The Five Things I Wasn't Actually Sorry For

The fall pours into us like a wave of pumpkin spice, fuzzy socks and new opportunities; the footballs and class syllabi fly into the air along with an opening to begin again.

As I returned to this college town, with luggage bags full of crocs and polaroid photos, I knew this would be my chance to recolor myself like the aging leaves.

My goals are simple: stop bumming it, write a lot, drink more water and stop being so apologetic.

When I was in the first grade, my nana told me that I should start paying her a quarter for each time I said sorry. If I would have accepted her challenge, my grandmother would have been an ivory plated millionaire by the time I graduated elementary school.

Her days would’ve been painted with shades of caviar and pearls, and my pockets would be emptied by my own insecurities.

My biggest flaw is consistently feeling that I am at fault: that my actions make others uncomfortable, and that I am somehow responsible for the negative energy that may manifest around me.

In reality, I am only a human who has no tighter grip on the universe than anyone else; I’m just now beginning to accept that at 20-years-old.

I apologize often, but here are the things I was never actually sorry for:  

Photo Courtesy by Samantha Shriber

 

For Being the First to Dance

I love music, especially the type that ignites the soul and inspires people to embrace the world around them.

Dancing is my liberation. It allows me to flow against the cosmic waves circling the world. It demands hair to be let loose, spirits to be freed and the body to glide in wild swooshes.  

I’m far from elegant, but dancing allows me to glow in fashions I never imagined possible for myself.

It is a source of revival and self-care that I should never be embarrassed of, despite the heads it may turn or snapchat stories it may end up on.  

 

For Catching Feels

My mother warned me that men prefer chases opposed to women who vocalize their admirations up front.

But being a journalism major with two minors and leadership positions across campus, I simply don’t have the damn time to serve this outdated concept.

If I like someone, it’s because I see something exceptional in them, something so unique that it would be insulting to hide it.

It is my opportunity to appreciate someone on a new platform that requires me to be vulnerable and open minded.

Catching feelings allows me to still learn from an individual who may not like me back, which is a beautiful and humbling experience that I would never trade for anything.

 

For Knowing What I Want

More than anything, I want to be me in the most thunderous form.

My dreams come to me in golden explosions, demanding that I obliterate my shell, eliminate my pride and actually take action in crafting a world that celebrates progress, the environment and love.

I feel that I am expected to be silenced by the fear of conflict and judgement. But neither one should be a factor in anchoring me down while there is so much to achieve.

My role on earth is not to cater to those that may be disapproving of my ideologies and lifestyle, but to move forward and stunt on my God given path.

Goals exist on paper, but true success flourishes when provided a voice and active body.

 

For Being Hurt

Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve to be sad.

Crying makes me feel guilty because I am trapped and tortured by the mindset that I must have been the problem, not good enough and too privileged to experience melancholy.

When the girl I believed to be my high school best friend deleted my phone number or when the sorority I was eager to commit my college career to dropped me from their list of prospective members, I told myself that it was selfish and pathetic to be hurt.

Breakups, unfulfilled promises and lies are things I somehow always end up blaming myself for.

I don’t wish to be bitter against the parties that have broken my heart; but, I know now it was okay for me to weep and to allow my emotions to pour out like a tsunami that knows nothing but what Mother Nature has pushed her to do.

 

For Living a Life of Color

I am a weirdo.

I wear bright, teal crocs as casual footwear and wear fanny packs to dance clubs.

My favorite creature is a smirking leopard gecko named Sunset, and sometimes I wear a dragon onesie to take out the trash and pick up the mail.

My first tattoo was a hang loose sign on my right arm, that I celebrated by watching the sunset against the Atlantic Ocean.

Live your own life in whatever shape or volume you desire, and never think for a second that you should apologize for how positive or cynical it may be.