What Does It Mean To Be Successful? My Five Years In NYC

It’s been five years since I decided to live in NY. These were five difficult years, and yet ones filled many amazing moments and great people I’ve met along the way. But five years is quite some time to achieve something. I believe that there are some people who would want to ask me: “Ok, so are you successful already?”. And I would answer: “Yes, I am”. But I don’t think they would even understand what I’m talking about. 

If you looked at my bank account right now, there is nothing special there to see (yet). If you look at my so-called career – not much is going on in that department, either. Yes, I do various stuff, but I’m not yet where I want to be, so we can’t call it “a career”. I didn’t marry a rich guy and I don’t live in an expensive house, either. So: had I got all of these things, you would probably consider me a successful woman, right? But since I don’t have them, who am I in your eyes…? 

I don’t know what you think of me. Not that I care, but in my opinion I’m very successful right now. And I can tell you why. I was able to survive five years in NY, with some help coming from my amazing friends – so there are two successful things in my life already. I live by myself and don’t have to worry about money for rent – another two things. I have a job that doesn’t stress me out at all and helps me meeting new people – another two things. I have friends who are not tired of me (yet) and a family that supports me – another two things. But most importantly – I don’t pretend that I’m someone else. I wake up in the morning, dress as I want to, barely put some make up on my face – and walk outside (at 6:00 AM) smiling. And at my work I just have to be myself – they hired me saying: “Just be Daga”. And that’s who I am. But it doesn’t matter where I am anymore – at work, at home, on the street, talking to my parents or friends, or to people I’ve just met – I’m just myself. I don’t do things I don’t like, I speak my mind, I’m open about what I like and what I don’t like. I’m honest about my desires and about the life I want to have. I’m not trying to fit in. I don’t crave anybody’s friendship or attention. I don’t feel the need to impress anyone. I don’t try to belong anywhere and I am far from wondering what’s your opinion on my life or my looks. I’m cured. I don’t try being someone else just to make other people happy (including my closest ones). I also stopped carrying the burden of “what life I was supposed to have”. And it’s a humongous success to me. I do belong to myself.

Every year I make a summary of another year living abroad. And I can honestly say that now, after five years, I finally got to the happiest place – I’m at peace with myself. It took me many difficult months, much hope and a whole lot of courage, but I finally got there. It was worth it; all this struggle was worth the place I got to right now. It’s the biggest success I could wish for myself. So next time when you think of “being successful”, think first what does that REALLY mean to you. What’s your definition of success? And if your answer is by any chance:  “Money”, I’d suggest you think again, and this time do it clearly for a change. For me, it’s simply being finally myself. And I believe that because of that, everything else will fall into the right place. 

What would your successful life look like? Think carefully and start making a plan how you can get there.