Girl Hiking in Mountains

GOOD ENOUGH

enough is enough

​“Well, it’s really none of your business.” Puzzled, I sat there trying to process the idea. “It’s not about you.” She continued. “Whether someone wants to read it or not is irrelevant. You are a vessel. Like all creation, your purpose is to receive inspiration from the Universe. Then you get to relay the message to whomever it is intended for, but that part is not your concern. Your job is to simply write the book.” A woman I knew from a relationship training class sat next to me in a karaoke bar. Her name was Faith, which I found ironic. I’d just explained my reasons for still being incomplete. Now tattered and stained, a school composition journal had been the vault for my stories since 2014. I’d begun the process of creating a digital version two years ago. It was now 2018. Nothing was in print. I felt like a failure.

Webster’s defines ‘manuscript’ as an author's text that has not yet been published.” I loved the definitive clarity of a dictionary. I spewed this word fact to Faith, as if it were a defense. “I get really into what I’m writing and then get lost. Do I talk about my life or write about relationships in general? I don’t know if anyone cares.” The bar was crowded. A line of hopefuls waited for their turn at the mic. The constant hum of conversation had faded into a quiet buzz. I sat motionless. Totally focused on our conversation, I took a deep breath before continuing my familiar rant of why I wasn’t good enough. “Is it really such a big deal? So I had three kids after 40 and chemo.”  I saw a flicker of pain cross her eyes as Faith listened. “Yes, I have trust issues. Being in a foster home was awful. I was molested, sad, awkward…just never felt like I belonged. I spent my whole life wondering how long it would be until I was sent away again.” My voice cracked on that last one.


I looked away before going deeper. “Men I thought I could trust hurt me. Women I did trust hurt me even more.” I paused. Those memories left a bad taste in my mouth. I took a long sip of cool water. Self-effacing humor liked to accompany my painful past. “A divorcee with kids and low self-esteem was not a swipe right, I assure you.” Faith listened without interrupting, both a talent to have and a gift to give. People have two ears with one mouth for a reason. In the background, a young man in a pin-striped suit and top hat was belting out the chorus to “Living on a Prayer”. Somehow Faith and I were immune to the noise. I was grateful to genuinely feel heard.


As soon as I focused on gratitude, I felt my energy shift. I immediately stopped complaining. Abundantly blessed with six birth children, I knew how much it hurt my friend to talk about pregnancy. Faith couldn’t conceive. I had gone off on a tangent as usual. I really wanted her support on finishing my book. “I’m a lucky woman. But when it comes to writing, so what? Having a past doesn’t make me an expert on relationships. Who am I to tell anyone how to be happy?” My insecurity hung above me like a cartoon conversation bubble. Faith put down her drink and leaned in to make sure I caught every word.


“My friend,” she said as gently as she could over the bar noise, “this is where you find freedom. Don’t worry about the audience. Just let ideas flow from your fingertips. You’ll know what you’re supposed to write. You have a ton of inspiration to share. It doesn’t matter who the readers are. Remember-what people think about you is none of your business. All you have to worry about is being true to the story.” Faith smiled brightly. “Want to know the best part?” She clapped in excitement. “There are editors to help you! Editors edit. Writers write. Don’t waste time worrying about anything else except finishing your book. You got this girl!”

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