Last week a friend and I were talking about the Not Sorry Project and she mentioned that she hadn't sent in a submission because she wasn't sure that she felt enough strength and conviction in the things she is not sorry for. She asked me how I had gotten to a place where I could feel so brazenly unapologetic about a whole host of identities and behaviors (full list here) and I realized that because the aspirational nature of my "not sorrys" is so clear to me, I have never explicitly stated that that's what they often are-ambitions, works-in-progress.
My statements of non-apology are no less true or valid for being aspirational. I fluctuate between knowing each declaration to be deeply true and seeing them as beacons for my better self. This is part of the process. Unlearning my 27 years of shame and discomfort cannot and will not happen overnight. As you start to think about what you will no longer apologize for, I encourage you to send us your most surely held not sorrys, the ones you live and feel down to the bone, as well as your most tentative, halting, unconfirmed ones. Exposing our refusal to apologize can feel like a vulnerable act- sometimes we want to proclaim it from the rooftops and sometimes we can barely whisper it to ourselves. To this end we have added an anonymous submission form under the Participate tab. You can now submit to the project completely anonymously. Submit a list or a single sentence. Submit once or once a day. Submit to see how the not sorry that's been rattling around in your brain all week feels when you put it out into the world, and then resubmit an hour later when you decide it needs tweaking. Part of growing is the freedom to try things on for size. We have all been alienated from our bodies, emotions, and desires by the compulsory apology, and it will take time to uncover/recover what's been hidden in that process. I hope that this can be a space for some of that uncovering, in all it's flawed and messy glory.