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I have decided to start a new chapter in my life. I am, after all, the author in the story of my life. So, even though we are just beginning November, I am starting fresh. Blank page and all that.

Earlier this week, I sat on the O-train, squashed between two men. I tried as much as I could to shrink and make myself smaller so I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. That for sure was a feat because of my curvy 5’9 self, but I think I deserve points for trying. Yet, it struck me, somewhere between Bayview and Carleton, that the men on either side of me sat sprawled out with no concern of ‘being in anyone’s way.’ Then I asked myself, what made me different? I pride myself on being confident, yet here I was trying to shrink myself. So, I stopped slouching and straightened up. And to my utter surprise, the men beside me adjusted their sitting positions. 

This isn’t to say that a person should be inconsiderate to the personal space of those around them. But, if those men can sit there comfortably without making themselves small, why can’t I? Why have I always felt the need to not ‘be in anyone’s way?’

I have noticed that we are too apologetic, especially women. This isn’t the ‘I’m sorry I bumped into you’ apology, but more a ‘I’m sorry for simple existing.’ It seems to me that after everything women do, they attach a disclaimer on it. Anything from ‘sorry,’ ‘I’m annoying’ to ‘don’t listen to me.’ Take your pick. The thing is, there is no need to apologize. Our thoughts and opinions (if they aren’t harmful or discriminatory) are valid. But, the question that I feel myself going to next is: why?

I shouldn’t have to be sorry for taking up space in this world. I am just as valid as anyone else and belong here just as much.

This new unapologetic approach to life I’m taking is not an excuse for being wrong and living with it. I want to explore my faults and areas that I need to grow in and then make those changes. However, from now own I will live unapologetically. 

I will not apologize for my ethics and my beliefs when they come from a pure place in my heart. And my intent will be just as important as my delivery.

I will not apologize for not living up to the expectations that others built for me. I never promised nor created that illusion and it is not my responsibility to uphold it.

I won’t apologize for sharing my joys and happiness with those around me. I don’t have to take on the sadness of those around me.

Now, the Women’s and Gender Studies student in me could probably tell you ten reasons why I believe women sometimes feel inferior and have the crippling need to say sorry all the time. Maybe it’s our insecurities, maybe it’s the way we’ve been trained. I could probably name a feel songs that speak on it, I mean Beyoncé’s song Flawless captured it beautifully if you ask me. But to apologizing, I say no more.

So, starting now, in my new chapter, I want to live with purpose. I won’t apologize for things outside of my control and I will focus on my own inner peace.

Zoya Davis

Carleton '22

Zoya Davis is a journalism student at Carleton University and has contributed to several different blogs and websites over the last 3 years. She also runs a photography account on Instagram (@stillfrxme) and can often be found online shopping or trying to discover new music.
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