Afraid of Not Being Enough

Each time we put our feet out of bed, each time we create something, each time we defend our rights, each time we remain silent when we know we should speak up, each time we ask for help, we are all battling our fears. Sometimes, even each breath we take is a battle, but society demands that we hide our fears and pretend our lives are perfect, or we risk being unworthy of love.

One day, I got tired of playing that game, so here is the bare naked truth: I am afraid but I refuse to let my fears defeat me. So, with each post like the one you’re about to read, I recognize those fears, and then I move on.

I got a seven out of ten at school that day. Many students would have shrugged about that passing grade; others would have rejoiced for getting it. I cried.

I don’t even remember what subject the exam was about. Probably math. I don’t know exactly what year of high school I was in. Probably my first year.

All I remember is that one of my classmates made fun of me because he had gotten a better grade than me – the classroom nerd– and while he laughed, and part of the course joined in, I felt like my worthiness was gone. It had expired, puffed in a cloud of smoke as if a magician had just finished his magic act, and now I was destined to be nothing more than worthless me. The gig was up. I didn’t even have my good grades to show my value to my peers anymore.

Kindness had only been returned with indifference at best throughout my social life. I wasn’t beautiful, nor skinny. I wasn’t funny. In fact, I had been told I was weird and actually dull, and now, I didn’t even have my intelligence to save me from disgrace. I was nothing, and that seven finally drove the point home.

Published by Vanesa L. Perillo

Finding the balance between fear and courage* *Inspired by Cara E. Yar Khan

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