Saturday, February 16, 2019

8 Things I've Stopped Apologizing For:

I've stopped apologizing.

Okay, I'm learning to stop apologizing and explaining. And I feel it won't be long until everyone is following in suit. Let's all be honest here, we've been waiting by our doors for the release of Rachel Hollis' new book "Girl, Stop Apologizing." I'm not the only one and I know it. I've read "Girl Wash Your Face," 3 Times. THREE! I'm not ashamed. I have told myself many times over the last several years to stop apologizing for all the things. I, Ashlee, have OAD: Obsessive Apology Disorder. I say sorry after everything. EV.ERY. THING. and it's a real problem. I think I use the word sorry more than I use the word "Like," and if you have ever heard me speak you would have thought I am from the valley. Totes a valley girl a heart. Not really, but you'd think so by hearing me talk. It used to be so bad that my dad would count out loud every time I said "like," while talking. Like, Oops! - Anyways, I believe sorry is my second close used word and it's totally not my fault. I use sorry as a way to ensure I don't say anything offensive, upsetting, or could cause an argument due to misunderstandings. I do not like confrontation. But, I finally realized that as I continued to use sorry and apologize for everything, I was allowing myself to get smaller and smaller to the people and world around me. I was apologizing and avoiding just to save other peoples feelings. Yup, I was taking care of the feelings of others before my own. Constantly walking on eggshells, tiptoeing ever so lightly so I didn't cause a disruption. 

I became aware of a few things in the last several years. Let's say, ages 21-24 and then 26-28 had been the year(s) of all the lessons. During ages 26 through 28, I have focused on not apologizing. Last June, on my 28th birthday, I wrote a mental letter in my mind to not apologize or explain myself this year. I refuse to do it. And so, I've stopped apologizing. Here's How:

I have stopped apologizing for being too dramatic about certain things, or everything in general. I'm dramatic. Everyone who knows me knows that! Maybe it's because I'm a Gemini, maybe it's because growing up my favorite show was Days of our Lives, or maybe it's because I just am just a drama queen. I grew up performing, I like the theatrics of things. I like the dramatic entrance and exit. And hey, at least I've acknowledged that I'm a Drama Mama. Honestly, I'd be worried if I wasn't aware of this. Worried, Maybe. Sorry, Never!

I have stopped apologizing for apologizing. Meaning, I have stopped apologizing for being "The Fixer," in every single situation. I have always been the fixer and always been the one who cares too much. I used to believe I had to apologize for caring too much because people would tell me I care to much and it was annoying. It was really disheartening hearing from people that I care too much. They were right, I do care. But I'd rather care too much than not at all.  Caring isn't a bad thing, it means I'm passionate, and I'm okay with that.

I have stopped apologizing for being who I am while trying to figure out who I am. The 20's man, they are a ride. 28-year-old Ashlee is not the same as 25, 23, or 21 year old Ashlee. It has been quite the experience, my twenties. The first half was trying to figure out where I fit in and with who. This is the part where I remind you all that fitting in is total bullshit. Do your own thing, it's much easier. When I realized this, I was able to be myself more. And being yourself around people who don't know or accept themselves can be really difficult and disheartening. But I stopped apologizing for trying to figure myself out while accepting myself at that moment.

I have stopped apologizing for saying No. There is so much power in saying no to things. I remember the first time I said no to an invite out, I was full of anxiety and worry that I was about to be the topic on the conversation in a really negative way. One thing that I highly dislike, is someone seeing me in a negative light when  I am not that kind of person at all. So, I always said Yes to things to keep my reputation positive. News Flash: You can't control what people say about you and they will talk however they want. So, I started saying No without the fear of backlash. If something doesn't feel right to me: NO! If going to certain places gives me bad vibes: NO! If a conversation isn't up to my standards: No! No, No, No! It's a beautiful word. 

I have stopped apologizing for making decisions that are in my best interest. If you take anything away from this post, have it be this.   The need to explain myself for decisions I've made or my feelings was such a problem for me. I constantly explained myself and why I do, say, and feel specific ways. Once I stopped, it pissed a lot of people off. Like, A LOT! But we as individuals have the freedom to make our own decisions based on what does or doesn't feel good to us. I stopped going places that felt stuffy to me, I stopped accepting invitations to parties where I walked away feeling bad about myself, I stopped hanging out with people who made me feel less than.  I made the decision to be aware, present, free, and happy. 

I have stopped apologizing for being the "weird one." Yup, I am the one who grew up knowing from age 8 she wanted to be a writer and not a doctor or executive. I am the weird one who is into tarot, crystals, moon cycles and astrology. I am the weird one who would rather curl up and read a book then go out and party. I am the weird one who would rather talk about meaningful things like future life goals, spirituality, and mental health; rather than about drama, rumors, who did what, etc. I'm the weird one who would rather meditate than take shots. I'm the weird one who still believes in having coffee with your neighbors and sending handwritten letters. I'm the weird one who would rather own a small boutique in the middle of town than the one who wants to be a CEO of a big firm. I'm the weird one who'd rather live in an old Victorian house with open space than in a mansion with nice cars in the suburb. To quote my one of my favorite movies: "We are the Weirdos, Mister" - and I'm Damn Proud! 

I have stopped apologizing for stepping back from situations that hinder my growth. One thing I highly dislike is feeling stuck in places and situations. Not in a claustrophobic way, but in the way of "we literally aren't getting anywhere and this is starting to take control of my health." And as much as I like to push my hardest for a success story. I have learned that in order to keep myself protected and healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. I need to stop pushing and walk away. I won't be stranded in a situation that I can easily walk away from. This was another one of those situations where I felt the need to explain why I did something. But, this is my journey and I learning to step back from growth hindering situations has been absolutely powerful! 

I have stopped apologizing for repeating the same thing over and over because I feel like nobody hears me the first 4 times. I have stopped apologizing for putting more creamer in my coffee then I should. I have stopped apologizing for liking pineapple on my pizza. I have stopped apologizing for not like chocolate. I have stopped apologizing for continuously talking about how One Tree Hill is the best show to ever exist (it is, fight me) and that the Simpsons and South Park are ridiculously boring. I have stopped apologizing for setting up Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. I have stopped apologizing for dancing in my car and singing into half-empty water bottles. I have stopped apologizing for wearing leggings as pants because yes, they are pants. I have stopped apologizing for only have 4 pairs of shoes but always being barefoot. 


I can't wait to read Rachel Hollis' Upcoming Book "Girl, Stop Apologizing." I think it will be a great reminder for me to stop apologizing about certain things. I also think it will put new things in perspective that I need to stop apologizing for. I'm all for seeing things from a different or new perspective. It's all part of the growth process. What have you stopped apologizing for? OR What do you need to stop apologizing for?

 Instagram: @ash_felkner || Twitter: @ashleefelkner

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