If not now when?
If you’re not happy on the journey, you won’t be happy once you reach the destination.
Happiness can only be found in the present.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
I KNOW. I GET IT.
If you’re seeking, reaching, striving, straining, in anyway thinking, “I’ll be happy when…” then achievement will never be enough no matter how much you attain.
So. Five years ago I made a list of everything I believed I needed in order to be happy. Everything on that list came to fruition, I am now sitting in the fantasy I once had, if you can believe it (I know, I, too, think I should have dreamed bigger, but stay with me). And (shocker) I’m not really any happier than I was five years ago. So obviously, if I am to continue to see myself as a thinking person, I have to look at this fact and not just set the bar higher and the goal post further back (sports! See how well-rounded I am?). I thought the milestones I’d set would make me feel affirmed, validated, safe. I thought I would feel a sense of ENOUGHness by my accumulation and accomplishment. Knowledge that I was enough, had enough, and had done enough.
So, instead of outsourcing my happiness yet again, aiming higher, I tried to sit and imagine this, right here, being enough. The feeling I envisioned for myself then, being my now. And lo and behold, you know what my mind freaking screamed at me when I tried to conjure that feeling?
“HOLD ON! This can’t possibly be enough, because then YOU (I) would be enough, and that can’t POSSIBLY be the case!!!!”
Whoa. Well shit.
So I sat with that for a second. And then you know what I did? I got into Freaking Project Mode. Because that is what I do best. You mean there’s more work to do? More blindspots to illuminate? More layers to peel back? More oversights to correct? Sign me the eff up. I eat self-help for breakfast. I will be complete if it’s the last thing I do. I will die on this hill of fixing/perfecting/outdoing myself. Because you know what I love? Work.
I am GREAT at work. And projects! And tasks! And getting shit done!! And A-C-C-O-M-P-L-I-S-H-I-N-G!!! I am the QUEEN of productivity, the EMPRESS of fixing myself, the CZAR of working on my shit. My entire shtick is based on revealing my faults for all of the world to see so it can praise and validate me for my bravery. More to do? You better effing believe it. I’ve got this.
Isn’t this the whole problem? Thinking that there is something to fix? Something to change? Isn’t this, this idea of betterment, the exact same thinking as when I start to believe that a T-Shirt or re-organizing my living room or X amount of likes on a new selfie will fix everything? That’ll I’ll never want anything again once I have that? That once I have that I will finally know that I am ENOUGH?
Sure. But this version of Enough will actually be enough because it will be so undeniable that everyone else will agree to it, too. I will finally be so Enough that I can’t help but be thin and rich and loved in a way that makes me feel deserving and like I’ll never be left or alone or unwanted or rejected. My Enoughness will mean that my books are in bookstores, my essays published in O Magazine, I’ll do guest spots on all the biggest podcasts from Arm Chair Expert to The Beautiful Writers Podcast (I won’t be able to start my own because I’ll just be too busy with so many upcoming projects and engagements). Michelle Obama will want to be my friend and I’ll really do my best to get back to her texts as quickly as she responds to mine, again, there’s just so much going on with all my projects and engagements. Glennon Doyle and I will go on vacation together twice a year and at this point I’ll no longer feel doubt, shame, anxiety, depression, loneliness, or fear. I’ll credit her writing for helping me so much and she’ll say, “That’s crazy, it was your writing that got me through.” And we’ll laugh and laugh as Abbey brings us sparkling sodas with lime.
At this point in my life, the only sadness I’ll feel anymore will be the holy kind where I still look pretty when I cry and can write a funny essay about it to give everyone hope and strength. My weight will no longer yo-yo, I’ll organically find and marry my perfect match, and him and I will laugh and tease each other as we post silly selfies of us as we work on our relationship and ourselves and become truly an inspiration to so many others doing the same thing. We may even be in talks with Spotify about our own podcast, but we’ll just have to make sure the timing is right as we have so many projects and engagements going on.
My parents won’t ever die, I’ll remain wrinkle free without botox, and my walls will no longer be this ugly off-white colour but instead will be a really pretty off-white colour. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. It’s really, truly, just Enough.