Thanks for visiting my little blog, Please note that this is my online diary, thoughts & feelings expressed on this blog are mine & mine alone. I hope that you will take the time to comment & tell me what you think about the things that I write. If you do not wish to know what I am thinking in my tiny little head then please do not read on, but I will not apoloize for my spelling (although I'm trying to be better!) or my posts!

Thanks for stopping by,
Princess Steph

Friday, November 13, 2009

"So you're the Unsuccessful One"

It is a small world.  I recently realized that one of the new volunteers that I have been working with at the Winnie Client is the brother of a good family friend, Mrs. S.  The S's are very good family friends of my parents and I grew up with them in the summers.  As children, we spent the summer weekends on a 40 foot boat crusing the waterways of Ontario with them.  They know myself and my family very well.

My volunteer spent an hour on the phone with his sister getting all the gossip on my family and me today and when I saw him this afternoon, the first comment out of his mouth was "So you're the unsuccessful one".  It took every bone in my body not to burst into tears once I absorbed what he had actually said.

I have two very successful sisters; one is an investment banker and at 25 is gorgeous, brilliant, seriously dating a private equity guru and is slowly taking over the world; the other is 30, a stay at home mother, but a corporate lawyer has 6 degrees including an MBA and JD, is skinny and a marathon runner, married to an investment banker who makes a fortune, and has a baby. 

I can never measure up to them.  I am not married or dating anyone seriously, I am not skinny, I am not an investment banker or a corporate lawyer or gorgeous, I do not run marathons, I will never be those things.

What was most upsetting about this comment though, was that it came from the grapevine.  Not only did it come from the opinions of Mrs and Mr S over the years of spending time with my family and my sibilings, but it came from the information that they were being fed from my parents.  Just what do they tell their friends about "the Unsuccessful One"?  What do they really think?

It has made the day very hard to swallow.

Lots of love,
The Unsuccessful One

4 comments:

Laura said...

Oh, dude, that is HARSH. But, please keep in mind that it's also a total A-hole thing of him to say and he knew it as he was saying it. For whatever reason, saying that to you was a calculated move on his part. Please know this reflects far more on him than it does on you.

I know this may sound like empty comfort words but I do truly believe it. Somehow society has programmed us to think that we have to have big achievements or big job titles to be successful and that's how people judge each other. Try not to let it get to you. I read a quote recently and I can't remember the exact words, but it was something about how you should never be envious of what others have but rather be happy for what you do have, and remember that there was a time when you could only wish for what you have now. It came at a good time - the day I was seething with jealousy that my friend was buying a $750k house while I was thrilled to have just gotten an $800 a month rental apartment.

Anyway, I think it's important to consider your whole life. Are you happy? If not, what can you do to make yourself happy? And that is the only criteria that matters. Screw the opinion of some jerk who's trying to upset you. I wouldn't be surprised if he twisted the words he heard through "the grapevine" to make it sound worse too. Maybe that was just his own conclusion.

JDR said...

Being measured up to anyone or anything, especially a standard, is brutal. Particularly when that standard is what a lot of people choose to define as "success". I recently made a decision to change my career path, and when I told my parents, the opinion shifted on their outlook for my future, going from pride to feeling almost disgrace. The grapevine yielded results such as aunts and uncles who were previously proud of me now not wanting their children to follow my example, which they were previously proud and boastful about. In all honesty, if one does all that one can do at the best of one's abilities, with one's happiness and satisfaction in mind, what yardstick does the world have the right to judge that person against? My two cents, and here's to hoping you have a gorgeous Saturday and a wonderful weekend :)

Simone Grant said...

Oh wow, sweetie, I'm sorry you're hurting.

I'm going to disagree with Laura and say that it probably wasn't a calculated move. Most people don't think much about what they say. At least that's my experience.

As to "success" and being the unsuccessful one. Some of the most "successful" people I know, the ones with the best jobs, perfect families, skinniest waistlines frequently end up finding themselves miserable and questioning it all by the time they hit their 40s. Seriously, I cannot count the number of people I've known who end self-destructive and depressed because they hate their "perfect" lives.

That definition of success is a very external one. External, shallow, ignorant.

True success can only be measured by personal satisfaction, and by personal happiness. The fact that you give so much to others leads me to believe that you get a lot in return. That family friend can't possibly know if you're successful or not. At least, that's the way I think (and since there are literally thousands of people who think I'm unsuccessful, maybe my opinion doesn't mean much).

Whatever you do, please don't internalize that ridiculous statement. It was ridiculous and you need to label it as such and go have an amazing day.

Barbara said...

Discovered your blog by way of Twitter - so sweet and lovely and full of honest, brave posts!

I will agree with Laura and say this creep had some messed up agenda. No one just blurts that to another person without realizing the impact. He sounds sociopathic. But if we're being compassionate, he also sounds like he's hurting, and that his statement was much more likely an assessment of himself. I hope you can dismiss it and him and realize how great you are.

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