The Art Of Not Apologizing

The Art Of Not Apologizing

Sorry, not sorry.
41
views

A girl in my 6th-grade class kicked the back of my chair once and I said sorry. My teacher laughed, and she said, “Why are you sorry?” I didn’t have an answer. I felt like I naturally needed to apologize for practically everything and shoot out "I’m sorry’s" like cannonballs out of cannons.

As I grew older and refused to comply with my "indoor voice," apologizing for everything or for crossing my legs on the subway so that the guy sitting next to me could sit comfortably, I felt sad for my younger self. I felt sad for her, the young girl who felt validation came from the acceptance of popular girls and boys in my middle school class and the inches on my waist.

I remember in 7th grade, a pad fell from my pocket and on the ground in the hallway. I panicked and ran away immediately, with blushed cheeks and a deafening pounding in my heart. I desperately hoped nobody knew it came from me.

Did I forget that all of us girls got periods? Did I not think about all of the pads and tampons stuffed in our lockers, backpacks, and pockets? It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I yelled at my substitute teacher for not letting me go to the bathroom because I needed to "wait my turn" and that I would literally bleed on my seat. It wasn’t until my junior year that I pulled pads out of my backpack proudly and swayed to the bathroom with them clutched in my hand.

Harmful cultural messages aimed at women, from the notion that we can or should “have it all” to whatever is traditionally feminine, all illustrative as shallow expectations that we must confine to. To confine to these unwritten rules that were fabricated out of nowhere, don’t accept me, for all I give a fuck. I won’t feel ashamed to walk the streets with what is thought to be a "resting bitch face" or talk about my biology or get a second slice of cake (you may say it’s all empty calories, and you might be right, but fuck you, just look at that icing).

You don’t need to apologize for everything. Walk with your spine straight, moon rocks settled between each vertebra and embrace the intoxicating high of being right (and being wrong). Take into your palms censorship, and sexism and misogyny and crush it to a pulp.

This is for girls born with a fire in their belly, for girls who are taunted for their "resting bitch face," and for girls who are expected to conceal their skin, but also dress sexy when the time is right. This is for girls who get shit on for being a feminist, rather a "feminazi", and for girls who tug their dresses down and feel like a sheep among hundreds led by wolves.

The world might be determined to douse those flames of yours. You have a daunting smile and your hands can shatter glaciers, and you need to remember that speaking up is ladylike and having an opinion is sexy and screaming is okay if you want to, and saying no when you need to is good for your soul, especially when it feels barren. There is a strange, subtle art of apologizing, and you don’t need to abide by it.

Cover Image Credit: Didem Arslanoglu

Popular Right Now

Not My Michigan

A Michigan student-athlete turned Registered Nurse on the Michigan Medicine contract negotiations in 2018.

28424
views

It's May 1st, 2016. I'm bright-eyed, eager, and graduating from the University of Michigan as a Nursing Student and Student-Athlete.

I am ready to take on the world the way that Michigan taught me how: fearlessly, compassionately, and wholeheartedly. I bleed blue. I know what it means to be a Wolverine and to represent the Michigan Difference in everything I do. I wear the block M on my School of Nursing scrubs and my Michigan Dance Team uniform well aware that it represents goodness, tradition, and excellence. I am determined. I am inspired. I am ready.

It's Monday, September 17th, 2018. What does Michigan mean to me now? I used to be so sure. Now, I simply don't know. So, what's the deal? How did my view on an institution become so indifferent in recent months?

I chose U of M to start my nursing career because it had the widely known reputation of putting its patients first, respecting its nurses, and providing the best care to patients in the state (5th in the country, to be exact). In my first year, as I was clumsily learning how to push patient stretchers, titrate intravenous vasopressors, and to communicate with the medical team, I proudly participated in our hospital's effort to achieve Magnet status.

When Nursing earned Magnet Status, an award given by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center and indicator of the strength and quality of Nursing at Michigan, I felt that same pride as I did in May of 2016.

I knew in my heart that I picked the best institution to develop my nursing practice and to give high quality, patient-centered care to anyone who walked, rolled, or was carried through the doors of Adult Emergency Services. The hospital's goals were aligned with mine and those around me. We put patients first, and more specifically, we put patients over profits.

I am lucky enough to work at a hospital that has been unionized for more than four decades. When I started working, the concept of a union was foreign to me. For those who may need a refresher, unions promote and protect the interests of all employees. They collectively bargain with employers to secure written agreements for employees regarding pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Collective bargaining agreements are legally enforceable contracts holding employers and employees to mutually agreed-to workplace rules and process to provide a fair and just workplace. The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association, has been working diligently since January to bargain with the University of Michigan to protect me, the 5,700 nurses who work within the institution, and our patients. I'd like to think they're the good guys in this story.

