I feel guilty when I shouldn't. I eat s*** when I should be saying "Screw you!. I'm embarrassed when I receive a compliment. I downplay my intelligence because it's easier to let people think I'm dumb. I don't always demand the respect I deserve. I say "I'm sorry." waaaaaay too often for things I should not be sorry about.
I do this to make other people feel more comfortable around me.
This week I've done a lot of thinking...about my life...about what I accept...about where I came from and how I got to where I'm at...and I came to a decision. I decided that while I will still apologize when I have done something wrong...I will no longer apologize to make other people feel better about themselves. I am officially UNAPOLOGIZING.
I unapologize for my comfortable life. I was not born into a wealthy family..in fact it is quite the opposite. I have 5 brothers and sisters and while we were not destitute...there were many times that we couldn't have what we wanted. Everything that I have now, I have worked for. There were many years that I went without...without a fancy car...without new clothes or shoes...without fake nails...without all the comforts that I so enjoy. There were times when I went without the basic things we take for granted...like a warm house in the winter...or the ability to go buy fast food.
I unapologize for my appearance. I am far from perfect, but I work hard to be the best I can be. I am like a fine wine that gets better and better over time. It starts out average and becomes special. I am not "naturally thin". I work my a** off...EVERY day to fit in my size 4 jeans. I will no longer feel guilty when people stare or women whisper because I work hard to look the way I do.
I unapologize for having an amazing job...a job that I love...a job where I laugh and talk and enjoy the company of amazing people...a job where every day I get to teach and help people...a job where I actually make a difference in the world. It took a lot of time, money and hard work to achieve my goal. It also took the encouragement of people I respect and courage to overcome my fear of failure and get to where I am today. And I also unapologize for the fact that I don't need to work so I have the ability to work part time and make very little money while doing what I love.
I unapologize for wanting to be sexy at 40. It would be easy to let myself go and throw on baggy jeans and tennis shoes everyday and put my hair back in a ponytail. I don't always want to spend the time to do my hair and makeup...or to pick out just the right clothes...or wear 4 in heels...but I do it because when I am all put together and someone asks me how old I am...and I tell them...and they don't believe me...I feel good and I know my hard work has payed off.
I unapologize for having great kids...kids that are beautiful and smart and kind and good. I think about all the hours spent reading books and going to museums and libraries. I think of all the times it would've been easier to give my kids what they want and over indulge them instead of disciplining them. I think of the countless hours I spent teaching my kids right from wrong...even when it was hard and even when it made them different. My kids may not be perfect, but they are good kids because I worked very hard to help mold them into what they are.
I'm tired of trying to make other people feel better about themselves at my own expense. And as braggy and stuck up as it may sound...I'm pretty great because I work on it every day...and if that makes other people uncomfortable than that's just too bad. It's good to be me and I will not apologize for my successes any more.