This year has been pretty hard on me. I’ve suffered a lot of emotional and physical torment that has really been some of the hardest struggle of my life. I had my first sickeness that required surgery, and relived all of the pain and fear of what happened to my grandfather as a result of his surgeries. I had a pretty serious falling out with my father and some other members of my family that has lead me to a place where I feel as though my husband is really the only family I have left. Both of those things have made me ache constantly with a renewed grief for the loss of my Mother. All in all, just a really rough year.
At times I’ve really hurt for the loss of friendships too, and felt a real need for some true friends that I could count on. I’ve struggled through hurting over all the things that past friends had done to hurt me all me all over again. This weekend I reconnected with a girl that was my best friend growing up, and all through high school. I haven’t been close with her in about twenty years, so when I thought about the prospect of meeting up with her and talking, a part of me was really worried about what we would talk about, what her kid would think of me, and how different we would be. But, when she called me to invite me, I was so happy about it that I cried like a baby, so there was no way I wouldn’t go.
It was fine, we talked like not day had gone by. I realized she’s still my friend and I still adore her and we can be friends and it can all be ok. But something else happened too. I decided to go along with her to her son’s basketball game and as I sat there watching the kids I was reminded of all the things I felt when I was a kid. I remembered how it felt to go to the school in my town where all the kids seem to have a lot of money, more than me anyway. I saw the kids playing and noticed that half of them had $160 limited edition sneakers that all matched, I remembered how much it really sucked for me… and I watched my friend’s son and I realized that he didn’t care. And then I realized that when we were growing up, she didn’t care either. She never valued anything worthless like that, she never worried about what she had. She always had enough. Things were simple for her. She was raised well. Her clothes were always clean and new, she was always neat. But she didn’t have to have the cool thing everyone “had” to have.
Last week I would have told you that I’m the type of person that doesn’t need to impress anyone. I don’t put on airs. I’m not fake or pretentious. But then just that simple act of watching her kid play with the other kids made me realize how much time in my life I’ve struggled to impress people, and how much pain I’ve gotten back as a result. I do care. I have felt like my clothes aren’t good enough, my house isn’t nice enough, my car isn’t fancy enough, and I’m just not good enough. I’ve felt it for years, since before I can remember. I’ve really knocked myself out for a good 30 years or more to be worth something to other people. I’ve been the one to do things for people, to help out, to let people move in with me, to throw the big parties. I’m the one that calls and keeps in touch and tries to be friends with people that not only can’t bother to return the favor but really just don’t have any genuine interest in being my friends at all. In one five-minute period of a fifth-grade basketball game I saw clearly every wrong move I’ve made in the last 25 years.
But here’s the catch: it didn’t hurt me. Now I just know. It hurt a little bit that so much time is gone, but in just that day, the rest of my life got better. I realized what it is that I value in life. And more importantly, I realize that I possess what I value in life. Sure it’s hard to break the habit of always wanting for more, but really once I saw what was going on, I realized that in general, I’m just satisfied. I have a good life. I have enough. I am enough.