On September 30, Twitter artist and self-described “weird kid” @kaelstuff published an explosive comic, which tells us — in simple black and white:
things i wish i understood sooner: pic.twitter.com/O69vRKaHwe— kael (@kaelstuff) September 30, 2017
After years of fighting to be better, prettier, and more up on pop culture references than my peers — perhaps unconsciously, although dating apps can mess with anyone’s head — this message shook me to the core.
Could I ever possibly be enough?
From time to time, we need reminders like these: we’re all enough
Our wild hair and our misspoken words and internal regrets — some from many boyfriends ago — our “not quite there yet” careers and our scrappy shared apartments in the city of our kind-of dreams, it all adds up to… exactly enough.
This three panel comic might have brought me more clarity than any self-help book I’ve ever read (just the back of in a bookstore).
And Twitter glowed in response too
Thank you for this, I really needed it.— PetiteSCREAM (@gemsheldrake) September 30, 2017
THIS HITS ME AT ALL THE RIGHT PLACES— ケイラ (@issitchangz) October 1, 2017
thank you ; ; and this will always serves as a reminder for all of us <3
I litterally just stood up and yelled "YEAH" thanks for the reminder.— CJ Young (@youngcj190) October 1, 2017
One Twitter user did take the role of devil’s advocate, saying, “So you settle for boring? What is the point of not being interesting and interested?”
So you settle for boring? What is the point of not being interesting and interested? Are you ok with boring people around you? And a boring life? It's kinda sad...— Haubitt (@Almighthib) October 1, 2017
For a second I feel like they might have a point. A part my brain, the one that keeps my insecurities well-fed, the one that whispers I’m not good enough for that job, that boy, or that kind of life, agrees.
But @kaelstuff rejects this and keeps her ground, “So, the desire to be appreciated by others usually stems from insecurity with self. This is only motivated by the notion that you need to be ‘interesting’ and ‘beautiful.’ Forcing yourself to achieve these things despite your other interests, does nothing but drive that deeper.”
“Instead I would suggest that people dismiss the idea that all people need to be accepted by others in order to enjoy their life and instead focus on finding achievement and self-fulfillment by personal means, like study, discovery, creation, exploration. Who cares if people like you? People shouldn’t feel bad if they’re boring. In the length of your life, it’s not important.”
who cares if people like you? people shouldn't feel bad if they're boring. in the length of your life its not important (5/5)— kael (@kaelstuff) October 1, 2017
As people, and especially as women, we’re often told we’re not enough. But we must remember to strive forward, each day, with our own gifts and sense of purpose in mind. The steps you and I take toward self-acceptance are the first steps we make to become healthier versions of ourselves.
And sometimes, we need the help of allies and advocates like @kaelstuff, whose comic ushers us toward self-awareness so we rely less on letting the world define us, for us. I’m still on the path, but I will meet the day with a pure smile, knowing that “study, discovery, creation, [and] exploration” are always enough, as long as I do them for me.
Allison Krupp is an American writer, editor, and ghostwriting novelist. Between wild, multicontinental adventures, she resides in Berlin, Germany. Check out her website here.