By MAMAMIA TEAM
“I was a straight-A student from primary school to university, where I studied journalism. I got my first job as soon as I graduated, working at a national newspaper, and was repeatedly promoted until I was the editor of a leading fashion magazine by the time I turned 28.”
So this is Amy Molloy.
Amy is in her late 20s. And until recently, she was the editor of Australia’s Grazia magazine. Before that she studied journalism, worked for a “national newspaper” and wrote a book based on her own life.
Amy has written a piece today for the UK’s Daily Mail. The Daily Mail is a website synonymous with outrageous headlines and in-your-face opinion – and Amy’s piece certainly delivers. In the few hours it’s been live on the web, it’s already been commented on more than 100 times.
The title of the piece is ‘A book deal at 23, more cash than she can spend. But Amy Molloy says being a success is lonely and so joyless… I wish I was more mediocre like my friends‘ and in it, Amy describes why her quest for success has actually made for an incredibly torturous life.
Listing my achievements may sound boastful, but I’m not trying to make people envious of me. Quite the opposite.
Being successful is torturous. It’s isolating — you lose weekends, holidays and (if you’re not careful) your social life.
Some people can struggle to be around the super-successful. They think I’m looking down on them and maybe sometimes, subconsciously, I am.
My very high standards are not limited to my professional life.
I was a champion gymnast as a child and have run seven marathons as an adult. My diet is stringent — I don’t have alcohol or sugar.
If you think I sound boring, you’re not the first — I’m not fighting off social invitations. Dinner with my scatty, jobless friend is often the only night out on my calendar.
My husband and I met in an exercise class when I was 24, just as my book was published. A few months after we started dating he asked why he hadn’t met many of my friends. I had to admit I didn’t have any.
There’s no doubt that Amy is successful. She’s achieved an amazing amount in a short period of time. And like everyone in the world, there is no doubt that she will have had times in her life when things have been less than rosy.
But. There’s something about the way in which she has communicated her success in this piece that has struck a chord with readers. And it’s not a pleasant sounding chord at all.
Remember Samantha Brick? Amy has already been compared to the women who last year penned a piece called ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’ for the same publication. At the time, Samantha’s piece was commented on more than 5000 times and shared more than 200,000 times on social media.
Like Amy, Samantha put a feeling that would usually remain unspoken into words – and it didn’t sit well with readers.
So are we likely to see history repeat itself for Amy? Here’s some more from the piece:
It may sound like everything I touch turns to gold, but I’ve had many failures. I have probably missed 90 per cent of all the targets I have set for myself.
The difference is I shoot for ten times more than the average person and it’s these few victories that make me seem exceptional. But I’m certainly not immune to failure. Three months ago, I lost my job, when the magazine I edited folded.
One reader wrote in the comments section telling Amy to “get over herself”. Another told her to “stop whining”. “Stop moaning about it,” another said. “You have got more than alot (sic) of people have.”
It’s easy to feel angry reading Amy’s piece. (Mediocre, even). But before we all get out outrage panties on, let’s take a look at the real issues she’s raising here: And those are success and happiness.
And there is absolutely no question that these are really difficult things to talk about. The Australian attitude is generally one of self deprecation and joking humility. But what’s so wrong with admitting that success can be tough? That just because there are elements of your life that others find enviable, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy with your situation?
As one Twitter user wrote in a reply to Amy: “$ isn’t the only measure of success. Hapiness (sic) is another, your article suggests you aren’t happy, so are you really successful?”
Reading Amy’s piece it becomes startling clear that she’s not that happy with her lot in life. Despite the long list of successes that have come her way during her short career, she feels pretty lonely. That’s something many of us have experienced over the years – and despite her rather confronting way of putting it – maybe we should feel sympathetic towards Amy, rather than angry.
So: success and happiness. Can have one without the other? Or do you they come as a package deal. Do you sympathise with Amy’s position?
Editor’s note: Let’s all remember the MM dinner party rules, y’all. Be cool, just like The Fonz. No name calling on this (or any) post please. Abusive comments towards Amy Molloy (or anyone) will be deleted.