All of my life I have been told I was too much. When I was a child, a teacher sat me down and told me I was too aggressive because I punched a girl that had turned my last name into Walrus instead of Wallace. During my childhood I was told by several adults that I was too confrontational, that I would never make it in the world unless I listen to them, then obeyed their directions. The term cry baby should be replaced with the word Tanisha because I am too emotional, some have said.
My mother would warn me of the dangers of crying too much, saying “you can’t just break down and cry, WHENEVER.” I listened to the adults in my life, always assuming that their opinion was fact. I was, in fact, too much for the world around me. In my quest to be more acceptable, I began a little dance; observe what people wanted from me, decide what they could handle, curve myself to their needs. Make myself less of too much so I could be tolerated, and if I am tolerated, I am successful
When I met Peter, he decided that I was just enough, like the baby bear portion of porridge, for little red riding hood. It was exceptional! To be loved in all of my too much glory. To be able to express an opinion or cry if I saw a homeless puppy was a freedom I relished. But even with Peter there was a feeling that if he saw all of me, he would be frightened away, confirming everything every adult had ever told me about me. When I started writing this book, it began as something different. It began as a self-help book for young widows but I became stuck. I was trying to do what I always did, observe what I thought people needed, then perform to what I thought they could handle. This technique no longer worked. The same time I discovered my survival skill no longer worked for me, I met a woman named Teresa. Teresa is also a writer but she has been in the game for many lifetimes. As our friendship grew, I no longer had the energy to pretend and I decided to show her my “too much.” Every time we talked, I showed her more of my too much. She ate it up. She fucking adored me. She could not get enough of my inappropriate stories, the times when my “too much” would escape at the wrong times. I began a show and tell of my life, “oh yeah, wait till you hear this!”
I said it so many times to her, she began to encourage me to write it down in memoir form, saying things like “you are totally a writer! What kind of writer isn’t too much? I’ll tell you what kind; a bad one.” Her encouragement helped me see myself in a different light. Maybe every time I was “too much” was helping me become what I am in this moment. Perhaps my “too much” is preparing me for things that need too much. Stages that need “too much.” Book stores that need “too much.” People that are hurting and need my “too much.” Or maybe, it’s me. Maybe I am the one in need. Maybe I am finally ready to accept my “too much.”