I’ve been going through the motions of having an existential crisis for several months now. I think it started when I was ejected from my mother’s house at the end of my incredibly sheltered high school career and dumped in the middle of what can only be referred to as “The Ghetto” for the start of my new life as a fresh-faced, relatively experimental student.
After at least 18 years of having morals stronger than Dwayne Johnson’s pecks and crying whenever I came in contact with a drunk person (okay, once, it was one time), I found myself wanting to style my hair into dreadlocks, date guys who wear spiked collars (it was a 2 week phase, I don’t want to talk about it) and became immediately “one with the universe”. My dabble with accepting everyone and anyone into my “Island of Misfit Toys” ended with me dating a complete lunatic (minus the spiked collar) who liked trying to communicate with ghosts in graveyards, tears and a lot of angsty poetry.
Now, a year later: my hair is a normal colour, I’ve stopped believing that crack-heads should be “accepted into society”, and I’m actually using my brain. I’m still in the middle of a crisis regarding my place in the universe but at a much more toned down level (thank fuck). I’ve become myself again with the added bonus of keeping myself awake at night trying to fit pieces of my existence together. This constant state of acatalepsy has led to some sound conclusions on how shit works around here.
It all started with him, the way he makes me feel and how desperately I clutch to any thought that doesn’t involve at least a sliver of his presence in my life. My brain embodies a quote favoured by white girls “my thoughts can not move an inch without bumping into some piece of you” and it’s excruciating. I miss having my conscience all to myself, but that’s the risk that comes with suppressing years of unspoken feelings; they eventually burst out of their constraints and run havoc in your mind. Unrequited inadequacy can make you crazy.
It’s also made me consider the fact that the world is very much divided into two kinds of people: Too Much and Not Enough.
I am Too Much. We’re the people who engulf our souls in an excess of light and life. We’re too wild, too loud, too emotional, too impulsive. If we’re doing a Meyers-Briggs assessment we’d be more “F” than “T”. Society percieves us as over-the-top and eccentric, we just consider ourselves ablaze with whatever passion sets our spirits on fire. In terms of relationships we often try to make ourselves smaller to fit the other person’s idea as to how we’re supposed to be. Alternatively, we end up with a Not Enough: someone who doesn’t fill the burning void we have inside of us. They don’t talk enough, or feel enough, or read enough books. For the same reasons that we’re Too Much, they’re simply not enough.
I’ve started involuntarily placing the people in my life into these kinds of categories. In their relationships with other people are they more likely to be too much or not enough? My November fling is Not Enough, I was Too Much for my old friend from High School, the guy in French class who tried to attack kiss me is Not Enough, the bat-shit crazy ex-boyfriend is Too Much for everyone. It’s depressing to think that we, as members of the human race, who are sold dreams of being heterogeneous entities, unique just like everybody else, can be classified into 2 personality categories.
I’ve found a paradox in the theory. As it turns out you could be the most Too Much person on the entire planet, you could smother yourself to sleep from all the emotions in your over-exerted heart, you could burst into people’s lives with passion and drive and start singing randomly like you’re mother-flipping Ferris Bueller, you could feel insane and half-drunk on how much you are as a person. You could be Too Much, and yet, when someone worms their way under your skin, kisses you and then leaves you outside to deal with the starlight and the cosmos by yourself, they can make you feel like you’re Not Enough.
That’s my existential tragedy. I can read all the right books, watch all the good shows and show interest in all the right things; I can start gyming and doing my hair nicely in the mornings and stop wearing sweat pants to lectures. I can try to be more than Too Much as much as I want, and I’ll still never be enough.
So I’ll have a shower, put my sweat pants back on, get under the covers and pretend like I don’t notice how incredibly inadequate he makes me feel. I’ll wake up and I’ll be gentle with myself and hold onto the notion that I am white hot and consumed with being Too Much for everything and everyone.
And hopefully one day he’ll wake up and realise that he was simply Not Enough.