That word, “enough”, is small.
It’s two syllables, six letters, and has enough power to shake foundations, to shake relationships, to shake worlds. To shake my world; to break it even.
I hate that word. It is always forged as a weapon – and the target for that weapon is me.
Please don’t mistake it that I assume when it’s used, even against me, it comes with ill intent. More often than not it’s the exact opposite, but it hurts all the same.
You see, I’ve recently started dating someone and this is what I can say about her:
- She expects, nay, demands, that I be the best version of myself – not because I need to be perfect, but she’s aware of my flaws and encourages me to overcome them
- She accepts those flaws: my irritability and distemper while driving, my distaste for uncouth behavior, my struggle to show I care for my family even as I must detach from them to make and build my own
- She cares for herself and this is not based on the formulaic ‘trappings’ of independence like an apartment or a 401k, it’s in how she carries herself and holds herself accountable both for her good behavior and her bad
- She is smart and focused and driven; ambitious but loving
- She knows how to handle me because she knows how to handle herself, and to let herself be handled (and is teaching me)
Here’s what she isn’t: gay, bisexual, tall, white, black, Ivy League-educated, rich, a horseback rider/polo player, an intellectual, an extensive reader, preppy, “beyond reproach”, deeply religious, atheist, uptight, buttoned down, unaware of her desires, boring, contained.
She is not contained. [She is nothing like what many people think I ought to date or expect me to date]
She is elemental; to me and for me.
So, when someone like her says to me: “I worry that I’m not enough for you” my world stops spinning. It’s like a train wreck, a rocket falling out of the sky and exploding upon hitting the ocean; it all stops.
Because, the reason that I am with someone who identifies as straight (and, my goodness, she is!) and I risk the deep censure of some of my closest friends, potentially even the permanent fracture of those relationships because who she is and how we work is anathema to them (please, if you think the lesbian lobby is accepting of different strokes for different folks, and not judgmental, you’ve much to catch up on) is because she is enough!
How do I get over that? How do we get over that? Forget about the sexuality. Forget about…forget about everything on paper; forget about all of it and just–
If she doesn’t think she’s enough for me, I can’t convince her.
If she doesn’t think she’s enough for me, she won’t allow herself to stay.
If she doesn’t think she’s enough for me–
How can I ever be enough for her?