Picture yourself at your best. I'm not sure what this person looks like, but just stick with me okay? Hang on.
Picture yourself at your height, you're the most successful you'll ever be. You're the best looking, most assured and you're completely and utterly happy. There is nothing in your way.
You're standing on top of a mountain. It can be snowing or completely sunny. Who cares.
All that matters is that you made it to the top, of whatever mountain you're going to clime. What does that look like? Who is up there with you? Are you alone? Do you have a huge family?
These questions spin around inside my head like a tornado of madness, instantly spiraling and firing back at each other. One day, I'm standing up there with my husband, who is undoubtedly a famous rock star or something. On our sides are two good-looking, smart, independent children. A boy and a girl. They've both got piercing eyes, dark features, and the world at their fingertips.
The mountain itself is Everest sized. It is a behemoth, standing tall and still overlooking a dusty valley. I picture Death Valley. With its mild sand and windy plains. Sand isn't naturally dangerous, but when the wind picks up and you can hear it whistling from atop this...fictional desert mountain, the grains can tear apart your skin. Reaching speeds of 1,000 miles per hour, the sand could puncture a lung if inhaled. Something that empty and desolate speaks to me. Something that empty and desolate is begging to be conquered.
After trudging through the great plain, facing scorpions, poisonous snakes the size of a tractor trailer, and countless moments of fear...we began to ascend. Ever so slightly, day by day, small goals were met. Further momentum was gained. Steps were taken. Little by little, the mountain's top didn't seem so far away. Every day is a battle, and throughout this journey I will learn, cry, fly, fall and ultimately be seen by thousands. Trying ever so slightly, to make each day better than the last. To be bitten by one less spider. To be whipped by one less grain of sand. To be hardened against the elements.
Rocky and dangerous at every turn, the mountain stands as the only source for success in the valley. Millions have tried to scale the terrain, make it to the top. Most end up falling, turning around, or dying. But we made it. We innovated. We created a bridge for others to escape the valley and reach the top of the mountain. We are the best, the brightest. We are all wearing black. I am thin, tall, determined and not the least bit naive. I know what I'm doing. I'm not afraid to speak my mind.
Success, to me, is ultimate freedom. It's charging up the mountain. It's creating a path for others to get what they want. It's opening a dialogue with writing and music. It's about creating, making a mark on the world, and ultimately making life easy for others.
Success is not quantifiable to me. I will always keep searching. As the clock ticks, and the thoughts fire, I am left with no real, tangible goal. No amount of money I'd like to make, no left or right. No end game.
My end game is constant progress. My goal is to gain the ability to learn from my mistakes. My dream is to wake up one day, with a distinct feeling of satisfaction, but to never lose the hunger for more.
I may not have a 10 year plan, or a 5 year plan, but I know what's important to me. I have morality in me. I have values, sets of ideas that can propel me forward.
Looking out from on top of the mountain I can see the people I've reached, the lives I've changed. I can stand tall, knowing that I don't have to look back in anger. Mistakes come and go, people watch the ambulance roll by. I will never be perfect or wanted by all. I will be hated by many, envied by few, but respected by all.
For a moment all is still. We're saving people from the whipping wind.
Light fades. Success is being comfortable when all is still.