Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Only just a_____

I find myself saying the words, "I'm only just a _______."  You know, as in, "I'm only a stay at home mom," or "I'm only a half marathoner," or "I'm only a receptionist."  What I'm really saying when I utter those words is, "I'm not good enough."

Everyone at some point feels not good enough.  We all tend to look at ourselves through this lens and measure ourselves by someone else's success or ability or job or house.  But, I have to admit, I really have never felt not good enough.

I never finished college; Mr. Helen graduated from OSU the day before our wedding and I dropped out to work.  I had to pay for all of my own schooling, so it took me a long time to get through two years.  Every time I would go back to school, something would come up; a pregnancy, a move, one of the kids needing something.  It shouldn't, but it bothers me that I never finished.  It feels not good enough.

When I started running years ago, my goal was to run a marathon by age 40.  Then it became age 45.  Then it became just running a marathon.  I tried, but I was never able to make it the full 26.2.  However, I've run several half marathons over the last few years and many other shorter races.  Still, I find myself almost apologizing for not being a full out marathoner; again, it feels just not good enough.

For the past 23 years, I've mostly been home with my kids.  I've worked all kinds of part time jobs over the years and have learned many skills and met great people.  But, those jobs have been mostly low level jobs in service industries.  I find myself apologizing for staying home, for only working part time. Even though I home schooled three kids successfully, I still find myself feeling like I don't measure up.  I still feel not good enough.

But I find myself these days wondering why I feel like I'm not good enough.  Look at what I HAVE done....home schooled three kids successfully, finished several half marathons and other races, worked many jobs and gained new skills.  How cool am I?

No more apologies, no more "just only's." Maybe the path I have chosen has been unconventional, but it's been my path, my journey, and I wouldn't do it any other way.  In the words of Robert Frost,

     "Two roads diverged in a wood and I,
       I took the one less traveled by.
       And that has made all of the difference."

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