taking care

post-COVID pep talk

so much has fallen into place these last few months. part of me wants to celebrate, but a part of me is energized and inspired to accomplish more. it’s not an entirely new feeling, but one that hasn’t come up in a while.

i am moving away from survival mode and finally into a space where i can analyze, evaluate, and evolve. these past pandemic years uncovered determination and resilience in myself, the likes of which i’ve never seen. 

as i reflect, i feel proud to have endured the hardship and uncertainty. at the same time, i am keenly aware of how those years of being stuck in “fight or flight’ mode have affected me.  it’s exhausting to be worried about work, family, security, and health all at once all the time.

every human has to consider a few major focus areas in life:

basic needs // one’s ability to obtain food and shelter profoundly impacts the way they see the world. 

health // this does not just encompass physical well-being and mental health, but also personal safety. 

relationships // humans depend on social interaction, evolving and adapting in relationship to other beings.

during the pandemic, every human on the planet experienced a disruption to one, if not all three, of these things. this makes us feel off balance, preoccupied, irritable and unsettled. as a result, we did what humans do best which is to respond to stimuli. 

our nervous system is awe-inspiring AND remains largely unchanged from many thousands of years. when we feel stress in our bodies, they react the same way they did since the dawn of human existence. this means that the body’s natural response to being chased down in the bush by a prehistoric saber-toothed tiger is the same way we react to getting a snarky email from a coworker or encountering a traffic accident on our way to an appointment. our muscles tense, our heart rate increases, and our senses heighten. regardless of the stimulus, our sympathetic nervous system is blind to the details and can only hear one message: 

S T R E S S. 

so, when life hands us a rotten egg as it did in 2020, and the drama mounts because we experience job loss, exposure to infectious disease, and physical distance from the ones we love, we are no longer able to function as we did before.

we transition into survival mode: a sustained ‘fight or flight’ response that sends our stress hormones into overdrive.. as we soldier through the day with clenched teeth and fists, we make choice after critical choice in order to survive each moment. 

instant gratification really shines when we are in this state, bringing with it joy and pleasure that delights even if it is temporary. and why shouldn’t we enjoy a momentary respite from the constant survival struggle? we cannot pour from an empty cup after all. 

for me, it’s food. abundant and delicious food makes me happy and, when i’m extremely overprogrammed with stressful thoughts, it offers comfort from the chaos and a chance for me to enjoy myself. for others, it’s a glass of wine or online shopping or garbage television. whatever we use, the result is the same: a feeling of joy that soothes and reminds us everything is fine so we can continue the fight to survive.

the sympathetic nervous system is critical to human survival, but excessive activation comes at a price. i will stay out of the weeds and simply say that chronic stress does, in fact, take a great toll on our mental and physical health. 

for this reason, i have to share my gratitude for the blessings of this year. through a lot of hard work, a little luck, and boatloads of determination, i managed to pull off some sweeping lifestyle changes that are helping to balance my three main focus areas. i am starting to feel secure in my survival once again.

plentiful work at new companies and homeownership means that food, shelter, and utilities have once again become a certainty for my family. research has produced therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 that have stabilized the spread which helps assuage my health concerns and provided more opportunities for gathering with loved ones. 

simply put, i’m not wringing my hands with worry every day, or doom scrolling on my news feed. i have things to look forward to again. for the first time since january of 2020, i feel like i have room in my brain to level up. and now that i can look out a little further into the horizon, i want to optimize. i don’t just want to survive, i want to thrive. so, where to begin? 

let’s circle back to instant gratification. it is incredibly powerful because it can lift us from the lowest of places with a snap of a finger. we will go to great lengths for the dopamine rush, even if it yields an undesirable outcome. 

for myself, the action of eating comfort foods has become a ‘go-to’ solution in my survival toolkit for how to cope with uncomfortable feelings. it felt good in the moment, but i’m not sure it’s serving me anymore. of course, i want to lose the extra weight, but i recognize there is a bit more to the solution than that.

