What If


There’s a possibility that drifts past me, not quite making contact, not quite settling on me. It causes a slight lightening of the spirit but feels dangerous, like hope.

“What if I’m OK?”

If I could say to myself, “You are.” What a relief that would be. How much extra energy and time I would have. How much unconditional joy I would have.

The thing is, if you were to come to me and say, “What if I’m OK?”

I would say, promptly, “You are.”

But you are. The hang-ups and insecurities you have, I don’t understand. You are beautiful and kind, you are brave and smart. You are a survivor. Every day you make it. You are still standing, smiling, laughing, studying, thinking, loving.

I’m not letting you off the hook. There just is no hook. Don’t be mean, that’s all I expect from other people. If you can stand up in this harsh and difficult world and not be mean, you are more than OK in my book. You are a marvel of humanity.

But from me, oh the expectations. The list is long and growing. The constant lengthening of the list is a promise to myself. “You will never be OK.”

If I was smart, I would ask myself, “Self, when I do all this, what can I have?”
Cornered, my self will be forced to laugh a little slyly, and respond, “Have? Well nothing. There are other pages under that one, silly.”

This isn’t self-loathing or even self-pity. It is just something I don’t know how to release. It’s not like I’m interested in perfection. It’s not like I don’t know how little success with my list means to other people. It just is. It’s my hook. I’m not OK. Or Not OK enough for myself. I should work on that.

I’ll add it to my list.