Are we ever good enough?

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling **

In my life I remember going through periods when I was considered the smart kid, and periods when I was placed in special groups for children that needed additional “attention”.  While I jumped around to different schools, it seemed that each teacher in each subject area rated me differently.  Some praised my work, others left me notes in the corners of test papers to “come speak” to them, while other teachers never acknowledged me one way or another — to that group I was ‘average’ – one of the many.  Through the years I could never figure out which crowd I belonged in.  I was defiantly not the smart kid, but I did receive recognition for much of my work, however I often also needed that special attention… Over time I had begun to think of myself as average.  Not more or less special than most of the other students, and never being either incredibly awful or awfully incredible.

In middle school I was in a ‘standard plus’ math class.  Granted, I had originally been in honors but transferred out by choice, however later on in the year I couldn’t imagine understanding the honors class when I had difficulty grasping the concepts of what was being taught in the standard plus class.  I passed with a B, and proceeded to receive a 3.5 GPA in my 8th grade school year.  I was neither happy nor sad.  I was average.  Standard…with a plus.

It seems to me that we are defined my numbers and digits.  The first thing that is asked when a baby is born is, “What was the weight? Height?” Followed by oooh’s and aaah’s of amazement.  You must fit into a certain quota here too — hit the 10 pound mark, and you are an awesome BIG baby, and if you’re around six pounds, everyone coo’s at how tiny you are.  If you are somewhere in between… you’re average.  Nothing to look at here, folks!  My point is that we are defined by numbers since the day we are born, actually even earlier — when we are procreated!

Numbers continue to define us as we age and become adults — weight, height, GPA, SAT scores, how much you have in your bank account, how many times you were married, how old you are…

And no matter what number you possess in any of the above fields, it seems that you are never good enough.  That seeps into other parts of life as well.

The other day I was driving to class, and was pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a STOP sign.  I knew immediately that my family would label me as someone who “isn’t that great of a driver.”  I work hard to study for my business exams, and I get a 76.  My brother, who did not study at all, received a 96.  At work, my sales percentage is 0%, meaning I did not sell a single thing this month…Folks, October ends in six days.  Did I call my mom today?  Did I reply to my sister’s text message?  Will I have time to make that roast for Dad…Oh, my brother needs a ride to practice… I juggle, I multitask, I try, try, try…. and somehow there are times, and days, and weeks, and even months where I fail miserably at every single thing.

Where is my plus? I sometimes worry that I’m not even standard anymore… What’s worse than standard?  Below standard?  Loser? Failure at life?

I sit here at 3 a.m. writing this post, wondering what I am good enough for.  I worry that the big colleges I dream of attending will not want me… I am usually standard, sometimes with a plus, lately mega-failure.  But I know how to write, if not well, then at the very least with a passion!  And I can talk!  Yes, like 7 billion other people on the planet…still, I have something to say! Something I want all 7 billion other human beings to listen to!

How do I convey to others that my numbers do not define me?  There is more to me than my less-than stellar GPA and very average test scores.  There is more to me than the fifteen pounds I need to lose but can’t quite seem to be able to.  There is more to me than the 0 sales percentage at work.  There is more to me than the $350 I currently have in my bank account.

People are not numbers, and each person has traveled a path that can not be calculated by obstacles and difficulties, gains and losses.  Most importantly, our future success can not be measured by our past.  When a person finds their thing, their calling, they can prosper and succeed and do great things even if they have failed miserably at everything else they have done before it.

Because we will fail 99% of the time, but for that 1% chance of success we live.

I hope you succeed today.  I hope you succeed at getting up in the morning, finally going to the gym, running those errands, paying that stack of bills, getting a raise at work, writing a book, winning an Oscar, winning a Nobel Peace Prize…I hope you succeed.

With all my love,

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**Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_failure.html#xvJOP4ZjzKvc11Kz.99
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