Good Enough by Margaret Dupree
 “Good enough.” That seems to be my tagline. As I adjust my sweater and align my jeans at my hipbones, I give myself a last once over to make sure that everything is decent enough for school. My hair is brushed but not styled. My makeup is half assed. But from afar, it looks fine. I smile at my reflection as sort of a silent understanding that today, just like lots of the other days, I look fine. Every day is a return to the same ritual. When I get up in the morning, I brush my hair, put on my makeup, and get dressed. I look in the mirror and smirk. Good enough, or that’ll do for today. It’ll be the same tomorrow, and it was the same thing yesterday. I’m good enough looking, and I’m good enough at getting attention. Good enough. I’m good enough at lots of things. I’m good enough at academics. I’m good enough at completing my homework. I’m a good enough test taker, and I’m a good enough studier. I’m a good enough artist and a good enough athlete. I’m a good enough driver. I’m a good enough horseback rider. I’m good enough when it comes to social situations. I’m a good enough leader. I get by. Are there things I wish I were better at? Of course. Are there things I wish I were worse at? Of course. In a lot of situations the things I wish I were better at and the things I wish I were worse at could all switch and I would be perfectly content. I wish I were not always so sarcastic and that I actually showed genuine emotion. Perhaps if those two things switched I might feel more fulfilled. I wish I were kinder, and sweeter, and didn’t get mad so often. I wish I were a little quieter, and a little softer. I wish I wasn’t as good at bullshitting work as I am, because I have this feeling that it’s going to kill me later. I wish I had gotten into more competitive name brand colleges, even though the one I’m heading to is good. I wish that when something or someone hurts my feelings I had the courage to cry or to tell them or scream about it. I don’t. I hold back any sense of remorse or anger and leave it for later when its potency has reached a breaking point and a hot stream of emotion pours out of me with no stop. Like lava running down the side of a volcano. Then there are the regular things that I think, or at least hope, everyone else also wishes they were better at, or had going for them. I wish I were taller, or thinner, or prettier, all that stuff. I wish I were smarter, less lazy, more healthy, less tired. Ha, a girl can dream! Those are just some of the things that are reflected in society as imperfections. People think that because we know these are society’s unrealistic expectations that we would not subject ourselves to these expectations. We do, though. Subconsciously. Well, at least I do. There are more, of course. The list goes on. It gets deeper and deeper and sadder and sadder and at a certain point when I start to pity myself for all those things, I take a step back from that self pity precipice. I think about all the things I could be really good at that would be worse. I could be really good at selling drugs. I could be a really good hooker. Actually, what might be worse is if I were really bad at those things. But I’m neither so that’s good enough. I think about all the things, all the very little things that I can do, things that don’t have a designated skill level that is validated by a grade system or numbers. I’m good at taking public transit. I can handle the crazy stuff that happens on the subway and MTA like a pro, and not many people can say that. I can name probably over half of every Gossip Girl episode ever, which comes in handy more than expected. I am really good at untying knots. I can drink a cup of black coffee. I can drive stick shift. I can beat the cash register when it’s calculating for cash. I can walk. I can breathe. I can have a sophisticated conversation from time to time. I can give great hugs. I can pack for a trip in less than an hour. I can drive on the FDR and Major Deegan with only a few minor heart attacks along the way. I have even found a shortcut to the Major Deegan. My parents didn’t know that if you just drive straight up First Avenue you can avoid near death on the FDR. So that is good. There are lots of things I could probably be better at. Lots of things I could change, as well as lots of things I couldn’t. There are lots of things I wouldn’t dare change, and lots of things I never will. There are lots of things I am not good enough at, and lots of things I’m too good at and plenty of things I would never admit to either of those lists. But, at the end of the day when I have gone through the seemingly daily struggle over all of these securities and insecurities, tomorrow I know that I will be as I was today, and as I was yesterday. Good Enough.