“I will never apologize for being me. You should apologize for asking me to be anything else.”
Someone I follow on Twitter tweeted this quote the other day. Obviously, I did what any logical human being would do, and immediately unfollowed (and blocked) this person. Sadly, I can’t shake this cheesy quote from my head. I relate to it more than I’d like to admit.
I find myself apologizing and explaining myself a lot, even when it isn’t necessary to do so. I might apologize for the way I’m typing on my laptop, in the off chance that it’s annoying someone. When I can feel someone judging my music preferences (Fetty Wap, Chief Keef, Young Thug, etc.), I feel the need to justify why I choose to listen to the music I listen to.
Maybe I like Chief Keef for his no bullshit attitude.
Maybe I listen to Young Thug because he transcends gender roles with his fashion choices.
Maybe I fuck with Fetty Wap purely out of respect for the blind.
Really the only time I should have to explain myself or apologize is if I’ve offended you. Ironically enough, that’s probably the only time I won’t apologize because I can be a pretty shitty person if I’m not careful.
Why should I feel embarrassed for wearing clothing I like? If I think I look good in raw denim, Jordan 1s, and a t-shirt with embroidered roses, then I do. I don’t need the opinion of someone wearing Sperry’s and Chubbies to influence how I dress myself.
American Psycho is my favorite book. Am I embarrassed about it? Actually yeah a little because it’s a pretty fucked up read and I totally understand why someone might not like it. Is that going to stop me from talking about it? Nah, judge all you want.
A few more fun facts about me that I imagine people judging me for: My favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I fart pretty often, some might say an unhealthy amount. I’m not doing anything with my college degree, unless you think working in a coffee shop is a good use of a Bachelor’s in Psychology.
While writing this, my friend looked at my laptop and asked, “What are you writing about?” My first instinct was to close the computer while my cheeks turned bright red. As I explained the feelings and thoughts I was trying to put into words, I found myself embarrassed for even starting this blog. Thoughts of low self-worth and inadequacy flooded my mind. “Feelings are feelings,” she said to me.
I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out who Stuart is, and what he should like. Middle school was a shit-storm of changes in style and tastes. When I got to high school, I was so overwhelmed by my surroundings I thought it’d be best to just fit in and do as others did.
In college, I finally began to express myself. And then came more crippling anxiety.
“Do people think I’m cool?”
“Why don’t more girls like me?”
“Is that group of people staring at me because they like my shoes or because they hate them, as well as everything else about me?”
I was doing whatever I wanted, but I still cared too much about what all these fuckboys thought of me. Not a good combination.
Now in this new town with new people who know nothing about me, I have to start all over. Missouri was just starting to get comfortable. Now I’m in California with a new batch of people to judge me. So I’ve found myself explaining myself and apologizing for things about myself that I can’t control.
Since I’ve been here in California, I’ve been doing me and only me. I go where I want, when I want. I eat whatever I feel like eating (not enough ice cream, San Luis Obispo is seriously lacking quality cream). I can wear pretty much anything in my wardrobe to work at the café. Music I like has never sounded better. My favorite movies are more entertaining. I’ve never read more books for pleasure in my life than I am now.
I finally feel like myself.
But here’s the weird thing. People actually like me for the same things I apologize for and feel the need to justify. Some people even think I’m fun to be around, which is a novel concept. Someone told me I was so positive and happy all the time and I was like “???????” Who knew people would like me when I act like myself?
If I’m not careful, I might never apologize for being myself again. Then it’s game over for all you fucks that ever judged me.