Stand in front of the mirror. Look at yourself. Look at your face. Is it symmetrical or is one eye visibly higher than the other? Is your nose straight or a little broken at the bridge. Do you have a pimple, two, three four? Are jowls forming and if you push your chin down can you make it double? Are you eyebrows big enough, fluffy enough, manicured enough? Is your skin tone even and do you glow? Is your hair limp and oily or does it dance around your face? Should it be straighter? Curlier? Longer? Shorter?
What about your body? Are you fat or skinny? Does your tummy poke our further than it should? Are your elbows to angular and your knees to soft? Do you have cottage cheese cellulite showing beneath your butt? Do you have spider veins down your legs? Stretch marks around your hips, breasts, thighs? Did you get a manicure this week or are you wearing nude or worse, chipped nails? Are your arms smooth or covered in a dark layer of soft down? Do pimples appear across your shoulders and chest and bottom? Do you have a flawless shave or is your bikini line covered in the bumps of ingrown hairs? Does your body look the way it’s supposed to look?
Did you go to yoga enough times this week? Did you go to the gym at all? Did you run as many miles as you possibly could? Did you pant and sweat and hurt enough? Was it enough? Did you do enough? Can you change yourself? If you did more, would you be different?
Have you been reading every day? Did you read enough books last year? Are you reading enough this year? Did you read the Pulitzer Prize winner? What about that other one everyone’s been talking about? Are you reading the paper? Did you see that funny listicle on the Internet? Did you know there’s a war? That someone died? When everyone was talking about that movie at the bar, had you seen it or did you just nod along as if you had? Are you smart? Could you be smarter? Why aren’t you smarter?
Are your jokes good? Do you make everyone laugh? Can you dance until the sun comes up? Can you drink 8 drinks and not vomit? Can you drink nothing and get up early and do your laundry and bake some bread and look over those spreadsheets and go to bed early, repeat? Should you stop smoking? Should you start smoking? Should you have more friends? Do you know enough people? Do you like the people you know? Do they like you? Why aren’t you getting any texts today? Is your phone broken or have you said the wrong thing? Is everyone abandoning you.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions. Ask if you are good enough. The ask: am I asking enough of myself? Should I be asking more? How do I stop asking? When will I stop asking and start answering?