“I wish you didn’t have all those tattoos. It makes it so hard to market you!”
These words spilled over me like a hot coffee surprise, as if I’d hit a speed bump pulling out of a drive-thru.
The woman sitting in front of me was my agent. The one person in the world who was supposed to be on my side. Dig my brand of me.
Too many tattoos. In all the wrong places (read: can’t wear a sleeveless shirt/dress, which is the epitome of feminine summer-and-carefree).
It all reminded me of that old Johnny Lee song. She wanted me to fill too many places, be all the wrong faces. And that sucked. Because in an industry where I’m told “no” 99 percent of the time, the one place I shouldn’t be getting a no from was the person responsible for telling other people in the industry that I was a “good bet”. Worth having in the room.
Today’s hard truth is brief: We’ve all been told we’re TOO.
Hearing we’re “too” sucks.
So does hearing we’re not enough.
Too much. To little.
Right now, I just want you to think back to the last time you got that TOO sucker punch. When the air went out of your gut. When your mouth fell agape and words eluded you because is this really happening? And from you? When he left. The door slammed. The window closed.
When you had a T-O-O lobbed at you like a hand grenade and were left in a thousand tiny pieces — and didn’t know where to begin picking them up.
Three letters. So much damage.
I just want to pop in and remind you that you are never TOO.
We’re all worthy of following our hearts, fulfilling goals (which are dreams with deadlines, by the way — according to the wall in my gym), being seen and heard and appreciated and loved.
And there are days, don’t I know it, where we can feel too broken and too beat-down ever to think you’ll rise back up and be enough.
But you and I — we got this far. Right here. Look around the room. YOU got yourself RIGHT HERE. That’s not TOO anything. It’s fucking perfect. And you did it.
Odds are, we each had some help along the way as well. So we can’t be too grateful or thankful.
The best we can do is keep doing. Being. Stop entering rooms like question marks and instead, stride in like exclamation points.
Have opinions that end in periods and give your thoughts the same grace we allow those of others.
It all looks like this:
You’re not too much (unless you’re sexist or racist or misogynistic then you’re too much gross and not enough human and need to sit the fuck down, Becky).
You’re enough. More than. And worthy.
Not only do you deserve to be in this room. Any room is better with you in it.
And the only job we each have left is to live a life so brave and bold that they are forced to build rooms big enough to hold us.
A woman who’s been told she’s too old, too “inky”, too fat, too late, too much, too loud, too vulgar, too unprofessional, too lewd, too much, too “out there”, too plain, too masculine, too squishy (yes, you read that right), too opinionated, and too crass to be worthy of following her dreams, worthy of love, and worthy of the space she takes up in a world with more than enough space for all of us.
PS: some recent photos of what my Enough looks like at age 45. What a dork, right?