I am TOO MUCH!!!

I am just TOO MUCH for some people.

I talk too fast.
I laugh too loudly.
I smile too quickly.
I giggle too often.
I’m just too ridiculously happy! ???

My teeth are too big.
My nose is too wide.
My breasts are too large.
My curls are too wild.
My body is too round.
My hips sway too much.
I take up too much space! ???

Karen M. Ricks, Head Chef, Our Kitchen Classroom
Karen M. Ricks, Head Chef, Our Kitchen Classroom

I gush too much about cooking.
I make too many sweets.
I fawn over fresh produce way too much.
I eat too much.
I drink too much.
I have too much chocolate.
I’m just too enthusiastic about food! ???

I think too many wild and crazy thoughts.
I dream too many wild and crazy dreams.
I imagine too many wild and crazy possibilities.
I dare to challenge the status quo too regularly.
I have the audacity to object to injustice too articulately.
I make people too uncomfortable in their entitlement! ???

I AM too much for some people, and I’m perfectly OK with that.

I want to encourage *you,* dear reader to be ALL of who you are–even if that means you are too much for some people.

I *refuse* to be anything less than the BOLD, AUDACIOUS, BRILLIANT individual that God created me to be.
How about you???

I originally shared a slightly abbreviated version of these thoughts on social media a few days ago. These insults have rained down on me from all directions for most of my life. Since shifting my teaching online from the brick-and-mortar school I founded in central Japan many years ago, they have been filling up my comments and inbox and private messages via my website and e-mail. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!

When I made the decision to actually type out all of these hurtful things that have been said about me for so long, something truly amazing happened.

I laughed out loud!
I laughed long and hard!!
I laughed until my cheeks ached and I got a cramp in my side and I could barely breathe!!!

And when I’d regained sufficient control to be able to take up my laptop again, I hit send.

I sent those put-downs out onto the interwebs to push them out of my mind. I sent out all the slaps and snubs and slanderous slights for all the world to see. I pushed that negativity away from me so I could have a little more space in which to think clearly. I didn’t expect what I would receive in return.

The rapid influx of positive responses to this message was both immediate and overwhelming. Friends from all over the world shared their own candid photos, as well as stories of love and support and encouragement. People I’ve never met or heard of before started popping into my inbox to thank me for expressing the words they didn’t know they’d had in their own hearts, for sharing the exact sentiments they needed to hear right when they needed to hear them!

It was important for me to get these abusive statements out into the world for a variety of reasons. First of all, I realized that they were taking up entirely too much real estate in my head–and they certainly weren’t paying rent! I asked myself why I was wasting so much time and energy doing battle with these invisible indignities in the first place. All it served to do was to distract me from my priorities of spending quality time with my family and friends, working joyfully with my students from all over the world, and living my best life right now.

Second, I recognized that harboring these aspersions was doing even more damage than just draining my energy. It was weighing down my spirit. My head is constantly filled with exciting ideas that try to run away from me if I don’t write them down quickly enough. My soul is stacked to overflowing with tremendous acts of courage and generosity that long to take flight! But those ideas and those acts could never soar freely from my heart out into the world because they were tethered to the contemptuous disrespect of these terrible taunts.

Finally, I understood that I could not give more power over my life to these abusive affronts than I could to the All-Powerful Almighty, who is the head of my life!  As a wife, as a parent, and as an educator, there are too many people who are looking to me to set an example of the Divine possibilities of a purpose-filled life. How could I be a good steward of my gifts if I was too afraid to utilize them fully, for fear of offending someone who doesn’t even have my best interests at heart? How could I look my son in the eye and tell him that he can be anything he wants to be, and do anything he sets his mind to doing, if I wasn’t going to also be everything I know I can be and do everything that I want to do, too? How dare I squander my greatness and make myself less than simply to make other people more comfortable in their mediocrity?


So I am choosing to claim these labels as a badge of honor.
I am standing tall in my acceptance of who I am.
I own and affirm every trait that makes me special and unique.
I am proud to be 100% ME!!!

I am my ancestors' WILDEST DREAM.
I am my ancestors’ WILDEST DREAM.

And so I say again that I am just TOO MUCH for some people, and that is perfectly OK.

I talk too fast for some, because my tongue can barely keep up with my brain when I get excited.

I laugh too loudly for some, because I haven’t lost my sense of humor and I want to share it with everyone I meet.

I smile too quickly because I want to acknowledge all the beauty I see in the world–and there is just so much of it.

I giggle too often because I’m silly, I make mistakes all the time, and I just can’t take myself too seriously.

I’m just too ridiculously happy, because I have been blessed beyond measure, and yet I can’t stop trying to keep count! ???

Think you’re ready for more too-much-ness in your daily life??? Jump on over to our online community, PLAYwithYourFood, where we laugh and talk too much about preparing and eating too much good food together as a family!!!

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