Success Defined (or Not)

Success Defined (or Not)

As my wise friend Pamela says, “Everyone has his/her own demons.” Now I’ve already acknowledged that I lead a very fortunate and privileged life… enough said. The problem is, in spite of that truth, I still overanalyze myself to death. Life is good, but sorry, I still have issues (see previous post). Clearly, there’s the family thing, an outstanding matter. And yes, I have wondered: why do I get so worked up over this parental thing anyway? They think their way; I think my way. We don’t have to agree. What’s the big fucking deal? Well, I don’t really know. I guess I have resentment issues. Perhaps I’m not comfortable with my choices, so when my parents question them or doubt them, I get upset. Maybe deep inside, I agree that I’m lame compared to his friends’ kids. Maybe I also measure success through academic pedigree, job title, and money. For example, I’m not a physician working some prestigious and intense job bringing in the big dough. I’ve struggled with not fulfilling that early childhood vision of success. I’ve fought hard to think outside the box, to go against the grain; yet, my biggest gripe about nonprofit work is that it doesn’t pay. Why do I want it to pay? Maybe because somehow earning more money legitimizes my work– to my family, to society, to myself. It’s kind of why so many people dismiss full-time housewives or househusbands: they think these people are like sitting at home watching soaps all day eating bon bons, because after all, these people are not generating income, so they can’t possibly be working, right?! Anyway, I’ve mostly accepted that nonprofit work just can’t be about the money. The money’s not going to be there. really. ever. But then everytime I get into this kind of tiff with the parents, my system of “measuring success” gets fucked up all over again. I know, I need to just stick to my guns and not worry about what they think. I’ve made my choices and decided on my priorities.

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