This post is to sort of elaborate on what I had mentioned in my previous article, which was something along the lines of
“I have no reason to apologize or be sorry for myself.”
This mere sentence here is one of the most important things one needs to remember. Especially for those who used to -or even still do- apologize everyday for certain things about themselves, only because of what others have to say about them. Don’t get me wrong, saying sorry for things that are actually worth apologizing for is always a polite thing to do. We sometimes make mistakes, so we apologize for them and move on. That doesn’t mean anything except prove that we are human, and that we are capable of messing things up as we go along with our lives.
If you still don’t understand what I mean by living unapologetically, I’m going to give a few examples as to when in my life I apologized for myself with no absolute reason.
I started off when I was just a little chubby five year old miniature human, and our class was taking a field trip to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. I was beyond excited; I was about to see real life penguins and sharks for the first time, and nothing was about to ruin it for me. As we loaded into the bus (the bus was fairly small), another girl in my class commented on how she didn’t like how my belly would poke out whenever I sat down. The tone in her voice along with the look she gave me made it seem as if I had done something terrible. I apologized.
A few years later, I began my first year of middle school, and I was the most anxious person to ever exist at the time. Transferring into an all girl’s intermediate school seemed quite intimidating to me, and I did my best to blend in and act natural (bad idea, by the way). This was the year that we were all starting to become aware of our bodies. All dressed in my uniform, I was waiting at the bus stop. A boy from one of our neighboring schools voiced out that I had hair on my legs and proceeded to make sounds that I could only interpret as disgust. It made me feel as if my self confidence had sunken so low, it had gotten lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. I apologized, again, and shaved my legs for the first time that night.
Honestly, I could go on and on about the many encounters with many different people and how it would always end with me apologizing for something that wasn’t any of their business. However, I can think of tons of other ways this post could go without mentioning judgmental little girls, or awkward prepubescent middle school boys who make fun of girls their age in order to build up their false, yet fragile masculinity.
Since there are obviously way too many things to say, I’m just going to explain the one I did that actually made living a little bit easier. It’s simple, it’s straight forward, but it was one of the most difficult things that I’ve brought myself to do. It was to realize that I cannot live up to anything or anyone. The only person that you should be doing your best for is you. Sure it’s always nice to make the ones we love proud of us, but nothing compares to the feeling of being proud of yourself. That is why it is crucially important that we look up to people we can learn from. People who can help us realize our self-worth, and help us grow into the best version of ourselves.
Keep in mind, this is not something that happens overnight. This is an entire process that takes however long it does for you to do so. And to start it off, I’m introducing a three-part photo series called “The Process” that will consist of three people and how they came to terms with loving the beautiful person they have become.
Stay great, stay strong, and stay tuned.
–(Special thanks to my dear friends Elizabeth and Rowan for all their love and encouragement that contributed to being able to write this post. Elizabeth, I appreciate your wisdom and guidance more than I can put to words. To Rowan, the use of your voice for good and where you stand in this world gives me great inspiration. Thank you for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to share your thoughts with me. To the both of you – stay as the beautiful human beings you are.)