before i can change my survival habit for good, i have to understand where it’s coming from. i also need to forgive myself for “letting it happen” in the first place. 

as much as i wish life were a video game, and i could just select a different character or persona when it suits me, it is not this way. change and adaptation takes much more time, attention and intention than i had to give when was stuck in survivor mode. 

i am working to reframe the moment and choose self-kindness. my inclination is to be frustrated with myself for end up in a place i didn’t like, however the smarter, wiser me is proud of myself for surviving and eager to create better habits for the future. 

the journey to thriving will be long, but i am curiously optimistic about what i will learn along the way.  wanna join me?



taking care

Running the Road to Nowhere

Like so many people this year, I’ve been combatting my cabin fever with exercise at home and outdoors. Fitness today is not the same as it was pre-pandemic, you know when we had races to train for and studio classes with our favorite good vibe tribes. BUT at-home workouts have been a marvelous way to manage stress during this crazy time, and I am thankful to have remained healthy through the last several months. 

I feel proud of myself for “not skipping a beat” and maintaining an active lifestyle despite all the closures and quarantines and disruptions to life, but I have noticed something I can’t ignore: I am completely burned out. I have not raced since late winter and haven’t really strived for much beyond my average weekly mileage for months now. Yet somehow, I feel as though I’m running the road to nowhere.

Sometimes we ignore the signs

This is not an all-of-a-sudden feeling either. If I’m totally honest, I’ve been low on motivation for many weeks now. At first I thought it was just hot, then I thought I just needed to double down on my routine, or push through it. Before long, the self-doubt started creeping in; maybe I am out of shape or no longer passionate about fitness.

Why and how can this be? It feels like I’m not doing really anything, so how can I be tired of it… Does this feeling of shapeless fatigue sound familiar to you? 

As I stop and think a moment, it occurs to me that what I’m feeling is a combination of guilt and fatigue. I feel spent yet I don’t feel I’ve done enough to warrant a break. 

Rest does not have to be earned.

We talk a lot, especially on The91Rewind, about the importance of rest and integrating it into our self-care routine. And the truth is this: rest is not something we deserve only after a monumental effort. It’s not something that we must earn. Rest is a vital part of keeping our engines running and our living our best life. 

While I haven’t been out there killing trail races every weekend, or getting promoted at work, or teaching sold out handstand workshops, I have still been doing my gosh darn best. And that – particularly in today’s current and colorful climate, takes a great deal of effort and energy. Living necessitates rest. Not living well or maximally, or heroically or any other superlative…just living and surviving the day to day entitles us to a break now and then. 

So I’m going to press  P A U S E …

Just like our cell phones, without regularly and intentional recharging, we will eventually run out of batteries.  Don’t wait until you think you’ve earned it (you already have) or worse, until it becomes your only option. Let’s be proactive and practice rest just like we practice anything else.

Have a great month, friends! And give yourself a little break now and then!

taking care

On your left: A handy guide to outdoor activity etiquette

It’s still summer for a little while longer, but that hasn’t stopped people from ramping up their outdoor activities. You may notice an increase in the amount of bicycle and foot traffic on the sidewalks and in the parks this time of year. Folks may be training for a fall event, getting back into the school routine, or simply looking to take advantage of those declining temperatures as the days shorten. I’ve got a few ideas for sharing the road (or trails or sidewalks) for motorists and movers as well. HINT: It’s not just shouting “on your left” as you pass! Please review this handy dandy guide to outdoor activity etiquette.

outdoor activities are better with FRIENDS!outdoor activities are better with FRIENDS!

outdoor activities are better with FRIENDS!

Let’s get the formalities out of the way. Here are three rules of the road that can help make your outdoor activity ventures MORE fun and safe.

  1. Bicycles are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk! They are considered a vehicle (at least in NC) and should ride as close to the right side of the street WITH the traffic if there is no bike lane. If there is a bike lane, sweet! Still, stay in your lane. When I see bicycles on the sidewalk I become unhinged. Why should I jump into the street to avoid an oncoming bicycle who is A.) not supposed to be on the sidewalk and B.) who is traveling illegally against traffic? I am risking my life so that this cyclist can break two rules? Yikes.

