Friday, November 12, 2010

Success & Happiness...Sharing a Story

It is my sincere intention that this blog become a place of refuge for fellow quarterlifers. I think its important  that we have a safe place to talk about all the feelings, thoughts, and experiences that accompany this time period. I know a lot of people who are dealing with these feelings all alone and I know how much that can suck. So, I decided that every Friday, I will share a story. I won't name names, of course. I'll just provide a general outline. I'd love for you to post your comments and or advice. Let's help each other.

"Lena", 26

A few days ago, I had a conversation with my coworker about what her experience has been since graduating college. I must admit, I wasn't really prepared for what she told me. She told me that much like other 20-somethings, she had a quarterlife crisis after college. But hers took her to point of suicide. She said that she got so depressed when she couldn't find a job after school that she tried to take her own life and ultimately  had to go back home for a year to pull it all together. It hurt me so much to hear her story, because I could only imagine how many other people are having similar experiences and will never had the courage or platform to talk about it. I asked her what she felt brought her out of her depression and her answer inspired this post.

She told me that for the first 20 years of her life, she had been told and taught to be successful. After college, she was supposed to find a job, and a man. Period. In her mind and in the mind of those close to her, this was the recipe for success. When she was unable to do this, her very worth as a person was threatened. She felt worthless, and didn't want to live anymore. It took months of therapy to and spiritual guidance for her to return to place of wholeness. Now, she says, her primary focus is on being healthy and happy. She's changed her career path, and given herself permission to make mistakes. She smiles when she talks about her story and I can see the confidence on her face. She knows that she has overcome something and she has faith that she can handle anything else that comes her way.

Which brings me to my question(s), what's your idea of success? Is there a difference between success and happiness? Do they go hand in hand? Can you have one without the other?

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