This morning I woke up extra early so that I could be at work by 7:00 a.m. I was scheduled to observe an adjunct colleague’s class, and he did a great job. Then there was breakfast and a returned phone call to a very dear friend I met in 2004; she now lives with her Kindergartner in Delaware. We have the kind of conversations that pick up where they leave off, coupled with the kind of intimacy that allows us to share more than just the how’s-it-goings and the what-have-you-been-up-tos? She knows I’ve had a rough, exhausting summer, and so she shared Tracy Clark’s blog with me. Last summer, Clark “was struck with soul exhaustion” and “hit [her] own personal rock bottom.” She realized that she had worn herself out living the hustle to become better, and she came to this realization — through the support of her friends — that she is enough.
I rarely, if ever, post personal blogs, but I’ve been doing so much reflecting this week, especially as a result of yesterday’s interview for the Making It Better film the College is producing for our LGBT students. The interviewer took me back to my own coming out story, to an earlier time of need for support from friends and family, to a time when I was lucky enough to have such support in abundance. Many students don’t have the tripartite support from friends, family, and teachers (or trusted adults) and so it falls on those of us who see our students on such a regular basis to do as much as we can to offer support and kindness. Sometimes adults need this reminder too.
This morning, my friend reminded me of the kinds of support systems I have in place: colleagues at a job where my work is valued; good friends who regularly check in; and family who are willing (if able) to fly across the country to see me in times of need. Tracy Clark’s blog calls for a campaign called “I am enough.” She writes: “I have realized that I am not alone; that being enough as we are right now, today, as is, is hard for most [of us] to really acknowledge and yet, it’s the key to living our best lives.” She adds, “I can only hope that by sharing images and stories of worthiness and self-kindness that we can each embrace our own enoughness.”
At the very core of her message is this: self-kindness and embracing exactly who we are right now is key. I’ll add that it’s key to being there for others who need our enoughness to buttress them on their journeys too. Three simple words, but a worthy reminder.