I used to have a voice inside my head. She used to tell me that I wasn’t good enough – yet.
One more set of exams, one more rung on the career ladder, one more friend, a marriage certificate, a perfectly hung set of curtains on a Victorian bay window – get all of that, she used to say, and you might be good enough. After all, she whispered, your own mother didn’t want you. How could you possibly be good enough?
I probably spent 20 years listening to her. I spent 20 years chasing after all the things she said would make me good enough. And then I lost them all. I lost the husband, I lost the friends, I lost the Victorian bay window. Then there was a recession and a baby, which pretty much took care of the career, too.
For a while, I was lost. I was falling, and I didn’t know how to stop. I hung on to the wrong things, the wrong friendships, the wrong priorities. I panicked in the wee small hours about how to get it all back. And the voice? Well, she always knew this would happen.
Then, there came a point where I just… stopped. I took a deep breath, and looked around. I listened. And there was a new voice.
This voice said: “20 years is an awfully long time to try and live up to someone else’s idea of good enough.” It said, “You’re already good enough. You always were.”
So, I have this new voice inside my head lately. He reminds me it doesn't matter if anyone else thinks I'm rich enough, smart enough, thin enough, young enough. He tells me to chase my own dreams, and let go of the dreams other people might have for me. He says that every day that I laugh, love my daughter, and try to make the path a little easier for someone else – then I'm good enough. We all are.
This post written for Josie's writing workshop head on over to find out more!