Donny Osmond’s 45 of “Puppy Love,” a record player & self-expression is what I brought to show-and-tell in the 1st grade. While the other kids were telling, I was showing my interpretive dancing skills. It never occurred to me this behavior might be odd or different. Confidence was not a word in my vocabulary, I just did stuff because I enjoyed it and I thought other people were the same way. I didn’t think about what others thought.
It wasn’t until junior high I began to see the eyes looking at me or heard what they were saying behind my back. It was also around this time we all hit puberty and began to take notice of the opposite sex. One of my friends had a “kissing party” and I wasn’t invited. I found out later it was because no one wanted to kiss me.
I was devastated and ashamed. I wondered why I was so gross.
I looked at the girls who were invited and decided right then I must need to be more like them. It was at this moment, the concept of “I am not enough” began to take root. I wanted so desperately to fit in, to be accepted.
“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”
The Gifts of Imperfection
For years, I did a lot of fitting in. I pored over magazines looking for the “right” clothes to wear, how to do my make-up “correctly” and what to say. I did a really good job of perfecting the outer version of myself, the “cardboard cut-out” of me, if you will. I also was really good at changing the version of myself to fit the situation, I had so many different cardboard cut-outs, but had lost the real me somewhere among them.
“Believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic.” Brene Brown
People can tell you “you are enough” but until you choose to believe it, nothing will change.
I am in the process of writing a book so I can share my story with others. My work with Brave Living & Brave Girl’s Club has been instrumental in me deciding, once-and-for-all, I am enough.
I am enough in all the ways I am, all the ways I am not, in each and every moment, and sometimes I just forget.
It is human to forget.
I have tools now, for when I forget; truth cards, SoulBooks, songs, quotes, and a special little book called, “She Did It Anyway” about my hero story.
You are also enough, just as you are.
Are you ready to believe it?