The Primal Blog

Success Versus Survival

This won’t be a blog post about dogs today, hopefully that will not be disappointing for too many of you. John Lennon once said, “when I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”


Lately I have been thinking about what it means to succeed, and I honestly don’t know if I have ever truly been a success in the way that most people view what it means to be a success. I wouldn’t call myself successful really, or say that I even know how to be successful. But if my life has proven anything, its that I know how to survive. I am not sure if I even share the general worldview on what the standard of success is. What I do know is that I used to be in a really bad place in life, inside and outside. Ten years ago right now I was 17 and living in my car and now I know that era of my life was rock bottom. Mentally, emotionally, personally, financially, everything. I had nothing and no one and I thought that life was always going to be and feel this way. Being successful was off the radar at this point, all I cared about was staying warm at night and finding a way to feed myself. Survival of the mental and physical capacity became my priority. Finding a way to tell myself that everything would be okay. Somehow I managed, I am by no means a success, but I didn’t die of an overdose, I wasn’t murdered, and I am not in prison, all feats by the demographic of my hometown which would place me in the successful category.


I made it out alive, and certainly don’t think of myself better than anyone else for it. But what I can say is after everything I have survived, I watch people who have had a much less “complicated” life, tell other people what it means to suffer, what it means to be and how to be a successful person. Now, I have nothing against anyone who has had a better life than me, it just means that we are different people. We do not share the same past, the same struggle, the same scars. We are different animals and I have different demons. To watch others talk down to “people like me” and tell me how easy it is to deal with my life and my demons, is offensive. I feel like it is really easy when you are in a good place in life, to tell others how to make their life better. The real challenge is at the present time being that person who is walking through hell, inside and outside of your head every day and pushing forward, knowing that you will be okay. To me, success isn’t how much money you make, how many girls you get, the car you drive, the brands you wear, and being able to talk down to others about it. Success to me means survival, it means that no matter what happens you will be strong enough to pick yourself up and pick up the pieces.


I don’t know what its like to have much in life but I know all too well what it is like to have nothing, and I am happy for that. It has made me who I am because I know no matter how bad life gets, I have been there, I made it out and I am okay. So you can keep your designer clothes and other shit, and I will keep my scars. I don’t know if I will ever succeed, whatever that means, but at least I know I can survive.