A part of the path to success is charted in having the vision, stamina, and enthusiasm to complete certain goals that leads to your ultimate destination. But once you get there, then what?
In many people's eyes, Issa Rae has reached an enviable level of success. From initially showing interest in theater when she was in high school and starting her own YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl, to what many people now know her for, Insecure, Rae has achieved an unconventional level of success. Recently, Rae sat down with Glamour for their cover story to talk about charting her own path to happiness, why she was initially embarrassed that she was a YouTuber, and why complacency will never be on her radar.
The level of fandom and Twitter chatter Insecure has garnered is yet another example of why so many people are interested in "our" stories. The 33-year-old was able to recognize an unfulfilled niche in the entertainment market and blazed a new trail for other creatives to follow. However, Rae says she didn't exactly have anyone to look up to when she was starting out on her journey.
"There was no blueprint to do this. There was no one I could look to to be like, 'Oh, so-and-so made some videos and then had a television show, and then did movies...You kind of just do it."
Now in its third season, many of us couldn't imagine our lives before Insecure. We love it because we feel seen and it gives us so much life. Being the creator, star, and writer of her own television show might make some imagine that Rae is in cruise control when it comes to her career. But for Rae, she says that complacency is something that she never wants for herself and that she is on a quest to get better, keep learning, and continue to top the last thing she did. She told Glamour:
"I am always striving to get better. I am always thinking, 'OK, how can I top this? Or, how can I learn from this?' I just never want to be complacent."
One of the greatest feelings is doing what you love. Unfortunately, for many people, the option of doing that takes a backseat to paying the bills and putting food on the table. Rae recognizes that she is fortunate enough to have created success doing exactly what she loves, but also acknowledges that every breakthrough isn't easy, and proves that even creative geniuses have bad days. Issa said that she maintains good vibes despite life's bumps in the road by focusing on the silver lining.
"I'm doing what I love, and that is never lost on me. Even when I'm in my most frustrated moments, I'm like, 'There's always a silver lining.'"
Rae has blazed new trails in television during a time where representation is so needed. And now she will be charting a new path in film as well with the upcoming movie The Hate U Give, set to premiere in October.
Rae is an example of why following your passion is the ultimate win. She is proof that you determine your own success when you are able to remove yourself from complacency. Just remember to learn, grow, and keep trying.
To read the rest of the interview with Glamour, click here.
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