I am from Holland and Memphis
I am from the Orthodox Jews and the Atheists
I am from the self-assured and the second-guessers
I am from the strict and the stern
I am from the sweet and the sensitive
I am from the judgers and the compassionate
I am from the silver spoons and the work ethics
I am from the competitive
I am from the front porch concrete steps that devastated my forehead when
I am from skinned knees when I wrote my bike wearing roller skates
I am from the daveners and the kneelers
I am the from the school of hard math
I am from the hard driven
I am from the misunderstood in the misunderstanding
I am from long summer trips pretending we had A/C in the car by closing the
I am from Pythagoras and Demosthenes, from Socrates and Galileo
I am from chocolate cake with white icing
I am from soft and white
I am from the hippies and the hell raisers
I am from the impulsive tongues
I am from the passive and the assertive
I am from the singers and the pianists
I am from the cavemen and the meditators
I am from Sedona and I am from Yosemite
I am from quilts and shearling
I am from red licorice and movies
I am from talking and listening, philosophizing and creating
I am from loneliness and togetherness.
I used to think…
I used to think that I wasn’t good enough. Not good enough to do my job
adequately. Not a good enough mother, daughter, wife, sister, pianist, or cook.
xxxxxI used to hear the recording over and over and over and I believed it. I
used to think that I wasn’t good enough.
xxxxxWho first recorded that message? And why did I believe it? When did it
come to be?
xxxxxWas it in high school at St. Mar’s Episcopal School? I was the only
Jewish girl and some of the other girls spit out their water from the fountain
towards me. Why did I not realize they were only having fun? I thought they
didn’t like me.
xxxxxWas it the love poem I wrote for my mother when I was thirteen? My
father didn’t believe I had written it. He said it was too good…that I couldn’t
have written it. How could I know that he was telling me, in his way, that he
thought it was a good poem?
xxxxxWas it in fourth grade when I could not master long division and my
teacher laughed? I know now that she wasn’t laughing at me but at the time I
thought she was.
xxxxxWith it in first grade, on the first day of school when my teacher Mrs.
Sweat was demonstrating how she would treat students who misbehave? I was
the student she chose for the demonstration. She picked me
up and cradled me in her arms, me and a baby bottle. I was mortified.
xxxxxWas that the beginning of the recording I believed all those years? I don’t
know when or how I first heard the message. I just know that I am breaking
free. I recording a new message: “I am loyal and honest. I am hard-working. I
am the best mother, daughter, sister, coworker that I can be. I am not perfect but
I am good enough.”
xxxxxI have to keep saying it again and again so I don’t forget
xxxxx“I am good enough.”
xxxxxThe old recording played loud so I have to play the new one even louder!