Sorry, I’m Not Sorry

imageIn the last few months I have read a number of wonderful posts. While the content of each was different, I noticed that they all began with the same negative introduction:

You will probably find this boring / You may think that this is rubbish / I doubt anybody will be interested in this…

I have learned over time to try and ignore it – I often find that I am pleasantly surprised by the wonderful writing that follows, but admittedly there are times where I have been put off by these self-deprecating opening sentences – the writer is almost apologising for having a thought or an interest in something before they have even given potential readers a chance to form an opinion about it.

What seems to be the predominant reason for the creation of many blogs is that people have an urge to write and feel that they have something important to say, regardless of the content they create. It may be read by one or two people, it may be read by millions, but I find that lots of bloggers feel that the act of blogging is just as fulfilling as the response to the post itself. So why are so many people apologising for this?

While I am rarely apologetic in the blogging world, it made me think about all of the things that I apologise for on a regular basis in my daily life. Being British, it is a natural part of our vocabulary to use ‘sorry’ as a synonym for ‘excuse me,’ but I have also been known to suffer from anxiety and paranoia which causes me to be naturally apologetic in my conversation. The use of the word ‘sorry’ within these conversations highlights the fact that I feel inadequate and vulnerable, which has the potential to make others feel uncomfortable and there have been many occasions where I have been told to stop it by close family and friends.

Of course, it is important to be genuinely apologetic when our actions have resulted in somebody else being hurt or inconvenienced, but in the spirit of positivity and stepping out of my comfort zone in 2015, here are the things that I’m not sorry for:

1. Instantly removing myself from the company of racists, sexists, and homophobes. I can’t abide those people.

2. Wanting to have a work/life balance. In my 20’s, I lived to work. In my 30’s, I work to live. My physical and mental health has suffered because of it and I realised a while ago that being happy and healthy is much more important than earning a big salary.

3. Feeling the way that I feel about a situation. I cannot control how I feel about something, but what I can control is how I choose to deal with it.

4. Taking some time for me. There is nothing wrong with spending two hours at a time in the bath. A few of my friends think this is ridiculous. I don’t… It’s definitely the best way to spend a Sunday night. Or any night, in fact.

5. Posting pictures of my cats on the blog or any of my social media accounts. I have to look at pictures of my friends children – they are my equivalent, my family. If I have to look at little Billy in his new hat, or little Billy at the park, or little Billy with ice-cream or chocolate all over his face (which are all undeniably cute) then others can look at Daisy in a hat too.

6. Being ‘fussy’ with my food – there are so many who like to comment on my personal culinary tastes. I love tomatoes and tomato ketchup, but dislike tomato soup. I like peas, particularly petite pois, but hate mushy peas. I hate all variants of egg – omelettes, boiled, fried, poached, but really like Spanish omelette. I also like to put chips (and by chips, I mean fries) in my soup. There’s nothing nicer than soup and chips – try it, or at least don’t comment about it when I do.

7. Sobbing hysterically at animal charity adverts on the TV. And at romantic moments in my favourite films and books. And at beautiful cards and letters I have received. In fact, I don’t apologise for crying at any point – crying is good for the soul.

8. Hating, and I know that hate is a strong word, but perfectly acceptable in this situation, everything about the Twilight Saga. Bella Swan is the worst role-model for young impressionable teenage girls and… I’ll stop there, or this post will be twice as long.

9. Adoring karaoke sessions on a Friday night. I’m not exactly going to win the next X Factor, but I can hold a tune and there’s nothing better than having a few drinks and singing my heart out to a crowd of complete strangers. It’s fun and therapeutic.

10. Not wanting to have children or get married yet, despite being in a secure and happy long-term relationship.

11. Removing people from my life that were toxic. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

12. Taking photographs of everything. I love recording a beautiful moment or a fabulous place.

13. Writing about my battles with mental health issues – it’s still a taboo subject in many areas of society, but I make no apologies when I tell others that I’m struggling.

14. Ringing in sick to work when I’m ill. If I’m ill, I’m ill – there’s no point going in and infecting the entire cohort of staff and students at my school. And when I’m well, I’ll give it 100%, and work most evenings and weekends unpaid.

