I thought that it might be time for me to explain myself for those of you who don’t know me, or who don’t know me as Beefy.
It all started at the age of 14, more than half a lifetime ago, when my first niece was born. Until then, my family had endearingly referred to me as Bree Bree. When my niece started talking (at a very young age due to her baby ingeniousness) Bree Bree didn’t come out quite right, and Beefy was born.
My niece lived with our family for her first couple years of life, and I was often mistaken for her (teen) mom while toting her around the grocery store. Being an aunt was a new role for me, one that gave me a real sense of pride and purpose.
Over the years, my other family members and close friends joined the club and I became Beefy to many. Many variations evolved to include Beef, Beefstick, Beefalicious, Breefy, and most recently, Mama Beefy.
My sister and I even had t-shirts made once, mine with BEEFY printed across the chest, and on hers TEENY, a childhood nickname that also stuck even when she shot up past her big sister.
Circa 2005. three of my favorites: my nana, my sister, and my mama
Beefy was and continues to be a defining identity for me. Through the many stages and phases I experienced beginning in young adulthood, I wasn’t always clear on who Bree was, but I usually had a pretty good sense of how to be Beefy.
Being Beefy gives me a grit and strength that I don’t innately possess and I am ever grateful to this alter ego who has survived through countless challenges, changes, disappointments, and triumphs.
At a recent work training, a (genuinely) motivational speaker challenged us to always work towards becoming our best selves. He referenced the old adage “fake it till you make it” but also offered “fake it till you become it”.
I wasn’t born Beefy, but I’ve become her, and she’s here to stay.