The Measures of Success

I always wanted to be successful in my chosen career. Of course, everyone has those ambitions. No one strives to be mediocre. But success can be a lonely place if you let it all go to your head. Tonight we celebrated our soon-to-be-wrapped movie. At first it was awkward. No one knew if it was ok to let loose, dance, drink, and be merry. Finally, our director threw up her hands and started dancing and never stopped. She danced with everyone, no matter if she knew them or not. Once she started, everyone took it as their cue and FINALLY, FINALLY shed their stoic exteriors, threw back some drinks and hit the dance floor. We all had a ball. The playing field had been leveled. It lead me to thinking, “if only the tone during production could have been like this. If only she had jumped in, arms raised, and started dancing.” We all would have followed, with wild abandon, and gladly joined her in the conga line. Watching her for a moment, I almost had respect for her. I saw the person she could be (and maybe was, at some point in her life).

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As I was leaving, we ended up riding down alone together in the elevator. We had never had a conversation. She started one. I introduced myself. She glanced up at me. “Of course,” she said. “You’re [downtown]. I might need you to do some things for me this week.” I watched her, wearing her black-framed glasses, dressed impeccably (of course) in head-to-toe black, her hair still perfectly coiffed, eyes glued to her Blackberry screen. I also saw a very lonely woman. One that can only let go a little bit for one night. One who sees only what others have to offer her. One who will keep making the same movie, over and over again, telling the single story she owns, because it’s the only thing she can do for herself. We exited the elevator. She didn’t say good night. Just stood there, waiting for her car to pick her up. I hailed a cab and headed back downtown, happy I know how to do things for myself, how to wear glasses that aren’t always rose-colored. In that moment I realized I am successful. I know who I am, I see what other people have to offer the world, and I know that sometimes, to get everyone on-board, you just have to throw up your hands and dance.


5 responses to “The Measures of Success

  1. Dear sweet dt,

    The great thing (among many) that you have going for you is that you are in your 20s. Imagine the years ahead when you can let your perfectly coiffed hair down and let loose. It’s hard to say what the woman with her eyes glued to her bb screen, who was dressed perfectly, etc was really thinking or how she really feels. I bet she wasn’t really thinking. It tends to be lonely at the top. People sometime put others on a pedestal, as in her vs. us. You (the crew, etc) all have each other… who does she have? A family left behind. A marriage (or not) happy or otherwise.

    If I’d been her, I might have offered you a ride. In fact, I’d have absolutely offered you a ride.

    People are SO funny. If only we could be kind, supportive, loving, caring, generous to each other.

    As you go through your day today, smile inside, it will show on the outside. Consider yourself lucky for the many good things you have: friends, family, a roof over your head, a job (ok, you’ll get another one when this one is over), your health. Smile, knowing that you do your best, that you have compassion and empathy. After all, the sun is shining. xoxo

  2. It’s not a pedestal, rather it’s a reputation that’s developed as a result of nine months of interaction with 100 people. And, I don’t think that’s what she was thinking at all in that elevator. It was just what I saw in front of me — it was a side of her I hadn’t seen or considered before.

  3. exactly, see things are always as they seem. xo and I KNOW you are thoughtful of others. didn’t mean to say otherwise. I still think your colleague should have offered you a ride. wtf.

  4. Im sure many of you are like me and one of the first things you do in the morning is head here and check out the new post. Along with seeing the new posts, I’m also always checking out the blog roll rss feed and watching them grow, or shrink sometimes. In one of my past …but all in all excellent site. Keep it up!

  5. Just wanted to drop you a line to say, I enjoy reading your site. I thought about starting a blog myself but don’t have the time.
    Oh well maybe one day…. 🙂

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