So my word vomit came out a little late again, but here we go…
I have about an hour commute to work everyday, and then another hour/hour and a half to get back home. Let me tell you from experience; California is overpopulated. LA traffic is literally from hell. It. Sucks. SO BAD.
But during my time alone, I get a lot of time to think… and overthink. The way I rant in blogs or to friends, yeah that goes on in my car every single day. And the one thing I have been wrestling with lately is success. What is success? Who defines your success? How do you know when you’ve “made it” already? What should I accomplish in my life to make me feel successful?
For me, I always go back and forth with what path I should take in life; whether I should try to pursue a Hollywood career or stick with doing film in ministry. One day, I would feel like I should use film to reach people around the world for Jesus — which would mean traveling and time for myself to do personal projects as well — and then the next day I would think that it would be so cool to work on a huge film set like the next Guardians of the Galaxy film — which would mean seeing my name in the credits of an awesome film and meeting talented people. But what keeps me away from wanting to pursue a Hollywood job is that I would have to dedicate so much of my time to it, way more than a stable 40 hour a week job, and I’d have to work in the studio. I just don’t see that as a good environment for me because of other things I want to do like be connected to church, travel the world, maybe take dance lessons again, start a business, and one day, hopefully to be a wife and a mom. I have always been a jack of all trades, but a king of none, and I like doing a variety of things. I don’t really want to put all of my marbles into one things; my career. But working a Hollywood job has always been one of my dreams and it would definitely be a success, right?
I grew up with a stay at home mom and it was the best. My mom was always there for every school event, every dance recital, made all my lunches (even to this day #noshame), and I always took that for granted. Now I see kids at my little sister’s schools who cry because their mom is at work and couldn’t make it to their class party for the fifth year in a row. It breaks my heart and I don’t want to be that. Not necessarily just in the context for if I have kids, but I mean that I don’t want my job to be my life. I want to be able to be with my family and friends, get to do things that aren’t always film related.
At my work right now, I am able to choose how many hours I want to work. They even offered for me not to work the rest of the week since I have visitors over from Florida. What other kind of job does that? Usually jobs would fire you if you missed too much work. And I have the perk to work at home! Saying it’s been a blessing is an understatement. Part of me sees that as being a success already, even if it is a job that no one has heard of.
So now would be a good time to try and define success because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to pursue that would make me feel like I’ve “made it.” Something that I would feel passionate to do.
Well, first off, success is not objective, but extremely subjective. There is not one cookie-cutter definition for success. It looks different for everyone. Just because you don’t have a high position or make six figures does not mean that you have not been successful in your life. And just because you do have a high position or make six figures does not mean you are successful in your life. And vice versa.
Second, your definition of success usually stems from what your priorities are. If my priority is to have a family over seeing my name in the credits of a Hollywood film, then I would not feel successful if I took a job that required me to work 80 hours a week. If my priority is to travel the world over making lots of money, then I would not feel successful if I took a job that required me to be at the office 364/365 days a year. I have to actually sit down and write out my priorities for my life. Write out what I am determined to accomplish in my life and what are just extras that if it happened or not, I would be content either way. This is something that would take time and would not necessarily be filled out completely in one sitting. It is going to take a lot of thinking and praying for guidance.
And thirdly, you cannot compare your successes to other people’s successes. I am soooo guilty of this. It is so easy to open Facebook and see all the successes the people I went to college with are accomplishing and feel like my life does not compare. As if I’m doing something wrong and I am not as successful as them I see what other people do and I’m like “Yeah, I want to do that, too!” But I know deep down that if I did what they were doing, I would be miserable because that isn’t my priority or isn’t where God is calling me to be. Comparing yourself to others can be extremely toxic for your well-being, but also an easy trap to get yourself into. Be cautious of this for your life, or else you’ll end up like me on most days scrolling through social media and basking in my pajama glory while others are actually *cue finger quotes* doing something with their lives.
Ultimately, the one who defines success is God. What might look like a success on the outside might not actually be a success for your life because you aren’t accomplishing what God wants you to do on this earth. So my blog post might sound like I’m leaning away from Hollywood, but I still need to do a lot of searching with God before I can decide. So right now, when it comes to career paths, I feel like God opened the door for the freelance job I have right now and I’m using it to gain experience to put on my resume and I do feel at peace with it for this season of my life. But I do have that stirring feeling in my heart that this is not where I will be long term. And who knows, maybe God will have me jumping around from jobs in ministry around the world and jobs in Hollywood later. Or vice versa. That’s why I’m so thankful for being in America. It is still a country of opportunity and you can always reinvent yourself at any time of life.
I don’t have to know what I’m going to do for the “rest of my life” and honestly, I probably will never be in a place like that. Maybe that’s a good thing. Not knowing what tomorrow will hold and not really having a plan for it leaves room for God to just lead and for me to follow. It’s scary looking into the unknown, but it also feels like I have a world of opportunity. It makes me feel depressed at times not knowing what my purpose is or what my passions really are, but I always have to remind myself that I have a loving God who is leading and guiding my steps. He has plans for me to prosper. He already knew me and my life before I was even born. That is something to take comfort in.
And in the words of the ever so cunning Star Lord, I have 12% of a plan. And God will take that 12% and make a huge success out of it. I just know it.