Plaguing my mind these last few weeks is the word validation.
What we feel validates us as humans.
What makes us feel invalidated, rejected.
The more I thought about it, the more things I realised I've used to feel validated in my life.
And I say feel validated with weight because it's just that - a feeling.
You are not any better or worse than anyone else.
Your social status does not validate you, nor does the school your children attend, or the grades they receive. Nor do the grades you receive validate you, or your popularity on Instagram, or your marital status.
The clothes you wear don't constitute a stamp of approval, and neither does the car you drive, or the place you live, or the amount of nice things you surround yourself with.
You are you. You are good enough, loved enough, purposed and planned.
You don't have to have enough, you are enough.
Our insecurities tell us we need to be more, have more, share more, be recognised and awarded to be validated enough as humans.
Today I pulled from the letterbox my first graded assignment of the semester.
A creative writing assignment I poured my heart into, and handed in along with all the tiny pieces of myself I had typed on to that page.
The papers were scribbled over; words are crossed out, commas added, question marks scrawled messily, morphed to statements like stop writing, you aren't good enough, you will never be enough through tear-blurred eyes. The grade was fine. But I expected better than fine.
I cried. I will always cry. I will cry over spilt milk, and death and everything in between.
And then I wiped my eyes and realised that this does not validate me.
I will not feel invalid, rejected, disapproved of.
I know who I am. I know what I love. I know I am learning, and I know that progress is all that is needed - I don't expect perfection from myself.
I am enough.
You are enough, too.