Being too much

Wow, look how good my eyebrows look, I thought to myself as I studied my reflection in the train window.

Last night’s conversation with a close friend came crashing through my head. Funny how I never say to myself, awesome opinions or wow, you were really skillful at thinking that through. Or, way to be assertive and brave there.

It’s true. I have come to value my looks as a commodity over my brains and opinions and quirks. I am my father’s daughter, he who speaks of beauty and aesthetics, ever the artist.

And I’m starting to wonder how that’s playing out in the energy I’m sending into the world. Professionally, I’m successful. I love what I do and I’m good at it. In that setting, i value my own opinions, thoughts, behaviors. There’s still plenty of room to grow but I believe I am worthy of having a place at the table.

But in dating (and sometimes friendships) I seem to be sending a message of beauty over brains. A message of – look at me, aren’t I beautiful? But don’t stay too long, because I’m too much – too much for you to really love.

Some women play it small. Me, I’m too big, too much, too… bossy, opinionated, direct, rough around the edges.

Or at least that’s been my belief.

The first time I realized this, in therapy, I immediately heard my mother’s voice – telling me I was too much – too much for her to deal with. Too much to love? And I guess I heard it enough that I started to internalize it. Another friend, in recounting this story to, gently remarked that she’s heard me say that about myself. The wounds run deep.

But, it’s time. It’s time to retire that story. I’m a grown-ass woman. I’m not too much.

Yep, I’m bold and brash and pointy sometimes. I’m definitely bossy and opinionated. And kind and sensitive and sometimes moody. I’m funny (sometimes) and love to laugh. I’m adventurous and brave and loyal too. I am often set in my ways and get annoyed when others don’t do it my way. I’m all this and more, which is all just right. And all just imperfectly normal.

Just like every one else.

And… it is too much for some people. And I’ve already learned that those people are not my people. My friends are the ones who can handle me being righteous sometimes and upfront other times. And quiet at even other times. My people don’t live small lives either. And, they love how much I am. So why doubt that I can find a man who couldn’t do the same?

So, I’m done with those thoughts, that energy. I am how I am, and that’s just the perfect amount.

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