I had two big breakthroughs this morning…(assuming that this=Saturday…I currently have a large number of half written posts and am planning on posting or deleting soon in between cramming a billionty jillion things about therapeutics into my head for the exam Thursday afternoon)…
#1: I spent a long time trying so hard to be good enough. Someone was creating a standard that bounced like a ping pong ball back and forth across the room, while I tried to chase it, almost catching up before it changed directions and went way over my head to the other side again, like a frustrating game of monkey in the middle with two professional baseball players throwing the ball and a barely crawling toddler as the monkey trying to intercept it. I tried harder and harder even as I was being kicked around more and more. I just wanted to be good enough, and thought maybe if I tried just a little harder I might get there…and when it failed I just became even more determined to do better the next time. And I’d try again and fail again and try again and fail again, never really making any forward progress. I couldn’t accept that the standards were impossible, instead determined to be good enough and prove that I could do it. If I were good enough maybe she wouldn’t text and make phone calls and hang out with friends while supposedly talking with me. If I were good enough maybe things would get better. I learned to blame myself—of course she doesn’t like me, because I couldn’t be good enough to meet her standards. Sure, one day the goal was to write nothing negative and after trying that for a while the goal became to write nothing positive, but surely there was something I was missing to know in advance what the goal was and even if there wasn’t it must somehow be my fault that I didn’t know the entire game had changed.
Even once I broke free of that relationship (thank God), I didn’t realize it until this morning, but I have still been trying to be good enough. Now I need to be good enough at hiding so that I am not ever seen and followed. I have to be good enough at school and life that no one can say “I told you so…I told you you’d never make it.” I’ve been chasing good enough, not even knowing what exactly good enough would mean or bring me. I doubt any amount of good enough would ever truly be enough to build positive rapport with someone who is not interested and would rather build more walls (with one way mirrors to follow me without my knowledge)…yet I’ve been chasing it anyway…it is time to leave hope behind. Hope is helpful short term, but it hurts long term and it was time to say goodbye to hope and just put my head down and get through life.
I can’t protect my friends to the extent that I would like, but I can protect myself from future hurt, and to do that I need to stop chasing good enough and just accept that things are how they are. Hope was good for a while, but eventually hope just creates more hurt and it is time to let go. I have learned that maybe later means no enough of the time that it is better to let go of hope and maybe be pleasantly surprised later than to hold on and let my balloons keep being popped.
#2 Inclusion is SUPER powerful. I spent two hours studying totally alone in my corner of school. I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t getting very much done. I spent 30 minutes half tutoring, half hanging out with my friends and half studying (yes that does add up to more than one whole…math is hard…). I made more progress in that 30 minutes than I had in the previous two hours. How does that happen? Inclusion. Feeling like I belong instead of feeling isolated is hugely important and helpful in getting things done. If I wouldn’t be totally in the way, I would set up shop right there all day every day. It might not be exactly where I’d like to be, but it is so much closer than the corner where I usually sit. I can be at least partway involved. It felt so good. If I thought I could get away with it, I’d find a chair tall enough to use the edge of the counter as a desk and an extension cord for my computer and call that space my new home…something tells me that if I tried that I wouldn’t make it more than a few hours before someone told me I was in the way and needed to move…until then it would be quite thrilling though to be sorta included.
Also, not a breakthrough, but just an observation: you are probably too tired to be grocery shopping when you get stuck in the frozen vegetable aisle because you don’t know what to do because they are out of the ones you were planning on buying…it’s not like I really had much of a choice when to grocery shop since I completely ran out of vegetables as of dinner today, but I probably need a new plan, because grocery shopping after church means it will be around 7 by the time I get there and my brain will be shutting down…it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out that all I need to do is scoot over and pick a different brand and put it in the cart.