Here is an ask, an ask for you to say sorry less.
Apologize less, say you’re sorry less, blame yourself less.
At a young age our doting mothers looked down at us after doing something we definitely should not have been doing, and said “what do you say?” To appease who? Maybe the teacher or the sibling, or whoever we wronged. That’s great, teach kids to say sorry. But teach young adults and train yourself to notice when it is okay to not be sorry.
I will not apologize for:
1. Speaking my mind
2. The way I look, dress, sound, love, appear, dream, talk, aspire, work, or write.
3. My character traits. I am not sorry if my independence intimidates you. I am not sorry if you do not like that I am not afraid, that I am brave and driven and that I will succeed.
It is not my job to make you comfortable around me.
We apologize too much for who and what we are, and as a result we have no idea how to love ourselves. It is not our fault that we are not who you would like us to be. Am I a feminist? A Liberal? A Millenial? Yeah. And I am not sorry.
It’s important to learn how to say we’re sorry, but it is equally as important to know what doesn’t warrant apology.
We do not need to apologize for being our authentic selves as long as it does not infringe on anyone else’s right to be their authentic selves. We do not need to apologize for the moments in which we are afraid, where we are rebuilding, where we are starting over. We don’t need to tell the boy we like that we are sorry for not wanting to have sex, we don’t need to tell the girl we find attractive that we are sorry for not going to the gym, that we are sorry for crying. We don’t need to apologize for being ourselves.
It’s important to learn how to say we’re sorry, but it is equally as important to know what doesn’t warrant apology. If you hurt someone’s feelings, if you neglect their wishes, if you act in a way that damages someone else on any level — apologize. Please apologize. If you make someone feel like they cannot be themselves, a p o l o g i z e. And by all means, do it correctly. Don’t just say you’re sorry, but mean it. Acknowledge the ways you were wrong and offer suggestions to how you are going to fix what you’ve done.
The point isn’t to tell people to be ruthless, to act poorly and feel like that is our right. We make mistakes, mistakes that need and deserve apologies. But the person we are isn’t something to apologize for. No matter what, there is no one to answer to for the person that we are. If we are gay, straight, he/him/she/her/they/their, black, white, any shade in between, fuck it. If we are liberal, conservative, man or woman, strong or weak. Sure, why not. If we are a person with disabilities, someone who needs to see a therapist, someone who takes medication to feel okay in the morning, go for it. If we like reading more than movies, writing more than reading, sleeping more than everything, then hey, who am I to say you are wrong?
Living life as our authentic selves, is hard. Mostly, because so many of us are trying to figure out what that means. For the first time, many of us are just now, for the very first time, in a situation where we feel like we have the chance at autonomy. So we need to let each other grow, accept that our friends change, that the people we left on graduation day, will not be the same people when we see them again in the summer. But who wants to be the person that they were when they were 17?
We change, we grow and we figure it out and we do all of those things at different rates. That’s reality.
Do not apologize to people who do not accept you for being your authentic self or to those who don’t allow you to try to figure out who your authentic self is.
Be nice, let flowers grow where your words fall, be yourself and do so without shame, without regret and without apology — even when the world tells you to say “I’m sorry,” tell them, you aren’t.