The Perks of No Longer Apologizing: Or Why I’m Sorry For Being Sorry

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gilly

I’m an apologizer. I’m not sure what I’ve done in my life to make me feel like I should be in a constant state of seeking forgiveness, but I do. Even in situations that don’t warrant it—heck, ESPECIALLY in situations that don’t warrant it. I’ll apologize for the weather, or for my hard-to-pronounce last name, or if I run into an inanimate object. I even cried when I gave away my stuffed animals–because I was afraid I might hurt their feelings. I should probably also note that was during my senior year of high school, so probably much too old for that kind of behavior. Yep. I’m that girl.

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. . . Sorry.

Usually I would chalk this up to being more of a character quirk than a character flaw, but the problem comes when that apologetic nature starts to bleed into other aspects of my life. Sure, if I pour pig blood on your prom dress, I should probably at least send you a quick text to say ‘my bad, *frown-y emoticon*’; but why do I feel this perpetual need to apologize for the things that I like? Or hate? Or the successes that I have in my life? Or the amount of time that I spend talking about Mr. Darcy as if he’s a real person?

Recent life experience has opened my eyes to the fact that the only time I should really be sorry for anything is if I’m hurting somebody or if I’m doing something wrong. And being myself? Doesn’t actually fall into either one of those categories. Turns out, there’s something really liberating about not only being okay with who I am, but being okay with letting other people know who I am, too.

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So in the spirit of learning not to apologize for myself as a human being, here are a list of things that from this day forward, I will refuse to be sorry for:

I’m not sorry for hating football. It’s SOO boring. Watching it makes me want to bash my face through a wall. Hearing people talk about it makes me want to bash their face through a wall. And it doesn’t benefit you in any way if I watch it, so stop trying to convince me that I should. I’d rather do just about ANYTHING else, thank you very much.

I’m not sorry for refusing to eat mayonnaise. It’s pretty much just a glob of pure fat. And it’s gross. And I hate it. So if at a restaurant I specifically ask you not to put it on my sandwich and you do it anyway, I will no longer end up apologizing to you and trying to scrape it off with a fork. You’re gonna have to make me another sandwich.

I’m not sorry for being a nerd. A lot of you probably don’t know that I went to Comic Con last year, because I kept it a secret.  For most of you who DID know about it, I probably told you I went for the networking opportunities and whatnot. Which is kind of true, but mostly I really just wanted to be in the same room as Nathan Fillion, and shove people out of my way so I could sit in the third row for Joss Whedon’s panel, and wear my homemade ‘the Lannisters Ate My Baby’ t-shirt (which George R.R. Martin totally told me that he liked, thus transforming me into an incoherent, jabbering fool. Seriously, it wasn’t pretty).

Also, as long as we’re confessing things? I went to the Doctor Who Museum in Cardiff. As in, Wales. By myself. And was literally the only customer there, which meant I had to track down the teenager working at the cash register to take a picture of me with the TARDIS. And it was so totally worth it.

TARDIS

For some reason we’ve been made to feel that it’s embarrassing to be passionate about things—except, it isn’t. I’d be more embarrassed to be someone whose favorite show was some stupid procedural cop drama or low-brow laugh-track sitcom. Who didn’t tear up when Desmond’s phone call made it through to Penny on Christmas Day. Who thought The Avengers was “okay”. Those are the real weirdos of the world.

I’m not sorry for being single. Being in a relationship is in no way proof of being a superior human being. After all, Hitler had a girlfriend.

I’m not sorry for loving stuff just because it’s cliché or popular. I love chocolate. And Jane Austen. And Disneyland. And penguins. And for the record, claiming that the Beatles weren’t very good doesn’t make you deep or profound, it makes you pretentious. Or possibly tone deaf. The Beatles rule, man. YOU’RE overly simplistic (this may or may not be a sore point with me. Hard to say).

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And as long as we’re sort of in that ballpark…

I’m not sorry for liking Twilight. I mean, it’s not the world’s greatest masterpiece, but it’s wildly entertaining, and you all know it. I may or may not have spent one late night in New York City, pounding on the windows of Barnes & Noble when they arbitrarily decided to cancel their midnight release of Breaking Dawn and demanding, along with a posse of 13-year-old girls, that they let us in or suffer Edward’s wrath.

Whatever. I got my book.

I’m not sorry for being bad at sports. I was not born with what some people call ‘hand-eye coordination’ or ‘grace’ or ‘the ability to walk in a straight line,’ but I have other skill sets. And just because you athletic folk happen to have immediately recognizable talents doesn’t mean that yours are better than mine, or that it’s any less jerk-y for you to throw a temper tantrum every time I can’t catch a ball than if I plugged my ears and moaned every time you sang a note off-key, or if I pointed at you and laughed when you used a semi-colon incorrectly. So just tone down the theatrics, okay? It’s a ball, not your child’s kidney.

I’m not sorry for having dreams. You know who has dreams? Awesome people, like Nebuchadnezzar and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the girl from Mamma Mia. Yet for some reason I’ve always been too afraid to admit what I want out of life, when really? Most people are super supportive and lovely, and there’s nothing they want more than to encourage you in your journey.

So with that being said, I’m no longer ashamed to admit that my dream of all dreams is. . . to marry Joseph Morgan!

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Kidding! (Kind of… ) My actual dream is to write really awesome books and movies and tv shows and plays. And to have my own personal library someday. And get a PhD. And have Joss Whedon quoted as saying, “Elizabeth Gilliland is one of the greatest living talents, possibly of all time.” You know. Stuff like that.

As for those of you who aren’t all that lovely and supportive and like to ask people about their dreams so that you can make condescending faces and remark on how nice it is to have a “hobby”—and you know who you are—I can’t help but feel at times that you’re using my life much like I use Honey Boo Boo’s: to watch on in judgment so that you can feel better about yourself. But I’m done feeling bad that I don’t meet your approval. So all I gotta say to you is this:

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Time to go live an unapologetically wonderful life.

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About lissag7

Elizabeth Gilliland is an aspiring writer/dreamer/pirate who loves a good story more than just about anything else... except maybe chocolate. This is her place to create and dream and share just a little nugget of what's going on in her little corner of the 'verse.

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