Unapologetically Sorry

I’m not sorry for not being sorry.

No, I am done with thinking that I have to justify every question, sentence, or statement with a word that makes those actions seem like a mistake.

The fact I’m recognising my needs is not a mistake.

The fact that I’m no longer shrinking in a society that dictates that I stay complacent is not a bad thing.

I’m not going to apologise for not conforming to a popular opinion. For being bumped into on the street car. For being so inconveniently placed in the world that when you wanted to speak I was already talking. How dare I.

We deserve to say what we want. Why do we have to feel ashamed to speak up for what we want?

And here is where it get’s hard. Because where do we draw the line between speaking up for ourselves, without crossing the line between preserving our self-worth and taking away someone else's? When is speaking up necessary for your worth?

For me, it’s when you find yourself saying sorry for going out in public when you’re not wearing makeup. It’s when you’re sorry that you’re bringing up that he was late, again, and it’s kind of starting to bug you. It’s saying sorry for asking a “stupid” question, for raising my voice, for ranting about myself “too much” because who wants to hear that?

It’s when you apologise for standing up for your self-worth. When you apologise for speaking up.  When you apologise for refusing to simply exist but to start living. Live in a way that doesn’t place your worth in the shadows.

Why are you apologising to the person that told you that you weren’t good enough to ask? To the people in the world who say you don’t deserve something? To even your friends, why are you so scared of asking if they can wait up an extra five minutes? You are alive. You deserve a life, not just a static state of being.

We’re scared because we were told not to ask. We’re told to be polite. Fragility, it is told to us, will win in the end. Don’t be loud, no one likes that. Be confident, but comply. Again and again, conform. Sorry. No one wants a girl with a mouth like that.

Since when did the assumption become so widespread that my sole purpose in life was to please someone who tells me a mouth like this will get me nowhere? The same mouth that actually speaks the thoughts that will move us forward not keep us back?

There lies the difference.

I will not say sorry for upsetting that convention. I will not say sorry for the words that you told me I shouldn’t say. I will apologize when I go against my own values, if I hurt other people.

I will not say sorry for breaking the norms that I was told will get me forward in life. Because the path beyond that message only leads me towards success as you define it. The oppressive kind where my worth only depends on how much I can please someone else.

And I’m not sorry that I’m saying this.

- Kate