Many thanks to Kristine Schomaker of Art and Cake for inviting me to participate in Reflections on Success! I am in such great company. Camilla Taylor and Amanda Maciel Antunes are amazing.
My portion of the article:
"Success is such a loaded word. For a long time I felt that it was unachievable, meant for others and not me. I didn’t believe it was possible to get there no matter how hard I worked or how much I tried. That came from a conventional idea of success, that notion of being rich and famous and perfectly satisfied with life. That didn’t seem real, and it still doesn’t. Who is ever perfectly satisfied with their life? I also thought I would know what success looked like if I got there. Later on I realized that in some ways I had already achieved success and didn’t recognize it. That didn’t matter when the success took forms that fit other people’s standards. Success is a shape shifter and is inherently personal, and human nature means that if we have desires we are rarely satisfied for long, no matter what level we reach.
In some ways I am dramatically unsuccessful and vastly under-prepared for adult life, at least in terms of retirement savings and financial security. In other ways I am successful beyond my wildest imaginings. My 20, 30, or even 40 year old self could not have fathomed the directions I would take or how far I’ve come. The past dozen years have taken such a dramatic turn away from the career trajectory I expected, and those shifts have come with achievements that I had no idea I wanted. And there is still more that I want to build and create and develop with others. I stumble my way through new technologies and pathways and creative growth and somehow find wondrously kind, supportive, and generous people who teach me to grow further.
If that’s not success, I don’t know what is."
Thanks for joining me on this road, wherever that leads.
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.