How long can a person try their best before other people give up waiting for them to be good enough?
We’re always told ‘as long as you try your best’, but in real life, trying your best doesn’t always reward you. Sometimes it just screams at you ‘YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH’, and eventually your chances run out. Even if you’re improving, even if you’re slowly but surely becoming better, time does run out. Then what does it even matter if you’re better? You’re still not enough.
I didn’t have to try very hard at school. I could get a B in most subjects with minimal effort. One year I had to study Spanish. I didn’t like my teacher and that year I was too concerned with feeling feelings and overthinking about them to care much about anything else. You all remember what those teenage years are like… A blur of hormones and underage drinking. At the end of the year we were all sitting in class when we received our final grades. A lovely big E plonked itself on my desk – I didn’t give a shit. The bubbly, preppy, gorgeous, looked at least 3 years older than the rest of us mere children, highly intelligent, super friendly, all singing, all dancing (literally, she was both a singer and a dancer), head-girl to be leaned across to me to ask my grade. I don’t think you need me to tell you what hers was… I showed her my E, not proud yet unashamed. She gave me a kindly, sympathetic look – though how she could sympathise with a bad grade I’ll never know! Maybe she came 2nd once in a Britney impersonating competition and could remember the sting of not being good enough. “At least you tried your best!” She said.
Ehh, no I didn’t. I didn’t try in the slightest. If I had of I would’ve done just fine. In fact I even went on to learn Spanish to A-Level standard in just one year at uni. ¡Te lo dije!
Fast forward to adulthood and I have to try every fucking day. I tried so hard to be good enough for him. He didn’t believe me. I was constantly trying to reach a point that was too far away for me to even see; I just kept going in the blind faith that the finish line did in fact exist. I didn’t reach it on time. He had enough of me trying my best and he will move on to somebody who doesn’t even need to try. Does that make them better for him than I was?
Now I feel as though I have to try my absolute hardest to make myself so good that he regrets his decision one day, be it years from now. But what if I never get there? When I’m laying on my death bed is ‘oh well, at least I tried’ really going to comfort me from the fact that I know absolutely, wholly, 100% that I’m not and never would be good enough?
Sometimes I think I’d feel better if I were sitting back at my desk in Spanish class, satisfied in the idea that I could have if I’d wanted to – whether it was the truth or not. And yet still I’m trying, exhausted, still trudging toward the supposed finish line. Why?
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