15. Smoking a cigarette, and thoroughly enjoying it! I don’t do it that often but I know the risks, I don’t do it in people’s personal space, and mind your own business!

16. Not learning to drive. I had lessons when I was 17 years old and I crashed my learner car into a car transporter, and have never been back. Trust me, the world is a safer place without me behind the wheel!

17. Instantly judging someone who is rude to employees working in the service industry – bar and fast-food staff, waiters, retail assistants, baristas… I’ve been there and all are challenging and exhausting roles and those that work within them deserve to be treated with respect.

18. While I’m on the subject of judging others, I’m not sorry for judging those that wear fur for fashion. That’s a whole post in itself…

19. Dressing like a teenage boy. I like jeans and sweaters most of the time. It’s comfortable.

20. Asking for what I want. I’m an adult, I’m polite and respectful and I never demand anything, but as I’ve aged, I have learned to be more articulate in requesting things that I need.

21. Similarly, asking for help. This is something that I have learned to do recently – I used to try and take on everything myself and would find that I couldn’t cope with the pressure. Now, I make no apologies for asking for help from others.

22. Being proud of my achievements. Pride is not to be confused with arrogance – I don’t believe I am better than anyone else, but I proud of things that I have done well.

23. Having a dream, taking the risk and working my hardest to achieve it. Some have been hugely supportive. Others have scoffed. However, my belief is what keeps me going.

It’s important to remember that we don’t owe anyone explanations in the form of apologies. The act of explaining ourselves is often an attempt to justify our actions to another person, as if a decision needs validation. We don’t have to explain ourselves for the way that we choose to live and who we choose to live with. We don’t have to explain our priorities in life and what we do with our time. We don’t have to explain our likes and dislikes, our passions, beliefs, hobbies, interests, ideals and ambitions. We don’t have to explain our decisions to have or to not have children. If what you are doing makes you genuinely happy and fulfilled, you’re doing it right. So for all of these things, I’m not sorry. I’m not sorry for liking who I am and how I live. I’m far from perfect, I have a million flaws, but I do my best.

Therefore, I am going to set a challenge both for myself and for you. Stop apologising for having an opinion and wanting to share your thoughts! Don’t begin your posts with a negative statement – send your message into the blogosphere and be proud of it!

What about you? What do you apologise for that you shouldn’t?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

 

168 thoughts on “Sorry, I’m Not Sorry

  1. You are so great! You just nailed it again. How very true! I often found myself apologizing in conversations for what I am about to say or for my opinion, as if it is offensive or not good enough. I try to stay away from doing this in my posts but I realize that I very often use the ‘don’t get me wrong…’ bit… I am all up for this little (huge) challenge! Thanks for this!

    • Haha! Thank you – I’m glad you could relate to it! I sometimes have little nagging concerns that others assume I’m telling them how to live, but receiving comments like this reassure me that I’m not the only one out there!

  2. Hi Suzie – I love this post! Yeah, you’re right, sometimes we don’t realise that we keep saying sorry for the most inane things/situations, or apologise for having different thoughts, opinions or way of life from others. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks Kat! It becomes part of our daily conversations to be naturally apologetic for ourselves, and after a while it becomes part of our character. I’m really pleased you enjoyed it!

  3. I have a habit of apologizing for random things… I once had someone tell me to stop apologizing and had to bite my tongue to keep myself from saying “sorry.” Now I’ll apologize, then think “what did I do that for?” Sometimes I choose not to apologize, but still feel guilty.

    Occasionally I apologize for existing, often when my mom is giving me a hard time about something. I’m not sure I’m really apologizing in that instance…

  4. What a fantastic post Suzie, I think I agree with every single thing you’ve written! Its about time we lived our lives how we want to without apology or justification or explanation. And it would be good if people would stop trying to make us conform to their idea of normal too!! Thanks for writing such a fabulous piece – keep up the great work cos I for one am loving it!!!

    • After reading so many of your posts I don’t think that you appear to be apologetic in any of them, and you shouldn’t be! The whole point of blogging is to focus on ourselves, even when we’re talking about others that we care about…

      • You should! It’s very different here than it is in the U.K. (that’s where you are, right?), despite the fact that we were up until recently a British colony.

