It seems the world has made an agreement on keeping us ignorant of some terrible truths. There are myths that we keep perpetuating without their dark sides ever being exposed. Wondering why that happens.
I´ve dismantled some of those myths by living and observing a lot. And I mean: A LOT. One of them is related with success and how´s supposed to make us feel, once we achieve it.
First: there are many levels of success so the higher we reach, the higher the horizon ahead of us becomes. There´s always a higher mountain to be conquered. Successful people don´t usually feel the success because they see what has not been achieved yet. They also tend not to compare themselves to others so their references are never what others have achieved but what they can achieve, no matter how far they´ve gone.
Second: we often associate success with being universally loved but that´s not true. As far as I´ve discovered, success brings isolation. Let´s make a small STOP over here: I love being successful in what I do and feel grateful about it. I´m just experiencing the darker side of it and living to tell it. Having thousands or billions of people knowing your name, admiring you and following your work doesn´t mean they love you. They don´t know you, for God´s sake. They follow and eventually love your work – not you.
When you reach a good position in your profession and are seen by the majority as a successful artist, personal relationships tend to go awry. That´s my experience – not the universal truth. It becomes harder to relate as a human being when the people who surround you can´t get past your public persona. Female friends tend to get jealous of your shine – you have to be self-confident in order not to be bothered by someone else´s shine – and uncomfortable around you. Men get scared. Terrified is a better word. Terrified by a successful woman who won´t take shit from them; terrified by a woman who was strong enough to carry herself to the top; terrified by a woman who will refuse to become a sad version of a domestic servant; terrified of a woman who´s intelligent, alive and demanding. Terrified.
Third: success isolates you in yet another way. When you see the world and grow without asking other people´s permission, common gossip is not on your conversation list. The kind of talk I usually hear at the gym, supermarket, wherever I go in my “normal life time”, simply doesn´t interest me. I respect all kinds of interests but I don´t feel I have to share them. Finding people with an open mind and heart – people who share your interests – becomes rare if not impossible. The word isolation has returned to the table more often than I´d like to admit. Understood and loved as an artist but totally misunderstood as a human being. I don´t think this is new. It sounds too familiar.
Having gone through success´ laundry basket, I have to add: let it shine, let it shine. I refuse to minimize myself or my dreams for the sake of being “liked”. Grateful & extremely eager to conquer more and more mountains, no matter how many haters that fact may originate. Anyone who cannot see me beyond my public persona doesn´t deserve to be in my private world.