Too much AND not enough
I am TOO much!
Too emotional – Too passionate – Too opinionated – Too vulgar – Too loud
I remember events differently than others, I stand-up and YELL when I feel wronged or see others being treated poorly – I was a mama bear even before I had cubs.
I am politically incorrect, rude, unrefined, “rough around the edges”, impolite, informal and I need to “think before I speak”.
I have spent my entire life, minimizing myself
—to help make others more comfortable. To, ironically, not appear to be TOO much – to be TOO intense – because God help me if I were ever to offend someone. To make someone feel the unease I am forced to feel when I allow them to smother MY FIRE.
My fourth grade teacher was the first person who made me feel like I was a lot to handle.
In her defense…I did speak out of turn, asked too many questions and felt absolutely compelled to connect with my classmates every. moment. of every. single. day.
However, her response to my nature was to isolate me – to completely and totally shut me down. She positioned my desk facing the whiteboard behind her. I was put in an eternal timeout.
BE QUIET, LITTLE GIRL – what you have to say is of no value.
Little did she know, my spirit had not yet been broken – I simply found another way to connect and began communicating with my classmates via that whiteboard she forced me to face.
Needless to say, I was NOT her favorite student.
Fast forward to middle school where bullying and shit talking were the norm– I took it as my own personal quest to be the defender of all. I wasn’t scared to “put people in their place” or say what, I felt, “needed to be said”.
But I’ll tell you something – spending all of middle and high school fully immersed in the drama, identifying with it and even seeking it out can totally break you down. I was in trouble so often that I became close with my school’s security guards and even began seeking out physical altercations to feel “heard” and justified in my feelings.
CALM DOWN, LITTLE GIRL – your anger is misplaced and not lady-like.
This was also the time in my life when I realized I loved TOO deeply, TOO quickly and expected TOO much from high school friendships and relationships. I wanted friends to defend me as fiercely and boyfriends to adore me as deeply, as I did, them. Of course, they didn’t…
DON’T EMBARRASS YOURSELF, LITTLE GIRL – no one needs you like you need them.
My family was my safe space. My mama, my brother and I have always been close and if you know my family – you know that we can ALL be “TOO MUCH” – BUT I think I win the contest.
I’ve always been called “tender-hearted”, cried when someone spoke too firmly or loudly and have always been accused of “being dramatic” or “too intense” or simply recalling the facts of a situation in a more elaborate way than it actually occurred.
You see – I don’t recall “facts”—I recall how your words made me feel, the energy in the room and how I processed the situation – I know my empath friends can relate…
STOP BEING DRAMATIC, LITTLE GIRL – that’s not even what happened.
Do you want to know how an intensely passionate girl harnesses all of these emotions, all of this fire?
She self-harms, she cuts, she attempts to end her life – because it is physically painful to feel like you are NOT HEARD-like you are NOT SEEN.
To feel like you DO have value– something MORE to offer the world – but no one sees it but you – I feel like a ghost. Like I don’t even exist.
DON’T CUT YOURSELF, LITTLE GIRL – what will people think?
Off I go to college – more of the same.
An emotionally and sometimes physically abusive relationship makes me feel like – once again – I am too much. If I didn’t antagonize situations – things wouldn’t get so intense. I channel all of my energy into school, three jobs and club meetings – I AM NUMB – but I push through – I graduate.
STOP FIGHTING SO HARD, LITTLE GIRL – you’re just asking for it.
Entering the workforce was a scary thing for me – and I would argue that it likely is for many women. We are ALL “too emotional”, according to this world, and are often belittled or not taken seriously in our careers because of this. We sit at tables, sharing ideas that aren’t heard – we work longer hours to prove that we CAN do this damn job – with our eyes closed, by the way. Alas, we still have to kill ourselves to PROVE OUR WORTH.
Then, maybe someday, we can take time off to have a child or an actual fucking “sick day”.
My first “real job” was selling cars – I was “too honest”.
Then I managed a medical clinic – I was “too small”, “cared too much” and “acted weird about hugs and massages”.
CALM DOWN, LITTLE GIRL – it’s just a hug and a “casual” shoulder massage from your boss.
I finally landed a job in my field and was ecstatic when I was chosen to be the communications liaison for the “toughest” Vice President because they thought I could “handle him”.
For the first time – I was appreciated for my intense fire – for being TOO MUCH. But I was “too expendable” and was laid-off when budgets were cut.
During this time – I had my first child. Put a woman like me in our broken medical system and there will be trouble. From the beginning I could tell my Obstetrician did NOT love my long lists of questions or my demands that he sit back down until we get through them all…
STOP IT, LITTLE GIRL – he has other patients to get to – you are not special.
I am certain that I am not alone when I say that becoming a mama changed me – SO profoundly, SO deeply that there simply was no going back. When it came to my baby boy – I felt NO shame in how intensely I cared for him – I spent hours researching child development, medical decisions I would be responsible for, types of parenting, etc. And almost dying after having him – likely compounded my fears about being around as long as possible to keep him SAFE (that’s a post for another day).
BE CAREFUL, LITTLE GIRL – this baby NEEDS you.
And making friends as an adult, as a mama – WHY IS THIS SHIT SO HARD?! I am a natural “over-sharer” I communicate via stream of conscious, I WORD. VOMIT. I say things you should NOT say to people you just met.
Let it be known – if we are talking about the weather or some surface-level bullshit – I am so bored, I am literally in physical pain – I want DEEP, RAW, UNCOMFORTABLE, LIFE-CHANGING conversation…I don’t give a fuck if it’s supposed to rain on Tuesday or that your kid just learned how to use the potty. I mean – “YAY!” but…come on! I get severely anxious when I have to hang out with other kids’ parents.
DON’T SHARE TOO MUCH, LITTLE GIRL – they won’t understand you.
Insert another job, where I was not being valued, heard – etc., but my male counterparts were…and my baby boy was in a daycare setting that was becoming increasingly worrisome–
FUCK THIS! I. AM. DONE.
LADIES… how can we be “TOO MUCH” and simultaneously “NOT ENOUGH”. This shit is exhausting…being a woman is unreal sometimes.
And because my thoughts are always scattered – because I literally shake when I write these posts – let me break this down….here’s the takeaway – the end point to my rambling…
Finding the sweet spot between my intense FIRE and burnt-out ASHES has taken A LOT of work – and maybe other women can learn from this:
NEVER – (and I truly mean, never) STIFLE WHO YOU ARE. You are NEVER TOO MUCH and minimizing yourself is not only bad for your own well-being – it’s a disservice to the universe.
You, my love, are made of the same things as the ocean, as the moon – GIRL – YOU ARE MADE OF STARDUST. Do you doubt the wildness of the ocean, the wisdom in the stars? FUCK NO – so why are you doubting or shrinking YOU?!
We all complement one another – we need to stop comparing, competing and trying to be someone we don’t even want to be. I am INTENSE and I greatly appreciate my various friends who ground me, calm me and the ones who fuel my fire. I NEED ALL OF THEM IN MY LIFE and things wouldn’t be the same if any of them were not being their genuine selves. This is truly the ONLY thing I seek out in friendships – people who can unapologetically be WHOEVER THEY ALREADY ARE – because I know they’ll never expect me to be anything but me.
We all just want to be seen, heard, loved and truly appreciated for the magnificent creatures that we are…but you have to start by truly seeing YOURSELF first, or there’s no way we will all get the chance to see how incredible you are…and trust me, YOU ARE.