Things I’m No Longer Apologizing For
Last weekend I posted something on my personal Twitter page that a lot of people disagreed with. I got hate tweets for two days about it, which was baffling to me, because when did having a differing opinion become so offensive to people? Are we all supposed to be cookie cutter versions of one another, never having or voicing a contrasting idea or thought or viewpoint or opinion? How boring would life be if that was the case?
I’ve been going through a personal metamorphosis as of late…one I plan to tell you guys more about in the days and weeks to come…one that hasn’t been easy and has stripped me of many of my long-held ways of thinking and has left me standing rather bare, yet also rather unafraid, in my truth. I’ve discovered that I have a habit of spending way too much time of apologizing for myself, if not always to other people, then in my own mind. Apologizing and excusing and deflecting and feeling embarrassed by my choices and my opinions and at times, even the things that make me happy…rather than just standing boldly and unapologetically and unflinchingly in my truth. However imperfect or embarrassing or wrong that truth may seem to other people.
Almost on cue the other night, I was watching my latest Netflix obsession, Hart of Dixie, and this scene stopped me in my tracks. No, Hart of Dixie isn’t exactly a deep, award-winning, academic show…but there is truth to be found everywhere, even in the simplest places, if you stop judging the source long enough to hear the message.
Wade: Sometimes I just think you’re just the saddest person in the world. You’re always looking over your shoulder wondering what life should be instead of taking it for what it is. You’re not honest about what makes you happy. You what I’m going to do tonight, I’m going to go home and play video games for two or three hours. What I’m not going to do is beat myself up for playing video games instead of saving the world. If I wanted to save the world, hell, I’ll do it tomorrow.
Zoe: If you have time between video games.
Wade: EXACTLY! Cause it’s my choice. Just like it was your choice to stay in Bluebell, just like it was your choice to be a G.P. instead of a super sonic space surgeon or whatever. And it was your choice to go to bed with me. Clearly and something about every one of those choices make you happy. The problem is they don’t match up with the picture you have in your head about what your life should be.
Zoe: You don’t know as much about me as you think.
Wade: You know what? Maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t. But I do know this: You wanna be happy, Doc? Change your picture. Or change your life.
Just call me Zoe Hart, because I have allowed the picture of who I SHOULD be and what I SHOULD be doing and what my life SHOULD look like to literally blind me to the joyful reality of what my life really is. I’ve been apologizing for so long for who I’m NOT that I haven’t allowed myself to celebrate who I AM. And I’m done. Finished. Absolutely through with walking through my life feeling embarrassed or inadequate or apologetic because I’m not anything other than what I am. In the spirit of this newfound freedom to just be ME…I decided to make out my list of all things about me that I am no longer apologizing for. So here goes…
1) That I’m single.
2) That I’m a woman.
3) That I’m a Christian.
4) That I’m a Democrat.
5) That I’m a feminist. (Or, a “Jesus Feminist,” as coined in one of my favorite books by Sarah Bessey.)
6) That as a writer, I haven’t read many classic books and I don’t care for them very much. (They bore me, in all honesty.)
7) That I can’t cook.
8) That as a movie lover, I haven’t seen many classic films (Again, in all honesty…they bore me. I mean, have you ever tried to watch Citizen Kane? I’d rather watch paint dry.)
9) That I’d rather stay in and read or watch movies or hang with a small group of friends than go out.
10) That I enjoy coloring and eating Cookie Crisp. Sometimes simultaneously. I have a childlike heart that loves childlike things and I’m tired of feeling like I should be embarrassed about it.
11) That I don’t yet own my own home (or much of anything, sans my beloved VW Beetle.)
12) That I’m a TV nerd and I get way too emotionally attached to shows and characters.
These are just the first twelve things I could think of. I’m sure I’ll add more to the list. And I encourage you to make your own list of things about you and your life that you’re no longer apologizing for. This is not to say that because I’m not apologizing for these things about myself, I don’t want to continue to grow and improve and evolve as a person. I do. I want to learn to cook. I hope to be married someday. And I’m even open to watching and reading the classics. I want to be as well-rounded and open-minded and developed person as I can be. I’m not going to stop growing and changing and learning and maturing and getting better. But in the meantime between who I am and who I hope to be…I’m going to let myself off the hook a little and just enjoy the moment.
