Today I read a poem that perfectly describes who I want to be. Who I hope I am, at least a little. It describes a woman with a gift of seeing possibility, whose eyes are “drenched in magic,” whose hope is contagious, who makes everyone around her believe they, too, are worthy of a charmed existence.
Inspiration flooded me as I read the poem, but was tempered as I thought of A, who says I’m too much of a dreamer; and P, for whom my intensity is too strong; and J, for whom my standards are too high; and D, for whom my desire for transparency is too frightening; and all the people everywhere who have labeled me as too something.
And today I realize that my desire to cling, to make a home with someone, my incessant questions regarding whether this can work, my tendency to hold myself back from fear it won’t, my constant seeking of assurances and commitments, my attempts to fit inside someone else’s world, it all makes me small. It makes me forget who I am, who I want to be.
Perhaps I AM too much. Perhaps I’m too intense, too cerebral, too idealistic, too chaotic, too fill-in-the-blank to fit comfortably in anyone’s daily life. But perhaps it’s all these things that have given me the gift of seeing possibility and made my hope contagious. C is not the only one who felt herself drawn to me the moment we met. B is not the only one who fell in love with my mind. S is not the only one who said I make her want to be a better person, M is not the only one who says that I have changed her life. And they are not the only ones who have told me I’m too much. But perhaps these things—these beautiful ways I have of inspiring connection—are the very things that MAKE me “too much.” I am easy to fall in love with. Perhaps this makes me impossible to live with.
And perhaps my work is to embrace this. Just because there are people whose lives I’m not meant to be a permanent fixture in does not mean I’m not meant to be in their lives at all. Perhaps I am meant to be a flood, a flash of lightning, a rainbow in the lives of many and not a constant in the life of one. Not everyone we love is meant to be forever. But that doesn’t mean we’re not meant to experience and embrace each other in the present for however long it lasts.
Maybe love is not something that happens once in a lifetime. Maybe love is something we ought to give over and over, without condition, without reservation, without expectation. Maybe in holding back, in reserving love for only that one person we are meant to build a life with, we do ourselves—and the world—a great injustice.
So today I ask myself: Can I be brave? Can I allow those I love to come and go? Can I experience the passion, the joy, the overwhelming sacredness of connection, without asking for the security of commitment?