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.