I’ve often been told I’m too much.

Too loud, too overbearing, too mean.

I tell it like it is, frequently. I don’t necessarily try to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am too old to pussyfoot around what’s right and what’s wrong. I’m calling this my #yearoftruth and I’m not afraid to call people out on their bullshit anymore. I have spent the last few years trying to find myself and it turns out I’ve been here all along.

What I mean is that I’m now in my 40s and I’ve spent the last almost 20 years as Joel’s better half, 15 years of that as a mom. So, since I was a mear 21-year old youthling I’ve been part of this relationship with my husband and I used that as my identity. Joel’s girlfriend. Joel’s fiance. Joel’s wife. Then came Jamie. Jamie’s mom. And now Riley’s mom.

These are titles I wear proudly, but I’ve just now realized that I’m still Brandy. The Brandy I was as a kid when I was absolutely fucking fearless. I said and did things that would make most people blush. I’ve always lived life on my terms – until I became a wife and mom. I’m still mouthy. I still often say things I shouldn’t in places I shouldn’t. I am still too loud (thanks Grandma Margie for your lack-of-a-whisper gene).

I am still a wife and mom and I adore those titles. They are the best job in the entire world and I get to love those three people every day of my life! BUT. I’m going to start being the me I was born to be. The one who no longer cares if you don’t like my political leanings, or my religious beliefs, or the fact that I may raise my kids differently than you do.

I have been described as Too Much.

Too Serious.
Too Big.
Too Loud.
Too Abrasive.
Too Impatient.
Too Ambitious.
Too Emotional.
Too Bossy.
Too Flirtatious.
Too High-Maintenance.
Too Pushy.
Too Timid.
Too Inflexible.
Too Irrational.
Too Naughty.
Too Obstinate.
Too Ruthless.
Too sweary.
Too Moody.
Too Sarcastic.
Too Silly.
Too Unpredictable.
Too Vulgar.
Too Shrill.
Too Whining.
Too Passionate.
Too Sassy.
Too Opinionated.

You know what I say about those adjectives above? That they are badges of fucking honor. They are exactly who I am and they are not negatives. They are what women who rule this world are. We are all of those things. We are not all soft and submissive and pliable. I am certainly none of those things, at least not all of the time.

There is a time and place to be bossy and a time and place for pliability. An effective woman leader can be all of these things – and all at once.

And so ladies, I say to you – if you have ever been called any of these things, own that shit. Own it for the loudmouthed, sweary, unpredictable, inflexible, emotional, high-maintenance, shrill bad bitches we are. And to those who don’t like it, you can kiss my lily white ass.

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