A couple of weeks ago I stumbled on an amazing Twitter feed and found myself just scrolling through, drinking in all the goodness. It was like eavesdropping on a really amazing conversation between an older and younger sister. Which honestly, is sort of exactly what it was– the collective older sisterhood offering up their best advice. You can read all about the story behind #tothegirls here.
Over the past two weeks I’ve continued to think about one piece of this conversation in particular:
Clearly apologies are way too embedded in women’s lexicon. We use “sorry” as a synonym for “excuse me” or in attempt to soften what we are asking for, when a “thank you” once it’s delivered is more appropriate. Just as frightening as (or maybe more frightening than) the word itself are the non-verbal apologies: “Yes that’s my prize-winning science project,” she mumbles and stares at the floor; “I got straight A’s,” she says quietly and focuses intently on her fingernails.
Several years ago, a kind friend brought to my attention that every time I said “I am a writer” I would cut my eyes to the left, look down and offer some sort of caveat (read: apology) like “only self-published.” I didn’t even realize I was doing it. I hated that I was and made a conscious effort to change. To look people in the eye and say “I’m a writer,” and then to bite my tounge. I wasn’t perfect at it. Even now, every now and then I still have a bad day. But I can honestly say that I am certain I could not have accomplished what I have if I had continued to apologize.
I am a writer. I am not sorry.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with those insidious “sorrys” that can be so hard to stop. Tell me what you are not going to apologize for today, in the comments below.