I've been writing since college, and I often joke -- though this is not a source of pride, only comic relief -- that my literary resume reads like an anthology. Each name still bears its own notoriety, as well as its own burdens.
It is tempting to think of the self as simply a home for the identities we adopt over our lifetime, but on reflection, this, too, falls short. Our self is also the source of the identities that sally forth as our proxies.
Amongst my friends, being happy isn't enough. Being successful doesn't cut it. Being in a loving relationship is but part of the plan. They want to leave a mark on the world. It is one of the reasons I love them.