  2. Runners and walkers should travel on sidewalks, AGAINST the traffic. Opt to use sidewalks whenever you can, but if you must run on the road, slow up and look around. I never cross in front of or behind a car until I have confirmed eye contact with the driver. Once I’m SURE they see me, I will move around them. This may mean slowing down the pace a little at intersections and road crossings, but hey, showing up to the finish line alive and healthy should be the goal of any training plan, right?

  3. Tell people when/where you’re heading out and how long you think you will be gone-especially if you don’t typically carry your cell phone with you. This is not a state or federal law obviouslt, but it is an easy accountability step that can help you feel more secure and confident. Not only that, but it gives you a little support crew that will know when and where to look for you should something happen.

Now, what follows are some things I would really like you (our readers) to think about and strongly consider. You may not get a ticket for violating these guidelines, but they are still important enough to mention. 

Be mindful. 

Pets belong on leashes. PERIODT. Y’all, you KNOW I love animals. I have a dog and a cat and I love other people’s pets and take selfies with them. I follow a lot of pet and animal accounts on instagram and pet videos make me cry on the daily. BUT if I see you and your dog frolicking on the greenway, in the park, or on the sidewalk without a leash, I will stop and ask you to leash your animal for safety purposes. Ask about me. Anyone who runs with me (especially on the greenways in Raleigh) has seen me do this.

I don’t hate dogs. I’m not afraid of them either. It is simply unsafe FOR YOUR PETS to be loosey-goosey in these public outdoor areas. There are many scenarios that could catch even the most perfectly poised pets (and their owners) off-guard and create a hazard. It’s not even the danger to other humans on the greenway as much as it is for the safety of the dog itself. When your animal is physically tethered to you, you have a greater degree of control. Ever tried to chase a dog on a leash? No, of course not, because you don’t have to.

even on the greenway, rules are rules!even on the greenway, rules are rules!

even on the greenway, rules are rules!

Now, I get a lot of flap from indignant dog owners on this one. I do not care how great of a relationship you have with your dog, how well trained it is, or how well it listens to your commands. I can guarantee that your preferred outdoor activity spot has signs that indicate off-leash pets are prohibited. This is not a selectively-enforced policy to punish bad dogs. It is to protect all dogs (or cats or rabbits—which I’ve also seen on leashes on the greenway) from the inherent dangers of a public outdoor space. 

One way to think about the argument that someone’s dog is “too well behaved” to follow leash rules is to think about other moving violations. If you get pulled over for speeding, would you argue that you shouldn’t get a ticket because you’re really good at driving fast? No. This would be ridiculous. The officer who pulled you over does not care how skilled you are at not having a collision while driving over the speed limit. They care that you put yourself and others in danger by breaking the law. Leash rules are the same way. They do not exist to punish dogs who misbehave. They are there to reinforce safety and order in these public spaces. 

Be aware.

Fitness is IN and there are more people than ever before enjoying an active lifestyle outdoors. These folks come in all different shapes, sizes, speeds, etc. Some walk or run, others rollerblade, ride a bicycle or a big wheel. Sometimes there are big groups, sometimes solo adventurers. You never know whom or what you will see out there, but you can be sure you WILL encounter something. This is a big one. If we expect to encounter one another, motorists and movers alike, we can stay safe!


please get on my level. It is easy to let “autopilot” take over as we commute to and from work. It takes a conscious effort to train our awareness to detect non-vehicle sized objects on roadways, but it is worth it. None of us EVER wants to end someone’s workout by putting them in the hospital. This may sound dramatic, but it is true. 

I run every day, mostly on sidewalks and greenways during DAYLIGHT hours, but you would be shocked at the number of people that “don’t see me” because I’m not shaped like an SUV. The other day,  I put my hands (rather forcefully) on the hood of a woman’s car to get her to stop accelerating into a right-hand turn and realize I was still in the road. It’s sort of hilarious to imagine; I know I startled her, but at the same time, this is my life! She did not see me because she wasn’t looking to see me. Even running over me at a slow speed would have resulted in significant injuries. PAY ATTENTION!


