Tag Archives: life

All Apologies

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‘I’m sorry’ comes out my mouth way too much.   I’m not talking about sincere apologies.  I’m talking about saying I’m sorry when I didn’t do or say anything that I need to apologize for.

For example, I say sorry when someone bumps into me, or if I almost drop something.   I even say sorry to furniture when I bump into it.

I also apologize when I think someone is going to be angry, before I’m even sure what I’m apologizing for.  It’s a sort of reflex for me, like how you put your hands in front of you when you trip.  It’s a safety net.  People get less angry if you seem like you feel bad.

The odd thing is, when I actually need to apologize for something I did, I have the hardest time.

There is something wrong with this.

Why do I feel like this need to apologize constantly? 

Maybe it’s because I bully myself.  I tell myself I’m stupid, or not good enough.  I tell myself that people are angry at me.  But, this is all my own perception.  This isn’t a definite truth.

Or maybe it’s because others often tell me I’m wrong.  I’m not a confident person, and for some reason, confident people prey on people like me.  They ‘advise’ me and tell me all the ways I’m wrong, all in my best interest, of course.  So I guess I’m used to feeling like I’m wrong.

But, I think it also comes from a desire to please. I don’t want anyone to be angry at me.  There are many angry people in the world, but taking on the blame for all their feelings is both arrogant and dysfunctional.   By saying I’m sorry, I make myself responsible, whether I am or not.  Why would I add this unnecessary burden on myself?

I don’t want to live that way.   I don’t want to be constantly apologizing for things that don’t deserve an apology.  Don’t get me wrong.  Apologizing is great, but only if you actually did something wrong.   But, you don’t need to take blame for things that aren’t your fault.

To combat this, I try to practice mindfulness, a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and thoughts.   From here, I can see what is clearly mine to deal with and what is not.   Gradually, I notice these meaningless and disordered apologies leave my vocabulary.   And when I realize that I have done something wrong,  I try to say I’m sorry and mean it.

 

 

The Perks of Being Alone

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High-school is supposed to be a time of friendships and partying, but for me, it isn’t.  I’m pretty much a loner, though I never tried to isolate myself.

I was like anyone else, dreaming of going on my first date at sixteen, going out with friends every weekend, all that we associate with teenage years.   But this didn’t happen, despite my best efforts.

I joined groups.

I tried to be likable.

I got in, somewhat, but not quite.

Not enough to be asked to go places on the weekend.

Not enough for the person to call me instead of me calling them.

I used to berate myself, wondering why I could never fit in.  I cried.  I used to look at acquaintance’s social media and all the social, fun things they do and feel anger, a deep, resenting anger.  I hated them for not including me.

So, I watched the world go on, without me, from the outside.  Then I started living.

I stopped being angry. I stopped pining for what I don’t have and started appreciating what I do have.  I became friends with me.  That’s who I’ll be taking everywhere I go, no matter what friends come my way, so I figure I might as well like her.   And when I stopped resenting, I realized there are some perks of being alone.

 

Let me explain.  

This time has been a time of a lot of personal growth.   I’ve learned a lot about me, and had time to give myself some time to breathe, to observe the world before I plunge into it.   When I look back at the girl I was, I wonder how she’d fare with the social life she dreamed of.  She was naïve, and insecure, immature.  She was unprepared for the demands of having a social life.

 

So what have I been doing?   Lots of things.    

I started playing guitar about two years ago.    I’ve been able to give it 100% since I have the time to invest in it.   It’s been a lot of hard work, but it is well worth it.

I’ve gotten really serious about my writing.  I’ve read many how-to-write books and practiced a lot, in all styles, from essays to fiction.   Right now, I’m writing my first novel, in addition to this blog.

I’m learning how to learn with my learning struggles.  This is a life-long journey, so I might as well start young.  I’ve realized that when I take the time to learn how I learn, I really can do it.

I also learned to knit, something I’ve wanted to learn for a while now.  Right now, I’m making my first knitted sweater.   I’m also experimenting with sewing clothes for myself because I rarely find clothes that fit or flatter me in the stores.

I’ve become friends with my mom, my dad and my sisters.   They’re my squad.   They’re who I spend my Friday nights with and my weekends.

I’ve learned to see all this time in my life as a blessing, not a curse.  To quote a cliche, I’ve bloomed where I was planted.  Yes, I’d like friends.  Sometimes I still feel envy when I see my Instagram feed, but it is passing.   It doesn’t consume me like it used to.  Besides, pictures on social media are such a fickle thing to judge one’s success on.  What does three hundred likes really mean?   And just cause you smile and have friends, who knows if you’re really happy?  A life can’t be explained through a few pictures on social media because how can a picture show the growth of a person over a year?  Or the measure of your maturity, or the worth of your thoughts and ideas?   The truth is they can’t.

So don’t feel sorry for me.  I’m content right where I am.   I’m not depressed or angry or bitter anymore.  I’m okay.  Maybe one day, I’ll get these friends I’ve always dreamed of, but for now,  I’m happy where I am, with the company of myself.