That’s Not Good Enough, Jennifer

A year ago, I heard that phrase nearly every working day. It was an unrelenting push for performance, for perfection.

I was spending four or more nights a week away from home, in a strange hotel. Getting lost on the way to the bathroom.

I made friends with the TSA agents at the airport. “Opting out today, Ms. Knighton?” “Good morning, Jennifer. How about a gentle back rub on your way to the gate.” They were really fun TSA agents, actually.

But all the travel, the lack of sleep, the sales and deals and negotiations won…none of that was quite good enough. Never good enough. Never enough.

I broke down.

I remember wracking sobs on the hallway tile. Screaming to any god who would listen: “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE! IF THIS IS LIFE, I DON’T WANT TO LIVE.”

I want to blame the person who was pushing me so cruelly. But it was really me – always raising the expectation for what is good enough. And in this game of perfection, nothing ever is.

I was able to silence the voice who spoke those words so frequently last year. I’m having greater difficulty silencing the gremlins in my mind.

I keep telling myself that I’m not good enough. And I keep telling myself to shut up.

CQ Come Back

I didn’t mean to be gone so long. I meant to be gone longer.

But I can’t not-write. Rather, I can not-write on this blog, but the words still spill out in other places. Most notably my journal, which used to be full of art and doodles and ephemera, but is not filled with words and thoughts and ideas. Or into my patient husband’s ears, when my thoughts and ideas pour out like some babbling brook in spring.

Today, I read on Seth Godin’s blog: “Invisible is an option, of course. You can lay low, not speak up and make no difference to anyone…You’ll get no criticism, but no delight either.”

He’s right. And I love and hate that he’s right. That I’ve been laying low and hiding from criticism, which has only resulted in silence. I anticipate no applause or accolade for this obscure corner of the internet, but that was never why I wrote in the first place. I wrote because I must – because I write every day.

Anyway, if you’re still checking in here, I beg for your patience and kindness, though I don’t deserve it. Thank you. So much.