There’s just some phrases that stick with you forever. “‘I before ‘E’ except after ‘C'”. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” “Never say ‘always’ or ‘never'”. And the list goes on and on. But this time, I beg to differ. This time, I’m gonna say “always” and “never.”
I’m always never gonna be good enough.
(I can hear my friends gasping…. but hear me out.)
I’m ALWAYS NEVER gonna be good enough.
Let me explain.
When I was born, my mom was constantly telling people how she had always wanted a girl. She had three boys before me, but she would tell people she always wanted a girl. Great for me, eh? But not so great for my brothers.
My mom set me up to fail with my brothers. Every time we would fight, it would come up. “Your mom’s favorite. The one she ‘always wanted’.” From the time I was born, I was never gonna be okay with my brothers.
Let me just explain something. It wasn’t just something my mom said in passing. It was constant. I’ve even heard that she took a picture of one of my brothers in a dress to see what he’d look like as a girl.
So, yeah. My brothers resented me from day one. My mom even talks about how my middle brother wouldn’t even look at me when they brought me home from the hospital. Great.
My mom always wanted to show me off. She was a very good seamstress, so she would make me all these frilly dresses, and even made hair bows to match. She would dress me up like a little porcelain doll, and she called me, “Her Darling Daughter Darla.” What she didn’t know was how bad that made me feel.
It wasn’t the nickname. It was the fact that all those frills weren’t me. I liked hearing her praise how I looked in the dress she made, but I had a secret. I didn’t want to be a “darling daughter.” I could play the part, and the character I would play would be enough for her, but I knew from a very early age that the person I was inside would never be good enough. So I just kept playing the part.
As I got older, I realized just how right I was. I would never be good enough for her. I would hear her talk about my friends, and many times the talk over dinner was about those “gay-bobs” and how horrible they were. God’s gonna give them all their “just rewards” when they burn in hell.
Yeah. She never knew she was talking about me. Or maybe she did, and that was just her way of keeping me silent.
I kept silent for 37 years.
I’m not so silent anymore, but I’m still not good enough. However, this time I’m not good enough for me. I’m trying so hard to be real and genuine, but many times I retreat back into the comforts of pretending to be someone else if just to stop the harassment for awhile. But I hope to get to a point someday that I won’t retreat anymore.
So why will I “ALWAYS” “NEVER” be good enough??? Because I’m always gonna strive to be better me. I’m always gonna keep pushing myself to be a better person today than I was yesterday. A continuously upgraded version of myself…. the REAL me. I don’t want to just be “good enough”, because that’s not enough.
I want to be BETTER.
So, when I say that I will always never be good enough, it just means that I have finally come to peace with who I am, and I’m gonna continue to strive every single day to be a better “me”.