Twenty-seven years ago when I was looking for The One, I made a list. It wasn’t a list on paper but it lived large in my head. I wanted three things from The One, three big, contradictory things:
You see how this is? I wanted Dionysus, Apollo and Hestia. I wanted someone as passionate about himself as he was about me, who could meet and see my intelligence without being cowed, who could make a home with me built on trust.
Could these things exist in one body? Fire, water and earth? Where would I find it? The guy who removed my bra like an engineer. Too Apollonian. The one who couldn’t put the wine bottle back in the cabinet. Too Dionysian. The one with whom I seemed to have nothing in common but the night we met his soul shined like a Kleig light. I would never, ever would have guessed he was The One that night so long ago, but I knew he was something. Like Goldilocks, I knew.
I read feeds on social media by women who feel like they are too much. I want to write them saying, "Honey Bear, like you, I am too much and so is Mitch. We are fire and water and earth and for the first 10 years, we made so much noise and built a life and damaged it and hewed it back together because we forgave and forgave and forgave while we grew up and learned to more effectively channel our fire, learning on the deepest level that yes, it’s about me, but it is also about him and us. (And, yes, we’re still learning.)
"I am writing this to let you know that I can see you’re a handful. So am I. So are all the really interesting ones. We don’t need to cure our too muchness, but we do need to learn how to handle conflict with love and humor and truth—and not our nuclear arsenal. Those nukes create a lot of scorched earth and are the firepower we use to hide our grief, which is the soft stuff we need to show.
"Maybe Your One will be too much in different ways than you? Maybe he’ll be more of a container for your fire, enabling you to burn brightly but not out? Trust, though, that he will be drawn to it, that he will need it like food, that it will make him nuts and he will make you nuts, but you’ll be each other’s nut, learning to eye roll when your squirrels unearth an oh-so familiar kernal.
"Blessings to you on the hunt. I hope you land a pisser!"