I wrote a bio for a close friend that included the words “multi-award winning” and it spiraled me into what I shall call a contemplative study, but professionals might diagnose as melancholia. I’m extremely proud of this friend who’s had a remarkable career up to this point, but it led me to reflect upon the last bio written for me which read something like this:
“Sara Tieman is a Theatre Performance major from Illinois. She has previously been seen in The Way of the World, The Art of Dining and The Caucasian Chalk Circle, among others. She hopes to someday be a dancer for Tina Turner.”
Not only is there no mention of awards I’ve won (to date, there are none – except for speech contests and a Young Author’s Award, all of which were a zillion lightyears removed from present time and, therefore, do not count) but sadly I have never danced for Tina Turner, either. Not that I saw that as a realistic goal, but it would have been rather awesome to be any rock star’s “fly girl.” But, I digress…
My career is very different from that of my friend’s. I’m cautiously optimistic that there is still plenty of time ahead for it to change, yet the future outcome is anyone’s guess.
Instead, I find myself staring down the stark realization of “good enough” and repeating to myself the mantra: “Where I am right now is good enough. I am good enough.” Saying this out loud, even putting pen to paper to write it down or typing it now on a keyboard, not only makes me sound like Stuart Smalley from the old Saturday Night Live skit, but it’s absolute torture. We are always our own worst critics, facing a most terrible adversary disguised as ourselves. Even as I say “I am good enough” I don’t quite believe it.
So, there I lived in a dark corner for a bit, grappling with my worth, my good enough, until…
That very same friend shared with me this message: “I am fulfilled on my life’s journey. When I am at a crossroads, what do I do? Do I take the the familiar path or the one less traveled? Whichever path I choose, I make a commitment to enjoy the journey. All paths lead me to, and through, new adventures.”
As I read the passage, I felt the Divine, the Universe give me a knowing smile and I knew that I needed to hear that message desperately. It reminded me of the Robert Frost poem that has been a favorite of mine since high school – a challenge to take the less traveled path in life. Furthermore, receiving the message from this same friend sealed a gap that my own insecurities had created. The sinister voice inside ceased berating me about my friend’s achievements and my lack thereof.
No, I’m not living the life that I imagined my good enough would look like when I was 16 or even 20. Some aspects are better than good enough, while others pale in the shade. I’m learning every day to accept that everything is good enough that happens right now, here in this place and in this time. And that has to be enough. Or, shall I say, good enough?