You can help by keeping your eyes and EARS open. I love running with music blasting through my headphones, but those headphones are affecting my ability to hear the world around me. I bailed off the side of the road the other day because I didn’t hear a bicycle coming behind me and was caught unaware. Luckily there were no oncoming vehicles, but still, it was a sign for me to ditch the tunes and get connected to my environment. Turn music down or try something new and different and leave the headphones at home during peak activity times such as after work and weekend morning hours.

Take it a step further and foster good vibes by saying hello to everyone you encounter. Tell them they are looking strong or to have a good morning. Truly sharing the road is a two-way street, and mindful consideration is our mode of transportation.

As we embark on this new season and the promise of more pleasant outdoor temperatures, stay alert and pay attention. No matter how you use the road, take  the time to notice all that is happening around you. It will help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Get out THERE and SAFELY enjoy the road, the park, or the greenway to the fullest!  Thanks for coming to my TED Talk and Happy Adventures!


taking care

Wanna go streaking?

Hey! Do you wanna go streaking with us? No, we’re not talking about stripping off all of your clothes and running, but you’re more than welcome if to do so if you think it’s a good idea. We’re talking about the kind of streaking you may have heard Erica has been doing for over a year, almost 500 days if we want to get technical. When we say streaking, we mean committing to doing something everyday. 

What kind of something?

That’s a personal decision. It’s a commitment to yourself, to do something for you, that challenges you to be your best you, and pushes you to grow. For Erica it’s getting out there running every single day for at least one mile. For Crystal, this is a completely different ballgame. The only thing she’s been streaking of late has been the care of her family, in particular her children, rather than focusing on herself. If we’re going to be completely honest, Crystal has some decisions to make when it comes to streaking. 

What’s Erica going to do?

She’s going to keep doing what she’s been doing…Erica’s streak has been going for quite a while now, but she wants everyone to know it’s about quality (of life) and NOT quantity (of miles). Running every day is simply about finding time to do something that brings joy. Sometimes it’s a majestic journey that takes me to new destinations, sometimes it’s just a mile around the block, sometimes it’s just an excuse to listen to those new Missy Elliott tracks. It’s not about getting faster, losing weight, or being cooler than other runners who don’t streak. It’s simply a fun way to create a little time for self-care.  

What’s Crystal going to do?

She’s going to go basic and make a commitment to her own self-care. Yes, the woman who blogs and talks about self-care, is needing to make her own self a priority. Each day she will do one thing, preferably first thing in the morning, for herself that she needs. Caring for others is great, noble, and needed (particularly when you have tiny humans in your house), but your own needs are just as important. Each day Crystal will take time to exercise, read, or meditate all on her own so that she can recharge for what lays ahead of her. Once again, she’s making herself a priority so that she can be her best self, wife, mom, daughter, friend, you name it. 

How can you streak with us?

  1. Share what you are going to do. 

  2. Hold us accountable. (Ask questions about progress, call us out if we’re silent about what we’re doing,)

  3. Rejoice with us in our progress. (We hope to get incrementally better each day). 

  4. Encourage us when it’s tough (we promise to be vulnerable and share when it’s hard)

  5. Share your progress and struggles with us too

We hope that you’ll join us on this streaking journey and that we can encourage one another.



taking care

Welcome to the Treehouse

We have big BIG news!

We have always thought of The91Rewind as a virtual treehouse. We have worked to build a warm and inclusive community devoted to encouragement and friendship. We love creating and sharing all this #goodstuff with you guys over the last couple of years. Now, we want a chance to connect with you offline. we have created a new page, The Treehouse, to share exciting events taking place in Richmond and Raleigh with you!

You’ll see a hodgepodge of happenings listed in The Treehouse. Some will be hosted by us, others will be events we are attending, but they are all 100% awesome opportunities for you to get out and about while engaging with friends. That’s right! You will have a chance to get to know your favorite BFF bloggers and be introduced to some really fine local businesses as well. our goal with these events is to offer a chance to pause our hectic schedules and do something nice for ourselves, just because.

