One of the most troubling words in the English language is ‘enough’.
Am I geeky enough?
Am I normal enough?
Did I try hard enough?
Am I cautious enough?
Do I show compassion enough?
Am I good enough?
Enough is the backhanded compliment. It’s never what we really want, but what we’ll settle for. It’s the tipping point. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s the ‘meeting expectations’ in the great performance review of life.
I constantly question myself, and ‘enough’ pops up in all of those conversations. I try not to let myself become crippled with self-doubt, but I think most people struggle with the same fight. And I don’t think I will ever completely rid myself of these fears, because as much as we want peace and happiness, to stagnate and to never question ourselves is to give up hope that someday it will be more than enough. It will be good and right and wonderful. So keep asking yourself these questions, but do give yourself a break if the answer is ‘not yet’.
I am so done with answering these questions with respect to other people. I may sound like a bit of a luddite, but it seems that our online lives are one big monument to enough. Or maybe I should say ‘enough?’ Because it’s the question that is the problem. Do I have enough compared to my friends? Do I make enough money? Do I go out and party enough?
And then other people pile on.
Comment sections are quite possibly one of the worst places for enough. No matter what the topic, some arsehole out there has designated himself as the gatekeeper. You are constantly queried on the extent of your knowledge as they try to verify that you know ‘enough’ to have an opinion. Much of my experience with this has been in the geeky corners of the internet, although politics is just as rife with it. And, not to rage too hard at the fellas, I have found that much of it is centered on men querying women as to whether or not they have the street cred to discuss sufficiently nerdy topics. Whether it’s to ask if you’ve even read enough issues of Superman to have an opinion or if you have ever gamed enough to understand the complexities of Gamergate, these people are struggling with their own internal ‘enough’ interrogation. They can’t examine their own lives, out of fear or lack of self, so they rely on bullying other people. They hide behind a username and an avatar, because they are too afraid to show themselves, to know themselves. They create these god-like personas out of a fear that they too, are not enough.
So enough with enough. I won’t worry if you’re enough, and you don’t worry if I’m enough. We’re works in progress. The answer is probably ‘not yet’, but I have hopes that we’ll get there. And we’ll enjoy every step of the journey.
Except for cake. There will NEVER be enough cake.
And now I’ve typed the word ‘enough’ so many times that it’s started to lose all meaning. Good.