For as long as I can remember, I have always apologized for too many things. My sister even nicknamed me “The Sorry Girl” when she was lecturing me (I know, VERY creative name). I know many people may share this struggle in various ways, but I’m here to tell you there is hope! You can shed that sorry skin you wear! (that was a strange metaphor, sorry. Ugh damn! Not sorry!)
I recently got out of a creative project that was not a great environment for me. Leaving was one of the more difficult things I’ve done, but I’d stayed in it that long out of guilt and fear of what people would think. I realized this applies to so much: relationships, friendships, any commitment made. Women, especially, are taught to suffer through a lot in the hopes of some minuscule reward at the end. And to that, I say NAY!
So I’m sharing some nuggets of thoughts that helped me through the split. Hopefully these can encourage you to value your time and energy and drop that fear of saying ‘no’.
Yo’ gut knows what’s good
When you’re in a situation that you know is wrong or not beneficial to you, the first thing to tell you is your gut. Most people hear, feel or sense that something is not right for them but stay for various reasons. We’ve all heard it and I’ma say it again: TRUST YOUR GUT. In the last few days of this project, I felt my gut twisting at the thought of going for those meetings. I didn’t feel the leader cared about the project, the meetings weren’t productive, and I didn’t feel that all the energy I poured into it was going anywhere, or growing me as an artist. The day I decided to allow myself to consider quitting, everything in my body was saying ‘yes!’.
I felt a weight was lifted off my shoulders. And I knew that my inner self– she knows what’s good 👑
As a bitch thinketh
You know who you are. The opinions of the people you could potentially disappoint in a toxic situation do not matter. They don’t mean a thing. As the Good Lorde says in the Good Book “as a bitch thinketh, so is she” (that’s the quote, right? Ok maybe I made this up.) That means, whatever you believe you are, you are. Not what this group of people thinks of you. Common as it sounds: you define you. People will project their own shit onto you, demonize you for not suffering through something because of their ideals– and ya know what? It will have nothing to do with you. (More on this here).
Reclaim your time
What do you think your time is worth? If a friendship, relationship or project is becoming a predominantly negative energy for you, is it still something you need to endure? If you decide nah, then bitch RECLAIM YOUR TIME! Use the time and energy you spent on that project on your own shit! Or at least on projects or relationships that are good for you. Things that make you happy. Revisit your goals (or set some!) and see how you can live a little more for yourself. That time wasted? Forget it. It was a learning experience for you. But you’re here now and you can take control of your time.
If the guilt is still creeping its way to you, think of it this way: it is of no benefit to anyone for you to stay in a commitment that you have no belief in. Sure, some things you can’t escape (family reunions, etc) but there is a lot that can easily be avoided. If you’re unhappy in a relationship, you are not benefitting the other person by staying in it. If you’re in a friendship that has devolved into something toxic, you are doing them no favors by pretending to be happy with them. May as well go with your gut.
They can hate you, slander you, attack your character for putting yourself first, but let it glide right off of you, and follow our Queens Bey and Serena: TELL EM ↓