I have always been “too much” for certain people.
Too loud in conversation. Too outspoken about politics. Too enthusiastic about school projects. Too overzealous in gym class. Too angry about injustices. Too rough in basketball games. Too sassy when irritated. Too eager about the future. Too annoying. Just too much.
I have been called out or made of fun for this more times than I can count, by kids and adults alike. A particularly fun nickname I earned in junior high was “Spazzy Cami”. The girl who was always just too much. I live life with my heart on my sleeve, and I always have. If I’m feeling something – you’ll know.
I have also spent much of my life apologizing to those select groups of people. I’m sorry for being loud. I’m sorry I said what I was thinking. I’m sorry I got angry. I’m sorry I’m dramatic. I’m sorry for being sassy. I’m sorry I get so obnoxiously excited.
But the best part of getting older? The part my parents left out of all those talks when I was a teenager crying over boys who thought I was too awkward or girl “friends” who called me too weird or teachers who told my parents I was too loud…you grow to love the parts of yourself that other people don’t.
I will never apologize again for being too much for certain people.
I don’t apologize for being loud any more. I talk loud. I type loud. I think out loud. I am a loud person. I’m not sorry.
I don’t apologize for being passionate about politics or people or injustices. This one in particular has gotten me into more arguments or trouble than I can count, usually ending in me apologizing. But as an adult – I have learned you do NOT have to say sorry for what you believe and sharing those opinions or beliefs in a respectful way.
I don’t apologize for being easily excited or angry or sad. I don’t bottle my emotions. I am open and honest. I won’t lie to you. I couldn’t even if I tried. It’s evident how I feel in every mannerism and facial expression I make.
I don’t apologize for being excited about nerdy things or pouring my heart into whatever fitness regimen I’m doing.
I’m not sorry for being “too” much anymore. I am just enough.
Why am I sharing all this?
Because I want my sweet niece at 4 years old who is already being called too dramatic and too bossy to know that she will never be too much for the right people. I want the timid girls out there who never speak up because society or religion has taught them to be quiet and obedient because it’s expected and feminine, that they can speak up and get angry. I want the women in the rural community I grew up in who don’t want to anger their husbands or their friends with their differing views to know that they have a voice, and their opinions and emotions are never too much.
To all the middle school girls who are called too annoying or too awkward or too weird to date a boy or to be friends with someone – please don’t feel like you have to lessen yourself to meet their expectations. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You will never be too much of anything for the good, quality people who deserve a place in your life. Never.
Please don’t feel that in order to impress or satisfy a boy, or a friend, or a teacher, or relatives, or your own family – you hide the parts of yourself that “annoy” others. If they’re annoyed – it’s their problem, not yours. Apologize when you hurt someone or when you are in the wrong, and that’s it. Never apologize for who you are.
I’m not an avid reader of poetry, but this one hit home in the deepest, best kind of way.
BY TYLER FORD
do you remember the first time you were called annoying?how your breath stopped short in your chestthe way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablazethe way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue?your eyes never left the floor that day.you were 13.you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long,”apologies littering every other sentence,words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years.i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heardfor 3 minutesfor 10 minutesfor 2 hoursforever.there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart;mostly because they can’t handle their own. but you will never beand have never been“too much.”