Today, I am giving up my fear of not being good enough.
This fear holds me back in ways even I can't even imagine and I have been living it for 42 years now (well, maybe when I was a baby I knew I was good enough). My parents didn't instill this in me - it came with me when I entered this world.
Perhaps there were reinforcements, like the multicolored Santa incident. Or comparing my art to my sister's (she was 4 years older and I was more focused on writing). Or when I stopped getting As in Math and decided I wasn't good at it (self-fulfilling prophecy). Even my first interpreting job was procured because of a dare. I didn't think I would be good enough to get the job, but I was damned if anyone was going to think I was a chicken, too. I have been pushed, bullied, and pulled into theatre, interpreting, interpreting theatre, getting jobs, interviewing for jobs, taking classes, meeting people...the list goes on and on. I stopped writing because I was afraid that people's expectations were too high. My expectations were too high. I didn't feel that my writing was intelligent enough or erudite enough. I didn't feel like I had anything important to say - or more accurately, I didn't think anyone would care about what I had to say.
I do have something important to say - maybe not important to you, but important to me. My life is its own masterpiece and I have to keep working on it, even if I don't know when I will be done. I have seen many masterpieces left unfinished in my life. Mine will not be one of them.
So, today, on my 42nd birthday, I'm taking back my life. I'm sure I will hesitate. I'm sure I will struggle. I'm sure the shadows will chase me as they always have. But I can shine a light on them. I can say that the struggle is part of the masterpiece. I can say that even if my voice was alone on the winds of time, I needed to have it and I needed to express it.
To commemorate giving up this fear, I will be sending in a 4X6 piece of art to Patti Digh for her 50th birthday. I know she will get some incredible pieces of art. I know she will get amazing displays of talent. But from me, she will get a piece of 4X6 bravery and a heartfelt gift of gratitude for helping me find my own unique voice again. And it will be good enough. For me.