‘What else should I be, all apologies'
Let’s forget what Kurt sang. As much as I love him, I’m not that person any more. I’m giving up apologising.
I’ve been listening to a lot of The Guilty Feminist podcast with the amazing Deborah Frances-White and some things are starting to hit home.
After seeing my old boyfriend at a wedding recently, he told me that he wasn’t in a good place when we broke up (about 13 years ago) and he didn’t know how to vocalise his emotions. This was a lightning bolt moment. I had always thought that there was something wrong with me and that’s why he ended things in the weirdest of ways and didn’t speak to me for 10 years.
My boyfriend before him started seeing a girl on the side whilst we were together and I ‘accidentally’ found out. And again, I’d thought that I was the one in the wrong.
I had always thought of myself as a woman that no man could really handle as I was too impatient, too flightly, too persistant and a little on the edge. I thought that my husband was the first man that could tolerate me. But hearing these words from my ex-boyfriend, I realised that my husband has never simply tolerated me. What the hell was I thinking?! What an awful word. Tolerate. Of course I know he loves me to the ends of the earth, but I had thought that he’d been the one that could handle my strange ways and put up with them.
It struck me that there was and has NEVER been anything wrong with me. It’s been their issues all along, which is why they couldn’t stick around. I’m glad they didn’t, as I wouldn’t have met my lovely husband, gotten married, had an awesome baby and as a whole, have a really happy life. I have absolutely no bad feelings to my ex’s, they had to deal with their thing at the time and I wish them nothing but love and happiness. But it made me feel so much lighter knowing, really knowing, that is wasn’t me. It was them. I was OK. I AM OK.
We all have baggage and sadly sometimes it takes a little while to off load that. To understand it and then to get rid.
I’ve had a few other revelatory experiences along these lines too.
I have realised that I get out of the way for people all the time. Walking in the street, in the shops, on the train. I physically move myself out of the path of everyone so that they don’t have to inconvenience themselves by moving out of my path. Why have I been doing this?
I also realised that I apologise. A lot. If I can’t move the buggy, for example, out of someone’s way within a second of them needing to pass I’m all ‘oh I’m so, so sorry, let me move’.
These realisations has made me stop and take stock.
Why am I apologising for my existence?!
Be it for not being the perfect girlfriend that someone wanted to be with or hurrying myself along and getting out of everyone’s way, It’s ridiculous.
And I’m not doing it any more.
I have a right to my space. To take it up and to not be in any way apologetic for me being here.
I’m going to walk along the street with my head held high, my eyes forward, my path locked.
Stop and have a think if you ever do the same things that I have been doing. Do you? And if you do, why not review this and ask yourself why.
You are here, in this moment and who knows how long our time will last.
TAKE UP SPACE. DO NOT APOLOGISE FOR BEING YOU.
You are amazing. You are unique. You are stronger than you know.
Take up that space and own the hell out of it.