Presently: Panicked

Full disclosure: I took one and a half Tylenol PMs a little over an hour ago and am currently fighting off my over-the-counter drug induced coma to write this. You know when you get an idea right before you pass out and you don’t write it down because you’re almost asleep and you promise yourself you’ll remember the surely brilliant thought in the morning, but you never do? That’s the place where this blog post is coming from, only I knew I wouldn’t remember to write this in the morning and/or would chicken out if I didn’t just do it right now.

I’m freaking out guys. I spent most of today eating raw cookie dough and an embarrassingly large bowl of pasta while simultaneously panic-scrolling the internet for inspiration and comfort because I just realized I’m thirty-three years old and don’t have any of the things I thought I would have by my mid-30s like a stable career, a potential husband, and the ability to pay all of my bills exclusively through the auto-pay option.

This obviously isn’t the first time I’ve felt like this, it’s just the loudest. As I crept closer to my 30s, I started to panic, but was always able to quiet those thoughts because if Jessica Chastain could “make it” in her 30s, I was convinced I could too. I’m not able to convince myself of that anymore and it’s all starting to feel a little silly if I’m being honest. I feel silly. Why did I think I could do this? Why did I let myself have all these big, beautiful dreams? Why have I spent the last fourteen years of my life sacrificing a normal trajectory only to feel like I’ve settled for even less than what I was always afraid of settling for? What the actual fuck am I doing with my life?

Maybe I’m finally starting to feel the effects of the pandemic in the way everyone’s been tweeting about for the better part of 2020. That feeling of lost time. I guess I’m just a little late to the pity party. This year has boggled my mind in the most unexpected ways. I didn’t know it was possible for us all to feel so collectively stuck with no clue how to make everything less sticky. Sure, there are glimmers of hope, more-so in recent weeks. But, if/when we get un-stuck, then what? We’re all a year older and a year madder and what do we have to show for it?

I have no idea. I’m fresh out of answers and just scooped a handful of cookie crumbs out of my wireless bra, so clearly, my reasoning and logic can’t be trusted at the moment. Maybe I’ll have some answers once the diphenhydramine wears off. If you need me, I’ll be under my weighted blanket for the next eight to ten hours.

Presently: Too Much

This may come as a surprise to all of you, but… I have a flair for the dramatics.

Growing up, I had a lot of feelings and a consistent desire to share those feelings with just about anyone who came within a one mile radius of me. I think I took to performing so easily because it was the first socially acceptable outlet I found for sharing all of my highs and lows. For whatever reason, the need to share my feelings has always been there and the only times in my life when I’ve felt really out of alignment was when I was hiding my feelings or manipulating them because I never wanted to be “too much”.

That’s a phrase I’ve heard a lot in my life. “You’re too much.” It’s funny, when you get that kind of feedback over and over again, being too much actually turns into the feeling that you’re not enough, or at least, that’s been my experience.

The OG readers may remember that back in 2015 during my first sober year, I had a massive breakthrough regarding my “enough-ness”. It was in October of 2015, I was hiking Runyon (the hard side, not the tourist side) and listening to Adele (I listen to mellow music when I work out, it’s a quirk). As I struggled for air, due to a rise in elevation, both physically and emotionally, I had a thought that didn’t feel like my own, yet felt like it was coming from the inner most part of my being, and all it said was, “You are enough.” I’ve thought about that moment a lot over the last five years.

Here’s the thing, having an Adele-infused breakthrough halfway up a Hollywood hot-spot was awesome and special and life-altering, but it didn’t fix everything. It’s not like I climbed down the mountain with a new pep in my step and lived happily ever after. In fact, I think it’s actually been the exact opposite of that. That moment was just the beginning. It was the first layer of my onion and I peeled it back, only to find thousands of layers underneath it. I’ve been picking at and peeling back those layers ever since, only to find thousands more.

I’m too much, guys. We all are. That’s life. I may be an emotional over-sharer, but I’m not an anomaly, I’m not special. I think if we all looked at our lives, we’d find that we all have stories and experiences and anecdotes that are packed full of pain, sadness, joy, love… and it’s a lot. Life is full of a lot.

I wonder what would happen if we re-framed this “too much” label. How would we love and care for each other if instead of classifying someone or something as “extra”, we realized that we’re all just a bunch of onions with an excessive amount of layers? What would it look like if we all felt safe enough to peel back those layers or even help each other with the peeling?

Okay, that analogy is starting to get a little gross, but you know what I mean. Or at least, I hope you do.

As I was trying to figure out how to wrap this up, I had another one of those thoughts that came from, well, wherever they come from. I get these thoughts a lot more nowadays. This one felt familiar, but also new. It’s a thought that’s come before, but it just one-upped itself.

It said “You are more than enough”.

Be more than. Be extra. Be excessive. Embrace how much you are because it means you have that much more to offer. Be too much.