Are You Good Enough?

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Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

There’s this T-shirt I keep seeing everywhere, classic black Tee with a few simple words on the front and a rose in the middle: “Good Enough.” Maybe it’s just because I’m twenty years old and it’s that awkward time when everyone’s doing something different, but I’ve been wondering about that phrase.

How do you define what “good enough” looks like?

That T-shirt comes from former Vine sensation turned YouTuber Nathan Zed and he wanted to make a shirt that people could put on as a reminder: whatever they’re doing and whoever they are in that moment, if it feels good, then it’s good enough.

He has this quote in his You’re Not Good Enough video, saying “I just hate feeling like the most unqualified person in the room.”

I don’t think anyone likes that feeling. But when someone wants to get good at something, they’re going to have to learn the ropes and let themselves feel unqualified at first. If I wanted to be better at piano, I would need to learn how to read sheet music, play easy songs and slowly raise the bar.

samuel-zeller-358865-unsplashBecause that’s the thing— in this case I set the bar. 

It doesn’t always feel like that.

Take college for example; people can judge you off the school you get into, whether or not you leave home, the major you apply for, and what you want to do for the rest ofyour life. If you’re liberal arts at an engineering school, you’re not good enough. If you stay home for school and go to a CC (and save copious amounts of money among other benefits), you’re not good enough.

I want to know who makes these rules, but I guess the answer is that technically, we do. We should change them.

I’m at the age where some people are getting married or starting families while others are working or going to college and travelling the world. Everyone is at a different place and it’s hard to say that what you’re doing feels like enough when everyone else seems like they’re doing more.

On social media people post things like “just got back from Cancun!” or “made the Dean’s List again lol.” You see all the good things or accomplishments because of course people danielle-macinnes-222441-unsplashare going to publicize things when they’re going well, not even for other recognition, but just to acknowledge themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that.

There is something wrong with us believing that because someone is smiling or things look like they’re going well, everything is as fantastic as it looks and we just don’t have what it takes to get there.

Now for those of you who are doing great, know you’re doing great, and feel secure in that, fantastic! Good for you, keep doing your thing.

For those of you who aren’t or don’t quite feel that way, remember that it’s okay because I know I struggle with feeling like I’m doing enough or being enough both for myself and the people I love. This is a reminder to start from where you are and do what you can to get yourself to where you want to be.

I know it sounds like I’m preaching self-love here… Because I am. Before you please anyone else, you have to figure out what you want for yourself and make that happen. No one else can. Once you’re happy with that, be okay with it and wherever you end up next.

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Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

You are good enough only if you can accept where you’re at and do what it takes to get to where you want to be. So here’s to a weekend that just might be good enough for you, good luck and happy Friday everyone.

PS. If you’re looking into those shirts I talked about, check them out here because I think the concept is a pretty wholesome one.

From History to History Makers– BHM Week 4

dawid-zawila-279998Black History Month Week 4 and today I want to tell to you about something that isn’t quite our history yet— here are some of the people who are in the process of making black history.

If you saw Obama’s tweet this week then you know what I mean when I say that young people truly are making change these days. From artists and activists to businesswomen and basic everyday people with more to give, we’ve got a lot of people to be on the lookout for. Lucky for you, I picked out just a few.


One

tumblr_ogmsl1cgf41u05srlo1_1280Let’s start with the artists, here is one guy to know the name of: Tsoku Maela. Raised in Cape Town, this young photographer focuses on the idea of mental health and normalizing the stigma of it, especially for black people. Earning the spotlight with his series of Abstract peaces (take a look here), his photos create a “visual diary of a subject at different stages of their depression and anxiety” when it isn’t all just one emotion or one state of being. As an artist, especially a black artist, I think it is important for people like Maela to explore their culture and more importantly, spread how it has influenced their own lives in a way that can change the lives of others— even if that change comes through awareness like it does here. I’m excited to see what he can do in the future and if you want to get to know more about him or who he is and what he does, take a quick peek at his website or his tumblr!

Two

clem-onojeghuo-228522-unsplash.jpgNow for your activists, let’s take a look into the life of Martese Johnson; if you think you’ve heard that name before, you probably have. That’s because he was one of too many caught on video being thrown to the ground in a police misconduct situation back in 2015— he didn’t quite fit the stereotype of a black kid in handcuffs though. As a student on the black alliance board at University of Virginia and an accompanist to Bernie Sanders at several rallies in the wake of the incident, he’s got quite the positive image built up for himself.  Johnson not only is an activist and a voice, but he is a representation of making good in a bad situation even if you have to do it yourself. In the future, he hopes to follow through on projects on African Americans and the media, maybe even running for public office one day.

Three

olu-eletu-38649-unsplashGrowing up in times like these, it only makes sense to talk about the business masterminds: Bianca Jeanty & Netta Dobbin. In their mid twenties, these two women have already created a company and kicked it out of the nest to watch it fly. MiMConnect is an “emerging networking platform that creates access to people of color with job opportunities, resources and a nationwide network in the media industry.”

Growing up, I’ve learned the difficulties of entering the professional world as an African American; from hairstyles to unfair treatment, this company aims to combat that struggle in creating their own space and helping other companies diversify theirs in the process. These two ladies have used an incredible amount of business and tech to get them to where they are today— maybe if I’m lucky they can help me find a job after I graduate too!

Four

ian-schneider-66374-unsplash.jpgLast, but never the least, let’s talk about someone we all should know by now: us. We are the people who may not always feel that we’re making a difference, yet somehow, one little thing can become everything. Take someone like Mikaila Ulmer, the business owner at 4 years old— she had to start somewhere and began where every one of us do: with a curiosity and a passion to follow it. How about Moziah “Mo” Bridges who just wanted to dress well and became 15 CEO of Mo’s Bows by age 15— the rest of us want to look good too don’t we? Start there. Or even like one of my favorites, Nathan Zed, your entertainer and every day guy with everyday problems who somehow managed to catch the world’s eye. By being themselves, these three all started small with something they cared about, and ended up on paths towards a cause much bigger than themselves.


Though I’ve only highlighted a few, there are countless people who are going to make a big difference in the world around them and they don’t even know it yet. As Black History Month comes to an end, it’s important octavian-rosca-369460-unsplashto remember that this celebration goes beyond 28 days. It is a culture. One that we need to pay attention to. Because this world truly is changing and the people who are changing it come from an immense amount of cultures and backgrounds. Soon enough, some of these people will be making new history and I am excited to be a part of it.

I hope you are too.

P.S. My 2 newest articles are up on HerCampus, check them out here and here if you’re interested (the second one is a fun one)! And I’ve got something exciting and new to share with you to finish off this month so be on the lookout for Tuesday 🙂 Happy Friday everyone