Not Good Enough?
Joe Clark ~~ May 25, 2002

I've had a thought in my head for a while that I've mentioned here and there I suppose, but I felt like writing about it in just a little greater detail here.

I went to a wedding today. It was a good day, a time to get to visit with a number of old friends, not to mention being witness to the wedding ceremony itself. I heard that one person has as many as 13 weddings to attend this year alone. It seems to be a year of weddings, or something. Even some of the people from my past who had no apparent significant other the last time I talked to them (which was probably a year ago or more) are now engaged. Besides hearing all this, I got to the wedding a little early, so I got a chance to read a chapter or so in the book "When God Writes Your Love Story", which I've been reading off and on for a few months. And, I spent about five hours today travelling to and from the wedding, which gave me time to think (and sing along with music).

Put all this together, and I'm left in a bit of a bittersweet mood. I'm glad for all those who are finding love in so many various people and places. I'm glad for the wedding today ("even computer engineers can get married--wow"). I'm glad for time spent with friends. But my observations are: 1) Significant othership in whatever form is a beneficial thing (despite all the jokes to the contrary). It may be "better" to remain single to some people, but there sure are a bunch of godly people getting married (and we'll assume that my thoughts on the subject are not just to copy them or to want what someone else has). 2) Lots of people that I consider peers are now involved in relationships heading for marriage. 3) I'm not. 4) I should wait for the right one to come along (that thought is from the aforementioned book). And now, the random ones: 5) Even people who are not significant others have varying levels of friendship, and it means something different in thought and deed in each case. 6) I shouldn't expect my friendships to match the friendships of other people; they may be equivalent in value and "realness", just not identical. (Or, just for the sake of anti-ness, the anthesis of that thought is that I'm not as good as other people and thus my friendships are not the same for that reason).

So what do all those points mean to me? Numbers 5 & 6 monopolize my thoughts, at least for tonight. What my mind is thinking is that whatever I am is not good enough. I'm not saying I have an inferiority complex. In fact, I probably think too highly of myself, thinking that I have something to offer and that my thoughts and actions are valuable even beyond myself. But what I am saying is that whatever I am, funny or stupid, smart or senseless, nice or rude, funny looking or cute, is generally not "attractive" to people. Actually, maybe it is to an extent--the extent of making people laugh. Laughter is good, but it is not the basis for anything real of course. So my "crazy freaky slow java joe" ness might gain me friends, even good friends, but almost always not the best of friends.

So I see friendships all around me, and of course I compare them to my friendships, and I am filled with joy at times, but tempted with thinking "I wish my friendships were that good" at times, or maybe, "I'm not 'good' enough for friendships like that", that is, good in the eyes of anyone else, not really in my own eyes. I think sometimes my personality conflicts with my mind. For example, I'm not what you might call a "physical" person (at least I don't allow myself to be). So when I see other people with friendships involving that particular sense, I think, "Wow people hug me like once a year." Okay, so it's not that bad, but you get the point. Now, does that mean that I should get out of my comfort zone and, like, hug people, or go up to people and say, "Hug me please"? (Would I really even want that?) Or should I just tell self to be quiet and realize that friendships are different, and not always better or worse? That's a lesson that actually I'm just starting to think about (different vs better friendships). Maybe I'll have more to say about that at another time.

So to return to my main topic, life tells me, in plenty of teeny little instances, that I am nice or something like that, but not right for anyone, at least not yet. Even back to my freshman or sophomore year in college (yeah it's only 3 years, but it seems like a long time now), people have told me that I'm "nice" and would make a good husband some day. That's definitely a compliment, and I hope that my life would always evoke that sort of thinking on the part of the world at large. But, I would hope that someday, out of the blue, that sort of thinking would be evoked in some certain individual who relates it to herself in particular, and not just in a general platonic sense. So far, I have no knowledge of any such person, and pardon my bitterness but I doubt that it has seriously entered anyone's mind. I'm not saying that God doesn't have someone picked out, I'm just saying I would be surprised if she had any thought of it at the moment.

So, my advice to myself is to continue pressing on, not worrying too much about being "good enough" to attract people, but rather just being "good" in God's sight, continually learning more about how to live in love to God and man, and how to make a difference in whatever small way I can. My advice is also to not be concerned too much about my friendships....to enjoy them, and cherish them, and cultivate them, and make the best of them, but not to expect too much of them, and to realize that friendships are not always to be compared as better or worse in all cases (or maybe in any cases). Maybe someday I'll live up to that advice.