Enough Already

Sometimes I need to be reminded of who I am. Who I really and truly am. I have an old voice, she’s annoying and persistent, familiar and plays like well-worn grooves in an old LP. Lately I shush her more, I tell her a different story so that she can change her tune. But she can be pretty convincing, she’s been around a long time. She tells me I’m not good enough, thin enough, successful enough. You know what honey, enough already. I am enough. We are defined not by the size of our ass, the tilt of our eyebrow, the make and model of our car—if you have people in your life who define you as such, set them free. Now.

We are who we are because of what we do, how we love; our essence. It’s easy to forget that, at least it has been for me. But that’s becoming my past. Things are shifting for me. That voice is quieting down. I have perspective and, dare I say, maturity. I know I don’t need others to tell me I’m enough, but sometimes it takes an outside event, an external force to remind me. It’s the spiritual equivalent of a bitch slap. It’s a big ol’ “Hello?! Anybody home?”

This weekend as I got my older son ready for camp, I made yet another phone call to the camp director. He had promised me an email with confirmations, invoices and other official things. We were signed up and on the list, so I assumed all was well, but these documents had been promised since May. I was a little discomfited by this. After the first few phone calls, he finally admitted that he’d spent some time at the hospital with a family member and was behind. OK, I thought, that’s a good excuse. They’re family run, as long as we’re in.

I called last week. “Just want to make sure that when we show up at the bus, you guys will be there.” “Yes.” And he apologized again and promised to send something over the weekend. The weekend came and went. No email. Late last night I got a phone call from him. Sheepish. He seemed awkward. He didn’t even have a record of our information or payment. “I know I sent you a lot of forms,” I finally said after he was able to admit to not having it.  And then, he found it. I pictured him, utterly embarrassed after finding it beneath a pile of paperwork. “You must be the most forgiving person in the world,” he said. “Somehow I have botched this from the beginning, once I think I even referred to the wrong camp in an email.” “I have to admit, I was a little put off,” I said, “but you mentioned someone had been in the hospital and I know you’re a small business and life happens. It’s OK.” “Well,” he said, “I’m sorry I thought you hadn’t even paid, I have your cancelled check. Let’s take $25 off the remainder since you’ve been so nice.” “Thanks,” I said.

This morning when I dropped my son off, I met his wife, gave her the check and explained her husband and I had had some back-and-forth on administrative issues. “He mentioned something about the hospital so it took awhile to get it figured out.” “It was me,” she said. “I was in the hospital for several weeks. I was really sick.” I was confused since she looked like she’d stepped out of an REI catalog. Fit, healthy, alive. “Oh my gosh, well no wonder!” I said. “He didn’t mention it was his wife. Of course things got crazy.” “Yes. I’m fine now, but I was really sick.” “I’m so sorry, but I’m glad you’re OK.”

We all stood and talked for awhile with the kids, other parents and then her husband showed up. We introduced ourselves and joked about the confusion. All was well. At the last minute, kids buckled in to the camp van, everyone else off to the next thing, his wife came over to me “I was pregnant and had a miscarriage,” she whispered. My eyes filled with tears. “That’s why he’s been so distracted.” We hugged and talked about it. “I’m 38,” she said. “We’re so worried.” “I’m 45,” I said. “I had my first child at 37 and my second at 40. I also had a miscarriage,” I said. “Oh, thank you so much for saying that,” she said. I realized how honored I was that she’d trusted me, five minutes after meeting me, to share something so personal. “Thank you for sharing that with me,” I said “I’m so sorry for your loss.” “Well,” she said, “you seem like someone who would understand.” And I felt connected to her, the world, the goodness in me and others. By sharing myself, by being patient and generous and understanding instead of assuming the worst, I was able to make a deeper connection with someone, with my world. This is my essence. Not the size of my ass. Consider me spiritually bitch-slapped.

Comments

  1. Thank you for very warming story. Patience, patience, patience! such struggle for me.And yes I have my own little jerk in my head.
    You did good!!!
    And by the way, since you opened subject. I always admired your ass very much 🙂 So I am not clear what is the issue 🙂

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  2. Aww Fares, you can make a girl blush all right. Thanks 😉 And tell that jerk in your head to shut the hell up!

    Like

  3. polly Kanevsky says:

    what a great story. how smart to write it down and keep it. I love the spiritual bitch-slap. The writing just keeps getting better and better, makes sense, the more you work out with it the stronger it gets…. look forward to more and the book.
    xopk

    Like

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