The Not Sorry Project is certainly not about making sure no apology is uttered or felt again. Genuine, heartfelt apologies are important in many situations. In fact, I fully intend on feeling genuinely apologetic in my future about lots of things! In wanting to give voice to the non-apology, I realized that sometimes we learn about the apology, too.
Many people have said in the introductions to their posts or to me in conversation that the presence of so many apologies that are unfelt and/or unnecessary dilutes the meaning of what an apology is. It takes away from moments when we really, truly, want to say we’re sorry. It means that when you really are sorry, it’s difficult to express it. And this seems to have something to do with the way that many these posts express the non-apology AND the apology. Perhaps once we’re able to articulate what we’re not sorry about, there’s more clarity and space to sort out what we are sorry about.
I’ve noticed some interesting word patterns in these posts. One is a reclaiming: “This is mine, and I’m never going to be sorry about this again!” The other is reframing: “I’m not sorry about this. But I am sorry about that.” I love that both frames have space in this project and in your submissions, and I love that both clear space to make room for something new to grow.
I like the idea of getting rid of what I am not sorry for to make room for what I am sorry for. I like being able to say, “Ok, I’m not sorry that I have to take care of myself, but I am sorry that I won’t be able to come to your party, because I want to support you and I appreciate that you're wanting to bring people together,” and I equally love throwing my hands up in the air and—“I’M NOT SORRY THAT BEYONCE FLAWLESS WILL BE FAR MORE ENJOYABLE THAN ANY TRAIN CONVERSATION WITH YOU, SMUG-LOOKING MAN I DON’T KNOW!”
*sighs, leans back in seat, continues to jam in Beyonce-land*