Too Much

In August of 2021, I took the train to Montauk for a weekend at the beach. I was at the station by noon and exploring the square by 12:30. Vendors were spread all around, selling the most beautiful handmade art. I was wowed at every turn by the craftsmanship of handmade furniture, the strokes of paintings, and the glitter of jewelry spread across the inside of a glass display case.

I was enamored with the jewelry made by a man named William Greenwood. I marveled at the pearls, with their varying shapes and colors. As he shared the story behind each piece, a tall woman in a long, brightly colored dress approached. “It is beautiful, but it doesn’t lay quite right”, she had told me. “That one was made for you,” she said about the next. She spoke with an English accent, and I remember thinking she looked like Jameela Jamil. I was captivated by the way she spoke her mind freely and laughed loudly. She was not afraid to be noticed. She did not fear being too much. I still think about her often, especially when I wear my pearls. She was incredible.

On the way home from lunch with dear friends, I asked my husband, “How did I do? Did I talk too much?”. “No, not at all.”, he replies. I go on worrying. I hope that I listened well. I hope they knew that I cared about what they are sharing. I hope that I did not bother anyone with my stories.

For a long time, I have believed it is best to be reserved, to listen carefully, and to speak rarely, but profoundly.

However, I have always been drawn to women who are quite the opposite. I look up to women who are loud. I admire passionate women, so passionate that they cannot help but share. Women who are confident and do not fear being “too much”. I want to be that woman.

As a child, I adored my mom’s friend Esther. She taught me how to knit and has always had the most delicious treats in her home. She has always been bold in the most endearing way. She is so genuine that it is hard not to feel comfortable and real in her presence. She tells beautiful stories, and I can’t help but believe that there is not a person in the world who wouldn’t want to spend time with her.

It is scary taking up space. I worry that I might say the wrong thing. I fear coming off as annoying. I panic when I think people might perceive my boldness as a selfishness. I do not want to seem like I do not care about what others have to say. I care very much.

At the end of the day I cannot decide how other people feel about me. All I can do is strive to be the kind of woman that I look up to. I will follow Susan’s example by sharing in other’s happiness and allowing them to be a part of mine. I love the way she makes people feel special when she is excited to see them. If I follow her example, I may talk often, but what I say will always come from my heart, and my heart is very full.

It has taken me quite some time to realize that the ideal I have had in my head is not what I admire most in the people around me. It is not who I am, and it isn’t even who I want to be. The best thing I can do is strive to be the type of woman I have looked up to my whole life; I will be caring, loving, confident, passionate, and fearless.

With love,

Kristen Mary Carolan

Leave a Reply