Those who know me well are immune to my wild belly laughs and louder than usual style of talking. I have an ‘inside voice’ and an ‘outside voice’ that some would argue are one and the same. One too many times I’ve been asked, “Gee Cristina, can you tone it down a bit?” Or, “My gosh, you are so loud.” My whole life I’ve been told to put a lid on it or not laugh quite so wildly. It’s actually so common an occurrence I had become accustomed to delivering my usual response, “Oh, you know me!” Or, “Yep, off the Richter, right?” Always feeling like I had to excuse who I was because I didn’t fit the mold of the quiet little girl that sat in the corner playing with her dolls, barely letting out a fearful giggle.
It got to the point that I started to apologise in advance for laughing or speaking louder or more animatedly than others, which basically translated to me saying sorry for being me. I finally reached 30 and got sick of apologising. It was only after accepting who I truly was and being content with myself that I felt I didn’t have to be sorry anymore. It took me time to get there though.
Finally realising that I didn’t have to be sorry for who I was was totally liberating. Although it was not an easy process, I can assure you. Naturally, I still sometimes go to lower my voice or laugh quietly when I am around people I don’t know very well or certain family members who have in the past asked me to quiten down, but the point is that now I stop myself or catch myself when I am doing it.
I must admit that I sometimes get irritated when people ask me to speak more softly or ‘laugh like a lady’ and I want to turn around and tell them to jam it. My family used to get a serving from me that went something a little like, “Look, you have known me forever and you keep asking me to speak more quietly or not laugh as hard, has anything over the years changed? No! So why do you insist on raising an issue that clearly has no resolve for you?” LOL. Now it’s a bit more like, “Sorry, not sorry!” More gentle, less angry.
The minute we start apologising for any aspects of ourselves in order to fit what others require us to be or to make their lives more comfortable, whether that be for a fleeting moment or a lifetime, we are denying ourselves the right to be who we are. There is no other you on this planet and it is your responsibility to be you and offer the world the awesome gift that is you.
Whether you are timid and always get told to come out of your shell, whether you are eccentric and told to tame down the weirdness, or even if you are loud, crazy, a wild card or rough around the edges like me; be you, rock it and stop apologising.
The world needs you and your contribution. Don’t be sorry. Be sorry, not sorry.
I am perfect the way I am and have nothing to be sorry about. I am loved for being me and there is no other me out there so I can confidently be myself and accept myself.