Life is a rollercoaster of a ride, and the emotion through the ups and downs.

Whether we are born into humble beginnings or with many riches, there is a complacency that we all tend to conform to, based on our situations alone. 

The routine of life makes both the rich and the poor’s approach to success somewhat equal. I know you’re probably like, “what?!” so please bear with me. The want and need for evolution is what seems to separate the two. Can both grow beyond their status? Has both reached their peak in life? Is one’s life valued more than the other? A better assessment of this all should be how one views success and love.  

There is much made about success, and even the hard work that it takes to reach it. You could say the same for love. We’ve all heard the saying “once you find love, you better keep it,” and from my own personal experience, that is a fact indeed. It also takes hard work to maintain it, much like success. 

It all started to make real sense to me when I finished my undergraduate degree at Seton Hall University. I somehow found my way to the graduating finish line, but I still didn’t feel accomplished. I was unemployed and confused about my career choice, and unsure about what I actually wanted to do with myself. I was falling short of success and love. To make matters worse, I had pressure from family, and I felt as though I was letting everyone down. I also thought that since I was done with school, a six figure salary would magically fall in to my lap. Not to mention, my degree is in social work, where the profession is known not to make much money. 

I was stressed, unhappy, and life was quite honestly beating me down, until one of my closest friends granted me an opportunity of a lifetime. Since he had relatives living in St. Croix, he decided to go there to figure out what his life’s purpose is. Me and another friend tagged along with him, as we all stayed there for a few months. Unbeknownst to us all, we’d begin to find clarity and direction in our lives. 

For me, I knew the love I needed to have for myself was essential to my growth and success. My entire life even with me going away to college, was for everyone else. Whether I had to make it seem like I was successful or not, I stayed true to what “success” meant to others. I never truly knew what it meant. I just knew that deep down inside, it wasn’t a feeling that I could live up to anymore. Being away in the Virgin Islands with my friends, allowed me the chance to take the time to focus on the essential component to one’s soul: love. The kind of love that is nurturing to your mind, body, and spirit that instills confidence so deeply rooted, that no ounce of negativity could curve your assurance. I believe we take this for granted because we are so busy chasing “success.” 

We tend to get too wrapped up in life’s occurrences that we abandon our self-care, which is vital to our advancement in any aspect of life.

We view success as the “American Dream,” college degrees, money, cars, fame, and so many other tangible things, but what gets lost in all of this, is the mental capacity one must have to accomplish anything. 

Yeah, you may have a great job, but are you truly happy? You may have a big beautiful house, but are you genuinely happy? You may even have millions of dollars, but are you really happy? 

I once defined success as everyone else did, but that led to stress, suicidal thoughts, a torn Achilles, and much heart ache. I had a desire for the things I wanted to attain in life. Those experiences have enlightened me in a way that has led me to examining the love that I truly crave. I once sought a materialistic, worldly love, which is fleeting. I’ve grown to yearn for a love that comes from within and is treasurable for a lifetime. 

To this day, I still play tug-of-war with poor and rich love, but since I value myself, I know what love matters most. 

As a poet, performer, author, motivational speaker, and MSW, I take great pride in my own self love, and find much value in caring for myself daily. Get my free audio poem here where I will teach you more about finding and valuing the love within.

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