Make It Anywhere

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.

One of my many home towns.
One of my many home towns.

I’ve never been particularly ambitious and I am not sure I ever “made it” anywhere. I have no idea why I am so unmotivated to climb the ladder of success. Wired that way, maybe.

Personal stuff — relationships, home, having fun — has always been more important to me than traditional success.

My current home.
At home in exurban New England

Which means that where I live has always been for personal reasons. New England, because Garry was (is) here. Jerusalem because it’s a giant tel full of ghosts, artifacts, and history. New York city, because I was born there and I was a kid, so I didn’t have a choice. Long Island (New York) because I went to school there, married a guy who worked at the university, and got stuck.

I never lived anywhere because it was professionally advantageous … or even sensible.

Being as I have nothing much to say about this, I thought I’d include some quotes from other people about success.

Which reminds me of college where I discovered you don’t actually have to write a paper yourself. You just have to quote sources and properly reference them. This will impress your professor without straining your brain to come up with an original idea.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
W.C. Fields

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.”
Bette Midler

“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut”
Albert Einstein

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston S. Churchill

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
Salvador Dalí

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
Abraham Lincoln

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. ”
Mark Twain

And so it goes. Success is however you define it and whether or not you’ve made it is entirely a matter of opinion. Yours is the one which counts.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

25 thoughts on “REFERENCING SOURCES”

  1. “Try, fail. Try again. Fail better.” Berthold Brecht. My personal favorite.

    I haven’t (so far) “Made it” either if it means success other people would recognize. But I think — I feel — that being able to run away to a small pretty house in a godawful gorgeous immensity of landscape and live on my retirement is major success. I still can’t believe it. I look around me — inside or outside — and I’m blown away by it and sometimes moved to tears. And I did this. Naysayers, “Why would you want to live in the San Luis Valley? It’s cold there in winter!” Well, because I CAN? And I think it’s great down here?

    I have never been ambitious, either. I knew at an early age that those “triumphs” were transient and shallow.


    1. I don’t know about transient and shallow, but I always knew those particular kinds of success weren’t for me. Am I a success? Failure? I have no idea. But I’m pretty happy with where I’ve landed and if my health weren’t so dicey, I think I’d be more than passingly content. Which, in my opinion, is about as successful as I need to be. It’s cold in the winter here, too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’re a success, precisely because you’re happy with what you have done and where you are now. That’s the main thing. I really wish you the best with your health.


  2. I need smiles as well, one of the reasons I turn up here regularly. You are so lucky to grow up in New York City. I was going to write about my one time week visit today, but changed my mind. Being a tourist is not the same as living there, but unforgettable memories. Jerusalem I have never been, but must be interesting. I now travel the world with my books. And my quote for the day “Marilyn du bisch d beschte” and you won’t find that in a dictionary – ask Martha, I think she can speak a little Swiss German.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, c’mon. Don’t leave me hanging! What does that mean?

      I think I’m enjoying blogging more than any other writing I did during my career except for my brief period running a newspaper where I got to write whatever I wanted (I was the managing editor, after all). I’m really enjoying retirement. I can’t even imagine going back to work again. Work is a four-letter word 🙂

      Growing up in New York when I was a kid was great. I don’t know about now … it was a different and much safer place back then. Or maybe it’s we who have changed. I went everywhere and I never worried about getting mugged or attacked … and never was. It was great having all the museums, libraries and other stuff available … and a lot of it was free back then. Now, everything costs money — sometimes a LOT of it and I didn’t have any money!


      1. Translation – Marilyn, you are the best. The development of New York and your opinions on it are similar to mine on London. When I lived there, they were the good old days. You could come home late at night, walk down the main road when the pubs were turning out and have no worry that something could happen. and yes, my younger life was spent nosing around the great museums and art galleries we had in London. That is what I miss most of all. and it was steeped in history, with a lot of the relics still standing. So, stop, I am getting sentimental.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. London is wonderful. I was there for a few weeks … not nearly enough time. There’s so much to see, so much history. I spent an entire day in the Tower and could have spent a week. Westminster Cathedral was closed for renovation, so I missed it … but I loved everything but the traffic, which was totally nuts. I wish I had been able to go back again. That was 1979, so probably it has changed a lot since then … but it was a great city and I’m sure it still is.


          1. I decided to scan all my New York photos into the computer, there are many and were taken in the pre-digital days. I had to take some extra large panorama photos to get all the skyscraper action. When it is achieved, I will attempt an Angloswiss New Yorker glance on our former colony – Old Amsterdam?

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Mrs. Swiss, PLEASE write about your New York City week!! Like Marilyn, I’m a New York City native so I’m intrigued by your impressions. I’m waiting….


    1. I wouldn’t have minded making more money but was never prepared to be who I’d have had to become to do it. The only place to go was management — I tried it. Hated it. I wanted to write, not supervise writers. Whether or not I was a success is a matter of opinion, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Professionally, it was “making it” at ABC Network news as a “kid”. Nothing really fazed me after that when dealing with deadlines, controversy or big shots.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Our house is nothing special, just a standard 1974 raised ranch. The location is beautiful, especially in the fall when the maple tree in the front yard turns scarlet. Today the guy came and cleaned the gutters. We are ALMOST winterized.

      Liked by 1 person

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