I know I’m not the only person who, growing up, didn’t look at some of these child TV and music stars and think to themselves “that could or should be me” or “I’m just as good as them if not better”. Most children will say it to themselves and ten minutes later not even give it a second thought. However, if you were an artistic child, a creative type, someone who always aimed to color outside the lines simply because the lines limited the creation that you dreamt up in your mind, then you probably really meant it when you thought it. I know that I did.
I had visions of being a singer by the time I was in my early twenties (and that was at the latest) and a New York Times Best Selling Author at least by the time I turned twenty-five. With each passing year that my dream slipped by me I grew more and more doubtful of the talents that not only I thought I had but that mostly everyone around me had seen. I would look at the lives of these child stars being played out in the media for all the world to see and think I should be traveling from this place to that place and singing on this stage and that one, doing countless television appearances for my latest novel on the NY Times list and having my pick of any place I wanted to live without any worries.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was never jealous. I am always happy when I see someone succeeding (well someone deserving anyway—hey I’m not a saint and yes I do think that some do not deserve the success they have), I just happen to have always thought I should be one of them. And even when I saw child stars blowing it, royally, getting arrested, getting hooked on drugs, having issues with alcoholism, going bankrupt and just throwing away all of their money on such frivolous things, I would think they just don’t know how to appreciate what they have.
But of course you cannot be envious of everyone’s life because you don’t know what it’s like to walk in their shoes and be under the pressure that they are and to literally be under a microscope for everyone to see your mistakes. A lot of them don’t make it, they wash out, and they give up before they even hit thirty and then the public is left to wonder “where are they now”. When I think about it in those terms, I have to wonder if maybe God knew that that life was not meant for me to have at such that young of an age.
Obviously I can’t say with an absolute certainty that I wouldn’t have been humble enough to appreciate that kind of life at that early of an age but looking back, with my childhood, I definitely think that I would have had more access to some coping mechanisms that I would have more than gladly (at that time anyway) taken advantage of. I can’t say that I would have known how to handle the life I say I wanted at that time. I was very starved for things around that young age and into my twenties because at that time I hadn’t learned how to love myself yet and I thought things were going to heal what was wrong on the inside so that is probably where my money would have went. And honestly, as suicidal as I was during that time period I can’t say that I would even still be here anymore if I had gotten the lifestyle that I thought I wanted at that time.
I wasn’t humble enough to appreciate those things at that stage of my life. I think God knew exactly what he was doing and he knew that I had to heal the inside of me first before I could truly appreciate a lifestyle that was on the next level. I think that when you get to live that kind of life at such a young age and that is all that you know, then you don’t know or appreciate what it is to be without it. Success doesn’t last for everyone and when I think of all of those that have succeeded in the ways that I plan to succeed (Russell Simmons, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Bill Gates, etc.) then I think about the fact that none of them attained success early on. They all had a humbling life before they achieved all of the success that they have now. That humble life allows them to appreciate the things and abilities that they have even more because they know what it’s like not to have them.
I think those who attained success without any effort, without any failures are actually at a disadvantage because they don’t know how to handle having nothing. They don’t know what failure feels like to appreciate the feeling of succeeding. Oftentimes we tend to want to rush into things because we see what we want to see. The outcome that we perceive may be one that is unrealistic and possibly not even going to be what is in our best interest but our perception can be clouded. I think that we sometimes need the experience of many failures to appreciate the reward that is coming down the line. Our mistakes are what breeds the foundation for our successes and when we learn to not just embrace them but to be proud of them and celebrate them then we will be even more prepared for the successes in life that we say we want.
My Write 2 Be is…
Write 2 Be Media/Write 2 Be Magazine