What is considered "enough"?
And what is considered "too much"?
It's fascinating how often this question comes to play in our everyday lives, and it's been at the forefront of my mind for two different reasons.
One: "Stranger Things" came out with its third season, and in it, Nancy Wheeler faces this very question. She works as an intern at a newspaper, and she's constantly belittled for trying to do more or going after an article when the men behind the paper would rather she stay in her place.
Two: with the Women's World Cup over, it is important to discuss the hypocrisy in how women athletes are treated versus their male counterparts. Alex Morgan, criticized for a silly teacup celebration even though—as she points out—men carry out outrageous celebrations that can verge on inappropriate. Megan Rapinoe, attacked for celebrating and acting silly after winning a freaking World Cup—despite the fact that there are plenty of embarrassing videos of the men celebrating following their victories.
I mean… come on.
In these two scenarios, their critics claim the same issue with these women: they're too much.
They're trying too hard, being too loud, acting too embarrassing.
So, let's circle back to our first two questions: what is enough, and what is too much?
What is enough: well, that depends on you. Each person has their own expectations and their own capabilities, and if you're doing what you can, then you're doing enough.
Now, what is too much?
There will always be a critic. There will always be an angry journalist sneering at Nancy Wheeler for threatening his job. There will always be trolls online who mock Rapinoe's dancing or tear their hair out at Morgan's celebrations—and there's no way around that.
But you shouldn't try to squeeze yourself into a box to fit this perfect picture of what people want from you. That will never work. The USWNT won a World Cup, and they still have their fair share of haters picking out every mistake they make for the sole purpose of mocking them.
There's nothing you can do to appease everyone. Someone will always see you as "too much."
So who cares?
Instead of bringing yourself down, embrace it. Be "too much." Be loud, opinionated, and take charge. Occupy the space you have, and fill the other chairs at the table—even if you don't think you can.
Get angry. Speak passionately. Cry without remorse.
Live without restrictions.
Become the very definition of "too much" until you think it's enough.