Because I’m not sorry for existing.
Recently, I came across a video on that wonderful social media site I find myself scrolling a bit too much on. It was a well-known dating advice expert spewing advice on what men like (because clearly it’s supposed to matter a lot more than what women want). He said that men love confident women, but that women can’t be too confident.
They have to allow men to be men. This video was pretty much-teaching women how to be confident in the right way — a way to not intimidate men. I don’t take these videos to heart, but in hindsight, I realize how detrimental they can be to women and girls of all ages. I spent years building up my self-confidence to the point where it is now. I spent years building myself up, professionally and emotionally, and to think there is a correct way to exhibit that self-confidence so I won’t scare men away is a joke.
I spent a lot of my short life apologizing.
Apologizing for dropping things, for saying the dumb thing and for not taking shifts. I spent a lot of that time feeling bad for these things. It took a toxic relationship and a very big breakdown to realize that I was just continuously apologizing for existing. I felt bad because I had spent so much time being made to feel guilty about the way I carried myself or the things I did. I turned 20, and I realized this was my life and if I was going to have a good one, I had to start living it my way; with no more apologies other than the necessary ones.
I refuse to apologize for being busy. I have four jobs, and I’m a full-time student. I don’t have time, and I don’t feel bad about it. I refuse to apologize for existing. I will not make myself nicer or sweeter or more beautiful for anyone.
My life is my own and I’m not sorry for taking it back. I refuse to apologize for saying “No.” If I don’t want to do something, I won’t do it. I lived a lot of my life for other people and it’s my time now. I refuse to apologize for doing something or going somewhere. I want to see the world. I want to be as fearless as a 20-something-year-old girl can be. My life started again when I realized that I had to stop being sorry for existing. I had to start respecting myself enough to believe that I deserved to exist as much as anyone else on this planet.
As for the scaring away men part, I still believe this is a good thing.
I don’t want a guy that’s overwhelmed by somebody that works too much or has too many plans in their life. I want a guy that’s willing to work with me on it. I want a guy that respects my plans and maybe even wants to be included in them. I want a guy that doesn’t try to change me but instead compliments me in only good ways. I firmly believe that the right guy won’t be scared away by all that I am.
Learning that apologies have their time and place and that they’re not to be handed out like water after a 10K race changed my life in ways I didn’t even believe were possible.
I can be sorry for a lot of things, but my existence will not be one of them.