  5. Omg, Suzie! I apologize for EVERYTHING! You name it. I’ll apologize for it, whether I did it or not. I’m getting better though…😉

  6. I think Edith Piaf summed it up well all those years ago: “je ne regrette rien”!!
    I hope you feel liberated after getting that list of non-sorries out.

    • Thanks – it was a very therapeutic experience writing it all down! I live your example too – I love Edith Piaf. I visited her grave in Pere Lachaise a few years ago to pay my respects

      • I went to Pere Lachaise when I was 22 just after finishing uni. Don’t know if I found Piaf’s grave back then but I do remember not only photographing Jimi Hendrix grave but also the crowds that were there and the signs and arrows drawn on other graves directing you to Jimi’s grave. It was huge.

  7. Ahh, that gave me a morning smile. I agree with each Statement and even might put a chip into soup if I ever get the Chance to…
    And I’m not sorry for telling People “no” – equally I’m not sorry for my healthy amount of selfishness.

  8. Sometimes I say “I’m sorry” to others to express empathy when they’ve had a tough situation, as in “I’m sorry that you had to go through that.” I’m going to keep doing that and you can’t make me stop Suzie! I loved your list. I can’t think of much more to add to it.

    • Haha! Thanks Phil – I wasn’t meaning for anyone to stop feeling empathy for others – the world would be a much better place if everyone expressed those feelings on a more regular basis.

  9. What I also don’t understand is why some people start off a blog post by apologising for not having posted anything for a while. It’s almost as if they feel they have a duty to their followers to be posting on their blog within strict guidelines set by their followers. It’s your blog and, as I have learnt, post how ever often you feel comfortable with. Never post anything just for the sake of doing so and, no, you don’t need to apologise because you’ve decided to take a break from blogging for a while or because you’ve just not had anything interesting to write about.

    Chips in soup sounds great. I like to put toast in mine, and I love a salad cream sandwich from time to time, as well as tomato sauce spread on my toast instead of jam or marmalade.

    • I totally agree with you Hugh. The problem with gaining an audience often makes us feel like we have responsibilities to those wh are now reading what we put out there. Of course, it’s an unbelievable feeling to get great feedback and establish connections with lovely people, but people often forget that their blog is their own little space of the Internet to do with what they wish!

      I have salad with salad cream on my sandwiches sometimes, but never just salad cream on its own…

  10. Haha! This was great…5, 10, 18 & 22 are my favorite…and i find that i don’t apologize for the same things (fur fashion…that just looks ridiculous!)

    I have decided to no longer apologize for being “emotional and sensitive” – i get offended easily (especially when people use the term “retarded” or poke fun at those who have disabilities…i want to punch those people!) and I take everything to heart: whether it be a comment that i feel is sincere and truthful, the beauty of the world around us can put meinto a philosophical mood, or getting lost in a movie or book that provokes emotions i had not tapped into before. My mom says I’m too emotional, but I wear my heart on my sleeve, I love deeply, too deeply, and I don’t hide my emotions well, but I’m not sorry for it – I shouldn’t have to be. I’m strong enough to own my emotions.

    • Good for you! I’m often told that I’m too sensitive, but I’ve found that is often a thing that we are born with and what adds to our make-up as human beings. We shouldn’t have to apologise for how we feel about something, but we can make choices about how we choose to deal with it

      • that’s a great way to put it – filtering my emotions in a positive way for own benefit, not the benefit of others is my new goal. Making positive choices based on my emotions, rather than negative ones – I never realized the impact it has had on my life and my relationships with other people, so far I’m liking the results!

  11. I thought I was weird with crisps in soup… but chips?? They’re all pretty good and valid points, except for one, I don’t think you should let one unfortunate incident put you off learning to drive! It’s very liberating!

    • Haha! Thanks Andrew! I live near the centre of Brum, so I’ve never really needed to, but I know The Bloke wants me to learn… Try he chips – it’s awesome!

  12. I used to apologize for EVERYTHING. Until my husband said “Stop apologizing! Do you even know what you’re apologizing for?” Oftentimes I’d answer “For being me.” I still get in that “mode” sometimes, but he sets me straight usually or I hear myself and think “Get some confidence!” You’re totally right about your list – they are all perfectly good things to NOT be sorry for.

