You always felt you were too much for him, with your spirited heart and vibrant laugh, your reflective mind and unabashed emotion.
Him, who liked to keep things simple, uncomplicated. Nothing serious, nothing deep, nothing complex. Nothing that would make him think or feel.
Scared to frighten him away, you did what you always do.
You made yourself less.
Piece by piece, you tore off the parts of you that you thought would be more than he could handle. You lay them out thinly between pages of the tattered book you keep—the one that hides all the parts of yourself you’ve been afraid to show the world.
You made yourself more manageable, more palatable, easier to handle. Because if this is what it would take for him to accept you, want you, maybe one day even love you, then you would do it. It would be worth it, for him.
For a long time you pretended you were happy. Maybe sometimes you even thought you were. But sometimes those torn-off parts called out to you, and your body ached to have them back, to be complete again. No, you told them. You are too much, you’ll only frighten him away, as you pressed the pages together once more.
You tried to convince yourself you could survive this way, as a silhouette—no substance, no soul. But you were empty, hollow, wasted away. Weightless, you struggled to hold yourself up any longer. You needed those parts of yourself back, the ones that held you together, the ones that made you whole.
And so, one piece at a time, you began to restore yourself. Slowly, quietly. Maybe he wouldn’t notice. Or maybe if he did, he would somehow learn to love those extra parts of you anyway.
The more complete you became, the harder it was to fight the truth of you. You began to share your mind, speak your thoughts. To laugh with abandon, to allow joy, sadness, anger, enthusiasm, fear, confidence, love—all emotion—to flow from you like water, like the tears he always told you not to cry. You embraced your imagination, passion, creativity, intellect, complexity, intuition, your wild spirit and ferocious heart.
You became who you were always meant to be.
And then, he left.
You became too much.
You blamed yourself, as if you had done something wrong. If only you had stayed small, less. If only you had kept those parts of yourself hidden, like they had always been. If only you hadn’t scared him away.
No, dear heart.
You weren’t too much for him.
He was never enough for you.
You need more than a silly boy who scares easily. A boy who is only willing to dip his toes in shallow water for fear of the deep. A boy who has no interest beyond the surface of your skin—to the beautiful enigma beneath.
You need a man with the heart of a warrior, brave and loyal and fearless and strong. Deep and passionate and as filled with the complexities of the universe as you are.
Maybe you will find him. Maybe you won’t. Either way, it does’t matter.
For he is not the hero of this story.
Because you are enough. And all you will ever need is within you.
Within your goddamn glorious, wondrous too much.
Author: Kathy Parker
Image: Clem Onojeghuo
Editor: Toby Israel