With that in mind, we have two events this summer devoted to #selfcare and finding ways to easily integrate it into our day-to-day. Self-care is a hot topic these days. It may seem like yet another thing we have to manage in our busy lives, but it is definitely something we can benefit from.

So, what is it?

Self-care can be defined as any activity or ritual we do for ourselves to generate joy, peace, or other good feelings. There isn’t much to the concept; the fun is in the application. There are so many ways to practice self-care. For some people, it looks like a daily meditation, weekly yoga, or spin class; for others, it might involve taking “the long way” home because the drive is scenic. For some, this may look like a time of pampering with a massage or a day at the spa. This  could even be a week-long silent retreat at a tropical resort, or it may be just making coffee before work. Self/care doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact, the more simple your ritual the more likely you are to stick with it.

Why is it important?

Well, because it helps us to be better! Better for ourselves and better for all the people and things that depend on us. We all work hard, adorably badass-ing it up, and we deserve a little love. This may not make sense. It may even seem selfish, but it is a fact. Treating ourselves well sets the tone for how we interact with the rest of the world. When we take the time to be kind to ourselves, to seek out peaceful and joyful moments, we are nicer people. We work better with others, we are more kind and empathetic.

Get out there and PLAY!

My personal brand of self-care looks like playtime. As a marketing professional, life feels at times like one critical decision after another with high stakes and even higher stress. In order to avoid lashing out like a dragon lady at the people I love, I have to care for myself. I do this through movement; crank the jams, connect with my breath, and let that shit go. I get lost in the music and the flow and before I know it, I am relaxed and ready to put my thinking cap back on.

Just give it a try!

You don’t have to take my word for it. Trust that you are deserving of your OWN kindness and love. Productivity and engagement are best when sprinkled with play time! If you’re looking for places to play this summer, look no further than The Treehouse! Here are some upcoming opportunities for you to join the movement party:

  • #SundayFunday hip-hop flow @ Yogi Oasis! rotating Sundays, starting June 23.

  • Self-care Saturdays at NCDI! We’re teaming up with local businesses to introduce you to amazing products and services you can integrate into your self-care routine! Class details can be found here.

  • Sunday Yoga @ Lululemon North Hills –  always fun, always free! Sunday, June 30 at 11:00 am.


taking care

Do you need room?

No matter how many times I visit New World Cafe and order my coffee black, whoever is working behind the counter will always ask the same thing…”Do you need room?”

In case you’re not a big coffee or tea drinker, they are talking about leaving room for cream…
Normally, I politely say, ‘No thanks’ and move on about my day, but this past weekend I began to reflect on the idea of leaving room. I am not talking about in my coffee cup (I need as much caffeinated bean water as I can get!), but as it relates to holding space.

You see, I have a hard time holding space in my life.

Just like with my coffee cup, I’m quick to utilize any open space that is available to me. Whether it’s on my calendar, in my house, or in my life I am constantly filling ‘space’ with activities, with people, with obligations, with THINGS. It’s as if I’m enchanted with the idea of fulfillment; like busyness and consumerism somehow indicate my worth. I know that more doesn’t always mean better, yet I have a hard time with unused capacity. It’s like my parents and their parents and their parents’ parents have all said, “Waste not, want not.”

Unused capacity, in the business world at least, is synonymous with waste. If you’re paying rent, but not making money, you’re losing profit…which is bad, right? Of course it is…nobody wants to lose money! But we aren’t talking about money. We are talking about life.

Life is about experiences and opportunities…

it’s a spectrum of actions and reactions that ripple out into the universe. Things happen, and for better or worse, they cause other things to happen. I like to think that it’s all connected in some way, but regardless it is easy to accept that life is a series of situations that happen to and because of the decisions we make.

