When You Don’t Feel Good Enough

Today I don’t feel good enough.

I don’t feel particularly smart or capable. I feel like my ideas suck and nothing I say is particularly interesting.

My skin is breaking out like crazy. My hair is too long and my clothes fit weird and I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed I had spinach in my teeth and ran through an entire list of people who I had encountered in the last hour that might have noticed.

I forgot my friend’s birthday. I never forget her birthday. But I did, and now I feel like a shitty person.

I struggled to fit my bike into my trunk today and the only person who came to help was this old man who told me he’d been watching me from the fifth floor for what felt like forever just praying that someone would come to my aid. But no one did. So he hopped on the elevator and came down, which was extremely kind of him but also made me feel like a loser and weirdly assume that no one cared to help me because I looked ugly.

Today I didn’t feel good enough.

It’s a weird feeling. It shakes you up a bit. So you crack a beer and reinstall Tinder because you feel like everyone else is going on a date tonight and maybe if you had one lined up you wouldn’t feel so lame.

But then you go on that date because you think you’re supposed to and it’s pretty boring and all you’re thinking about is if you cap it at two drinks you can still be home with enough time to watch an episode and still get enough sleep to get up for a morning class. And then you realize he asked you a question and you have no idea what it was so you go to the bathroom and practice fake smiling and then head back out there and put that practice into play.

And as you’re fake smiling, you realize that nothing about this situation is making you happy. And that going on a date just for the sake of having a date is stupid, and just because no one helped you lift your bike into a car doesn’t mean you’re an ugly old hag. In fact you probably wouldn’t have helped you either, and maybe that’s because we as society are trained to be intimidated by strangers and avoid eye contact and simply get from A to B. The fact no one helped you is more of a reflection on how weird the world is and has nothing to do with the fact your skin is breaking out.

And then you realize that really, there’s nothing wrong with you. In fact you’re probably better off than a lot of people out there, and everyone is dealing with their own shit and just trying to find ways to be as happy as they can be. And letting ourselves be our own kind of happy is all we really need to do.

Maybe the reason you forgot your friend’s birthday is because you have a lot of friends – and that’s a good thing. And you’re actually more successful than you think you are. And if you could go back in time and show your 22-year-old self where you’d be 4 years down the road, your 22-year-old self would probably be impressed.

You also (while you’re still rocking that fake smile, obv) realize that we spend so much time in our lives supporting each other. We cry to our friends and they cry to us. We stress about work and love and life and listen to our friends stress about the same things. We pick up the bill when they’re down and out, and they bring over a bottle of wine when we get dumped. And when you think about it this way, it’s actually kind of lovely to feel like you’re not enough. It’s simply opening up the opportunity to realize that you are, in fact, quite the opposite. You’re more. And realizing this is a much bigger feeling than that tiny wee moment when you thought you weren’t.

At the end of the day, at least you got that spinach out of your teeth. It could be a lot worse.

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