Is there a true definition, or do we define it for ourselves? Webster's defines it as this: outcome or result; degree or measure of succeeding favorable or desired outcome; also : the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence; one that succeeds. But, what is it really? What does it mean?
I was thinking about this the other day...where my life has taken me, the situations God has put me in. I wondered, "Am I successful? Will I be successful"? American culture puts so much emphasis on being an individual and making a life for yourself. Being successful is the must-have in today's society. But what is it; what does it mean?
In high school, I was voted - by my teachers - Most Likely To Succeed. This absolutely thrilled me! The fact that my teachers thought so highly of me to say that out of all the people I graduated with (a whole whopping 37), they thought I was the one who would do the best in life. At the time, success meant to me that I would go to college, get a degree, become a teacher, get married, have babies, and teach for a million years (not necessarily in that order). Success. My accomplishments. An I-did-this-by-myself thing. After I graduated, I did the norm. I went to college and worked my ever-loving butt off. I worked a part time job, went to class full time and then some, dated (and met the man of my dreams), managed to do all my homework (even if I did procrastinate), keep a darn good GPA, and be active in the BCM (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) on campus.
Then, reality struck. I graduated from college with a BS in History (with teacher licensure)! =D What an accomplishment! A month later - almost to the day - I got married. After the honeymoon, we moved into our first home 950 miles away from where I'd spent my entire life. =O At the time, we were both working at our beloved restaurant. *sigh* I still don't know how we managed to pay the bills on tips and a hostess' paycheck. Neither one of us were able to find teaching jobs, so we stayed in our wonderful jobs. Then, hubby got a "real job" nowhere near what he went to college for. But, he got to work with computers, they allowed him to drive a company car, and we got a steady paycheck! Hello, real world! 5 months later, he lost his job. Thank you so much, dear economy. I had no choice but to keep the job I had come to loathe so that bills would get paid...sort of. Enter the Army, BCT, and now AIT.
Now, where am I? Still at the restaurant...with a Bachelor's degree. Not sure if I really want to teach, or if God wants me to. I keep telling myself there is a reason why I didn't find a job when we moved. I'm quitting my job now that I'm moving and we actually have a steady income that takes care of the bills. So, I have options. And for the life of me, I don't know what I want to do. A part of me says, "well, you have a BS in teaching...get a teaching job!" Then, another part of me says, "do you really want to get up that early and deal with cranky, sarcastic kids who could care less about history?" Another part says, "you really liked working as a pharmacy tech., do that!" And that final part says, "I just wanna be a stay at home mom." But that one is a ways off, I do believe.
So, by our culture's standards, am I successful? I married a man willing to do whatever it takes to provide for me so that I can do what I want to do, including staying home with the babies (once they start arriving, that is). I'm a Christian woman who wants to do what God wants her to do, even if it's tough because I know his plans are way better than my own. I don't have a "real job", I have bills up to my eyes, I don't own a house, we have one car, and I have no idea what I want to be when I "grow up". So, does that mean I'm not successful? Or does it just mean that the world - not God - thinks I'm unsuccessful? I'm totally ok with my life right now. I love my husband, I love my life, and I hope to one day find a job I love, whatever that may be. Success? Maybe. If not, I love my life anyway. Most importantly, should I care if our good 'ole American standards see me as successful? No. The only thing that matters is that I'm doing what God wants me to do, and becoming the woman He wants me to become. Ultimately, that is my goal.
Just thought I'd share my heart with all - 4 - of you tonight. =)