When your dream is happening and you’re in the middle of a new reality, does your success merely mask the emptiness?

I always thought “making it” would mean financial freedom. No more thinking twice about buying a necessity. No more praying your credit card isn’t rejected.

I thought my book deal would bring fame and fortune and finally -- freedom. And while I was healthy physically, there was something missing. I couldn’t put a name to it or identify its source.

Then, there was the guilt. I’d achieved a certain level of success, but what was my responsibility to my community? To my family? To myself?

Why was I grappling with so many questions? I was supposed to be able to sit at my desk all day, writing real stories while I drank too much coffee. Instead, I had people pulling at me from all directions, making all kinds of demands. And they were demands because if I didn’t do something for somebody, I was a “sellout” or I “forgot where I came from”. Or, I had to show up someplace to please someone who could write a check.


I was walking through life faking it. I did everything with a smile and I didn’t complain once. I had to be likeable. Who’d buy my books if they didn’t like me?


My freedom came at the price of me. I gave everyone a great show and I was who I needed to be. The truth is you can only live that way for so long before the stench of the rot is too bad and you’re forced to deal with it.