Hello all! It’s been about 4 months since I last posted. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, it’s just that I haven’t been in the right headspace to be able to put some thoughts down on paper (or whatever this is). But it’s time! Here’s something that’s been on my mind for a while . . . Am I enough?
Enough For My Work Family
I take work pretty seriously. In fact, much of my identity and where I get my self-worth, comes from my work. The hardest part of losing my first business, was the feeling that I let my work family down. There were extenuating circumstances, sure . . . but in the end, if you’re leading a business, it all comes down to you. The “theme” of this blog is going to be the answer to the question, “Have you learned from your past, or are you still making the same mistakes”.
My current company, The B2Group, is one of the things I’m most proud of. My current work family consists of “superstars”. Every one of them. There’s no doubt that they know how I feel about them and how much I love them. As much as I could love any friend. They hold a special place in my heart. But there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself, “Are you enough?” “Are you doing enough?” “Could you be better?” And the answer to all of those questions is probably “no”. That’s ok by the way. You can always strive to be better, but I wanted to talk about the feeling more than the answer to the question.
Enough For My Friends
If you’ve ever spent any time with me, you know the value I put on friendships. I’ve been accused of being friends to too many people, and spreading myself too thin. I think as I get older, I’d tend to agree with that. But regardless, I love hard when it comes to my friends.
I don’t value friendship based on time. My ex would ask me, “How are you such good friends with that person? You’ve only known them a short period of time?” That’s a valid question. But I don’t (and never will) value my friendships based on length of time. There are people I’ve known my entire life that I would consider average friends. I also have people I’ve known for only months that I’d consider “good friends”. I just don’t care how long I’ve known someone. If they’re good people, then they are my friends.
But the question is, “Am I Enough” for ALL of these friends? That’s the million dollar question I think.
Enough For My Partner
I currently don’t have one, but this is something that’s on my mind a lot too. Can I be enough for the girl I love? This is a complicated and loaded question, because it depends on what her needs are. I like to think I can be this for her, but time will have to tell.
Enough For My Family
I take on a self-imposed patriarchal role in my family. I look after my mother (who doesn’t need that much looking after), and even though he doesn’t know it, I still look after my little brother (who’s not that little anymore). They are the center of my universe, and even though we’re a small family, they mean everything to me. Literally.
As you can see from the above, it’s easy to get spread too thin. And sometimes I feel like my family gets the short end. I’m cognizant of this, and try my best to remedy it, but often times I fail. Work gets in the way. My love life gets in the way. LIFE gets in the way. “How can I be enough for my family?”
Enough For My Kailyn
This is last because it’s the most important to me. You don’t have to be on my social media long, hang out with me much, or see me with Kailyn to know in an instant that she’s the center of my universe. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself, “Am I being a good enough parent for Kailyn”. I know that time is fleeting and that I only have a few valuable years left with her. Asking myself if I’m enough for her has tough answers that follow.
Now that you know all of the parts of my life that I ask myself, “Am I Enough?”, I want to unpack a few thoughts regarding this question.
To begin with, I want to be honest in saying that I have no answers here. If could give you answers then I’d be on some book tour or giving TED talks (my friend calls them BB talks, which I like. 😍) All I try to do, is 1) be the best version of my self, and 2) continue to work on myself, daily.
I don’t think I’ll ever be “enough” in my own self-imposed standard. I think I’ll always want to be better and improve. This can be a dangerous place to live, mentally. Not feeling like you’re enough, all the time can be devastating at times. I hold myself to the highest standard in regards to my friends, family and loved ones. I expect a lot of myself, and I expect a lot from them too. Sometimes my efforts are enough. they have to be. And I promise you, the same is true for you. Not that you need some blog to affirm this, but I promise your “enough”, is “enough”.
A Message To Myself
I wrote a “poem” I recently wrote (bet you didn’t know I was a poet too . . . lol).
One thing is for sure, you matter. I matter. We matter to those who we love. I was talking to my friend today about my Dad. I loved my Dad. One of the most important life lessons he taught me (that he didn’t realize he did), was that everyone has a different “bar”. What I mean, is that everyone has a level of capability to love or be loved. If you can’t identify what every individual person’s “bar” is, then you’ll be continually disappointed by people.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t hold people to standards. You certainly should. But you could be aware of where people’s “bar” is. Once you do that, you’ll know what they’re capable of. The question becomes at which “bar” do you accept people into your friend circle. Family is different because they’re family. But when it comes to friends, who are you surrounding yourself with. I’d challenge you to ask yourself, if someone’s ability to love or be friends with YOU is at a low “bar”, should they be friends or just acquaintances?
I’ve been told in my lifetime that I put too much weight on “B” and “C” level friends. What does that mean? I suppose they were saying that my “A” friends deserve more time than “B” and “C” level friends. I fought this train of thought for a long time, but maybe there’s some validity to it. The irony is that the person giving me this “lecture” turned out to be a “D” or “E” level friend, but that’s a different topic for a different blog.
So, I think that determining WHO gets your time and attention, allows you to figure out if you’re enough. Contrary to what I used to think (and where your head my be), you are a finite resource. There’s NOT enough of you to go around, as the saying says. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I couldn’t be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE if I wanted to be “enough”. I needed to set my “bar” higher and keep my inner circle close in order to be “enough” to everyone I wanted to be enough to. This was an important shift in thinking for me, post-divorce.
My Enough – Work
For my work family, I HAVE to be enough. I have to give them everything I have during the work time, and then my attention needs to be to my family and friends. They all know this about me, because I practice what I preach. I told them when I hired each of them, that their family has to be as important as their work. I take pride in the fact that they won’t ever miss their child’s event, birthday, etc. because of work. If they choose to, that’s their own choice, but I want them to be there. Present. Involved in their family and friend’s lives. That’s important to me. That’s my bar. This has to be enough for them, and I think it is. That doesn’t mean I don’t do self introspection EVERY DAY about how I can be better, but they know where my heart is.
My Enough – Family & Friends
My friends know I give 100%. I’m always there for them. I think I set my own “bar” RIDICULOUSLY high for them. I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m “enough” for them, but I’ll keep giving to the best of my ability.
For my partner, and someone I love, I hope she knows that I’ll give all that I am. Again I’m not sure I’ll feel that that’s enough, but that keeps me waiting to be more. I want her to be seen, heard and loved. She is the person that makes me feel whole and I feel the most like “home” when I’m with her. I’ll work every day of my life to be “enough”.
For my family (and the most forgiving of the groups), I just need to be more “present”. They know me better than anyone, and I’m always “enough” for them. But I want to be a better man for them. A better friend, brother, uncle and son. That’s what I want.
She gets her own section. 🙂
And for my Kailyn . . . I think about being better every day for her. I want to be someone she trusts and looks up to and I ask myself all the time, “What will Kailyn remember me for”? “Am I modeling my life for her in a way that she can be proud of?” It’s so imprortant to me that she knows how important this is to me. It’s not just about being a good dad. I want to be a good human being for her. And this bleeds into every part of my life and makes me a better man. SHE does this for ME. And that’s one of the things I love about being a dad.
Am I Enough?
So back to the original question, “Am I Enough?” In my opinion, I’ll never be enough for those I love the most. But that keeps me motivated to be better. EVERY. DAMN. DAY.