I have been away from blogging for a year or more as I have been writing quite a bit professionally and just kinda keeping my stories in my head. Suffice it to say that I am an emotional writer (I guess there are worse things) and alas, I have been snapped back to writing (on paper) by several recent events that struck a chord.
For the past several weeks, I have enjoyed reading FB posts by my female friends coping with the relentless winter weather in Boston. I have participated in discussions featuring everything from throwing pantyhose filled with ice melt on roofs and gutters to prevent disaster, enlisting the help of neighbors to push cars out of driveways so very important exercise training schedules can be maintained. Some friends are managing commutes that are 3x as long as normal all the while maintaining pick up and drop off times for little ones and yep, some friends are bemoaning the fact that they have to shovel their own driveways over and over again. But the real icing on the cake in my power of the pen reclamation event was a second party FB post by a dear friend.
The article, 15 Things All Badass, Fearless Alpha-Women Do Differently From Other Types Of Women by Brenda Della Casa on Thoughtcataloge.com captured my attention as the accompanying picture features the ubiquitous white woman, eyes glazed upwards, arms strongly angled on her hips, standing in a field complete with blousy shirt and yep, heels. (I’m not even kidding!)
Number one on the list of how to tell if you are badass woman is:
They cultivate a life they actually enjoy living.
Great, I can totally get with that because, you know…I’m badass. That’s enough for me to continue reading. I start to look through the other 14 affirmations and by number 4, I see it. Yep, right there:
They don’t need a boyfriend but they’re open to having a partner.
Here we go… and yes, even a badass can see through this. In total, 6 out of the 15 affirmations are directly related to the “boyfriend- strong single woman- don’t let anyone define you category”. There are a few others that relate to this theme peripherally. The correlation of badassness related to single-womanhood really bothered me in this article even though I was a single woman for 10+ years with a child and know that I’m totally badass because of it.
However ,for me, attributing being a badass to one’s ability to cope without a partner is so passé and I said so on the shared post.
Me: Yeah, but why are 6 of the points focused on single-ness, men and relationships…
The response back was something on the line of being fearless and not letting others define your happiness.
I couldn’t agree more but…
Me: Yeah, but then it should have one or two ” love yourselves” and not 6 “you are single so that makes you a badass”. Too much weight on that, in my opinion. I was single for 10+ years and yes I was badass because of it but there’s a whole lot more that I was badass about that didn’t even focus on men/or not having a man.
So, ladies, let’s talk about what IS badass that is not defined by a man.
Going through cancer treatments and asking for help from family and friends when you are usually the giver. Asking for help. Tracy did that. That’s badass.
Working during the week and on weekends to make ends meet for your family. By any means necessary. Ashley did that. That’s badass.
Dealing with a sudden and tragic death of a loved one and then moving across country to start living again.Putting yourself and your kids back together. Suzanne, did that. That’s badass.
Choosing to teach in an impoverished school and getting kids to love (I mean really love) learning MATH. Capturing students hearts and minds. Kyle did that. That’s badass.
Studying and working your butt off. Being a great friend and a great servant. Garnering a promotion to be the Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer of a major bank in a large city. Being humble and strong. Blondel did that. That’s badass.
Protesting the unjust treatment of young Black males while putting your own personal safety on the line. Being selfless. Addis did that. That’s badass.
Facing a sudden divorce, picking up the pieces of yourself emotionally and physically and becoming a triathlete in the process. Physical and mental strength. Rebecca did that. That’s badass.
Striking out with your husband and young child to move to Indonesia for five months while you use your research on infectious diseases as a model for instruction in universities. Strong intelligence. Carleitta did that. That’s badass.
Badass is about loving yourself. It is about being a strong woman whether you are single or coupled up not because you are single or coupled up. As my badass friend Diane said, Badass is Goodass. Badass is Goddess.
I’m a badass. I’m goodass I’m a Goddess in my own right and I know A LOT of woman who fit into these same affirmations and while some of us do, some of us really don’t wear blousy dresses and heels and stand in fields. Some of us, like Adina, climb mountains physically, mentally and emotionally. That’s badass. That’s goodass. That’s Goddess.