The Art Of Not Apologizing

The Art Of Not Apologizing

Sorry, not sorry.

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

22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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

10 Reasons Working As A CNA Has Been So Rewarding

I am so thankful for the experiences I have each day I work as a certified nursing assistant.

1. Bonds

I have heard so many stories, learned life lessons, and stepped into many different roles. As a caretaker, before you know it your family seems a lot larger.

2. Rewarding

Knowing that I am offering the best care possible, I sleep well at night knowing my residents are well looked after. I have the blessing of getting know each resident, their families, and their other caretakers. Constantly looking out for my residents' best interests, safety, respect, and health- I feel rewarded for having the honor of looking after such deserving people.

3. Experience

As an aspiring physician's assistant (pre-med student), gaining hours upon hours of experience in the setting of a nursing home or hospital look GREAT on applications. Most medical programs require an extensive amount of hours of direct patient care. Thankfully I am earning these hours while also being paid.

4. Connections

Working alongside nurses, doctors, therapists, etc. allows me to make many beneficial professional connections. Not to mention, their advice is SO helpful. Finding where you want to end up in the medical field is challenging, as there are so many options. Narrowing those options to what best suits you is a fun journey.

5. Staying Fit

Being a certified nursing assistant is a VERY physical job. Feeding, bathing, transferring, etc. residents takes a large toll on the body. However, I generally obtain at least 11,000 steps just within one 8 hour shift (reaching the 10,000 step daily goal). Gaining muscle is not something I ever thought I would experience, however it comes along with the job.

6. Knowledge

I have the opportunity to learn on the job every single day. Learning to recognize symptoms of various different health conditions, the process of treating those conditions, and the plan of recovery for each condition. A good amount of the residents generally have a chronic health condition, ranging from diabetes to chronic pain. Paying attention to prognosis, diagnosis, symptoms, etc. I recognize patterns in people outside of the nursing home. Knowledge is such a powerful tool.

7. Preparation for the Future

Within a few decades, as much as I hate to think about it, my own parents will be geriatrics. Knowing what I know now, having the experience that I have, I will now be able to take care of them myself if need be. I love my parents so much, and want to know that they will be getting the best care. The only way I can be 100% sure of that, would be if I was their caretaker.

8. Greater Empathy

I was already extremely empathetic before becoming a CNA, but I am now empathetic in ways I never could have predicted. I realize that families may come into hospitals and nursing homes with frustration and speculation, and I have learned to keep my emotions in check. Most often, those emotions are the result of a negative experience their loved one endured at a past facility.

9. Tolerance

Encountering many different bodily fluids each shift, I have a very high tolerance for pretty much anything at this point. In the beginning I just didn't sweat much about it, knowing that it was going to just be a part of the job. I still feel just about the same, doesn't quite phase me. We are ALL human.

10. Peaceful Goodbyes

I have lost a lot of close friends throughout my teenage years. For once I am surrounded by natural death. In which goodbyes can be delivered before it's too late. Rarely are goodbyes unexpected or undelivered. Closure is more consistent in my work setting. I have many beautiful angels looking over me now.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Facebook Comments