A very public apology
Today, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for not fitting a narrative.
I’m sorry for not fitting a mould.
I’m sorry that I seem to consistently let society down.
These are the things that I’m sorry for.
I’m sorry for my work history.
Sometimes it seems like I should have tried harder at school, at university, at every ‘proper job’ I’ve ever had.
Maybe if I’d taken the next few steps in a particular career path, I’d have found happiness. Content. And my life would be very different.
How I am seen by others would almost certainly be different.
Stable. Progressive. Accepted.
Maybe I didn’t really not like the job. Maybe I should have suppressed that sick feeling I had as I travelled to work some mornings. Maybe it was my own fault that I felt uncomfortable, out of place and as far from myself as possible when I was working in some roles.
Maybe I should have just ignored my gut.
I’m sorry for my current priorities.
Sometimes it seems like I should be desperately trying to find a boyfriend to settle down with, to have children with, to start an ‘actual’ life with.
I think back on my past, and wonder if I should have tried harder to make it work, to make them happy, to fix what was broken.
Sometimes I wonder how many days will pass before I hear about my biological clock, the property market, before someone looks concerned about my relationship status.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be worrying even more about my figure, my skin, my perceived attractiveness, my shelf life.
I’m not getting any younger after all.
I’m sorry for being a failure.
I don’t know why I feel I unsatisfied working a 9-5, why I haven’t yet found my true calling, and why I insist on making an effort to discover what that is.
Sometimes I fantasise about my employed life. Sometimes I do feel lost. Sometimes I look at my bank account as the numbers decline and wonder how much longer I should give it before I call this ‘cute little venture’ quits.
Maybe I shouldn’t value what I do. Maybe I don’t have anything to offer. Maybe I’ll never be able to make this work.
Maybe I should try harder to fit the mould, the narrative, to help society feel comfortable in my presence.
If only I could just be ok with feeling personally unfulfilled, life would be a whole lot easier.
I’m sorry for using my voice.
I know that in school, I didn’t always buy everything the teachers said. I sometimes questioned their opinions. I’ve even sometimes questioned the opinions of my parents.
Sometimes, I’ve spoken up against racism, sexism, bullying, injustice, and I know that sometimes this has made people uncomfortable.
Maybe at a party in the weekend, I shouldn’t have told the guy that grabbed my boob that it wasn’t ok, that my body wasn’t a free-for-all, that the existence of my breast wasn’t an open invitation.
Maybe after watching Suicide Squad, I shouldn’t have been disappointed at the racial slurs, the cheap jokes, the fact that a woman was punched justifiably because ‘she had a mouth’.
Maybe when I find myself worrying about my little sister in a world where her worth will be based on first her skin colour, second her attractiveness, and third her ability to hold down a man; in a world where porn is the norm, where consent is a grey area, where beauty standards are purchased; in a world where she will be underpaid, undervalued and consistently under societal pressure regardless of her success; maybe that’s just me being overprotective.
Maybe I should stay quiet, and just laugh it all off.
Most of all.. I’m sorry for not being sorry about any of the above at all.
I would be different.
I would change.
I would be sorry.
If only I could be.
Please share if you’re feeling sorry, too.