I sometimes feel like I go to bed at night and sorry comes with me, a soft whisper ready to exhale from the day that was. My shoulders can feel so tense from all the sorrys I have inside of me as I climb into bed.
As I close my eyes, it is there with my pillow, my glass of water, my alarm clock, my love; sorry for all that happened in my day and all that didn’t. It is a dull, quiet ache - so much so I don’t even notice it most of the time. As sure as I know my name though, I know it is there.
Do women all come packaged this way? Apologising for the voice they have and the physical space they dare to take up? Or is it just me?
For as long as I can remember it has been this way and it sticks to you once you let it in. A tricky, sticky caper to try to unhook your way out of.
Conversations beginning with regret.
I come with ideas and notions pre-empting them all with the sticky caper stuff oozing out of my skin, my bones, my tongue. When someone shows me their faults and flaws and bumps and bruises, I always have a sorry prepared to show them it is me that must be in the wrong and not possibly them.
The word sorry not existing for them, how strange.
If I didn’t have a sorry to say…then I think I may crumble, erode completely like sandstone; or melt or wither or simply fade away. Poof just like that, gone.
I feel forever sorry for my voice, thoughts and decisions, but I also apologise silently for the atoms, the specks, the space I take up. I crumple my shoulders like tired, battered wings and curl myself up in a ball as I float through life. Trying not to be in anyone’s way, trying not to be noticed. In mirrors, in waiting rooms, on boats and on footpaths; people thinking about me a certain way, judging me. Deciding that they know me and all my flaws just by looking at me. I am sorry.
I am sorry, I am sorry.
If I had the time I am sure I could feel apologetic for every single cell of my body. Sorry my lips are not puffy and pouty. Sorry my bumps and curves always come along with me.
Sorry my legs are my legs.
Sorry my fingernails never really grow before I chew them off. Sorry my hair seems to only reach a certain length before fracturing; lifeless. Sorry for the days I decide to not wear makeup.
Most of all I am sorry I keep failing everybody’s hopes and expectations of me..my hopes and expectations of me.
All of the sorrys within me does not equal sadness and weeping and woe is me moments, doom and gloom. I can often feel sorry and be joyous - laughing and dancing and loving and wishing.
I know I shouldn’t be sorry for any of it, none of us should, so why am I?
An orange, freckled lady in my office with her permed hair and gold rimmed glasses keeps clicking her tongue and telling me 'not to start my sentences with a sorry, dear'.
So why do I? How come she knows and I don't?
There are plenty of memory sorrys deep down inside of me too that I know I shouldn’t have given so readily, at the time.
Things that I should never have apologised for but did, and then swept up, collected like bruised apples in my basket. Apologies not to another – but up to wherever whispers go; in my movements, in the breaths I exhaled. I was very sorry when I was 10 and a jolt of shock slammed my body like concrete. My skins first reaction was to expel an ‘I am sorry’ into the world.
Sorry should not have been coming from me and my space that day, in no way.
Sorry should not have followed me out of that house, and onto my bike.
Sorry should not have been whirling and spitting around in my head, in time with the colourful beads on my bike’s wheels as I peddled and peddled and peddled along the dirt road as fast as I could ..where sorry and I catapulted ourselves back home to safety, away from the house down the road where sorry should have been, but wasn't. Where I should not have been but was.
I am sorry for something that happened just as jolting – but a numb slow jolt kind of way when I was 24 and all I could do was push sorry around in my body for days after. Thinking it was all my fault and how sorry I was. The sorrys and the shame and the faces and the hands and hurt and music and the people who were my friends but weren’t my friends…. all at the bottom of a wine bottle.
I am only just now working out I say sorry far too much, the god damn sum of my parts should not equal a sorry. Not then and not now.
Emma Kate xoxo