When I was about 15 years old, my grandmother told me, in the front of her new-smelling car with a milkshake in my right hand, "never apologize." Having always been taught the importance of politeness, I was shocked to hear those two words. It took me a while to realize the importance of what was said that day, and I doubt she even remembers something so casually said in conversation, but this moment has stuck with me every second since then.
Think about how often we find ourselves sorry. When someone runs into us on the public bus: "I am sorry;" when we say something out of turn: "I am sorry;" when we feel as if we have let someone down: "I am sorry." There is this voice inside of us that tells us to take the blame in these situations. Now, that is the literal meaning of what my grandmother said that day, but I have thought much deeper since I finished that milkshake.
I have made it a point to live unapologetically, but what exactly does that mean?
Living unapologetically is not being sorry for the way you exist. It is being loud and brave and not fearing if someone finds you unpleasant. It is breaking away stereotypes and rules, and creating a new standard that is far above what is expected. It is saying what is on your mind at an exact moment in time, and never being sorry for it. It is loving your body and not asking for permission to be happy with the way you are made. It is not asking permission for anything, for that matter. It is being so fearlessly bold that you radiate kindness and inspiration.
People will fear you. It is scary to be so shameless in a world that teaches us to grow inward instead of outward. The good news is, when you live unapologetically you do not care. You may break a few hearts, but you had to do so to better yourself, and for that, you cannot be sorry. You had to burn a few bridges to find happiness, but for that, you cannot be sorry. You had to break old ties and live relentlessly and spontaneously and forget all of the expectations put upon you, but for that, you cannot be sorry. Stop being sorry, because, the truth is, if you were so sorry, you would not have acted in the first place.
Living unapologetically does not mean crushing all things kind and good; as a matter of fact, it is quite the opposite. It is building new cities and new perspectives, and inspiring other people to do so as well. The most appropriate way to look at it is as living boldly. Do not be sorry for being who you are. You do not owe anything to anyone. Do not make excuses--you do not have to prove yourself.