What is success?

I see so many of these ‘art girl’ accounts on social media, usually featuring the 1975, flowers, and white Adidas sneakers. These people seem so successful. Like they have their lives together, while I’m sat in my kitchen wearing a slanket (a blanket! with sleeves!) and eating spoonfuls of condensed milk from the tin. I’m the antithesis of a ‘successful’ teenager – that is, if success equates to popularity, and an aesthetic Instagram account.

If it does, I may as well resign myself to a life in the Scottish Highlands, writing sarcastic articles and drinking coffee. (Which is all I basically do now, but with bouts of exam panic.) I am not unpopular, but I’m not a ‘cool kid’. I’m forgoing a party tonight (which, in all honesty, I didn’t want to go to in the first place) because I’m leaving at 8am tomorrow for the Oxford Literary Festival. I’m not going to tell everyone that, though. I’ll make up a different excuse, because if they know that I’d rather fangirl over Alan Ayckbourn rather than spend time with them, I’ll be regarded as the teenage equivalent of Frankenstein’s creature. Can you imagine that conversation?

‘I’m so so so so sorry everyone, but I’m going to the Oxford Lit Fest tomorrow, so I won’t be able to come tonight. I’m so sorry.’

*prolonged silence. Everyone has read it, but they simply do not know what to say. See, if I was missing it to see Beyonce or someone, they’d understand. But Alan Ayckbourn is not Beyonce.*

Awkward.

I don’t know if I’m successful, but I do know that I am, finally, happy. And for me, that is success. I have lots and lots and lots of books, which make me happy. I have lots of coffee, which shouldn’t make me happy because otherwise I’m going to end up with a serious caffeine dependency and THAT’S NOT GOOD.

And if success means that I can weep at Ian Curtis in Transmission while snacking on condensed milk, then I am fine with that too.

 

 

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