As an adult, I have struggled with words from my past. You see, I’m what you might call a little bit “extra,” and ever since I was a young tender I was told I was too much. Actually, the word “too” was always ever-present in my childhood. I was too extra, too feminine, too much and to this day it has always made me feel like I was never enough.
Jump to 2019, and that too extra child has grown into an adult who has used his “too much” nature to get him where he is in his career. But that little child who was constantly verbally attacked for merely existing still resides within.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a scenario unique to me. Many people who share the same nature of having a little something special about them can relate. One of those people is Billy Porter. During a conversation with screenwriter Ryan Murphy, Porter said that he too was told that he was “too much.”
“I grew up hearing “too, too, too,” exclaimed Porter. He went on to strum my pain with his fingers by reminding the audience that “no matter how strong of a person you are, those messages get in and unconsciously affect how we make decisions.”
Growing up, Porter felt like he was in bondage. He felt shackled down by the notion of trying to fit in when he was meant to stand out. Porter was bombarded with the idea of fitting into a box and it made him tone himself down. He got to a point where enough was enough and he vomited up the negativity others put on him. He then walked into the world like the bad bitch the universe intended him to be. An icon. An inspiration, honestly.
I have not reached this point in my life. Those voices are still ringing loudly and unfortunately still affect my day-to-day. Each day does get easier, but the struggle is ever-present. There are steps one must take to unpack the negativity instilled in them and with each step, one learns something about themselves that allows them to traverse into something greater. I am on my way to greater, snacks included.
A wise person or a fortune cookie once told me that “you’ll never be too much for the right people,” and those words of wisdom have stuck with me ever since. The people who are meant to be in your life will celebrate you and lift you up, as well as accept you for who you are.
Life is a journey, and everyone’s steps are ordered completely differently. We all are made differently, and it’s our differences that make us truly unique and beautiful creatures. Our differences should be celebrated and uplifted from birth. We need to always speak life into ourselves and our circumstances and find that it’s perfectly acceptable to lean into joy.
Let Billy Porter serve as a living example of what it means to walk in your truth and to live the words of the late-great Luther Vandross: “Never too much.”