How Much Is Too Much?

How Much Is Too Much?

When is caring for people really worth it?

There have been really difficult times in my life where I feel as if my compassion is a negative quality. I think there are times I’ve cared for people far more than I should have, and I think, ultimately, that can hurt us as people. But how do you know where to draw the line? How do you know if caring for a particular person is going to end up negatively affecting you?

This past year of my life, this topic has been heavy on my heart. I struggle with wanting to be there for people and wanting to love people well. I’m a sympathizer. I feel sorrow for people and their hard times. But when is the care that I have for them too much? It’s too much when it’s hurting you more than it’s helping them. It’s too much when you’re consistently drained, and you can’t get anything back. Despite this, it’s important to care without wanting anything in return—with truly selfless intent—but there are times you NEED to be poured back into, whether it’s by that specific person or even others.

This past year, I learned a lot about that. I learned what it means to truly care, and I learned that it’s easy to care too much for people who don’t receive it. More importantly, I learned that it’s worth caring about people because you just might find somebody who cares for you the same way, and that’s beautiful to me.

I’ve recently made a friend who has displayed what true friendship means, and it has drastically impacted my friendships to come. I am used to sympathizing with people. It’s something that’s familiar, but that sympathy is usually towards people that have struggled like I have. One day, I was sitting with my friend in the middle of a deli restaurant. He was real with me. He shared what he struggled with, and he explained how it affected him throughout his entire life. Now, this wasn’t something I had any idea about struggling with. This burden was never one that I had to carry, but for the first time, I found myself not only sympathizing but also empathizing. My heart was straight up broken for a person, and I had never experienced that before. But I’m glad I did.

As people, I think a large portion of us have the ability to be solely driven by our emotions. As an INTJ, I am personally more logical, but this situation was different. There are some people who pull on your heart strings. There are some people who are heavy with weight, but I know that true friendship is choosing to carry more weight because you care for that person. While we were at this deli, I was casually crying my eyes out, and I shared the things I had struggled with, too. Not because I felt like I had to, but solely because I wanted somebody to know who I was and where I had been. He didn’t have to sympathize or empathize with me, but he chose to. He chose to speak life into my life. He chose to care, too.

I’ve cared for people too much. Maybe they didn’t have anything to give. Maybe they didn’t care. But it was those feelings and emotions that felt wasted at one point that truly defined what it means to me to truly care. You don’t have to be through all of your problems to be able to pour into people. You don’t have to drop all your weight to carry somebody else’s. Pouring is a choice. Taking a little bit more weight is a choice. Caring is a choice.

I hope you have people, like my new best friend, who care just as much for you as you do for them. I hope you realize that you both bear the weight of what you struggle with. I hope you pour with pure selflessness. I hope you don’t worry about being empty. I hope you are brave enough to know when you’re caring too much. I hope you are willing to care for people you never expected to care for. It’s in these times that we are brave enough to care that we find people that stick around—friendships that LAST. I think that it’s worth it, you know, caring for people. I think it shows us what we’re capable of, and most importantly, I think it has the ability to bring us to people that change our lives forever.

Thank you to my new pal for showing me true friendship. You made the impact, and I am forever changed because of your vulnerability and kindness.

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1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

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2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.


From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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