It’s Lonely At The Top: Can Love And Success Really Coexist?

For as long as I can remember, people have always told me that I am going to be successful. My high school valedictorian deemed my best friend and I to be the next Trumps (which today could be quite a controversial statement…). Friends that I haven’t seen for months often greet me by asking if I have earned my first million yet, or what tycoon I am currently running.

I say this in the most modest way possible. Quite frankly, I’ve never been one to openly share my academic achievements with people, and my parents were never the type to be down my throat if my report card wasn’t all A+. For some reason, I was just born with this ridiculous determination and drive. Now you may be sarcastically thinking, wow sounds terrible I really feel sorry for you, and I’m not expecting any pity party let’s make that clear. But there’s a side to success that many overlook, and something that makes me scared of what my future may hold.

I am never satisfied.

No matter what I have achieved, what reviews I receive, or what people think of me, it is never enough.

Am I happy? Sure.

Am I proud of what I’ve done? Meh. 

Do I think there’s a hell of a lot more I can do? Absolutely.

People often ask me how I find the time to do everything on my plate. “You make me feel like a bum” or “How are you not dead yet?” are regular conversations I encounter. How do I do it, or quite frankly, why the f*ck do I do it? No, I’m not trying to build my resume or to make more friends and no by no means do I think that my shit is bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S). I know that there will always be someone smarter, someone with more experience, someone who is a better candidate. It’s because to me, no matter what I have done, it isn’t enough. I can honestly say I have very rarely ever felt a sense of fulfillment or pride. It is both a blessing and a curse. Once something is crossed off the list it’s on to the next one (and it pains me to admit that Jay Z was once my alarm). So I have unrealistic personal expectations, what a rough life… Replace rough with lonely, and yes you’re correct.

What a lonely life.

Look at the most successful people. Whether they are news figures, or people you personally know, odds are these people are successful because they put in the work, and more importantly, the time. They possess a drive very similar to mine and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that constant forward motion. Working overtime is as normal as their designer purses, suits, and cars. But what is often missing from their equation of luxury and success? A significant other. Or quite frankly any “others”, significant or not.

We hear of “work life balance” and people whose jobs take over their lives. When all’s said and done, all the titles I’ve held and all the money I’ve made mean nothing when I’m laying on my death-bed. What matters is who is there beside me as I say my final words.

What scares me the most about my future isn’t what it will entail, or what the nitty-gritty details will be, it’s if it can even exist. Is this success that I crave even possible alongside a husband that I love and a puppy whom I take for nightly strolls? What happens when you value love just as much as you value success? What happens when your accomplishments are never satisfying? What happens when you are willing to do anything and everything to get to the top, even if that means shutting people out along the way?

I think it’s safe to say that whether you possess the same drive that I do, it is human nature to want to be successful. It is this misconception of success though that makes me nervous. I look around at my fellow commerce classmates, and we all claim to desire this fortune and fame; to work as a C level executive for a fortune 500 company. Yet the more I research into this success, the more I realize my classmates and I may not fully understand this life that we desire. Is this “life” even considered a life if all it consists of is meetings, and emails? I don’t want the most personal relationship I experience to be through conference calls.

I want to be proud of the work I do, day in and day out, but I also want to have someone to share my successes with. Whether that’s possible or not, time will only tell. Finding balance between love and success is one of life’s greatest challenges. But if there’s one thing that I believe could provide me with satisfaction, it would be achieving just that.

So yes, you’re damn right I want that corner office. But I also want pictures with a significant other to decorate it with.

Featured image via screengrab from The Wolf on Wall Street

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