New Year, New (Unapologetic) Me

Ahh yes… it’s that time again, the beginning of a new year and that can only mean one thing… Change! The calendar has reset to zero once more and with it comes an air of rebirth. Most people see resolutions as goals or lifestyle changes they would like to achieve within the next 365 days, and maybe even carry on for the rest of their lives. Some people hope to set more time to read more books, or travel. Others set out to run races by the summer, eat less junk, finish school, get a puppy, practice body positivity, devote time to their mental health, reconnect with old friends, or just continue living life! The beauty of a clean slate is the limitless list of possibilities.

This year I’ve realized that I need to take care of myself in a different matter. I have decided to make 2017 a year for intrapersonal growth. As I get older and inch closer to accepting that I’m becoming an adult, I realize there are more and more personal barriers I need to overcome until I can be the majestic butterfly I know am. *I’m only halfway out of my cocoon, right now*

 I suffer from excessive apologies, and I need to stop it. Now, I’m not talking about the normal, “I’m sorry for being a jerk” apologies. I apologize for EVERYTHING. This defining realization occurred to me when I came across these cartoons by illustrator Yao Xiao. The pictures by Xiao explain simple scenarios where “Thank you” is better than “I’m sorry”, with the last picture saying, “Don’t apologize for simply existing. Because it is not wrong.” As soon as I read that, a montage played in my head of all the times I have apologized. I apologize for ranting about a topic I feel passionate about. I apologize for snorting when I laugh at something I find hilarious. I apologize for my cooking. I apologize for wearing sweatpants for the third day in a row. I apologize for talking. At one point, I could even hear the voices of my various friends asking me what I’m even saying sorry to.

 Why do I do this?! When did I become like this?!

This. Needs. To. STOP.

No one is shutting me up; I have every right to express my opinion. I love snorting when I laugh because that’s when I know something is so funny my body can’t handle it. No one is making fun of my sweatpants *hellooo this is college, we live in sweats*, and I know for a fact I am a pretty great cook.

I originally considered myself a confident person, but with every “sorry,” I realize I am making myself smaller. I, myself, am the source of my surfacing self-doubt, which means I also have the power to vanquish it.

So for 2017 and for years to come, I plan on taking Yao Xiao’s advice: I will replace my “I’m sorry(s)” with “Thank you(s).