She was always apologizing for being too loud, too outspoken. She apologized for her personality that was too large, and she thought her body was too. Society told her, as a woman, to shrink and stay small, so she did. Literally. She apologized for the hair that was out of place, for her reactive skin that always tells the truth between good ingredients and bad, and the way her stomach looks when she turns to the side.
I wonder if she was aware that she was apologizing for her existence.
She apologized for being too forward, and for not being brave enough. She was always trying to tone down her big ideas and her “but there must be another way” way of life.
With every single apology, every word left unsaid, and every space she didn’t take up, she was reducing herself to the size of a pebble, no bigger than a dime, sitting quietly along the path with the rest of the pebbles as they all try not to disturb the perfect garden edges.
I like to think that girl is gone, but every once in a while she stops in to say hello. When she appears, I do my best to remind her to love herself graciously and to stop apologizing for everything that she is, and everything that she’s not
I give her permission to be loud and awkward. I let her cry and get in people’s way.
I tell her not to apologize for being herself, even if someone else wants her to. I assure her that it is never, ever her fault if someone else can’t handle the weight of who she is
And just as she’s about to leave, I remind her that her hair is out of place because her wild likes it when she dances in the wind.