At about this time two years ago, I read What if this were enough? a book of essays by Heather Havrilesky. After a prolonged self-improvement/professional development rampage, I was having a bit of an existential crisis and that somehow led me to Havrilesky’s book (along with Oliver Burke’s delightful The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking and Anne Lamott’s essential book, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope).
My kitchenette remodel notwithstanding, I have started to train myself to be satisfied with what I have and who I am. Our society is a bit relentless and promoting the ongoing pursuit of acquiring more and more and becoming better and better. It’s exhausting.
We all need a time out. Or maybe we just need an out.
Something about this book sticks with me in a way that others often don’t. It’s a cautionary tale about striving for a perfect state of perfection. Havrilesky reminds us there is no ideal version of us waiting in the future. All we have is our imperfect selves in the imperfect now.
You don’t need to be thinner, richer, better dressed, a fancier car, three vacation homes, new jewelry, an Instagram-curated life to love yourself as you are right now. It’s a standing invitation that we can accept at any time.
So why not now? Love yourself. You can still grow and improve if you want to, but you deserve love right now.
Check out this PBS Books interview with Heather Havrilesky.