On inspirational quotes, arcade games and the power of perspective

You are enough.

Teenage Taylor probably made that her cellphone banner (remember how critical it was that your cellphone banner captured the complexity of your existence?). It sounds like something you might find on Pinterest in black, bold text on an over-filtered photo of some natural wonder.

Yet I tell myself, “You are enough,” every day, and sometimes I admit I don’t believe it. For a long time, I avoided the realm of cliché, Instagram bio-worthy quotes. I have a degree in English; I should be meandering secondhand bookstores plotting my rise as the next great literary theorist, not thumbing through pages of, “When it rains, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.”

But when something recently collapsed without warning, without a “why,” I found myself back in the syrupy sweet underworld of motivational one-liners, my tea mug and melodramatic mood in tow. Even when I reunited with my sensible side, I found comfort in generic quotes.

I’ve long publicly sneered at them; I’m too sophisticated, too cultured for that trite rubbish, after all.

Yet here I am, scrolling through the list of them in my phone, searching for brief confirmation that I’m not failing my whole family for whatever inadequacy nagging me today — that I’m still single, that my interior design concept is a wall of crooked tennis posters, that Facebook is cluttered with engagement ‘life events,’ and I’m over here like, “I tried to put Up-Down tokens in the coin laundry the other day.”

When I read those three little words, “You are enough,” I’m at peace. I rediscover the power of perspective. I realize there’s no timeline, that Roger Federer is a badass decorating motif and I have a valid excuse to play Centipede in the near future.

And that’s enough for me.

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