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6. Lola Venado

 
 
You’re only too much for the wrong people. Fire burns away what’s unnecessary, what no longer serves. Let it burn—and watch what grows in its place. Also, Aries season is coming. Come at me.
— Lola Venado, March 2018
 

One year ago and here I am again, entering into another ram season, talking about my Too Muchness; an inherited trait of strength to admire, or a blood borne dis-ease to disdain?

 
I am the daughter of a Too Much woman.

Another Aries full of fierce love, high passion, and determined fire, lending me a genetic predisposition to be perceived as untouchable, untamable, and often misunderstood.

Although that last part is particularly baffling, because inherent to my Too Muchness is an ability to make myself really fucking clear.

This is something that wasn’t fully realized for me until later in life. Looking back I can see how my quiet shyness as a young girl was really the result of Stay Small Because We Fear What We See In You conditioning. Like an elephant becomes held in place by a thin rope around its foot.

“You’re just like your mother!”, angry words full of fear peppering my little girl Self, a paternal grandmother’s response to my intelligent non-compliance, my young eyes already revealing I knew more than a little girl should. This was an early lesson in being put in my place, how personal excellence, keen language, and sharp intuition can be punishable high crimes.

My father feared my mother. He fears me, too, I know. He sees her eyes in mine.

He’s afraid I’ll see him as someone who is Not Enough. He’s afraid I’ll tell him so. Just like my mother. I know she loved him deeply, and carried a love for him even after they divorced, even up until she died in her 40s, alone in a Las Vegas apartment, her body let loose from the cancer she had been carrying that filled her belly and stole her breath away.

 
 

Sword and cane wielding belly dancer, folk and swing dancer, mud wrestler, actress, singer, seamstress, runner, baker, jewelry maker, photographer, model, poet, writer, beautiful bruja. Yes, there’s much I could ask my mother about her life. But what I’d really want to know is: Why did she always choose lovers who were Not Enough? Did she not see her own mightiness? Or did she fear her Too Muchness, too? Never really slipping that rope off her foot.

 
 

Discernment. That would be the word I pass across the table to my mother if we were having morning coffee and pan dulce together now. I’d tell her, “Ma, we are not Too Much! We have just been choosing Not Enough.” Now, in my 40s, I’ve figured out that just because someone is drawn to my power doesn’t mean they are strong enough to stay present in it. And just because they’re standing at my velvet ropes doesn’t mean I need to grant them access.

 
Más vale sola que mal acompañada.
 
 

Better alone than in bad company. There’s a Spanish graphic novel protagonist, Lola Vendetta, who’s seen carrying a bloody saber, her dark hair mussed, a wry smile upon her lips, and that saying penned in red alongside her. But instead of sola it’s her name, translating to:

Better Lola than in bad company.
 
 

Those words say it all. They are enough.