Honest, hope is a verb, I choose champagne

I am not too much

A letter to those who feel as if they are too much,

I don’t know where I was, probably in a Van Zandt class in college where she reminded us that women are allowed to take up space. But I remember looking at how I was sitting.
You see, I’ve always been bigger. I’ve had moments where I thought I was big, that now I know I wasn’t.
I’ve always been afraid of physically taking up too much space.

That day though, in the moment, I remember looking at myself and looking at my body language. I was sitting against a wall as close I could be with all my stuff in my tight little area.
And I thought, why am I doing this? There was plenty of space in the classroom, I was at my own table.
I was allowed to take up space.

But, of course, in the back of my mind, I heard I small voice say, “Don’t take up too much space…”.
And the battle continued.

This isn’t about me though. This is for you. The one sitting here reading this. Either a human I know who clicked this link out of kindness or someone who followed the tag I posted.

You are allowed to take up space.

Taking up space looks literally different to everyone.

For instance, long ago I decided I was allowed to take a table by myself at a bar to write. I’m a good customer. I tip well, I order multiple things. I take an appropriate table. I’m kind.

I can take up this space.

You are allowed to take up space.

I’m not saying push yourself on people or sprawl out across a table meant for ten humans.
I’m saying you don’t have to walk around like you don’t matter.

Because, holy hell, you do.

I’m not saying to verbal vomit on a person who clearly doesn’t have the ability to hold your story.

I’m saying to remember that there are people who do.
Feeling you are too much is so hard. It’s a lot of apologizing for existing, it’s choosing to not share an opinion or even offer a suggestion on where to eat.

It’s feeling as if you aren’t allowed to move on to the next because what you leave in your wake would be too much.

Feeling like you are too much makes you feel as if you are not entitled to the space around you.
It’s feeling like every problem you have is something that you must solve alone because you are a broken record.

I want you to know you aren’t alone.
I want you to know I’ve been there.

I’ve spent a lot of my life being told I’m not enough by people and factors around me. I’ve been physically told I’m too much, too sensitive, too depressed, that I’m doing it for attention.

I’ve gotten looks on airplanes from seatmates as I try to lean as far as possible away from the humans around me.
I’ve been told from across a store that something won’t fit me by an employee as I reached up to grab it.
I’ve lost friends over my emotions and been ghosted for my opinions when I choose to share them.

I want you to know you aren’t alone.
I want you to know I’ve been there.
I want you to know, you ARE NOT too much.

And you, human being reading this, whether I know you or not, YOU are allowed to take up space.
With love,

ramblings, washington whimsy

the moment I realized I wasn’t normal 

I don’t really know at what point in my life I realized there was a difference between being normal and being not normal. There was a moment though, I think maybe, in the season of my life that I was made fun of for my voice and I realized people were mean, that I distinctly got the impression that something about me didn’t fit-I wasn’t normal. I wasn’t going to be the one picked or chosen or wanted.

A memory came to me tonight, very strongly, so I called my mom to ask her about it. I was young, maybe 8 or 9, and I had written my Grandma Reeve, who lived in Kansas, a card about not being normal. I remember the feeling I had when I had the epiphany, but I can’t place the why. Then, in return, my grandma had written back that she was my “not-normal” grandma.

I haven’t thought about that moment in years. But tonight my (exhausted) train of thought led me to that memory. And the moment in what I feel like every person life when they stumble upon the “us vs. them” and that begins to shape how they view themselves. 

It took me a long time to move away from the normal vs. not normal. A lot of heartache in my life and loneliness came from this place of feeling as if I don’t fit, feeling like I am not worth it. Like I don’t deserve it, whatever it may be.

I can be a pretty insecure human. I mostly have long stretches of wholeness with a smattering of rain clouds in them. I’m more secure than I was 10 years ago and I’m sure I will be more secure in 10 more. But, when it hits it hits.

And I think I wanted to write this in a place when it wasn’t hitting that hard.

I’m a firm believer that if you want to rock an outfit and you feel comfortable in it then go head and rock the damn outfit. If you have the confidence and belief in yourself to do something then do it. 

80% of the time I actually don’t care what people think. And that is a far cry from the teenager and twenty something who tiptoed around with the firm belief that she was too much and that people would run. 

It’s a far cry from the tiny human who didn’t believe she would ever fit in the box that is normal. 

This collection of words isn’t to define normal, because that’s way to cliche for me.

It’s a reminder that even in being who we are the little things can still sneak up and bite us. It’s a reminder that at some point in your life you reached a fork in the road that was us vs them and it shaped some part of you whether you know it or not.

My fork was normal vs. not normal. Those were my boxes for so long. So, when I have insecurity, when I feel not enough or more often feel too much, when I don’t feel wanted or needed, when my response is to run, I need to remember that little girl who didn’t feel normal. I need to remember what I’ve come from, what I’ve done and who is around me.  

So, as I start a new week, as I attempt to the best of my ability to show up for my life each day, I want to continue obliterating that thought process in my life. I want to remember that little girl who didn’t think she was normal. I want to hug her and tell her she was exactly the tiny human she needed to be. I want to tell her that it won’t get better, but it will get more whole. 

And I want to remind her to be kind to herself.

This week I need to go back to remembering that very thing.

Be kind this week, first to yourself and then onward.