Less Successful, But Much Happier

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” Joshua 1:8.

I’m no closer to being “successful” than I was 365 days ago. In fact, I’m a little further away. Right now I don’t even have a job. I’m drifting from idea to idea, while my student loan payments and rent hang over my head like an axe at the chopping block.

I’m happier than ever.

On this day last year I had a full-time job as a TV producer. I was making leaps and bounds in my career, with direction and purpose. I had a boyfriend who wanted to get married and a plan to move to Los Angeles.

I was miserable.

The days ticked by, heartache came, and with it, the clarity of everything coming suddenly into focus. It’s like my jackass boyfriend wiped the fog away from the reflection of my life and I could see myself clearly for the first time.

I stopped making excuses and blaming others. I quit my job. I woke up early to meditate, stayed up all night laughing, and took naps during the day. I dug past the small talk and asked people tough, socially awkward questions. I stopped trying to fill the silence in conversations and waited to see where the other person would lead when the pressure was on.

But more importantly, I let go of trying to control my future and push my career. I cared more about my community than my own personal growth. I expected less. I gave more. I invested in people and praised God. Now, exactly one year later, my bank account is empty but my heart is overflowing.

Life isn’t perfect and I’m not a better person, but the success I searched for before isn’t some milestone I’m exhausting myself to reach by a certain age, it’s a peace I’ve accepted wherever I’m at right now.

God, help me not get so caught up in trying to gain earthy success. My only fulfillment comes from you.


Sarah Witmer