I struggle with these words to this day.
Not because I can’t say them when they are merited. Not because they can’t be felt deeply in every cavernous crevice of my spirit. But because they were my cage for so long.
I remember being clumsily coerced to apologize to those who ridiculed and hated me. I was compelled to apologize to those who had false impressions of who I was because they never took the time to get to know me. I recall being commanded that I needed to accommodate the feelings of everyone else and continually disregard my own for their sake. Because they mattered.
I’m sorry was my apology for existing. I’m sorry was how I begged to be overlooked so as not to intimidate or unintentionally make anyone feel less than me. I’m sorry was my forced anonymity in a world that erases those who don’t stand up for themselves.
You thought I looked at you harshly. You felt I was judging you.
You felt intimidated by my being a person, no matter how small a person I was.
Why should I be sorry for any of those?
Don’t be a person. Don’t be me. Don’t be. Be sorry. Be less. Be invisible. Because you are sorry and nothing more. You sorry little nothing.
These words choked me into the fetal position and urged me to be unconceived. Because this habit wound its way into my vernacular and decided it belonged. It slipped seamlessly from my tongue time after time. Often still, I say those words before I realize they have been said. To this day, I find myself apologizing for my existence. I find myself asking for forgiveness for my being. For who I am. Allowing others to lessen me so they aren’t forced to grow against their will.
Why should I apologize for my existence? Why should I cower down so you can feel bloated beside me? Because you are not empowered in this. You are not triumphant in this. You are falsely made to feel as though you have won some battle against me. Yet, I was never fighting you in the first place. I was never out to usurp your imaginary power.
I was simply living. Tasting the moments I was blessed to know. Relishing this harsh reality in any infinitesimal way I was allowed because none of us will be here forever and far too many of us are gone far too soon. Far too many memories are never made because we forget the cruelty of time. We forget we are all small in the scheme of things.
Today I tell you all, I love who I am.
I don’t love every regrettable decision I make. I’m not fond of every misstep I muck my way through. I don’t always cherish the experiences that ensnare my world and leave me feeling helpless.
But I love me.
The child who cowered and prayed to be unseen for far too long. The human who waged wars unlike anyone else ever could on myself in the hopes of defeating my existence. The woman who clawed her way through her own skin until I wore it, truly fucking wore it. This woman. This Fearlessly flawed creature who knows I will only ever be this me Today. I will only ever be this young and naive in this moment. I will only ever know this feeling for as long as I hold my breath around it. I will only ever have this chance to do something worth remembering now.
I’m sorry may slip through my lips from time to time. It will land exactly how I intend it to when I have done wrong. But it will never again be used to make me feel less so another can momentarily feel like more than me.
I am not sorry for this Susie. Never again will she be less than everything she has fought to become.
#sorrynotsorry #SFA #stellar #fierce #astonishing #SouthernFriedAsian