Today I say enough!
This is one of those times where I created the picture long before the post. Sometime this past fall I had gone through all of the photos from this summer that I had taken as well as ones Rent-a-Dad had. In the process I created a file for our blog with photos I could use for posts or ones that I felt would be good with a quote or something inspirational.
When I pulled this photo off of Rent-a-Dad’s phone and really looked at it I had this sense of calm come over me. The photo captured one of those rare moments from that trip where it felt like everything was just perfect. So much bad and truly weird stuff had happened on our trip to the beach last summer but so much really nifty and awesome moments also happened.
In the end this picture defined for me something that took me a long time to realize: I am enough.
In this photo I was captured showing my nephew how much fun the ocean could be. I shared my love of the water. The photo reminded me of the moments racing into the water giggling and chasing the waves as they in turn chased us. In those moments at the beach it didn’t matter what my age was, what my body looked like or anything else. My nephew just knows we had so much fun that day and that is what mattered. Not once did he tell me I wasn’t pretty or that I shouldn’t wear that bathing suit, cover-up or hat or even how my hair could have been done differently. No, for him I was enough that day. So why couldn’t I be enough for myself?
I am the baby of my generation both with my extended and immediate family. Therefore I know what it is like to be constantly compared (by others) to a sibling, a cousin, a classmate, and my peers. How those comparisons at times led to feelings of inadequacy and eventually led to my over comparing myself to everyone around me. A companion to those feelings was this constant sensation of waiting for something.
When you are constantly compared to those around you, time can sometimes feel like your biggest enemy. Either you have too much or too little of it. In my case the pendulum has swung both ways over the years.
Looking back at my youth I spent a good amount of time being told I had to wait until I was older to accomplish certain tasks. I was once told by a family friend that adolescence was both a blessing and a curse; that I would have to bide my time; and that I would understand more as I grew up. While my waiting to be enough started with comparisons and developing feelings of inadequacies, my true waiting (for everything to fall into place) began with that advice. I was waiting to be grown up enough to understand.
Over the years the waiting to be enough went from waiting to pay off student loans or taking care of ailing family members to finding a good home, the right job and being able to start a family. For each accomplishment I wanted to achieve, each moment of “enough”, there was always this event or period of waiting that needed to take place first.
In all of that time spent waiting I have often felt like my “real” life was on hold. Once we get the house and pay off the student loans we can start a family; once I get my parents figured out I will have more time for myself or my marriage; and so on.
Loosing my dad reminded me that we can’t just wait for things to happen and that the stuff we do while we wait is the biggest part of living we can do.
In the past twelve years I have been the Executive Director of a non-profit; a free-lance and ghost writer; I have checked off at least eight things from my own “bucket list” not to mention the items I have helped others check off their own lists; I have become a parent/foster parent; and I have lived! For all of that, and more, I am enough!
I don’t need a reminder of the things I have yet to do, or things I may never do, what I have done is enough for this moment! I may not have any traditional family photos like I see plastered all over Facebook, but what I do have is true to who I am and what my family has become!
So while I have spent most of my life waiting to fit in, grow into myself, and many other things… I finally stood up and said “I am enough”. Whenever I have doubts about anything all I have to do is look at this photo and I am calm. This photo reminds me I am enough.
Sometimes a person feels that way from birth. Other times it can take a person a lifetime to find that feeling. I am glad I did not waste that much time.
In truth: WE ARE ALL ENOUGH. We should never let comparisons tell us differently. If it isn’t fair to compare ourselves to who we were yesterday than why would it be any fairer to compare who we are to who someone else is? Stop with the comparisons that create feelings of inadequacies! Stand up today and say “I am enough!”