I consider myself pretty fortunate. I have a wonderful and supportive family. I have great friends. Those things alone afford me a lot of room to fail and, thus, a lot of room to experiment. As Americans we're fascinated with the idea of picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps, of climbing out of the ashes and doing it ourselves. The reality, however, is that we are the products of our environment and our experience, and that each one is the cause of the other. I try not to feel guilt or pride at my accomplishments. The former does no good, and the latter is misguided. Instead, I seek to feel a sense of responsibility to be there for others as they've been there for me, and to see that we all have an opportunity to pursue fulfillment.