Already Enough or Enough Already?

How did my life get broken anyway? Or is only broken in my head? I don't think anyone else notices. I get a lot of "I don't know how you do it all!" comments. Do I really do it "all"? I suppose I do, but I don't think I do all of the all all that well.

And it's not like I think I have to be perfect but I have always longed to be better. A better student. A better daughter. A better homemaker. A better employee. A better friend. A better mother. A better wife.

Growing up the oldest of 4 put my in a position of responsibility. Never in control of our lives but always felt that I was responsible for keeping it together. Our mother was--and still is--somewhat of a free spirit. Plenty of love there but not a whole lot of the stability and that normalcy that I wanted and needed. I was always told how smart and grown up I was but I never really felt that way. I did feel like I needed to keep that front up, though. And I did know that I didn't want to grow up to live the same kind of lifestyle I lived as a child. I wouldn't work graveyard shift at a truck stop to feed my kids. I wouldn't live in a house with only a wood burning stove for heat. I wouldn't have to hope that one of my neighbors would turn my name in to the food bank so I could receive the Thanksgiving basket with a turkey in it so I could make we could have a proper holiday meal.

My life would be better. I'd be a better student and go to college. Have a real career. Live a better house and eat better meals off better plates at a better table in a better kitchen. I'd work hard to be better.

The truth is, I didn't have to work that hard. Getting the grades was easy. School was boring. By the time I was in high school, I almost never went to class. I could do almost nothing and still have a better GPA than most. I got a job and then a car when I was 16. But I wanted a better car. And a better job. Popping popcorn and then sweeping it up at the end of my shift at the movie theater wasn't good enough for me. After 6 weeks of that I went on to something better: making appointments at a portrait studio. But that job wasn't better. So I found another job. And soon after, another. Nothing was better. Everything was the same. Bland and boring and average.

I went onto college and moved to the big city on my own. I supported myself. I worked 2 jobs to pay my rent in my better apartment and pay my better car payment. I shopped in better stores and wore better clothes. This the beginning of my deceptive "doing it all" live. I was barely hanging on but I looked great doing it.

After college I went to Paris. Certainly things would be better there. Lots of things were better in Paris--amazing in fact-- and it was a great experience but when it ended, my life didn't feel any better. I came back and took my first job doing exactly what I thought I wanted to do. I hadn't even interviewed for the job. It was offered to me after having done internship there months before. It paid more than any job I'd interviewed for. Easy peasy, I had my first career level job. Four years later, I'd ruined that job for myself. Again, trying to live that better life brought to me a dead end and it was all my fault. That was 15 years ago. I've gone on to different --but not necessarily better--things.

I've spent a lot of time feeling like a fraud. I don't really want to be "better" now. I want to feel better, yes, but I think I really just want to be enough. I don't want to set another set of lofty goals for my body or my career or anything else. I just want to be comfortable in my skin and my clothes and my own mind. I don't want to have it all. I feel that I'm doing enough and enjoy that feeling.


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