The prompt had me smiling. There were possibilities.
In the years that I have been alive, I have invested myself in different things – jack of a lot of trades, master of none. Learning something new, assimilating it as a part of me and leaving my imprints where I went. Getting intrigued by something, hopping on to another soon after. Some things were forgotten easy, while some, like spinning webs of words, stuck with me.
Anyway, It had me wondering – what is the one thing that I could write about?
Do I write about how prejudice makes its presence felt in every nook, every corner, everyday – painting social interactions a colour of venomous gray, maintaining oppressive social structures?
Do I write about the spine chilling violence and all the forms that it unfolds in? The extremism? That how waking up to tragedies everyday – fresh and perennial alike – gets the delicate balance of my mind crumbling?
It is easy to sit comfortably at home coddling my conscience, feeling sorry for people for whom the lived reality is far from kind and go on with my day while the world burns, quite literally, at this point. That the insatiable greed to fill the coffers of the few is escalating the doom of the only Earth we know. There may be life out there too, but still, there is only this Earth that we are sure of. And it is spinning a little too fast, perhaps waltzing to the crescendo of its song now.
The end might be near and it is all too bittersweet. There is uncertainty, anxiety and then also some respite, some relief. How much more could we have gone on with indifference and hate rotting our cores?
I am sorry for the digression. This was not part of the plan. But all of it is part of my human experience for sure. Let me get to my story. It might not be much but I have spent a good part of my life on it. It's my life’s work – trying to be good enough.
Except that good enough was never adequate. I never learnt it. There was no way in hell that I could have been socialised into being just good enough. Good enough was not enough. Good enough was mediocre. Good enough was a sin. Good enough was for the lesser fortunate. Good enough was never an option – I was brilliant, had potential and I was made for greatness, I was told.
Well, there was only for so long this burden I could hold. I fell, face first, I crumbled. Nothing could prepare one for the cognitive dissonance that comes with it. It is a lonely journey and you are on your own.
For the first time, you see yourself as a person. For the first time you see yourself as yourself and not as a projection of someone else’s wishes. For the first time you are able to empathise with people who struggle, whom you have seen as ‘lazy’, ‘uninspired’, ‘just not doing enough’, ‘failures’. You are one among the struggling too. Now you know that you could have had the perfect plan and the perfect means and yet one curve ball from life and you are done for.
But you are not done. Not just yet.
You wake up everyday as someone with flaws, limits, baggage. You try to build yourself up again. You get dangerously close to giving it all up, everyday. And yet for some reason, you carry on. You try to make peace, it is a constant tussle. You don’t like the way you look, you don’t like the emotions you feel, you don’t like the person you are, you extend your hand just to catch empty air. You cry, you sob, you die inside a little everyday and no help seems to reach you because you are not calling out loud enough for it, because you can’t.
And yet, you carry on.
Step by step, piece by piece, day by day, you find yourself again.
It is frustrating. On days you don’t have the energy to move, much less the energy to turn your life around. But you carry on. It is not a journey to be taken on alone. You reach out. You get help. You make home with the fact that good enough is enough. As clichéd as it goes – good enough is different on different days, different for different people. All the while the system we willingly or unwillingly submit to would tell us otherwise – good enough is good.
I learned it the hard way and I would repeat it till I believe it myself too: good enough is enough.
And I am getting used to it.