Here's where things get sticky: David Spahlinger, president of our prestigious U of M health system, has publicly stated that Michigan is "committed to maintaining current staffing levels," but will not make this commitment in writing. Common sense is reflected in the most high-quality research on the topic of nurse-patient ratios and its direct effect on patient care.

Appropriate staffing allows me and my coworkers to give the quality of care that I know we have the ability to provide. High staffing levels are associated with reduced mortality, falls, medication errors, ulcers, restraint use and infections. Unregulated staffing is a significant barrier to nurses' abilities to provide optimal patient care and prevents Nursing at Michigan from providing what we know to be the Michigan Difference in healthcare.

UMPNC held voting on a work stoppage for unfair labor practices last week. Out of 4,000 votes cast by nurses at the U, 94% authorized a work stoppage in protest of the University's unfair labor practices. No date is set, but our elected nurse bargaining team now has the authority to call for action.

Thank you to Katie Oppenheim, who chairs our union, for reiterating in an article to the Detroit Free Press that a work stoppage is not our goal. "Our goal is a fair agreement which respects nurses and guarantees safe staffing. The university can remedy this situation immediately by stopping their unfair labor practices and bargaining in good faith."

I am proud to be a nurse and I hope that our efforts to keep Michigan a patients-over-profits institution are recognized at the community, state, and national level. Anne McGinity, David Spahlinger, and those who have the power to make Michigan the magical place I once thought it was, make like Nike and just do it. For the love of patients, nurses, and our great University. I know we are better than this.

(Stay Tuned, folks).

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

13 Signs You Really Need To Get Your Sh*t Together

Because there's being a hot mess...and then just being a mess.

54
views

With jam-packed schedules and loads of homework, college students are commonly depicted as walking train-wrecks of people. Sure, it's okay to be a little bit of a mess, but you don't want your entire college experience to be one giant jumble of chaos. Here are some signs that you really need to get your act together.

1. You're constantly late to class...but always manage to find the time to get coffee

media.giphy.com

If you walk into class with Starbucks and you are on time, then that means you really have your act together. You left early and had the time to get coffee on the way, good for you! But if you decide that a caffeine boost is worth being late, then you may want to set your priorities straight a little bit.

2. You own a planner...but only used it for the first week.

media.giphy.com

If you're anything like me, you still carry it around in your bag because it makes you feel like you have your life together. But do you really use it?

3. The word "free" catches your attention every time

media.giphy.com

Maybe you don't need another t-shirt, but it's free! Better yet, free food. Because who doesn't like food, and who actually wants to pay for it.

4. You've already spent your budget allowance...for the next three months

media.giphy.com

It felt amazing making a budget for yourself. Honestly, I was considering switching to a finance major I felt so put together. Yet, actually sticking to said budget...didn't really happen. Unless I manage to not spend a penny for the next 3 and a half months I don't think it's going to work out.

5. Never actually working out in workout clothing

media.giphy.com

Buying a bunch of workout clothing always gives me inspiration to actually workout. The only problem is that the inspiration doesn't really last long, but they're comfortable to wear to class. At least people may think I'm planning on going to the gym after class when really I'm going to be on my bed with a bag of Doritos's.

6. When the only sleep you get is through naps

media.giphy.com

There's nothing better then taking a quick nap once you get back from class...but the problem arises when that quick nap ends up being five hours long. There's nothing truly more nerve wracking then waking up at ten o clock at night and remembering you had a paper due at midnight.

7. You can't remember the last time you drank something that wasn't alcohol or caffeine

media.giphy.com

Because what's the point of taking the time to drink something if it's not going to either make you wake up or make you forget all your problems, right?

8. Replacing sleep with Netflix

media.giphy.com

"Okay, if I just watch one more episode, then I can go to sleep after and still get three and a half hours of sleep in." But, does anyone really ever just watch one more episode?

9. Constantly shifting stuff between your bed and desk

media.giphy.com

During the day, you move all of your stuff from your desk onto your bed, and then at night you move it back onto your desk to make room on your bed to sleep. It's just the natural cycle of things.

10. Greasy hair don't care

media.giphy.com

The one thing that is easier to procrastinate on then homework is showers. Especially with the creation of dry-shampoo, sure it's not the same as washing your hair but it's a whole lot quicker.

11. You're behind on laundry...like really behind

media.giphy.com

Not only does it take up your precious time, but you have to pay for it? Sure, your hamper is overflowing and you're running out of clothes, but will that motivate a college student? Probably not.

12. Taking days to actually email someone back

media.giphy.com

With your busy college schedule, who actually has time to check their email every day?

13. Putting off homework until the very last minute

media.giphy.com

Because you know it's not going to get finished when you tell yourself you'll wake up early in the morning to finish it then.

Overall, are you really getting the college experience if your life isn't sort of a giant mess? I mean, things always end up kind of working out in their own way, so don't sweat it!

Related Content

Facebook Comments