“I don’t know how you do it all.”
Those words tear at my heart each time they are directed my way. It’s usually after someone has stopped by the store, seen my neatly filtered photos on Instagram, or watched me wrangling my two beautiful children out in public.
I smile politely and say something to the effect of, “You are too sweet,” and carry on with the conversation.
Here is the truth I desperately want you to hear. I don’t do it all. I don’t have it all. No one does.
This last year my world was turned upside down in ways I never imagined. The life I’d fallen inexplicably in love with was no longer mine. It was devastating, heartbreaking, gut wrenching and raw. I was standing in front of a path of uncertainty, doubt, and betrayal. This discomfort and pain would be my home for months.
I told myself I’d never open the Mercantile again. I cancelled openings. I cried. I clung to my family. I searched for answers in people that couldn’t give them to me. I stood still, not ready to put one foot in front of the other.
And then one day I woke up. It wasn’t a full awakening but that hazy place between sleep and restlessness. I took a chance. I opened the store. I took one day at a time. I put one foot in front of the other but I was still looking back. I learned it is not possible to walk forward with your gaze fixed on what is behind you. I stumbled. I forgot who was responsible for my happiness. I cried. I went back to my family. I started searching again.
Then I found her. Not the woman who has it all but the one who isn’t afraid to admit she only has enough.
I cried - tears of joy. Hurt will continue to be apart of my narrative but it is being overwritten by joy. Joy that sparkles in the eyes of the two humans who call me mom. Joy that I dusted off after not fully appreciating. Joy I find in every person who supports my dream of the Mercantile.
I clung to my family - the ones who were by my side every step of the way. Allowing me to stumble, allowing me to fall, but never allowing me to stay down. The ones who asked the hard questions but withheld judgement of my answers. The friends who may not have said a word of encouragement but who spoke volumes when their eyes met mine.
I put one foot in front of the other - looking straight ahead. Purpose and hope now guiding me. I parted ways with things that do not serve me.
When you tell me, “I don’t know how you do it all,” you’ll now know the truth. I don’t. You don’t have to either.
Having it all is a myth. Having enough is the truth. If you’ve ever felt like your life doesn’t measure up to someone else's. Don’t. If you think someone else’s love is something to be envied. Don’t. If you feel guilty that your life doesn’t look like the person’s next to you. Don’t. If you’ve ever imagined what it must be like to have it all. Don’t.
Stop looking outward and start looking inward. You don’t have it all, but you can have enough. What is enough may change with each season but recognize what fills your heart with contentment. What makes your dark days bearable. What gives your life purpose. Let that be enough. Let being you right now, as you are, be enough.