Own Your Shit: Myrtle by Carrie Hilgert

Own Your Shit: Myrtle by Carrie Hilgert

Dear Friends,

Own your shit. There’s a certain amount of power that comes from wearing what you are proudly and not apologizing for it—that last part is the bit I have trouble with. My speech is generally laced with sorries for things I have no business being sorry for.

The weather’s turning shitty? Sorry.
You walked into the door and scraped your elbow? Sorry.
Stuck in traffic? Sorry.
You don’t like the sound of children’s laughter? Sorry.

Only I’m not sorry about any of these things. Do I feel bad that you may be disappointed and/or perturbed about something that’s going on? Sure. But I don’t need to take on your shit and make it my own. I don’t have to apologize.

Sometimes I just morph into this meek little people pleaser who needs to be nice and pleasant and well liked. Other times I look at my daughters and say hell no. They don’t need to be conditioned to apologize for things they have nothing to do with. And they sure as hell don’t need to watch me model that behavior.

So what am I saying? OWN. YOUR. SHIT. Don’t take on anyone else’s. But be you and don’t care what people who don’t even matter might say. And don’t apologize. Unless you screw up and you mean it.

Be like Myrtle up there.

I found Myrtle through one of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook posts. While that post was inspiring in its own right (isn’t she always?), digging a little deeper into Myrtle kicked it up a notch.

Here’s what Myrtle’s creator, artist Carrie Hilgert, has to say about her: “This is Myrtle. She cusses worse than a sailor and used to work at a fifties themed diner. She does what she wants and loves to inspire people to embrace their weirdness.” Myrtle regularly reminds people that fear is stupid, no is a full sentence, and that there’s nothing wrong with self care.

Couldn’t we all stand to be more like Myrtle? At the very least we could learn a lesson or two from her.

Right now, I’m going to own my shit. My name is Jen and I’m a chronic apologizer. It needs to stop. It makes me seem weak and unsure and less than. I am none of those things.

What shit are you going to own today?

This post is part of my 52 Essays project. This year I have set a goal for myself to write one finished piece every week(ish). I’m not sure what you can expect from them because I’m sort of winging it. Some will be good. Some will be less good. Hopefully you’ll love them. Maybe you’ll hate them. We’ll just have to wait and see. 😉 11/52

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.