I am Enough from Darrah Parker

I am Enough from Darrah Parker

I’ve always felt like there were two conflicting sides to me. The practical girl and the dreamer. The go-getter and the nap-lover. The health food junky and the chocolate obsessed. On any given day, I hear myself saying, “I feel both this AND that” or “I want to do both of these things simultaneously” or “I can’t decide because both ways make sense.” I am often torn between two ideas or wish I could be in two places at once. I can blame it on my Gemini brain, but at this point, I’ve accepted that it’s just the way I am.

Lately, this character trait of mine is getting a bit exhausting. It’s just not physically (or mentally) possible for me to do two things at once or to be in two places at once.

Believe me. I’ve tried.

I’m not talking about basic, run of the mill multi-tasking. I’m talking about a bigger feeling – one that doesn’t allow me to rest. One that that tells me there’s still more to do. That I haven’t done enough. That I am not enough.

While working on one thing, I am often thinking about what I have to do next or what I should be doing instead of what I am doing. Sometimes, I am even thinking that I should be relaxing and find myself feeling guilty for not relaxing enough. And when I am relaxing, I’m not really relaxed because I’ve got one foot in the room and another foot somewhere else completely.

Oy! Have I mentioned how exhausting this is?

I realize that this feeling is probably common when starting a new business. Over the past year, I’ve pushed through this feeling over and over again. In that amount of time, I decided I wanted to quit my job and within a few months, I did just that. I quit my job because I had outgrown my old job, but mostly I quit because it was time to listen to the creative whispers I’d been hearing for years. I decided I wanted to make a living by being myself. By doing what I love. I stepped away from a full-time job with benefits, picked up my beloved camera, and decided once and for all that I WAS ENOUGH.

I have accomplished so much in a short amount of time and am living the life I envisioned. I should be celebrating, yet here I sit with dark circles under my eyes, a to-do list a mile long, and the gnawing feeling that I’ve forgotten to do something and that someone is going to think that I’m not prepared.

And there it is. That is at the crux of where this feeling comes from. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with details and would rather wait until I have all the facts before leaping because I don’t want to be unprepared. Or even worse. To appear unprepared.

But the reality of life is that you can never be prepared. Just when you think you are, life will knock you upside the head with unexpected beauty or pain or joy or __________ (fill in the blank).

There will ALWAYS be more to do. But this precious moment will never exist again. So it’s time to step away from the computer, the laundry, the do-list, the treadmill, and say once and for all:

I have done enough. I AM ENOUGH.


About Darrah Parker


Darrah Parker is a Seattle-based portrait, family, and “slice of life” photographer. Armed with her camera, she is on a constant search for the joy in everyday life, beauty in the over-looked and under-appreciated, and the magic in simple moments. She lives with her musician husband in Seattle and can be found most days at a coffee shop or farmers market, usually with a camera in hand. She shares her photography on her website and thoughts on living a creative life on her blog. She sells fine art photography prints in her Etsy shop and is available for portrait sessions in the Seattle area and beyond.

  • Jeanne
    Posted at 11:56h, 29 June Reply

    This article could have been written about me! I have the same feelings of never being enough. No matter what I do or accomplish I always find a way to convince myself that I could have done better or I should have done more. My mind is always working – it hardly ever rests until it has to because I’ve exhausted it so much. I often wonder if that is good for the brain to be in constant motion or will I just wear it out and use it up sooner? Is that possible? The part about always wanting to be prepared really hit home with me. I believe that is the perfectionist in me. I don’t want to start things until I have them all worked out in my head. I want my ideas to be as perfect as they can and to encompass every possible glitch in the road so that I will be prepared for anything. I am going through something like that right now where I ruminate over and over trying to think of every angle about a decision I have to make. It’s all so very exhausting! I need to learn to say – I have done all I can do – I have done enough – I am enough!!!

  • Tracy
    Posted at 17:59h, 29 June Reply

    Hi, I’m unable to grab the "I am enough" button for some reason.
    The image isn’t showing up. I copied and pasted the image url but still nothing.
    Am I doing something wrong?

  • lifeineden {amy}
    Posted at 19:42h, 29 June Reply

    "I don’t want to be unprepared. Or even worse. To appear unprepared."

    Oh this is SO who I am. It was the hardest part of my former career, the many times that the unexpected happened and you had to twist and bend and run with it. But it is so strange, that while I loathed that part of my job, I still tended to seek out those situations. As I’m getting older, I’m coming to accept that part of myself. Learning that, even unprepared, I often do a pretty darn good job.

    Thanks for reminding me, I’m not the only one 🙂

  • darrah parker
    Posted at 02:20h, 30 June Reply

    Tracey, thank you so much for the opportunity to share my "I Am Enough" story. I love what you are doing with the Collaborative and am so proud to be a part of it! xoxo

  • Bethany
    Posted at 03:35h, 30 June Reply

    This post completely describes me. Sometimes it’s comforting simply to know that someone is in the exact same boat as you at the same time. Here’s hoping that the wind and weather favors both of our boats’ courses. 🙂

  • traceyclark
    Posted at 04:25h, 30 June Reply

    Tracy can you right click on the button and save it? then you can add it to your blog and insert the url for the iae page. try that. crossing fingers that works for you!

  • juliette crane
    Posted at 17:29h, 30 June Reply

    thank you so much for this beautiful story. my heart is just SOARING! Thank you!

  • mindy
    Posted at 22:58h, 30 June Reply

    this is beautifully written and something i can so relate to!
    i work so hard to be content with myself, with my stuff and with my life. it seems i work at this on a daily basis.

    always feeling like i’m missing something, but not knowing what it is.

    often feeling like i’m being left behind. but behind what?

    life is such a mystery!

  • Connie
    Posted at 06:58h, 05 July Reply

    The funny thing is that I know Darrah personally….and she inspires me incredibly….just by being herself…by being, in my opinion–more then enough–like a second slice of cheesecake–or a double shot of espresso.

  • Diana Trout
    Posted at 01:17h, 06 July Reply

    This has been a great thing to read. I work with teens doing art journaling and am using I Am Enough as a prompt this summer in the workshop series. i thank you for your inspiration and the honesty and beauty of what you all have written. I blogged about the workshops prompt here

  • Kim
    Posted at 19:09h, 07 July Reply

    Beautifully written. I feel as though we are kindred spirits… I can relate to everything you expressed in your piece. It is so hard to become accustomed to feeling as though I am enough when I have carefully cultivated and harbored a lifetime’s worth of messages quite the opposite.
    I think you hit upon something key though….. the ‘appearance’ of not being prepared is different than not being prepared. What we fear is others’ judgements of our worthiness. And that risk we are taking is that of listening to our own hearts rather than the competitive judgements of others.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Congratulations on your new endeavors – they are going go be splendid, because they have launched from within your soul. Which is really the jump-off point we are all searching for, isn’t it? 😉

  • niko
    Posted at 23:28h, 22 July Reply

    I am so glad that I stumbled on this blog (via Sweeteventide) and I am even happier that I read your entry. I don’t know if it’s because I am also a Gemini, but every last word that you wrote resonated within me! I was completely freaked out the whole time wondering when I wrote this! Hahaha. Everything happens for a reason and in its time…I needed to read this today more than I can even explain. Thank you so much for Darrah for giving me a shake and waking me up!

  • Michel
    Posted at 20:33h, 29 July Reply

    sigh…. "Or even worse. To appear unprepared." dude. you nailed it . wow. great read and thanks so much for sharing this.

Post A Reply to Tracy Cancel Reply