although it may not seem like it, the social media site i enjoy most is twitter. it removes the fluff and just gets straight to the point. there are also a ton of brilliant twitter users who share ideas on politics and social issues, beautiful poetry, causes we should be made aware of, the best place to get a f*ck donald trump shirt, and the list goes on…
one of the best people i discovered on twitter was billy chapata, an atlanta based writer/poet/author who constantly makes me feel like he is preaching the most (often heartbreakingly) beautiful sermon directly at me. recently, he posted something and it just stuck with me:
there were multiple parts of this that stood out to me. the first was just looking at how many times the word “sorry” was used. it made me ask myself how often i was apologizing for things i really had no business apologizing for. i think this is something many of us can relate to but when i thought about the people in my inner circle, the people i hear apologizing most frequently are women. so many of my girlfriends are constantly apologizing – to their families, their partners, their friends, their bosses – you name it, they are apologizing for it. then, i thought to myself – “kristin, what are you typically apologizing for.” the last line nearly jumped off the page and slapped me across the face.
“my growth owes you no apologies.”
growth. i had been apologizing for growth. i had been apologizing for not remaining stagnant. i had been apologizing for challenging myself. i had been apologizing for requiring reciprocity in all of my relationships. i had been apologizing for needing to prioritize my own needs (and sanity, for that matter). i had been apologizing for loving myself.
while i may not have been literally saying “i am sorry i need to prioritize my own needs”, when i would say “i am sorry i cannot make it to dinner on friday” and feel some type of guilt afterwards, i might as well have been apologizing for self-prioritization. in 2015, i made a commitment to myself to say the word “no” more often. “no” is a full sentence. try it. no.
now, this was an adjustment. not just for me but for those around me that had become ridiculously accustomed to me saying “yes” to absolutely everything, even if it meant running myself into the ground. being that i was in grad school and working multiple jobs, something had to give. i had an excellent boss (who is now more like an older sister), galina. she asked us to set 10 intentions for the year and one of them had to deal with challenging yourself. my challenge to myself was to use the word “no” more often. by the end of 2015, i had mastered it. i was like a two year old. it was oddly liberating but not quite freeing enough. the true game changer was when i decided that for 2016, i would figure out how to remove the guilt associated with saying that oddly huge two letter word. why was i feeling guilty about self-prioritization?
that shit had to stop.
ask yourself the following questions: what sense does it make to apologize for loving myself? and furthermore, how can i properly love anyone else if i am not first doing it here, at home, with myself? this realization, for me, was extraordinary.
do not apologize for growing (or outgrowing a person, place, job, situation, etc.).