Yesterday, as I was telling someone about yogavotion, my newest project, they gave me a half-hearted thumb's up and said, "yeah, but what about WRINKLE?"
Good question. That was my go-to, post-FLOW, no-brainer project. I have hundreds of questionnaires stored on my hard drive. Great art. A substantial table of contents. A proposal would be a breeze to whip out—I used to thrive on that. And I know how to do this book, how to combine text, concepts, art to tell a visual story about a specific aspect of society and culture.
But, it didn't happen. Perhaps if FLOW had been more successful. Perhaps if that experience had been positive instead of fraught with hostility, anxiety, self-doubt.
Or, perhaps, I've moved on.
I had thought FLOW would make me a writer, a writer of a certain genre of books. I'd gain a reputation. I'd tackle new projects in the series with support of a publisher, an agent, an audience. The first part came true:
I am a writer.
I own it. I live it. What used to be close to impossible less than 2 years ago, now feels almost as effortless as design. Words flow now almost as easily as layouts do—they're just a different means of expression and communicating to me.
But the rest?
I'm far more grounded in reality than I've ever been about my path, my story, my success. And, what success really is.
I will never make huge amounts of money. In fact, it might not be likely that I'll even make good money again. The world is changing and what I'm good at isn't valued at the moment. I will never be a best-selling author. I don't see any sort of successful series in my future. I will never be an expert in a field, called on for talk show appearances and quotes in national publications.
I will never be high-powered.
I will never have a corner office, an assistant, a secretary.
I don't see royalty checks in my future. Or guest speaking. Or a summer house bought by the proceeds of the above.
I will never be a household name.
I could keep going here and mention I'll never be a rockstar or a painter or an astronaut, but none of those were ever even under consideration.
But, I have more love in my life than I would have ever imagined possible. There are times, watching my puppies play, my kids groove together, that there isn't a smile big enough to express all that's in my heart.
At times I am transformed by gratitude. I cannot think of a single thing I want that I don't already have in abundance.
I can be present and am learning to let go of the past and the future. That's something I would have thought impossible but, here I am.
I am comfortable in my skin. Cellulite, wrinkled elbows, slightly drooping eyelids, now more than the rare grey hair, a solid size 8—it's truly fine.
I am healthy. I don't just think it, I've gone through extensive testing and so I know it. I'm physically healthy enough to contemplate elective surgery and give an organ away. And mentally healthy enough to be good with that decision.
I can knit a scarf that stops people in the street. I have friends who are happy to see me. I have family that accepts who I am and loves me for that, and sometimes in spite of that. I can finally do a head stand in the middle of a room.
By society's standards I don't know that people would label me a success. But by mine? I'm not doing too badly.