I've been running for a long time. Not physically running (because after that half marathon, I'll stick to walking!), but emotionally running. It feels like I've been in an ultramarathon of chasing MORE, but more of what was unclear. I always felt I had to take on more projects, accept more responsibility, start more businesses.
A couple of weeks ago I was really frazzled and frustrated that things from my divorce were still causing immense amounts of self-doubt. (And honestly , I was being a complete ass to myself.) I was on a call with some friends and when running down my list of projects I was working on, I just couldn't process it. I felt so scattered and tired and inadequate and like a crazy person.
The day after that call, the word “enough” rang in my head. I don't know if I saw it somewhere, if someone said it, or if it was just a random moment of clarity. All I know is that “enough” meant something different than it has before.
In my mind, the concept of “enough” has been tied to complacency. If you're not striving for more, then you must be lazy. Some of this might be from parents: For example, I distinctly remember after I graduated from business school (as the president of my class and graduation speaker), my dad asked when I was going to law school (um, never?) I said to a friend later that day, “it's never going to be enough” and sighed in resignation.
Or maybe it comes from being fat. I've always fought for people not to see me as lazy, since for so many being fat is a physical indicator of lack of willpower. Of course this is total bullshit, but even with that knowledge, it doesn't stop the thoughts of always trying to overcompensate in other areas. I wanted to prove to others that I had my shit together, regardless of what they might see on the outside.
The irony of all of this extra work is that I wouldn't enjoy it or revel in it. It was always just a series of checking things off the list and moving on to the next thing. No celebration, no joy. Always the lingering feeling that nothing I ever did was REALLY an accomplishment.
So this past week, the word “enough” echoed in my head over and over. I was having coffee with my friend Sheryl, who is one of the wisest people I know. I need to always have a notepad out when I talk to her because these nuggets of clarity just come out of nowhere and I don't want to lose them. I mentioned to her about my recent run-ins with “enough,” and for the first time I said out loud: “All of this is just crazy. I am enough. What I'm doing is enough.” I didn't say it in my typically apologetic tone either: It was an assertion.
I always keep a notebook and pen next to my bed so I can jot down all the things that are keeping me up at night. This was scribbled in sloppy, sideways handwriting scrawled in the dark:
I am enough.
I am enough as a friend.
I am enough as a business owner.
I am enough as a woman.
My body is enough.
My mind is enough.
My work is enough.
What I have in this moment is enough.
What I want from life is enough.
If I change my mind, I am STILL enough.
If I say “no,” I am STILL enough.
Enough is not lazy.
Enough is not complacent.
Enough is calm.
Enough is love.
Enough is enough.
For the first time in a long time, I don't feel like I'm running anymore. The past couple of days, I've had the flight response (must.do.more) a couple of times, but “enough” stops me from lacing up my shoes to take off down another path. “Enough” gives me space. I look forward to catching my breath.