Success has become the buzzword. Something, so many of us strive for.
But what is success? How do you measure it? How do you know when you as a person are successful?
Is it in a title? Is it in a bank account? A fancy car? A big house? An educational qualification? A child’s happiness and success in life mean success?
Is there anything wrong with having the above? In my opinion, no there isn’t. But it should not be the measuring tool for success.
I am Carla Louise Lawrence. I am a single mother to a beautiful teenage son. My son’s dad and I separated when he was 18 months old, and I had become the sole provider for my son and me. I am a qualified dietitian and worked in the government sector for many years before going into private practice. In 2014, something very scary happened to me. I had a breakdown. I simply couldn’t take the pressure of life anymore and had a massive depressive episode. It took some time to recover from this episode and I slowly saw myself getting better. I started running as my stress relief and to help manage my state of mind.
During that time, I managed to buy myself a new car and a home for my son and me. All this time still grappling through managing anxiety and depression. In 2017 I met an amazing man. We fell in love very quickly and he soon moved in with my son and me. Only very early in our relationship to discover that he had anger and jealousy issues which soon became evident in verbal and physical abuse. We got engaged but I ended the relationship in 2019.
Redefining my own success
Then 2020, and the pandemic rocked the world. During this time, I was still working at a government facility, but I was very unhappy. Depression started surfacing again. I barely had time to heal my failed relationship and then had to deal with all the pandemonium of this pandemic. It was such a rough time as I had to lock my son up alone in our home and work (working in a hospital and being essential services). But after a lot of prayer and encouragement from family, I resigned and started my own practice.
2021 started off looking very positive. Then bam. My business was not doing well. I got ill in March and till today am recovering. In July both my parents got Covid (the second time for my mom) and sadly my mom lost the battle to Covid and passed away. Massive depression. My world was crumbling around me. I felt like a complete failure.
And then one day, I woke up took a deep breath and looked around me. I was still alive. I had so many tools to keep going. Why was I giving up? My faith, a beautiful son, a supportive family. I could not give up now. I am not a failure.
How do I measure success? Success is overcoming the obstacles that prevent me from moving forward. Success is looking at myself in the mirror and being proud of the woman I have become. Success is having the strength to make tough decisions for myself and my son. Success is having the courage to walk away from toxic relationships. Success is knowing that what I deem as failure is just a stepping stone towards growth and character building. Success is waking up every day and being thankful and hopeful. Success is being confident in who I am and not comparing myself to others. Success is being bold despite fears.