That’s the age I’ll be in a couple of hours.
39 is old enough to be enough, isn’t it?
I never feel like I am enough. I never feel like I’ve done enough, done enough right.
Somehow, somewhere, I learned not to deserve happiness. I learned to expect sadness and disappointment. I learned to equate humility with shame.
I learned that if I did something well, if I felt good about it, then somebody else would feel badly about themselves in comparison. So I learned not to be too smart, too opinionated, too pretty, too visible. Too alive.
I also learned, that as bad as things may be, as hard as they might get, life is always worse for somebody else, so I have no right to seek comfort. I have no right to ask for help.
These are the things I promised to write about when I said this blog would be about the “lies I tell myself”.
On better days, when I’m busy, when I’m around people, when I’m working, when I’m contributing, I feel like I’m more than enough. I feel on. I feel like I’m making a positive difference in the world. Life has meaning.
But I’m so alone so much of the time, and I have very few of those better days.
This last year, I helped with a project that could really improve things in my community, but it was controversial, and I took a lot of heat. I shut down this blog–a little light in my world, a little place to feel creative, a little corner of the internet to try to connect with people, to try to understand my life and be understood–but I shut it down out of fear.
Fear of opening myself to abuse.
It was bad enough when I was only afraid of what friends and family and potential employers would think.
Now, there are complete strangers out there who hate me, who have shouted in my face, who have called me terrible names–more hurtful even than middle school–and have accused me of the most bizarre things (like wearing a blonde disguise at a public event that I didn’t attend). Conspiracy theorists and news reporters know my name and I haven’t wanted them to invade my private iSland.
So I shut myself off from the one thing that was helping me through this year of transition, this year of isolation, this year of redefinition: this blog.
But 39 should be old enough to stop being afraid.
39 should be old enough to feel like I’m enough.