Sometimes, I think, I am not good enough.
Good enough for what?
For relationships, for success, for happiness, for a sense of belonging, for peace, for victory…
This does not mean I think any less of myself or judge those who care for and support me. But there are moments in my life when I think I am starting to fall towards rock bottom, and I question my own worth. I’m not even sure where these moments arise or where they find renewal. But every so often, I am hit with a wave of emotion, and I buckle down and cry.
I throw a pity party, for sure. But I also question the point of moving forward. This type of criticism is what my life coach likes to call my “gremlins.” I like that term. I imagine some small hairy green monster – quite the opposite of the cute Gizmo from Gremlins – and I think, I am stronger than you. There is no reason I should let you get the better of me.
But I do. It’s easier now that I’ve spent the better part of a decade working on my self-esteem. It’s easier now that I’m 30 and am starting to realize the mortality of my existence. It’s easier now that I’ve built up confidence and can call people out on their bullshit rather than seeing it as a critical reflection of my self-worth.
A Week of Weakness
I experienced a moment of weakness this past week when certain mirages started crumbling down around me at my current job. I not only wondered if any of this was worth it, but I even asked myself: was I destined for misery? No matter how many changes that I made in my life, would I always be unhappy?
I don’t believe we are forever in a happy state, but I think, to some extent, we can be in clandestinely happy. I used to think happiness was a fleeting moment – that we only experience a few moments of existential joy in a lifetime. And then as I started to develop a strong and loving network around me, I realized that those moments of joy could be more than fleeting – they could be life-sustaining.
So, why do I get down on myself whenever one moment of mishap completely interrupts that in clandestine happiness? Why should one moment ruin everything I’ve built?
Because that moment could be a revelation. That moment could be the day I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and I was forced to re-evaluate my path and my perception of that path. That moment could be the day I decided my job was never going to make me happy, and I switched directions for the sake of better fulfillment. That moment could be the night I realized I will always be striving for something more, and what makes me happy today won’t necessarily make me happy tomorrow. But that’s okay.
There will always be moments when I doubt myself and wonder if I’m good enough to be here. Unfortunately, that heightened self-criticism is just a part of who I am. But regardless of its negative entity, I do have to thank that self-criticism for forcing me to question paths that are obviously making me unhappy. I am grateful for the courage to leave that path and try something new.
Beyond Good Enough
Because what is good enough is not always good enough. I know that things could be better. And while I may develop coping strategies and use my anger and frustration to try to change circumstances within my current environment, I know that, inevitably, I will venture on to another path. I will make my mark and do the best that I can, and then I will move on.
I am a learner. I knew when I left my hometown 12 years ago that I was never going to be okay with just the status-quo. I am always going to explore and challenge myself. I hope that I can one day cultivate a network that supports this adventure and enthusiasm for life. In some ways, I already have. And I also hope I can maintain the beautiful connections I have made along the way. Over time, I am getting better at this.
Because I love connections, and I thrive in relationships. It’s what makes me strong, and it’s what makes me feel alive. I have never felt happier than moments in my life where people I loved all came together to celebrate something wonderful. And when I looked around the room and realized the amazing network I had found, I was beaming.
It is not enough to unearth one star. The night sky only comes alive when there is a myriad of stars. And while there are still moments when I doubt my worthiness to be among them, I feel so lucky to be one of them.
Finding My Song
So, tonight when I got out of the shower after sobbing because I didn’t feel worth it, I opened up my phone to a text from a friend. It read: I have some free time tonight if you want to take another stab at a guitar lesson, but I understand if it’s too late.
Just yesterday when I was feeling bleak about current life events, I pulled out the acoustic guitar my friend had given me for my birthday in February. I’d wanted to learn to play for years, but fear kept me from pursuing the creative endeavor. And even though I’d had this guitar for months, I no longer had a reason to avoid its dusty persona.
So, I pulled it into my lap, turned on a YouTube video, and learned my first two chords. At first, it sounded screeching, but the more I practiced, the better I could hold the chord. And eventually, I started strumming along to Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth without screeching between chords. It’s still a work-in-progress, but I felt so alive just repetitively playing these two chords.
I was learning something new and opening a new creative path. All the emotions I felt from this past week came pouring out from my sore fingertips. Maybe I cannot improve certain circumstances within my current environment? But now, I have a new outlet for my frustration and desire to change.
And, lucky for me, I have a network that supports that. I may not always feel worth it, but if I keep strumming, I know that, eventually, I will find the tune that makes me feel alive.