Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Than Good Enough

A very interesting statement. I heard it last night at a meeting and while not for the first time, it gave me pause to think about what it meant for me.

I have been passionate for most of my life at being the best at what I do and to be the best I can be. Why? It started with simple negative statements made to me by my stepfather, that I would "never amount to anything," or that "I would fail miserably at life."  There were more I assure you, but these resonated with me.  Great phrases for a young teenage boy to hear from a man, who was everything in these statements and a lot more.  Yet, he was wishing the same thing on me.  To share more of it would take months of blogging and I would require breaks in between.   

Regardless, from that moment on, I refused to believe him, broke away from him and my situation, and while there was a price attached to it for the family, it didn't really matter because I new I needed to believe in myself and that I would make a difference in this world.  I'm not even sure why I believed that I would, as there wasn't a male role model to show, explain the difference, or someone to learn from, but I just knew that I would be more and that I would try for more than "good enough." 

I know that I set out in my life on my 17th birthday.  I was fortunate to have an incredible boss, George Kimpton, who while he did not ask a lot of questions, just knew that I needed a place to call home before I would become a very young U.S. Navy man.  The Navy was very good to me in may respects.  I grew up, I learned about life, what was right and wrong and how to be a man.  There are many people I credit for that growth, but non more than the incredible woman I married, Linda.  While I had not completely figured out who I was and neither of us knew what would come next, we both needed each other for what we did not know at the time was the same thing, to prove who we were and that we were more than "good enough."  We both had similar backgrounds and upbringing.  There were somethings that I never shared with her out of shame at the time and I knew I had to come to grips with them myself first before I could begin to share them.  It was all a process for me to prove that I was a good man, the best I could be and surely wanted to be more.  I never settled for just "good enough."

Life continued and time passed and I became a dad myself.  It scared the life out of me at first.  I did not want to become the man that my "father" was, or at least I thought he was my father at the time.  Then, I woke up one day, when my daughter was still young enough to experience me as her dad, a very good dad and man who wanted everything good in the world to be hers, including me.  I wanted to be more than "good enough."  She certainly had a big role in showing me, through our own life experiences (yes, the good, bad and indifferent) that I was a dad she could be proud of and love unconditionally.  It was then, at a young age of 31, that I finally accepted the ghosts of the past and the gift of my future.  I knew then that I was more than "good enough," for accepting and believing in the real me.

Today, or better last night, when I heard the phrase again in this sentence; "is your life right now good enough?" I had to pause and wonder is that what I am settling for?  Have I achieved and do I have all the things in life to be more than just "good enough?"  Recently, I shared that I had set out on a 22-year search to map out my family for my daughter because I would not settle for what I knew and because I did not settle for "good enough," I found more than my family tree.  I found my dad.

Regardless, I certainly realize that I alone cannot be the judge of myself at being better than "good enough," because while I try to be, I do not know if I am more than just "good enough" all the time at what I do; being a partner, a dad, a friend, brother, etc., the list goes on an on.  All I know is that I strive daily for being more and having more in my life than just "good enough."

There are days when it is acceptable to have just "good enough," as so many in this world have so much less.  However, I will say that I do want more in my life and to share more about myself in my life than just "good enough."  There are some things I just cannot live without or will compromise.  They include; the love for family, passion in all aspects of life shared, not just one part or parts, and being able to live as the person I was born to be.

So, my revelation from last night and into this morning on the train ride was that I may not always get or give more than "good enough," but as as long as I do not compromise on my beliefs, I can live with that.  However, to know that I strive and have the passion in my soul for being more than "good enough," is really all that matters to me and I hope for many others too.

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