Sometimes good things happen, and sometimes bad things happen, but we can be sure, no matter what, that things will happen in life. And when they happen, we can choose how we react to them. This is important! I have no idea who should be credited the following quote (so if you do, speak up) but it is so relevant right now:

blog post graphic.pngblog post graphic.png

Have you ever heard someone say they were in the ‘right place at the right time’?

This concept is born from holding space. We can only be in one place at one time. If we choose to pursue one opportunity, it is often at the cost of another. Being in the right place at the right time is when a person is able to create space to embrace an opportunity exactly when they need to. We are not mind-readers which is why serendipity is so significant.

I was recently faced with a difficult decision, one that fed right into my “fill-er-up” tendencies…

I found myself in a complex situation where I realized an opportunity, one I was very passionate about pursuing, was coming to an end. If I am being totally honest, I was not ready for it to end. I was emotional and conflicted. I could stay with it try to hold the pieces together, or I could let it go. My MO is always to stay, to keep the space full and continue working it until my only option is to admit defeat. Just as no one likes to lose money, nobody likes to throw in the towel either.

After fretting about what I would lose and how people would appraise my decision and what I did to set things on a downward trajectory, I had to get a grip on my emotions and remember the truth. Not every relationship and/or situation is meant to be. If I continue holding on to a floundering one, would I possibly miss out on something more fruitful?

I decided to let go of what wasn’t serving me and hold space for something new.

I feel a little brave as I jump into the unknown. I can be grateful for an opportunity that didn’t work out. The fact that it did not work out is just life, it doesn’t mean I am a failure. I still learned something. I still experienced things that I will take with me into the next venture.

The idea of having nothing to fill the empty space is unsettling, but I realize I can see it a different way. Empty space can be very exciting…like a brand new apartment, or an unexpected day off, or interviewing for a brand new job. Not knowing encourages optimism, idealization, and inspiration. We can try new things, reinvent ourselves, learn from our mistakes and begin anew.

Every now and then, we need a clean slate.

We need to take out the garbage, clean the house and prepare for something new. We may not know what that new something will be, but we can leave some room and hope for the best.



taking care

only good things

It is not enough to imagine things could be better. It is not enough to hope for a day when things could change. We have to drive the change with action. It starts by looking for the best in ourselves, in the people we meet, in humanity. We know there are bad things happening all around, but we must not be discouraged. Let’s challenge ourselves to filter for all that is good.

Only Good Things.

By: Erica LaGarde

Only good things.

To myself, to others,

To strangers and familiars.

I promise to send positive vibes,

To choose words of a kind and gentle nature.

Optimism is my weapon.

I wield it for all.

I will root for you

And for me.

To wish the best for all of us.

I am in your corner,

As you are in mine.

We are kindred humans.

Spreading goodness begins within.

Banish doubt with encouragement.

Reframe negativity with action.

speak, share, project.



Choosing to focus on Only Good Things is a radical choice. It’s a choice that pushes against the negativity the world wants to highlight. It will challenge you, at times it will feel impossible, but it can be done, Let’s lift up those who do good things by continuing their example. Let us work each day to find only good things to dwell on.

taking care

The Power of a Shower

For some of us, there’s healing power in sitting on the beach. For others, it may be hiking through the mountains. For many others, it may be a walk in the sunshine or splashing in rain puddles. Whatever it may be for you, there’s a healing power from being connected to something in nature. Crystal shares today a way we can connect with nature, when it’s not always possible.

For some of us, there’s healing power in sitting on the beach. For others, it may be hiking through the mountains. For many others, it may be a walk in the sunshine or splashing in rain puddles. Whatever it may be for you, there’s a healing power from being connected to something in nature. There may be moments where getting outside isn’t an option, and for those moments I’d like to share the power of a shower.

It’s important to find what helps you.

We’re regularly told the importance of getting outside to get some good old vitamin D. If we dig deeper into this topic, we can learn that it reduces stress, helps our immune system, helps us focus, can increase our short-term memory, increase life expectancy, and a whole host of other things. How we each want to connect with nature will vary on you as a person, but it’s important to find out what excites you about our natural world.

I’m a water healing person.

