Disclaimer: This post is hard for me to write because this growth process is still so raw. I think I've already dealt with this notion about three times this morning, and I've only had one cup of coffee. Thanks for being willing to journey with me, even when my thoughts are unfinished.
I've been called a lot of things in life, but the label that sticks inside my head is High Maintenance.
My dad used to call me HM for short. HILARIOUS, Dad. While it was meant to be a term of endearment and it really did make me feel known and loved at the time, I didn't realize how much it would stick with me into the future.
I'm dramatic. I put on treadmill shows, for heaven's sake.
I frequently say things like, "I'm so hungry I might die" and I typically speak in absolutes, ALL THE TIME. (See what I did there?)
I am very particular about how I like my veggies cooked. I like 'em charred, not mushy.
I like to eat healthy, but I also like to indulge. (And I expect my husband to read my mind as to which one I want at any given time.) (Do I sense a Wife Rules series comin' on?)
My love language is gifts. How did I get the most high maintenance love language? Outta my face, you QUALITY TIME, people. I'm not selfish.
My expectations are quickly shattered because they live on mountain tops with unicorns, fairy tales, and the ability to drink as much coffee as you want without your pee turning an alarming shade of yellow.
As soon as I started teaching, I knew I wasn't doing it right, so I threw everything out the window and started over.
I'm restless, about 18/7, which is why I have trouble sitting down for an entire movie.
When people ask me how I like teaching, Texas, etc., I'm painfully honest. This is not because I'm a pessimist, but because my dreams are constantly running through my head, as well as a meter of how close I am to meeting those dreams. Texas doesn't have MOUNTAINS. Do you expect me to lie to your face?
The world wants people who ride the line of mediocrity.
Too much is "extra," and not enough is slacker city.
I've always been too much.
For this reason, I've spent my life carefully concealing parts of me. I want to be determined, but not so much so that I make others feel uncomfortable or resent me. I want to go after my dreams, think outside the box, break the mold, but I also know it's painful not to be "normal" or to do something that people aren't used to. I want to be stylish, but I'm often afraid I'll look like I'm faking it.
Sometimes I let the shame of "too much" wash over me and stifle my willingness to be who I truly am.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." -Matthew 5:14-16
God lit that lamp in you, and you are trying to stifle it, sister. Stop.
Instead of seeing my "too much" as a thing I have to deal with and manage, I want to see it as a get to. It's something that makes me so uniquely me that when I find my people, they'll be my tribe for life--because I'm all in, even in this world of halfway.
Here is the some of the greatness my "too much" brings:
(...in case you haven't experienced it first hand.)
- I frequently text friends gushy messages after hanging out with them, explaining what a blessing they are to my life.
- I am ALLTHETOOMUCH in marriage, but it makes for some pretty hilarious situations. I'm pretty sure Presley never has to guess where I stand on something--except for that healthy food v. unhealthy food thing.
- My writing dreams have been a mile high for as long as I can remember. Believing so deeply that I will reach my dreams has kept a constant thread and consistent effort running through my life, no matter the season.
- I'm definitely TOO MUCH as a teacher. Ask my students. Mostly, I don't settle for "good" content, lessons, products, when I can push students to "better."
- Growth in general is a huge value in my life. I always think everything can be improved upon, which means I will always work to improve them, or help others do the same.
Are you afraid of being too much? What greatness can that light bring?
Resources for Encouragement + Growth
Wild and Free, by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan: Okay, confession. I've heard a ton about this book, but I never knew the subtitle: A Hope-Filled Anthem for the Woman Who Feels She is Both Too Much and Never Enough. I mean, nothing is better than writing a vulnerable blog post, and discovering that someone already wrote an entire book on it! I'm feelin' a group book club that needs to happen? Who's in?! (Let me know in the comments, or on Insta.)
Always Enough + Never Too Much, by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan: This book has not yet released, but is the devotional companion to Wild and Free.
Uninvited, by Lysa Terkeurst: Book club, book club, book club at lunch! (Like on Zoolander? Just me? Okay, nevermind.) But, for realsies. I've been wanting to read this book with a group of friends forever.
Which one should we choose first?