If a Family Member Became Successful...

... in your chosen field, more successful than you ever dreamed, would you be happy? Would you be jealous?  Would it depend on which person made it big?

My father-in-law talks about writing books after retirement.  At least one brother of mine has an abandoned novel buried somewhere.  The only cousin I talk to is currently drawing a graphic novel.
Someday, I could be the sister, daughter-in-law, or cousin of a famous writer.  I would be a footnote, my entire career not as important as who I am related to.  I'm not sure how I would feel if everyone said: Jennifer Ruth Jackson, sister of famous writer Smith Jiaskap, writes too!  How... quaint.

But, outside of not wanting people to discount my accomplishments or compare them to someone else's, I don't think I'd be bothered by it.  I genuinely care about the lives and interests of those around me and want them happy.

Now, if the person was someone who I cut ties with for being horrendous?  Maybe I wouldn't be as gracious.  Perhaps I would be petty.  There would, at the absolute minimum, be inspiration for enough insult poems to fill a chapbook.  And really, isn't that a type of success by itself?


  1. I'd be thrilled if one of my family members became very successful at what I've dreamed of doing. Well, unless it was my sister and she kept rubbing it in, but I don't think she'd do that and probably would be nice about it. The way I see it is that if someone I know because very successful then maybe they could help me in some way.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Having connections is a very positive outcome to a relative making it big. I don't know if I would be willing to capitalize on some things but advice and (maybe) insider tips would be all right.

      And, if someone gets where I want to be, they'd better be gracious (or, at least, not taunt me).

  2. I'd probably be surprised—not because my family isn't smart enough to do graduate school math, but because, as far as I know, none of them have much interest in it. But I'd be happy as well! Then I'd know where to go when I get stuck on a problem :)

    1. A colleague you have access to/trust in could prove valuable.
      I don't know much about mathematicians. Are they normally competitive or jealous? With writers, some people are humble and giving, while others are jealous or cocky.
      What accolades do you guys covet besides teaching positions at specific universities?

  3. It would be hard to take if someone else in my family got to my dream before I did. I'd love to see them all succeed at what they want…but no one has mentioned writing at all, besides me, and, at least internally, I don't think I take it well if I were suddenly sidelined that way. It's a little shallow, but I like being a "point of pride" for the family.

    1. It would feel like being blindsided, I would think, for a family member to produce a novel from the shadows and hit it big, especially since people know you write but wouldn't come to you.
      My family members are smarter than I am... they dream about writing something that has the potential to make money!