Friday, December 13, 2013

A year of learning- no apologies

2013 has been a difficult year. I was tempted to say that by the end of January, but tried to give it a chance. Then I wanted to say it in July, but again I held out hope. But as December runs its course, it feels fair game.

Different circumstances, some bad and some good, have just made this an extremely stressful year. 

Hopefully over the next few weeks as I reflect and look forward, I want to write down some of what I've learned and experienced, and hope to use in the future.

One of the stressful parts of this year was my job. I went from a job that was "good" but boring me to death, to a job I really enjoy but is very challenging. 

I've had ridiculously good career luck over the past 6 years. I am grateful every day, no matter how stressful things become, because I know that others struggle in that arena. But as I am now officially a 30 something professional woman who has found success, there are a whole new world of lessons to be learned.

One that I stand by very strongly, especially in the events over the past year, is to not apologize. Of course I don't mean to not apologize when you are wrong or have wronged someone, but I think that at least in the part of the world I have grown up in, women are supposed to be retiring and somewhat shrinking violets, and always put others' feelings above their own.

Well, at some point I noticed myself apologizing for things that that I absolutely should not have. I won't apologize for my success. I won't apologize for good work I do. I won't apologize that my work was recognized over someone else's. I won't apologize for doing my best.

Of course this plays into personal decisions, as well. For example, I am always apologizing- whether in my head or in actuality- for feeling like a burden to others. This means I never ask for help, and if I do, I laden it with apologizes for even asking. I apologize for having feelings. I apologize for not being enough. I apologize for both my strengths and weaknesses. Do you see how twisted this can make a person?

Of course there are times to be truly sorry. Ironically, when I stopped apologizing for things I shouldn't be sorry for, it brought some things into clearer focus that I did need to apologize for and address in my life.

Growing is hard. 

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