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Pauline Delpech Headshot

On Success

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When I was 20 years old, my future looked fragile and quite in the air. I wasn't dreaming of anything big for me, nor was I thinking of anything little. Actually, I wasn't thinking anything. I was one of these girls who don't like themselves. And the little bit of esteem left for myself belonged to the heart, not the mind.

To me, succeeding meant dreaming of a wonderful life, of a life filled with lines and pages. It also meant a life spent on the boards in the world's most beautiful cities. It meant being beautiful, making men madly in love and burning with desire. It meant flowing money and spending with no fear. When I was twenty years old, succeeding meant dreaming. Dreaming of other people's lives, of their success, of their sweet nights. At the time, I never thought I could ever know the simple happiness of undertaking something, of realizing something. Write a page, I would feel happy about, fight for an idea, fulfill a wish. You see, when I was 20 years old, I was petrified and terrified. So I dreamt. I didn't dream of a rich, beautiful, fulfilling and sweet life. I dreamt of a flamboyant life, social and reassuring in these young years.

I was lacking the idea of success.

Then time helped me. I stood up through the years. I left my teenage dreams on the side and said goodbye to my fears. I dared. I dared writing above all. I met myself through the lines I was writing. I understood the woman I was, with her strengths and weaknesses. I managed to accept all of that. At that very moment, I started believing. I believed in my success, in the idea of becoming a writer, I believed in knowing love. I am 32 years old today, I am a writer and a lover. I don't expect anything more nor anything less.

The idea of success changes with the hours and years that go. It becomes easier. Success doesn't look like the Himalayan peak anymore, but like a valley I cross on my own rhythm. When I look back and see everything I did this past decade, I smile. The long way is my success.

Little things helped me stand up, be they moments of pure happiness, intense times when I thought I would fall, happy encounters and life-saving break-ups. All of that helped me grow up, expect better and something else. It helped me build self-esteem. My editor, Michel Lafon, was the first to take a chance with me, to understand my imagination and feel the strong desire I had to write. He gave me an opportunity when I was only 24. It was a starting point that a man like him could believe in me. It was the caress of the vertigo.

With him I tried the unknown. I jumped into life, but into discipline as well. I spent nights immersing myself in my books, creating stories as mine was taking shape. He was and still is my net.

Right before I turned 30, I met love and everything that love creates, the upheaval of a life. It was as if the movement of the world was changing, as if everything was making sense all of a sudden. I surrendered myself to this love and even started thinking he could love me too. Maybe I wasn't that insipid after all. I surrendered myself, and it took a lot of strength, a lot of love and resistance to do that.

No more going down, no more breaking down, no more breaking up by fear of being left. Thanks to him, I won, I won over my old self. And I gave way to the woman I am tonight.