And so here I am. In what only can be described as the, um, "advanced age" section of the dining room, I sit. I'm here, eating salty fries and curing a no-sleep headache with caffeine (glorious caffeine. I love you. Let's run away together), surrounded by the noise and chaos of other people's lives. Which seems counterproductive as I just ran away from the noise and chaos of my own life, but sometimes you just need noise and chaos that isn't your noise and chaos. It's why I can look at the little boy jumping all over his Grandpa screaming, "I WANT THE FLAVOR OF THE DAAAAAAAY!" and genuinely smile. First of all, that kid is right to want the flavor of the day. It has chunks of waffle cone in it and it looks delicious. Second of all, at the risk of sounding of awful that kid is not my kid. I get to walk away and sit in my tiny little booth surrounded by old people and use his noise and chaos to clear my head.
I need time outside of my personal circus for perspective. When I'm in the thick of it and the whole show seems to falling apart around me, its easy for all the questions to start piling up and weighing me down. "Will this baby ever sleep again? Will I ever put the three year old to bed and be able to make it out of the hallway before she's up out of bed again? Are her intense mood swings my fault? Am I good enough mom? Heck, am I even in seeing distance of being a good mom? Is my husband finding peace in my presence? Am I making enough effort in that relationship, or is he carrying us both but too kind to say anything?"
What I'm asking myself in these questions really boils down to this--Am I good enough? Or even more simply put, Am I enough? In the moment, under the heaviness of the day, nine out of ten times my sneaking suspicion is a resounding NO. I'm not. Under the weight of no sleep and a thousand requests/questions/needs that I am charged with handling, I am not enough. There isn't enough of me. I top one failure off with another and then dump some more failure sauce on the whole thing for good measure. And that creates a deep, dark hole that's easy to fall in if I stand too close to it.
I have learned not too linger too close to the edge, though. I can look at it, even dangle my feet over the edge every now and then, but still scoot slowly safely back. This is largely in part because I have the best teammate on the planet. I've got family and friends who love me and who adore my kids. I don't have to live this life alone. I can allow myself to be pushed out the door to sit in someone else's noise for a while and refocus. I can ask all of these painful questions again, maybe even get the same answers, but somehow be okay with them. I can be okay with not being enough. With not being all the things to all the people all the time.
This doesn't mean I have to sit and be stagnant in the not enough; that I don't have to strive to be a little more next time. But I don't have to drown in it when I fail. I don't only have to see the cracks of my shortcomings, but can also choose to see how God moves the people around me to fill in what I can't. Because there will always be more space to fill in than my enough alone can cover.
(But seriously, if someone feels moved to fill in the space that my two youngest currently DON'T SLEEP in, I will pay you in all the
thanks for sharing your blog with everyone, Emily. I really enjoy reading your writing. I especially like this post for its honesty and raw quality. I'm obviously not a wife or a mother and don't share those challenges and struggles, but the question of "Am I Enough?" is absolutely universal, and something I find keeping me up nights in lieu of sleepless children.Your desire to create, to write, that you've talked about in another post is a familiar pull. Please keep sharing-- we all have more in common than we think, and it's so nice to read something true and authentic (and funny!). You have a real gift for reaching people in this way.ReplyDelete
Kayla, thank you for taking the time to not only read this, but also taking the extra step of commenting. Its just so very encouraging on a number of levels, and I really appreciate it. I have been humbled through out this process and I'm so grateful to find shared experiences/mutual feelings/what have you in sometimes unexpected places. Thanks again!Delete
(Also: I'm fairly certain we created some sort of magazine type thing together in 9th grade, right? For a Creative Writing class, maybe? I wish I could get my hands on it as I'm sure it is pure GOLD)
I was scrolling down to comment and noticed that Kayla had the same reaction I did, and responded much the same as I was planning to. So, nice job. You have company. It's always nice to know that we aren't as alone in our thoughts as we sometimes think we are.ReplyDelete
Also, I enjoyed your writing style. Keep it up. I look forward to reading more.
Thanks, Michael. :)Delete
Gratefful for sharing thisReplyDelete