Back in the 1960s, my aunt was dating the son of the local Squire. His mother took her to one side and told her she must not be thinking of marriage as she was not suitable. He had lands and a (minor) title; she, as the daughter of a yeoman farmer, was not good enough for him.
Today my family tell this tale with rueful amusement, but I can imagine the indignation and hurt those words must have caused. Nobody wants to be told they are not good enough.
It must be acknowledged, however, that for mothers, no woman is ever good enough for her son. I have a sneaky feeling my own mother-in-law, even after twenty-two years, still looks me askance; I am still not good enough for her little boy.
It’s not just relationships; we can be told we’re not good enough in other areas. As some of you know, I spent fifteen years as an accountant. I don’t know how I ever thought accountancy was for me: I cannot add up a column of figures and get the same answer twice, but I managed to qualify as a chartered accountant and to work my way up to assistant finance director of a multi-million-pound organisation.
I really wasn’t “good enough” to do that job effectively and eventually I was asked to resign. My finance director did it so beautifully I left feeling empowered and hopeful. I will always be grateful to her and will always remember her words.
“Mary,” she said. “You’re a lovely person. You work so hard. You have lots of skills and talents. They’re not, however, the skills and talents you need to do this job. You don’t just need to leave this role; you need to find another career in which you can excel.”
After fifteen years of struggling with accountancy, wondering why I just wasn’t good enough, no matter how hard I tried, I was given this revelation: accountancy and I just did not fit together: round peg; square hole.
The American Statute of Independence starts with these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” Equal, but not the same. Each of us has different abilities, different talents, different strengths and different weaknesses.
With the shortage of workers in this country right now: it seems everyone is recruiting; I have been wondering if I should help the economy and get a part-time job. My business as an Image Consultant and Personal Stylist does not need to take up all my time and the extra money would be welcome. My buddy group have stamped firmly on this idea, pointing out that my health situation does not allow me to work more than I do now. They point out that my writing here and the transformation process I offer to my clients is contribution enough.
We are always good enough; we just need to find where we fit and are appreciated.
(And, more on “Enough” next week.)
A Moodscope member.