I’m Done With Thinking I’m Not Enough

Tony Lam Hoang
Tony Lam Hoang

I never trust that I am ready. I never trust that what I already know is enough for me to begin.

So, I take up books.
So, I stall.
I praise the voices of every other author.
I wait to access my own voice.
I wait to hear the deepest beat of my own heart.

The truth is I do not believe I am enough.

So, I go for another degree, another advancement, and I loathe myself in the process because I am aware of all my moves, my motives, and why I won’t do what I must.

I know I live in fear and wait.

This is how it happens. I have a few hours left to get two articles in to accompany a job application. I know I can do this job. I know I am this job. I can write three articles a day. Of course I can. I am amused by everything in life. I care deeply for everything. And that’s what any prolific writer needs, a curiosity and appreciation that just won’t give out.

That’s me. The smallest detail can take me down a rabbit hole of an hour’s worth of story. A smile and a few sentences with a stranger on the street can bring me blocks and blocks worth of intrigue and joy.

Why is this? Why does a small exchange elevate me? Why does it offer me a happiness that feels more honest? Maybe because it is so human in its simplicity.

By the time I get home, I will already have an article written in my head. I will have discovered what is commendable in life, what within this world can sustain me, what can keep me from cracking under the weight of my own useless self-criticism. I will walk through my apartment door and be closer to having my answer, to knowing how we all may be able to access love sooner, with strength and self-compassion.

I sit down at my desk, knowing I have plenty to share. Nothing perfect, of course. But plenty that speaks to the process of growing into myself and coming into life.

The only thing is, when I lay my hands down across the keys to send in some application, to write the articles so I can be reviewed for the position, I freeze.

I pick up other people.
I push my own knowing away.
I constantly am showing myself that all I know is not enough yet.
I am not yet enough.

This is the most heartbreaking relationship in the world.

Only what am I waiting for? Is it really that I’m waiting for myself to become more, to become everything or, could it be, that I am waiting for the feeling that I imagine being that person will release in me?

You see, I think we aim for perfection but are driven by the expectation that our perfection will give us relief.

I don’t think perfection will do this for us.

I don’t think becoming perfect, or even enough, will relieve me of my past, of my judgment, of my smallness and striving.

Our missing piece is not perfection. What is missing and what we are waiting upon is our own forgiveness.

I almost can’t believe that all along I’ve been thinking that when I become all of myself, when I fulfill and live up to my grand potential, that that is when I will let my hatred go.

We can spend our whole lives waiting for this. We can be delusional and mad, driven by some scathing, hopeless belief that to forgive ourselves we must become someone more, when the truth is that to become someone we must first forgive ourselves.

We don’t need to wait for accomplishment. In fact, we can’t wait. We must sit down and apply ourselves now. We must send in our stories with broken fingers. We must make songs with lumps in our throat.

We must push our own knowing out into the world. Through small and simple and excruciating efforts, we must show ourselves how enough we are, how we are more—so much more—when we do not hold back, when we do not wait to become who we think we should already be. TC mark

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