The back-and-forth of being enough

Enough: I’ve heard the word often this year. It has become a state of being, one I’ve yet to fully embody, physically and emotionally — “Enoughness.” Uppercase, of course.

Do you have enough iron supplements? You don’t have enough iron in your system. Did your last doctor say your hemoglobin isn’t high enough, too?

With ample idle time in waiting rooms at doctor’s offices in 2016, I’ve had time — dangerous time — to ruminate on physical and emotional “Enoughness.” “Fill in the bubble next to all conditions that apply.” Here, “Enoughness” is quantified with each blackened bubble.

Playing keep-away with enoughness is one of my egregious habits; it’s easier, more comfortable, to ignore my own inherent completeness. Blackened bubbles extend into the real world. I become the score sheet, each mark the latest deficiency. 

My latest doctor’s visit fell on International Women’s Day. I listened to Beyoncé on repeat, ran five miles, had a beer, journaled and committed to (mostly) do whatever I wanted to that day. As I waited for the gastroenterologist (not really what I wanted to do, mind you), I scrolled through the girl-power mojo on social media, with one theme recurring: “You are enough.”

A few mornings later, Enoughness confronted me again, this time in the form of a quickly forgetten Post-It note.

I wrote “You are enough,” on a Post-It note and stuck it to my mirror. One day as I brushed my teeth, it fluttered into the flow of the faucet. I let it fall. For a moment I watched the words flood, the water tugging them from the paper — from existing. That is how Enoughness often works in my life. When I feel I’ve captured it, it evaporates, like ink swirling away.

I’m working to embody Enoughness in my everyday life. I’m embracing the fact that it sometimes evaporates, like ink swirling away.

Luckily, I’m armed with Post-It notes, Beyoncé tracks and the pesky, powerful goal of becoming a woman comfortable in her own existence.


At first, I struggle to select a photo that best paired with this post. I opted to include a couple photos that capture moments I’m content with my life and myself. Here I am in Cappadocia, Turkey, in 2014.

Tennis and science in one photo! This is the DIY Inertia Hat one of my brilliant coworkers made.

Tennis and science in one photo! This is the DIY Inertia Hat one of my brilliant coworkers made.

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