When I was seven years old I got in trouble at school for asking my classmates if I made them horny. I didn’t know what it meant, but my family had just watched the movie Austin Powers, a new release that year, and all I knew was that he kept saying it and everyone in the room was in stitches with laughter.
I liked making people laugh, even back then, and I was learning that I was pretty good at impressions, so… why wouldn’t I test out this newfound material on all of my classmates the next morning?
My teacher did not find me nearly as amusing. Nor did my mother when she got the phone call from my school.
Or at least that’s how I remember it. Honestly, if I was the teacher in that situation I would have a really hard time hiding my laughter while also trying to discipline an obviously hilarious star in the making.
That’s the first time I remember feeling like I was too much.
I’ve been listening to an episode of The Guilty Feminist (one of my all time favorite podcasts) on this very subject - not weird kids who impersonate Austin Powers, but women who have been led to believe they are too much - and while I generally relate to every episode of this podcast, this one hit really close to home for me.
I’ve always been too much.
All my life I’ve been too loud, too chatty, too tall, too colorful in my appearance, too childish, too nerdy, too skinny, too emotional, too goofy, too open, too curious, too messy, too enthusiastic.
How the heck can anyone be too enthusiastic, by the way? If anything, we should all be enthusiastic about whatever we’re doing, shouldn’t we? Even if I’m planning a funeral, I want to be enthusiastic. It shows that you care. That you’re invested. The same goes for being too emotional. I remember being told once that I was letting my emotions get in the way of my voting choices during the presidential election. I was too emotional about human rights and too emotional about feminism.
I’ve been told I’m too emotional about animals because I’m a vegetarian and I spend money on my dogs’ healthcare.
I’ll allow the too messy thing. I’m a terrible housekeeper, and to be honest, that’s not something I can be proud of. I’m very lucky that The Mr cares about having a clean home and reminds me to get off my butt and do some laundry. It’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t notice the mess, it’s just that I’m, well, too easily distracted.
I’m sure we all have our own lists of too much for ourselves. Some of you have been told you’re too quiet or too heavy or too sexually open or too easily persuaded. Maybe you’ve been told you’re too desperate or too bossy. Too old. Too young. Too nice. Or maybe you like horses or Harry Potter too much. You watch too much tv or spend too much time on instagram. You drink too much coffee or you’re too spiritual.
Maybe you look too much like your dad.
Am I going on about all of this too much? Too bad.
Maybe like to dress up like a centaur and gallop around your yard with your best friend. As long as you’re both happy, I say neeeeeeeigh to the nay-sayers!
Maybe you like to blog about your life and tell funny stories on the internet and there’s some person in your life that thinks you are way too open with your personal life to the general public. Well, maybe they’ve missed the fact that you’ve found a real community of people on the internet who get you and who like your stories and that you’ve been growing as a person both mentally and creatively because of how open you’ve been. Hypothetically.
Obviously all of this too-much stuff is malarky. We’re all exactly as much as we’re supposed to be. Sure, we can all grow and change and none of us are exempt from criticism every now again, but I say that as long as we’re not intentionally or knowingly causing any harm with our too muchness, we’re doing every just fine.
All I really want to say is this: You are magical. You’re not perfect, but you are magnificent. And you, my darling reader, are, if anything, just right.
This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.