I've noticed a certain raising of my head. A certain walk. A certain confidence in me that I didn't have before. I don't know if it's because I feel secure in my job. Or maybe it's because I paid off my outstanding bills (yippee!). Or perhaps it's turning 40 and gaining the confidence of having seen and done enough things in life to know what I will and won't take from people (e.g. not being
complacent about making my opinion known — even at the risk of losing my job or a friend—yet knowing when enough is enough).
Or maybe it's because now that I'm in a full-time regular job and have bought myself many new wardrobe items I feel more confident in my looks. Has fashion made me
confident? I always believed the
saying that "Clothes don't make the man," but I'm also not dead; I look at well-dressed people just like everyone else. And sure there's a certain feeling about them, a preconception. Money? Class? Sex appeal? Something.
But still, fashion isn't the answer. I've been well dressed before — hell, when I went through college I used to have ALL my clothes dry cleaned (I was living at home!). So, maybe it's not one thing, maybe it's all of them. Knowing I've survived all the tragedies and triumphs (even minor ones) that come with living past 40. Feeling secure in my job, my life, knowing that one mistake is NOT going to flatten me. Knowing that I am well-liked, attractive, still look younger than my years, have great friends, a good family, a warm place to go home to every night, a happy life. So, maybe, just maybe this
confidence I feel inside—where I walk taller, talk stronger and exude confidence—is something I've been striving for all these years – happiness. Could it be? Hell, it's been so long since I truly felt it, it snuck up on me from out of the blue. And maybe I'm also feeling contentment. Just knowing that my life isn't horrible … it's a good feeling. Don't get me wrong, I still have unfulfilled hopes and dreams: winning the lottery, being successful beyond my wildest dreams of fame and fortune (and I dream BIG) and marrying Tom Selleck. But there's something to be said for the inner knowledge that no matter what life throws my way (familial deaths, job losses, illnesses) I can get through it all and still be a wise-ass, and still smile, and make other people smile.
I guess that's become my own,
personal meaning of success. Being happy. Feeling contented. Owning a knowledge that I will get through whatever life throws my way. It's a good feeling, this success thing. It's also a new feeling for me.