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No Apologies

As women, we are indoctrinated to defer, defer, defer–and then maybe somebody will love you.

And so we go through life using “I’m sorry” like we use “hello.” Introducing ourselves with an apology. Making our existence known by apologizing for it. It is attractive for a woman to be deferential, “humble.” It is ingratiating for a woman to be bowed.

Recently, I went to a coffee shop. “I’m sorry, but can I order a chai?” I asked the barista.

And suddenly, it strikes me: what am I apologizing for? It’s not the chai I’m apologizing for, is it?

No–I am apologizing for me. I am using “I’m sorry” as my introduction to myself, chasing some unconscious need to be accepted, liked. And why? Because as a woman, I’ve learned that to be sorry is attractive, cute, friendly.

We apologize for small things like chai at a coffee shop, and we apologize for big things, like who we are when we come to realize that who we are might not line up with who we’re “supposed to be.”

There was a time in my life in which I was the person I was “supposed to be”—and I hated it. Chained to committee meetings, a blazer, a windowless office, my talents died quiet deaths.

And so–I revolted.

I abandoned that “supposed to be.” I went back to stripping to fund my dreams. I built a business in which my seemingly incongruous histories as an academic and sex worker were integral.

At last, I can exist in the fullness of myself.

I understand that who I am makes a lot of people uncomfortable. It isn’t my job to make people comfortable.

I love me just as I am. And why the hell not?

This is your one life. Don’t let all of your beauty floats by with everyone seeing it but you. Choose to love yourself now, today, exactly as you are, with no apologies.

And if you like how that feels, try it again tomorrow.

Have you ever come to the frightening realization that you might not be the person the world expects you to be? Have you ever felt like an imposter, pretending to be someone you’re not, a mere shadow of who you really are inside? Where you able to change that—or are you still stuck? Hit reply and tell me your story!

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