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What is Enough

August 29, 2011

I open my email.

The inbox is overflowing.

It is the start of a new year.

Email anxiety starts to set in.

I scroll through my messages from both well-known and unknown senders.  There are names and organizations I recognize, and others I fear I will be getting to know all too well this year.  Has it really been this long since I’ve scanned my work email?  Am I already this far behind?

I keep scrolling.  A subject line catches my eye: Just Saying Hello!.  I don’t recognize the name, but I click on it anyway.

It’s a long email.  Several paragraphs, in fact.  And it’s from a wonderful young girl who I had the pleasure of working with last year.  Her email is rambling – overflowing with the many mental trajectories of the teenage mind – telling me all about her summer, the books she is reading, and the sports teams she is trying out for in the Fall.  She tells me about movies she went to see, her nerves about the coming school year, and the lake she went to with her family.  She tells me about her life.  She invites me into her story without even knowing she’s doing it.

This is enough for today.

This is all that I need.  This conversation, this place in time, this connection with this lovely young girl – this is enough to fill me.  It is enough to give me courage for the coming year, to give me anticipation, and confidence.  It is enough to remind me that I’m doing okay at my job.

I’m not always sure of myself.  Though I talk a mile a minute and interject my voice into any conversation that presents a window to do so, I’m often second guessing and re-guessing and under-guessing most of the moves I make.  Call it the curse of the analytical mind, but there are very few days that do not get re-played in my mind at night.  I’m not always confident I’m doing enough.  Giving enough, sleeping enough, laughing enough, crying enough, pursuing enough, and driving myself enough.  Enough, enough, enough.  The word automatically implies that something is lacking.  Something is still empty and has yet to be filled.  We’re all waiting until we’ve done something “enough.”

But I’m sitting staring at her words.  Her message.  Her carefree and effervescent conversation that she probably didn’t think twice about sending.  And there it is.  There is the peace that settles my inner storming.  She felt free to send it.  She felt comfortable enough to dialogue with me.  She knew, somewhere inside, that she could talk and gab and ramble and share and that it would be received.  Her words would be heard.  Is this the mark of having done “enough”?

I type back, happily.  I write back to her with as much exuberance as she did to me.  I click “send” and I smile and laugh – how simple and how beautiful an exchange.  She has blessed me just by being herself, just by continuing to be a presence in my life after she walked out my door.  She has no idea, but she is filling my cup.  Right now it’s full and heavy and about to overflow and in this sudden rush of unexpected joy, I realize she’s given me “enough.”  A relationship has been built, and what greater sense of completeness can there be?  What more could be added to a conversation about young life and summer films and swim team try-outs and new Converse sneakers?  There is nothing left but the feeling of comfort and freedom and being cared for.  Nothing left but a familiar face in my door for book discussions and occasional tidbits of advice.  Nothing left but encouraging and nurturing and supporting the rest of her way.  There is nothing left to accomplish.  My young friend has given me quite a gift.

And it’s enough.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2011 10:19 pm

    This is beautiful, friend, and I’m right there with you. Enough – yes. There is enough for today, enough goodness, enough grace… I’m glad that you had this moment to remind you.

  2. August 31, 2011 7:06 pm

    The people who heard my similar ramblings in high school are a big reason why I am a Christian and a big part of the woman I am today. Priceless stuff.

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