A few weeks ago, I was sitting down at a long table in a lamp-lit hotel lobby, ready to reflect on my life, and, for the first time in a long time, ask myself "Stacie, what do you want to accomplish and do in your lifetime?". I was pumped. Big questions and life reflections don't scare me. They excite me. Introspection for the sake of moving forward is my jam-a-lamma-ding-dong. Really, I love reflection so much you could put me on a bike at night and I'd keep you safe.
I was really excited to start setting goals for my blog/paper store/photography and the creative outlet it can be for me. Sometimes that's the hardest part of life, to sit down and write out what you really want. Or allow yourself to stop focusing on taking care of others/pleasing others so you can ask yourself where your own heart, passions, and desires lay.
Just as I put my pen to the paper a woman with fuzzy socks and sweatpants walked carefully by my table, trying her best not to spill the cup of coffee she'd just poured (Can we agree that every hotel in the world should have free coffee kiosks? Even if that coffee is terrible, it's free. And available. Always. Like that guy you met at your friend's wedding who asked you out but ended up not being your type but you didn't care because you'd managed to just find somebody who was available. That's the glory of free hotel coffee kiosks).
Coffee Socks Lady stopped to look at me, noticed my Storyline binder then asked me very loudly, "OHHHHH, ARE YOU HERE FOR THE STORYLINE CONFERENCE TOOOOO?!" She talked to me like we were a pair of sorority-besties getting to see each other for the first time in years.
"Let me go grab my stuff upstairs and I'll join you! I promise I won't talk too much so you can get your work done!". Before I could figure out a polite rejection to her self-invite she was back with all of her stuff. Two hours later we were still talking (mainly about her) and I wasn't sure if I was ever going to get a chance to reflect on my life. Isn't it funny how peace and quiet aren't things we seek all that often, but when we do, it's a real fight for them?
Even though I reflected absolutely not at all and just ended up excusing myself to go back to my hotel room, one moment of my conversation with that woman has had me thinking. She sat down, looked at me with expectation and asked, "So what do you do?". I told her I was a Hall Director who really loves to write, craft, and take pictures on the side.
She responded, "So you're a writer and photographer?"
I grimaced. I've never really referred to myself by such lofty titles before. Those are my aspirations.
"YOU AREEEE, You're a Writer and Photographer. GIrl, you OWN UP TO THAT!" she squealed when she saw the look on my face.
"Uh, I guess so." And then I confided. "I just don't know when you're actually aloud to start identifying yourself with those things if you're not necessarily sure you ARE those things. Just because you enjoy them doesn't mean you ARE them."
She told me it was time I start referring to myself as those things. To walk confidently in the things I love. The whole TED talk "fake it till you become it" mindset.
I nodded my head, but I've decided that sureness isn't that easy for me. Throughout the counseling class I've been taking this semester, I've learned that I am constantly frozen by one question: ?Does everyone else think I'm good enough?" It's a plaguing and fear-inducing question for me. It's the question I let keep me up at night. The question that really self-injures when I let it become my obsession. The answer to the question always seems to be "no".
After my chat with sock coffee lady I fell asleep thinking to myself, "Am I good enough to be a writer?" "Am I good enough to actually be considered a photographer?" For years I've been asking myself "Am I a good enough [wife, leader, mentor, Christian, woman]?" Some of you probably know how defeating this question can be. Even a solid amount of affirmation that I'm good at photography and writing still doesn't obliterate the "Good enough" question for me. It will always be in the back of my mind.
Ah, the "good enough's". They creep into so many corners of our lives and hearts, don't they?
Good enough's have a lot to do with titles if you ask me. I'm afraid of titles and the expectations that come with them. It's a risk to say I'm a photographer...what if you really ARE a photropharer- you could take one look at my pictures and laugh at how terrible they really are. What if you're a writer and you read my blog and think, "Gosh I hope that girl doesn't refer to herself as a writer, she's tainting our vocation." Ah, comparison. Ah, confidence. Ah, Good enough's.
Will this question ever go away? Will I ever be a photographer? A writer? A good wife? A good Christian?
This week, I've decided to start telling people I"m "A Creative" with a blogging outlet. And I kind of like how that sounds. To me, A creative is on their way all the time. Always learning. Always growing. Interestred in so many differnet oulets. It avoids one specific title. It doesn't have a slew of expectaions with it.
The truth is, I really don't have to have a title. And I really don't think I'll ever be a certain kind of Good Enough. I've come to believe there's not a definition for Good Enough outside of God. I really have a ton of hope in the fact that I'll never be perfect. I'll never get to do everything. I'll never receive enough praise. I'll never have it all. It's my daily struggle-wagon, but I'm constantly being reminded by the Holiest of Spirits that I don't have to be enough. Jesus was enough for me. ANd that takes such a burden off my shoulders. It diminishes and destroys all my fears that I won't be all that I want to be. Because God is making me all that He wants me to be. He's given me a love for creating just as He created. I'll never amount to HIm, but I have His workings within me. ANd I love that and will cling to that when I'm haunted by the "Good Enough's".
I know a lot of people that don't associate themselves with jesus and have been really hurt by people who follow Him. You might have even been hurt by me, and I"m sorry about that. But can you imagine what it might feel like to trust God with your burdens and know that you don't have to spend your entire life being good enough for everyone else's standards? It's an amazing hope I have.
Are you suffering from an identity case of the "Good Enough's" lately? Have you taken the time to ask yourself if you will ever be good enough, and what will happen if you aren't? I challenge you to go deep. To dive in and address those fears of being good enough.