There’s something about the sound of water that does wondrous things for my soul. Whether it is the sound falling water from a rainy sky, flowing water along a creek or river, or the crashing sound of ocean waves…it improves my mood and makes me feel happy. I don’t have to physically touch the water, but it definitely gives me an extra boost when I can. There are times when getting outside and around water isn’t possible when I need it, especially when it’s after dark or there’s a terrible storm.

So what’s a water-loving girl to do?

I hop into the shower. I stand there and let the water wash over me. If standing doesn’t do the ticket, I sit down and feel immersed and surrounded. Suddenly my feelings of overwhelm and frustration melt away. Sometimes I have myself a pity party in the confines of my shower. The soothing support of the water allows me to let go and wash away the negativity. After my shower, I am refreshed and rejuvenated. Then, I can finally start to formulate my plan a.k.a. put on my big girl panties and conquer the world my problem of the moment.

The power of a shower.

If you need to generate some tranquility and connect with nature, but you can’t quite head off to the beach, I’d like to encourage you to give the shower technique a try. It may not be as good as a hike or a day at the lake but listen. The sound of the water falling inside the shower can transport you, to the perfect rainy day stroll, to a babbling brook, or your favorite spot on the shore.

We can’t always take an island vacation when we need a reset, but we can take a few moments to relax and reset before we try again. Next time you need a few moments, jump in the shower and see where the water can transport your mind and soul.



taking care

What exactly are we sorry for?

Every. Single. Day.

We hear women and girls saying, “I’m sorry.”

We are tired of the apologies because they are UNNECESSARY.  It seems women feel the need to apologize when they have done NOTHING wrong. So What exactly are we sorry for?

Our very existence matters.

When we hear someone apologize for standing where someone is walking, it’s as if they are regretting that they exist at all. We can’t read minds or know to step out of the way exactly when someone needs to move past or around us. Everyone needs to breathe, to have water, to eat, and to occupy space. Existing and filling space is NOT something we have to apologize for.

We need connection.

There are moments in life where two or more people just need to communicate voice to voice. It may be easier, save time, or help drill down to a solution. It’s beneficial, yet we apologize for interrupting. “We are sorry to bother” or “sorry we had to call.” Rather than apologizing, perhaps we could greet one another warmly. We don’t always have the ability to schedule a conversation one week in advance with a calendar invite. A simple “hello” and “how are you” is a great icebreaker and can help smooth things over without making us feel small. There’s no need to apologize for interacting with another person—even it is spontaneous or unannounced.

We want to understand.

Sometimes we need feedback. We need to ask a question to get more information. We need an example or clarification to really understand what lies before us. There is this idea that we can only do our best if we have the right tools, yet we apologize for needing access to these tools of success. That doesn’t make sense! How many times have you heard a woman say “I hate to ask you this” or “I’m sorry if this seems like a stupid question” or “I’m sorry but I don’t understand…” It is a fact that asking questions leads to better comprehension that can resonate with all involved. Those willing to ask the questions are not only brave but highly motivated. When we are sorry for needing a better understanding of something, we are essentially apologizing for doing the job to the best of our ability. How silly is that?

We have value.

When we apologize for trivial things, it diminishes who we are as people. Most people that we interact with are not unilaterally irritated with us. They are not frustrated with our existence. But when we say we are sorry for small things, we invite that response. It’s like when someone tells you they have a stain on their shirt. You didn’t notice it, but now you can’t stop thinking about it. Enough is enough already. Stop apologizing. Just stop!

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Each and every one of us is an adorable badass.

We are unique and each of us brings something special to the table. Our womanhood unites us, but our individuality helps us shine. You are not fucking sorry for existing, so don’t apologize. Save your sorries for those moments when you make an actual blunder. One that may cause a problem for another person like forgetting to do something you promised you would do or arriving late to a meeting.

Value who you are, the space you occupy, your beautiful voice FIERCELY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Because you my friend, are AWESOME! We are people who have feelings, desire connection, and experience emotions. We take up space. Sometimes we need to ask questions and get more information. Being human is nothing to apologize for.