    • Thanks so much, as always, for your lovely comment! I think it’s great that you have such a supportive husband who is helping you to remind you to stay confident in yourself!

  13. I am definitely guilty of having being sorry for everything. I am a lot better than I was, my partner would tell me to stop apologising all the time and I would constantly be asking him about what I had said to this person or that person, do you think they will think this because I did this or said that. I used to worry so much about all these tiny little things. It was silly.

    And you should definitely not be sorry for spending a long time in the bath, I do that too!

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  15. Great post! I particularly like the bit about Bella Swan from Twilight…I wanted to punch her the minute she came onto the screen when I “watched” the first film!! Good on you for talking about mental health too. #weekendbloghop
    Ps I will cheekily like you on Facebook too xx

    • Thank you very much Sarah! I hate that whole series… I started the blog almost as an online journal to write about issues with mental health as I still feel that there is a major taboo surrounding it. Thanks for the Facebook like too and your love,y comment!

  16. Dang, I want to be a lot more like YOU when I grow up and I’m in my 30’s. 😀
    The older I get, the less I have room for crap in my life. LOL
    So glad my friend Denise shared this on FB – what a refreshing read!

  17. oh I love this! I am about to turn 30, and I find that I am much more comfortable with myself, my opinions, and my expectations that 10yrs ago.

    • Me too – I am so much more self-assured now I’m in my thirties. I have found that our twenties are spent building a life so we can actually live it in our thirties…

  18. British by birth and how I remember apologizing for everything. Then I came to the USA and the Hubs said if you apologize for one more thing I will not marry you. It drove him crazy… Love your list, and #1 I am loving at the TOP!!!! Bravo mate.

    • Thanks so much my lovely! I’m so glad you have such a supportive husbamd – sometimes it takes those outside influences to show us sides of our character that we never really knew existed!

  19. I love this post! I learned to drive when I was 17 too but nearly ran someone over in my driving test and haven’t driven since (much safer that way!) I have also learned that I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control how I deal with it and I am totally going to try hot chips in my soup! That’s genius, that is! Thanks for linking up to the Ultimate Rabbit Hole!

  20. Fantastic. Well said. I agree with every point.
    I’ve fallen in love with work out clothes and wear jeans when I “dress up.” Stretchy exercise pants and shirts are my favorite loungewear and here in the States, women wear them everywhere. 🙂

  21. I really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing. I have a bit of a guilt complex and will generally persuade myself that anything and everything is my fault. I think I need to adopt your approach! 🙂

  22. I get really turned off by bloggers apologizing for something at the beginning of their blog. I realize it comes from a genuine place, but I don’t care for the preamble. Just say what you’re going to say. (Advice I could stand to employ more often myself! Heh)

    I don’t like raw tomatoes, but I like ketchup and eat marinara sauce. This is perplexing to some. Who says food preferences have to make sense? 😉

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  24. I put on my about page a disclaimer that these are my opinions, not everyone will agree with me and I understand that. So I never feel the need to apologize because it’s already in my about page

  25. You are so right about people who say they don’t think anyone will care and then they write it out anyway. I love your honesty. Keep it up! Also, I put a link up on my blog today. Maybe you want to share some of the things you’ve learned as a blogger with us? I’d love to hear what you’ve learned through the journey. Join me at http://www.thechelseapage.com/best-ode-past/

  26. Great stuff and a lot to think about and we probably should all spend some time and come up with our own Sorry, not Sorry list.

    Keep on
    love brett fish

  27. Reblogged this on fittymac and commented:
    I totally feel so much about what you have to say. We have many feeling alike about similar situations. Thank you for speaking to my soul.

  28. Suzie, could we possibly be related?! I’m a fair bit older than you, I think, but I can personally vouch for number 10. No-one will get it, but who cares? I’ve been with my fella for 11 years. We don’t even live together but he’s my soul-mate. It’s so important to paddle your own canoe in your own life – but you know that already. It took me a lot longer to work it out…

    Thank you as well for ‘liking’ my blog. I’m completely new to it, love doing it, but don’t have a clue about the technology (although I’m not going to apologise for that, obviously).

    • Thanks so much Lorraine – I’m so pleased you could relate to it! Welcome to WordPress – it’s a truly wonderful community of fabulous people! Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need any help…

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