Are you enough?

Our childhood shapes us, makes us who we are. The struggles or lack thereof determine how we view the world when we are older. Minor issues that develop through the formative years often turn in to larger issues later in life. The words we hear as a child influence us and in a sense help to determine how we feel about ourselves. I’m not someone who believes in using our past as an excuse but rather speaking about our experiences, big and small, so that we can help positively influence the world for future generations.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my failures during my 34 years on this earth. I’ve debating sharing them, but failures are tough, insecurities are tough….talking about things you would rather not remember is tough. Telling the truth to others is hard, when you continue to lie to yourself.

I’ve felt like not enough for the majority of my life. Up until I found running I felt like I wasn’t good at anything, literally anything.

I’m sharing a story today, so I can be set free from the lie I tell myself and move forward. By telling this I hope that it will move from something that was huge to me to something that I now simply want to be part of my story that has gotten me to this exact point.

Rewind to high school….

Rejection letter after rejection letter from colleges confirmed to me as a teenager, I wasn’t enough. No one wanted me.

One school accepted me.

The college my mother went to. I’m certain the only reason I was accepted to that school was because she went there and they probably liked the idea of a mother and a daughter attending the same college.

Those feelings of rejection have stuck with me my entire adult life. Every time someone asks me where I went to college, I cringe and say, oh a small liberal arts school in New Jersey.

Oh really what school?

Oh you probably have never heard of it?

What school?

Drew University.

Oh yeah never heard of it….what made you go there?

Oh my mom went there so I really wanted to go where she went.

This a lie. A lie that I continue to tell myself and others. I didn’t want to go there. I only applied there because I applied to both of the colleges my parents went to. I went there because I had NO CHOICE, it was there or it was no where.

I had good grades. My SAT’s were over 1200 but that didn’t matter because I wasn’t enough.

During my freshman year I applied to other colleges to transfer in. I was told it was easier to get in that way so maybe I would get accepted. I wasn’t enough you see, I couldn’t get in like others could, I had to get in the easier way.

I was accepted at other schools but didn’t go. I told people it was because I liked where I was. Only that too was a lie. I was scared. Scared to leave and start something new.

Being scared ruled much of my life, much in the same way that feeling like I wasn’t enough did.

So I stayed.

I can’t say I hated college or that I regret not leaving, I don’t. I grew to love where I was and if for nothing else other than the friendships, I’m glad I stayed. What I do regret is not understanding that tests, college applications, jobs – they don’t define you as a person.

You are enough as is. A test doesn’t tell you who you are or where you will be one day.

One of my main struggles as a mother is figuring out how to not let history repeat itself with my children.

I am hyper aware of Chloe’s struggles, of the words I use towards her, of the things I say and do around her.

I want her to always know that she is fun, smart, loving, beautiful inside and out – that she is in my eyes as perfect as they come.

I wonder if maybe a teacher had spoken to me the way Chloe’s 4th grade teacher speaks to her, if my life would have been different. Would I have had the confidence I desperately wanted but lacked. Would that confidence have enabled me to try new things, to step outside of my comfort zone, to want more out of life? To believe I WAS ENOUGH.

I’m sharing a letter that she sent home with her students Friday {with permission}. It moved me to tears.

 

I haven’t stopped thinking about it since and every time I read it I glean something else amazing from it.

There are many ways of being smart. You are smart. You are enough. You are the light that brightens my day. ~ A note from a 4th grade teacher to her students

 

My daughter is enough. I am enough. You are enough.

Please when you look in the mirror today say it to yourself YOU ARE ENOUGH. You are enough even if you think you have weight to lose. You are enough even if today is day one of a new fitness routine. You are enough if you have never run one single step in your life. You are enough even if you are not where you want to be. You are enough – end of story.

 

To Ms. Webber – thank you for being the one of the most amazing, kind-hearted teachers I’ve ever met. I can see every day how you have helped my daughter grow this year. I know that your influence will positively impact her life for the rest of her life. I don’t know how I will ever be able to repay you but I will try. If only everyone could have a teacher as wonderful as you. Thank you for helping change the world one child at a time!

Chloe Raine Beal - 4th Grade

 

 

P.S. Chloe is fundraising to help children with cancer. This is one way her 4th grade teacher, Ms. Webber is teaching her students about the world. Teaching her things that can’t be learned in school books. Every day Chloe comes home and checks the computer to see if any one new has donated. It isn’t just a school project to her. She tells me all the time what a terrible disease cancer is and how we JUST HAVE to help end it. I feel so lucky that she randomly got Ms. Webber this year. She has learned so much about  “real world” things I’m fairly certain I had no clue about growing up. If you want to support her efforts you can click HERE.

Comments

  1. paria@momontherunsanity.com says:

    Wow!!!! That letter!!! My kids have these standardized tests and we keep getting emails from the school telling all the parents to make sure they get enough sleep, they are rested, etc….because performance on these standardized tests are used in rating schools….. Not once has a teacher sent home a letter like that!!! I absolutely love it!!!

  2. What a wonderful letter and what a POWERFUL message to those kids (and their parents!). Thank you for sharing!

  3. My children are young adults now. When they were young I was often conscious of my tone of voice and what I said. Not always but plenty of times.
    I learned that as a parent I have tremendous power with just my words. I learned that I did not need to win every argument, not every conversation is a competition.
    I wasn’t so good at encouraging/supporting/pushing my kids. I think kids need a bit of a push now and then. I didn’t get it very often and I feel it would have made a difference.
    One daughter took well to my encouragement etc. My youngest did not. She has massive potential in life and often I felt she didn’t feel “good enough”. I tried to encourage her to take a chance, to push a little harder next time. It was not well received.
    Parenting is tough. Each kid is different. Even if you learned something with one child, the others will react completely differently.
    Parenting is also high-stakes with no do overs. You can’t take back what you say or do and sometimes we parent horribly.

  4. What a great teacher!!!

  5. Hey, great post!
    What do you think about Kombucha? Would you advise it as a drink?
    I learned that it can increase your mental capabilities, so would that be a good drink for my kids?
    I drink it myself, almost everyday, usually go with this brand called Latta, it’s raw and organic and I buy it here: https://goo.gl/pOb13e

  6. Thank you for posting this! My high school daughter is taking her AP World History test today (she’s been horribly stressed about it all year) so I re-wrote sections of this letter, printed it and left it on her bathroom mirror this morning. It was everything I wanted to express!
    Thanks again, and have a great day!

  7. so awesome! hope Chloe received our donation and reached and surpassed her goal! have a beautiful week. xo

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