and that’s quite enough for me.