Dr Mumbo

Being successful is hard, says the editor whose magazine was closed down

molloy mailIt’s tough at the top, Dr Mumbo’s been told, but he had little understanding of just how difficult,  until he read of the plight of former Grazia Australia editor Amy Molloy.

In a column published in The Daily Mail, the self-proclaimed high-achiever describes her position as “torturous” in comparison with that of her “scatty, jobless” friend.

“Now in her 30s, she tends to crash from one career crisis to another and inevitably will have just quit one job and be searching for her next,” Molloy writes of her friend. “She’ll arrive with a hangover, minus her wallet, meaning she won’t be able to pay for dinner.

“At some point during the meal, she will always say the same thing: ‘You’re so lucky, Amy — you’re so driven and successful.’ She envies my life, my career, my salary, my prospects.

“But the truth is I envy her failure. It’s hard being a lonely and joyless high-achiever. I wish I could be mediocre.”

Molloy’s drive to success has burdened her since she was a toddler.

It pushed her into achieving straight-A’s throughout school and university, to land her first job at a national newspaper, and to be “repeatedly promoted” until she was made editor of Grazia at the age of 28 (which closed after seven months of her being at the helm).

Molloy insists: “Being successful is torturous. It’s isolating — you lose weekends, holidays and (if you’re not careful) your social life.

“Some people can struggle to be around the super-successful. They think I’m looking down on them and maybe sometimes, subconsciously, I am.”

If her professional achievements were not enough to separate her from the masses, Molloy writes of her success as a champion gymnast, marathon runner and her ability to exercise enviable self-control by following a sugar-free, alcohol-free diet. (Dr Mumbo notes she has previously written elsewhere about her time as a sufferer from anorexia.)

“It’s rare that I have genuine fun and the closest I get to relaxing is reading a magazine for research. I watch people laughing in cafes and wish I could be that idle.

“I’m beginning to see how one-dimensional — not to mention boring — a life fuelled by ambition can be,” she said.

So sufferable it is, that Mrs Molloy will sometimes “lie in bed and cry” on a Saturday morning, “knowing I have two options for the weekend: to work and feel exhausted or take time off and battle the guilt that I’m lazy.

“If you think I sound boring, you’re not the first — I’m not fighting off social invitations.”

Dr Mumbo did wonder whether Ms Molloy had fallen foul of imaginative subbing on the part of the Daily Mail. At the time of posting, she could not be reached.

Dr Mumbo suspects that if making friends is her struggle, this column won’t help. Although it almost certainly will go viral.


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