What are the two hardest words to say in the English language?
When writing about all of the people in my life who I can thank for helping me to get to where I am today, I thought, who I should I apologise to?
Historically, I’ve been notoriously bad with apologies. I’ve been stubborn and refused to accept I was at fault in situations where I was clearly at fault. Even Stevie Wonder could see I was to blame (I’m sorry Stevie, I love your music.) It wasn’t until my first girlfriend opened my eyes, did I see the error of my ways (I’m sorry S for being a terrible boyfriend and again, sorry Stevie for that second pun.)
Being “Sorry” requires acknowledging that you were wrong, reflecting on your behaviour, making amends and in many cases feeling bad about being a shitty person (which you should.) That’s hard! Especially if you’re really sorry. I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of fake apologies that do nothing but massage the ego.
So here it is, an honest apology.
To my parents for being hard work, lazy and very ungrateful. Drinking to excess as a teenager. Doing what I wanted but still expecting money and transport. To my grandparents for not caring more and listening to their stories with greater interest. Not appreciating the limited time. Wanting time to go faster so I could go home and play games. To the people in school whom I made fun of for their quirks (despite being quirk-ridden myself.) To the teachers who I had no respect for and lied to. To the friends who I used when it suited me. Sneaky behaviour. My teammates when I made no effort to take Rugby seriously. Selfish. To those who I was in group projects with and didn’t do any work (but took the credit.) To the girls whose feelings I never thought of. Selfish. To the girlfriends who I didn’t respect. To anyone whose time I didn’t respect by cancelling plans because I couldn’t be bothered telling you in reasonable time. To the housemates who I wasn’t clean for. When I didn’t pay for heating, clean dishes, empty bins. I was lazy. Selfish. To the colleagues who had to work harder because I didn’t pull my own weight. To the strangers I cut in front of in supermarkets or didn’t smile at because I was in a bad mood. To the hundreds of others who deserve apologies because I can’t put the effort into thinking of why.
Being selfish and insecure often causes us to act in ways that disturb the greater good. Speaking form a much more self-aware and secure place, I am sorry. This is also an open invitation for anyone reading to call me out on poor behaviour in the future. It’s a conversation I’m willing to have.
If you’re reading this and I’ve slighted you in any way, I honestly hope that you are over it and living a greater, more fulfilled life. If not and I can make it up to you in any way, please get in touch. I would like to make amends.