Andrea, 24, Mexico City. I’ve always dreamed of being a writer. I hope that this piece helps me express what I often hide. I spend a lot of time feeling sad about my illness but thankfully I am now a healthy woman who wants to love life. My love goes out to all women who are experiencing what I went through.
Efe, 31, Oxford. I am not sorry now or ever for reaching for the skies, for dreaming bigger and for expecting the best for my life. I am not sorry for finding love and choosing happiness. I am not sorry for fighting so hard for the life I have now.
Alanna, 28, Long Island. When I first saw this photo my honest, initial reaction was: “Yikes, what a gross picture.” My brain immediately saw everything I hated and critiqued about myself, as if it’s been trained to do my entire life. It took two seconds to decide I was embarrassed by it because it didn’t look “perfect”.
Serena, 30, New York. I'm absolutely an offender of the “over-apology”. I apologize for everything. I hear myself blurt out the words, “I’m sorry”, and I cringe. There are so many times I want to stop and say: “Wait, I take it back. That’s a silly thing to be apologetic for.”
Ana, 27, Boston. How many times have we said: "it's nothing", "I'm ok", "No, I don't need help" when we mean the opposite? I was raised to be strong, go after my dreams, suck it up and move on. As women, we can be strong but we can also cry. We don't have to choose. We can be both.
Emma, 27, London. I am sorry for getting it completely wrong sometimes. Which believe me I do. My feminism is not faultless and pure: it’s an evolving education with inclusion and equality at its heart. But I am not sorry for any of this journey.
Liz, 33, Nashville. What if I told you that without even knowing it, you might be using words that are silently sabotaging your credibility at work? If you struggle with being upfront and direct, remember, you’re not alone. Women are acculturated to be deferential.
Andie, 30, Santa Fe. Today I found out that I’m at risk for premature ovarian failure. I’m 30. The news felt like a blow, and at the same time, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve spent almost my whole life trying to show up for other people but have hardly ever showed up for myself. Tonight, after hearing the diagnosis, I said, enough.
Chloë, 27, London. I apologise all the time. I’m sorry. These two words have a tendency to trickle from my lips like milk from a carton, like ice cream from a wafer cone on a hot summer day. Sometimes I mean it. But mostly it’s subconscious, a linguistic reflex, a tongue tick.
Lulu, 24, New York. From a young age I felt different on multiple levels. I always felt sorry for feeling different, yet I never understood why. Countless events, situations, and opportunities have taught me that being different is a quality that should be embraced and used as fuel.