I remember all my life being told I was too much.
I laughed too hard, too often, and too loudly. I talked too loudly too. I was too smart, too opinionated, and too bossy. I worked too hard and made other people look bad. I was too different. I cared too much, worried too much, and cried too much. I wore too much eyeliner and listened to my music too loudly.
I heard these things so often I started to believe them. I found myself quieting my laughter, speaking less, wearing less make up, not wearing my favorite clothes, and reminding myself not to be so such a know-it-all. I was dulling myself so as not to overwhelm other people and it worked.
Boys talked to me more, smiled at me and fawned over me. The people I worked with accepted me and gossiped less about me. Making new “friends” was easier.
As the queen of people pleasers I thought this was better. People did seem more pleased after all. I told myself this was ok, this was normal.
But I didn’t feel normal.
I was incredibly unhappy, depressed actually. In my attempt to not be too much I had lost my fire and sense of self, and along with those my self-worth went out the window. I let people do and say things to me I never would have stood for before. I was a punching bag, a doormat for everyone around. I was dating someone that would proudly proclaim that “I knew my place.” It was a miserable existence.
It has taken years of deprogramming for me to learn that those people were saying more about themselves than they were me.
When they told me I laughed and talked to loudly what they were saying was that they didn’t want to hear my happiness and excitement because they were lacking those things.
When they told me I was too smart, opinionated, or bossy what they were really saying was that they were intimated by me.
When they told me I worked too hard what they were saying was they didn’t like having to be held to a higher standard.
When they said I cared, worried, or cried too much what they were saying was that they were uncomfortable expressing their own emotions so my open embrace of mine bothered them.
When they told me I wore too much eyeliner and listened to that music too loudly they were telling me that they have a hard time expressing their personality outwardly so my ease with who I am was unsettling.
I let those words brush right off me now and know that the people I want in my life appreciate and embrace my authenticity. I surround myself with other women who have fully embraced themselves and work towards making sure others do too.
I am much happier and stronger now.
You are strong, smart, beautiful, kind, and exactly the right amount of you.
Never let anyone make you believe you should be anything less.