And I’m not going to apologize for it.
You go, Mandy!
Seriously, this made my week! I feel like you spoke this from my soul. I’ve been doing the exact same things, exhibiting apologetic behavior for simply being myself. And like you, after 34years, I am done.
Totally made my day! So going to write out my list and love it no matter what!!!
I think you are absolutely awesome Mandy! Way to stand up for yourself and be unapologetic for it! You’re such an inspiration for all women!
You are truly a blessing to other single woman like me. God bless you in all that you do.
I have to say, reading this, I’m in such agreement and saying to myself, “why haven’t I figured this out yet??” I, like you have that child like heart that just can’t help itself!!. I’m with you Mandy, no more apologizing. The world is way too serious a place as it as, the world needs more of us to keep it balanced!! Love your blogs, you always bless my heart!!
YAY MANDY Sing Away “FREE to be ME”!!
You’re fine, Mandy…let the haters hate, girl!
Love it. I feel the same way.
Absolutely! Still trying to improve my knowledge of old books and movies. Keep it up Mandy. And Thank You for mirroring my thoughts!
Hi Mandy. I think U r Awesome! Don’t ever Stop Believing in Urself or growing!! U r such an Inspiration!! Luv Kerry, from SA.
It’s so true what you’re saying and its got me thinking about my own life and things I’m always apologizing for,thank you for sharing
I have been struggling lately. It seems that my relationship status is in the spotlight, while unattractive 50 yr old guys seem to think they have a chance with someone completely out of their league (ewww). I have been keeping myself busy and doing things with the people in my life but as a third or fifth wheel you seem to be out of place. Being single is something I try to embrace, but lately its a title I would rather avoid. I’m hopeful that someday my soulmate will come along and I will get to be the wife and mother that my heart deeply desires to be. And I know that God wants to give me the desires of my heart. Patience is a tough thing right now, especially when people are getting married, having babies and I seem to be the only one flying solo. I am learning to love myself through Gods eyes and embracing all that he has created me to be. Part of that is practicing forgiving myself and realizing that I have to give myself grace when I don’t measure up to the preconceived ideas I have for myself. The idea of being unapologetically you is brilliant!
You are my hero.
Thank u for sharing.
I defintely take courage in it. As your list sounds very much like my life I have been apologizing for all my life.
Cheers to revelations and being free.
Wow… that’s awesome. Just the thing I needed right now!
Thanks for sharing!
Love this!!! You will be so much happier when you complete this change. I did it years ago and have never looked back. Yet once again your writing has hit the nail on the head. I discovered your writing a few ago when I really needed it and still go back and read your older stuff as a reminder and pick me up. THANK YOU!!! Don’t stop writing . Don’t stop growing. Don’t stop changing. Don’t stop being you!!!
Funny tonight Ib had to see your blog! You really inspired me so much and are feeling bthe same! Thank you for making me feel bold much appreciated!
DEEP!! You go girl! You definetly are an inspiration to us women!
Girl, forget these intolerant people who in turn scream intolerance when it’s convenient for them. It’s utterly ridiculous. They expect you to respect their right to believe, live, choose, do as they please yet refuse to respect your right to do the same. Nah, doesn’t work for me. Kindred spirits on that #10. Loved this post. Live YOUR life. 🙂
This is exactly what I needed tonight..I have been thinking about how my life currently is nothing like I thought it would be. The dialogue from the show is spot on. I have been struggling in accepting where I am in life, 43 years old and single with low self esteem and weight struggles. I also am so much more than those things and you’re posts, tweets, books and God are helping me to realize that. I am going to make that list of things I am done apologizing for! Mandy you are an inspiration, thank you!!
I’ve followed your posts on Twitter for a while, and I’m single too. I like it when you post the stuff like “everything happens for a reason” or the idea that not getting something now that you really wanted could lead to getting what God wants you to have in the future. A lot of your posts can apply to both relationships and work. I’m single too and can apply a lot of your ideas or quotes to being single right now, but I’m also unemployed, and STILL looking for a job after two years! I have a friend who has also been looking for a job for over a year, so at least I’m not alone and I have someone to talk with about job searching and interviews, but sometimes (a lot of the time actually) I wonder what the point of being unemployed for so long is. I graduated from college, have applied to tons of jobs, and have even expanded the types of jobs I apply for thinking maybe God thought I should work in an office instead of a school, but I still just get interviews but no job offers. I’m living with my parents right now so I’m fortunate not to have rent bills, but the whole thing makes me wonder why?? I don’t know if you’ve been in a similar situation, or not, but I was wondering what your thoughts on it are. Maybe you could mention it in a future blog post. Thanks for reading! Sorry this is long.
