I was thirsty and uncomfortable waiting for the flight attendants to roll down the length of the plane and serve me 4-6 ounces of choice beverage. It’s bittersweet having an aisle seat because you can see how far away the beverage cart is. I couldn’t help but notice the name tag on on of the ladies read “Angel.” She looked in her 40’s and had obviously gotten some plastic surgery done on her face. No wedding ring, but she had a tan line where it used to be. I imagine she grew up with everyone calling her their “little Angel” all the time. That would mess you up pretty good, but there’s nothing she can do about that now. She asked what I wanted from her stiff smile and I just said “It’s okay, I don’t need anything.”
As a kid, when you see people you know get married you don’t like it because you have to dress up and sit in a church and watch them stand up there for a long time. As a teen you find it more romantic and you’re happy for them and you enjoy the festivities. As a young adult you find it strange that your friends are getting married and having kids when you’re still just watching from the audience and saying “isn’t that nice.” You start to feel a sense of love, a sense of loss, a sense of urgency. You notice you’re not young anymore, and then you talk to someone who is even older than you and in the same position. They talk like they are supposed to catch the bouquet because they are older, and you still have time because you’re just a baby at twenty-something. You believe them for a second, and then you remember it’s not a race… but getting a head start is never a bad idea.
Who has ever succeeded without failing? I blame the schools. They’ve got everyone hung up on the notion that success will just ‘happen’on its own. Your livelihood will just come out of the blue and youwill be ‘okay.’As long as you try,everything will work out. You don’t need to be the best, you just need to give it your best; and that is what success is. Here’s a medal for participation. You earned it. It’s the same color as first and second place. All medals look the same. Color doesn’t matter. All medals are the same. As long as you are happy, you will be successful. Don’t worry about being happy. Just do what makes you happy. If you’re not happy then you’re not doing the right thing. Do something else. What makes you happy? You don’t need money to be happy. You don’t need money to be successful. You need to be passionate about what you do. You need to develop a passion for something. That is what you want to do. That is what you will do. That will make you happy. If it doesn’t; you’re not trying hard enough—but here’s a medal anyways. You tried to try. That’s worth something. You don’t need to be the best. You don’t need money. You don’t need money to be happy. Money makes you unhappy. Money is unhappiness. Money is unethical. Money is evil. You need to dress, act, eat like you want nothing to do with money. Money will corrupt you. You want to rise up and revolt against money. You are passionate about revolting against money. Chastise everyone who has money. To you, Revolution means more than ‘going in circles.’ You are good at revolting. You are good at Revolution. Oil isn’t green. Gays are at war. Babies are uneducated. Art is tasteless. The light in the fridge is still off. You are passionate. You are revolting. You are poor. You are happy. You are successful. You got what you wanted. Everything worked out… right? Here’s a medal. At least you tried. But you don’t want the medal. You don’t need a medal to be happy. You slap it away. Success! “…Nice try. Just take the damn medal.”
You earned it.