Thought Catalog
April 17, 2017

How Do I Measure If I’ve Made It?

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I was scrolling through Instagram last week (a terrible idea in the first place), when I came across a post from a family member. He owns his own business, is highly successful, has two children, an adorable wife, and is getting ready to build is first house. By all accounts, he’s made it.

For a while, I looked on with jealousy. He’s not much older than I am, how is he doing so well? What is his secret, how did he make it so young? But then I had a second realization: I don’t want any of those things. That is not my life style. I have no interest in getting married (and sorry mom, it won’t be to a woman anyway), I would not know what to do with a child, and building a house sounds like my personal hell considering I can’t even decide what my favorite song is.

So, then, what is making it for me? What is making it for anyone? I guess that depends on who you are. All of us have our own version of success, but I think our idea of success has been warped. Love and happiness have been replaced with money and attention. I’m not better than you about it, that’s why I’m writing this. When I measure myself along these standards, I have in no way made it.

And maybe now you’re freaking out because you’re not where you want to be yet either. Being in my mid-twenties, success and accomplishment (and attention) weigh on my mind constantly. I think it weighs on most millennial’s minds (far more often than we’re given credit for).

Instead of worrying though, I’ve created my own version of “making it”. So, here’s my version:

I am 25 years old, and still on this earth. I have a laugh that lights up a room, and friends who cause it. I can talk to almost anyone, and connect with so many different people that sometimes it overwhelms me (but in a good way, I think). My body is in perfect condition (not perfect, but it gets me where I need to go), and sometimes, people even find me attractive. I have an endless curiosity for life, for trying new things, and expanding my brain past its limitations. I see a world of endless possibility, of excitement, and the future. I wake up happy and go to bed knowing there are people who care.

According to my terms, I’ve made it.

There is no definition, no measurement to determine our success. Don’t compare yourself to the superior coworker next to you, the student getting better grades than you, or the Instagram star on your timeline. Keep on finding your own journey, and if there’s no path, blaze your own. Don’t measure whether you’ve made it, just feel it. You’ll know. TC mark