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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cincinnati chapter.


I made change after change on the road to perfection but whenever I felt beautiful enough, the definition of beauty suddenly changed. Sometimes I wasn’t fair enough, sometimes wasn’t tan enough, wasn’t skinny enough, wasn’t chubby enough. Sometimes I did not have the ideal measures, did not carry the best style, couldn’t keep up with the trends. Every time I just wasn’t enough. I gathered every bit of courage from every part of my little heart but whenever I felt strong enough, I was told I am meant to be gentle. Strength and muscularity wouldn’t pair well with my six-inch heels. Whenever I felt empowered enough to make others hear my voice, they said my voice wasn’t bold enough and softness would not travel far in this world full of noises. Whenever I felt vulnerable enough to speak my truth, to pour my heart out to someone, I was reminded that it ends in heartbreak, that love was hard in this world full of hatred. 

It scares the hell out of me to admit this and it scares me even more to share it with you, but I’m going to say it anyway: I was so afraid of not being good enough. 

“I, and you, deserve far better.”

The fear of not being good enough. It would manifest itself as long, hard hours spent toiling and taxing, practicing and trying to perfect things as much as possible before I ever let anyone within earshot of them. Sometimes it manifested itself as stagnation and procrastination, to delay the inevitable act of doing the thing that I hadn’t actually convinced myself that I was even capable of. Sometimes it manifested itself as excuses and (totally logical to me) arguments to prove to myself, and everyone else, that I’m not good enough to do that because of this 31-point list of reasons. And sometimes, it just sat there, dormant and dull inside my quaking chest, a heaviness anchored in want. And shame, for feeling like I don’t have what it takes to get what I really want.

Then it struck me, what if there was no finish line? What if there was nothing called enough? What if we were butterflies trying to fit among moths?

It’s the paralyzing expectations we have of ourselves that aren’t good enough. It’s the way we talk to ourselves – belittling, badgering, bullying – that’s not good enough.

I, and you, deserve far better. 

There’s unimaginable power within us. We’re unstoppable, even with our mismatched socks, yoga pants and ponytail. It’s not what we wear, but how we wear it – with pride and strength. Our voice may be small, but it deserves to be heard. Our fragility is not our weakness. We conquer the world with love and kindness. 

There are way too many miracles happening within me for me to be judged by this world. The only person I have to measure up to is myself. My truth is not and will never be up for debate. My worth cannot be defined by hands that cannot hold me. 

What I feel surest of is that, in this moment, here and now, I’m not enough, no – I’m far more.

There has to be a place in the world for a woman like me. A place where fragility is not forsaken. A place where gentleness is a sign of strength. Find me a home where love speaks softly and meekness is sort out of the shadows. Where tongues are not weapons and truth prevails. Tell me, where do I belong in a world gone mad? How does a whispering heart pierce all of this noise? 

-Anusha Chitranshi

Anusha is a current contributor for Her Campus Cincinnati.