I've been awesome for the better part of my 27 years on this tragic planet.I made near-perfect grades. I didn't drink or have sex in high school. Even after my parents' divorce. I was never a disappointment. I did things the way I thought I was supposed to. My choice. I moved to New York City all by myself and continued to be awesome. I was never afraid, never questioned that I could do that life. I fell out of love with the city and in love with a boy. I moved to Chicago. Then I broke up with the guy everyone thought I was supposed to marry. (The only two people who didn't end up thinking that, I believe, were actually him and me.) I spent the summer afterward making all manner of so-called "bad decisions." Went through a phase most people get "out of their systems" at 21. Or younger. I got into an abusive relationship. I ended it. (Go me.) I met the love of my life. And I got complacent. My relationship turned stale, and my job become so bland that it nearly drove me crazy. And I got fed up. I threw it all away: broke up with him, quit my job. Were those the right choices? Who knows. But they were my choices.
The past couple of months have been a ridiculous game of double-dutch. I ran in without looking and have been jumping around furiously just trying to keep the ropes from strangling me completely. I miss a step sometimes and get whipped. Then I start stepping again. Well, I've decided I'm allowed a stumble once in a while. I've never played this game before. This is not familiar territory for me. And sometimes I am not a badass. Not even a little bit. And I'm not sorry.
I spent most of the time I was with John apologizing. To my family, to my friends, to him. To the world. I've realized a few things recently: I'm not sorry for falling in love with someone old enough to be my father, with two ex-wives and three children. I'm just not. I'm sorry for my family that he wasn't the person they saw me with, that he wasn't going to provide the life they envisioned for me. That wasn't in the cards anyway. This is my life. I'm too weird, too wonderful for a perfect life.
And then. I spent the last six months of my relationship with John saying I was sorry for being miserable. Apologizing to him. Not to myself. Spending more time trying to fix our relationship and ratchet my sexual appetite back up to an acceptable level than I did trying to fix myself. (How does that work?) As a last resort, I got the hell out of there. And after I stopped crying, I stopped being miserable. It took a while, but I did.
I'm not sorry for moving in with him, and I'm not sorry for moving out. The biggest casualty in all that was my wonderful little apartment. I'm sorry to have left it in the hands of a careless stranger.
You should be apologizing to me for expecting me to be anything but who I am, on anything but my time. For treating me like a child while berating me for not being an adult. For calling those selfishly motivated actions love. I'm not apologizing for those things anymore. No matter what happens.
But I find myself apologizing for lots of other things lately, because it's what I've learned to do to keep the peace.
There's no reason to apologize to my mother for not having a health-insurance policy in place yet. "Single payer" means one. As in, the only person who needs to worry about this is me. I'm not going to apologize for being in a strange mood because I can't afford to refill my antidepressant. And I'm going to go on believing, unapologetically, that this lack of pills has absolutely no bearing on this entry.
I'm not going to apologize for being stressed out that my commission payments aren't even a glimmer in my eye. I'm not sorry for putting continued pressure on people I work with even though their lives are hard, too. I am just trying to get myself up this creek while feeling very much alone and without an oar.
I'm not sorry for turning down invitations for social engagements. I'm tired and stressed out and broke. And you're not helping.
I take back my apologies to the ladies working in the Stuart Weitzman store yesterday. I walked in — tail between my legs — to return the pair of $300 navy-blue leather pumps I bought last week at an event. Really. They should be apologizing to me for charging $300 for a pair of shoes. I'm not sorry for changing my mind. (See also, my above statement on being broke.)
No more apologies for the dirty dishes in my sink and the fact that my furniture is covered with an inch-thick layer of dust. I've had more pressing business lately than flitting around my sorry excuse for an apartment with a feather duster.
I often e-mail or text when I should just call. I'm not sorry for that. Bottom line: I do better with the written word.
I drink too much sometimes. I eat too much, always. And I berate myself for both of those things. It's how I push forward.
I say "fuck" a lot on Twitter. Sometimes I post inappropriate tweets to the wrong account. I giggle, gulp, delete them and move on.
I forget to call my mother. And she rarely calls me. We're busy adults, for God's sake.
I have the spirit of a 12-year-old. My habits often most closely resemble those of an 80-year-old cat lady. It's part of the glory of being me.
I enjoy myself quite a lot. In spite of — possibly because of, in some cases — these things.
I'm done apologizing for not having everything figured out. Because I'm 27 damned years old, and there's no reason I should have everything figured out. No one but me gets to decide whether any of these stumbles are actually mistakes. Things will turn out the way they're meant to. And in the end, the only person I answer to is me.
And I'm not sorry for writing a post like this when everyone expects something uplifting and poetic. Because sometimes, I really just don't have it in me.