From a 20 something who has spent the majority of her teens and early twenties apologizing for who she is and fighting what her life is for what myself and others think it should be, thank you. I’m almost in tears as I write this because I needed to hear it so badly. Now I’m going to go write my own list!
I always said the same thing about Hart of Dixie!
Beautiful! A great message for ALL of us as women! As mothers, we need to quit worrying that we’re not doing it like all the other moms. As coworkers, we need to quit worrying about what everyone in the office thinks and just do a super job and let our work speak. As friends, we need to quit worry about if our marriage, our kids, our lifestyles measure up to everyone else’s. Being the best we can be and loving who we are right where we stand, that is ENOUGH! Thank you for sharing! I’m so thankful for your thoughts!
[…] her writing, she talked about things she was no longer apologizing for and how she came to such conclusion. It’s amazing how much we have in common with people both […]
THANK YOU – for describing precisely what has been happening for me recently. I’ve spent the last year in counselling trying to fix myself and learning why I was so unhappy, and I realised that I was trying to be somebody else my whole life. I feel so free, finally managing to accept myself for who I am and not try to be somebody that I’m not – and I’m discovering just how powerful being myself truly is!! God bless you as you walk through this, I love to hear your thoughts on it all!
I really appreciate your blogs and Tweets; it seems just when I need it God sends one of your tweets to me. Love this latest 12 things I’m not apologizing for, and your list is very similar to some of the items I will list in mine. Thanks for letting God use you to bless others! Have a blessed day!
Ahhh Mandy, this is music to my ears…I apologize so often for teensy things to who I am as a person…I want to stop, I am enough! Thanks for writing this!
I’ve learned this lesson 2 years ago and my life has changed DRAMATICALLY. I always say “Be you on purpose!”. When you own who you are you start to fall in love with yourself. And when you fall in love with yourself the people who don’t love you naturally feel threatened and fall away. And your left with people who love you and love to see you happy and love to see you be you unapologetically. Am I perfect? Not in the slightest, but that’s what makes life fun! How will I ever grow if I just live in the confines of what other people think I should do? It’s a hard concept to grasp but once you do, your life will never be the same.
Mandy I am a single woman and I’m 26 thank you I have found your page I feel so blessed. God bless and continue to inspire us.
Perfectly said! I’ve been feeling the same way and God has just spoken to me through you!! Im allowed to be me!! Honest and true to myself… the timing of this is a true blessing!
That’s is amazing and so true!! You hit the nail right in the top of my head and I unlike you have wasted many years (I’m 50) not realizing just how much I beat myself up not being who others want me to be. I’m going to start my list RIGHT now! Thank you!! I have been single most of my life, the 9½ yrs I was married we only lived together in same house about 2½ off and on BC we were both in the military and even though I was a faithful wife , he had about 25 others during that time. he says BC were apart so much didn’t feel like we were married. I agree so I feel like I have been single with only 1 long term relationship. 😉
U made my day. Thank you
Good for you. Should-ing all over ourselves only defeats us, and who is the victor? what do we gain? My favorite line is “change the picture, or change your life” love this article
Mandy thank you for this post, I have been feeling the exact same way lately so this really spoke to my heart. So often the idea of what my life should be makes me feel like Im not measuring up but when I really look at my life and the people God has blessed me with I have nothing to complain about! It is filled with God’s love and provision. We need to embrace the fact that we are all unique! God has been trying to tell me not to compare myself to others alot lately and this post is another reminder from Him, thanks!
Strange as it is… I find that I apologize more to myself for the things I am not & what I am.
Thank you for your bravery, and for inspiring me to make my list. I feel as though I’ve been living my life to make others happy. Because that’s what is expected of me.
Thank you for being you, Mandy Hale
I would have never imagined you were a democrat! That is mighty brave of you to admit being that you make regular appearances on Christian networks. They are like Republican central.
This is the Biggest shocker in Mandyland. Go Blue!