May 31, 2018

Being a Badass: Is It Really All Bad?

I recently was reminded when things get tough the tough get going and to add to that, I found writing inspiration from Thelma and Louise.  They are the characters from the 1991 movie of the same namesake. Actresses Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis played two women leaving their “somewhat” normal lives behind to hit the road for adventure. 

Things go all Badass when their journey turns into trouble, which is punctuated by their unexpected criminal activity. Things literally go south as they find themselves running for the Mexican border while outrunning the police. 

When this movie first came out every married, single, hard-working, fed-up, and victimized woman cheered for its badass attitude. But, it was the ending that made EVERYONE say, “That’s BADASS!”

So, what does it mean to be a badass?

The dictionary definition says it’s being tough or powerful. Intimidating; mean-tempered; causing trouble. Having formidable strength or skill. 

When I was in 7th grade, I remember thinking the kids that hung out at “the tree” were badass. The tree was just off school property where kids smoked and occasionally there’d be fights gathered there after school. I didn’t consider myself badass, so I never hung out at the tree. I found having a friendly sense of humor with these badass kids was more up my lane. 

In 8th grade, I went skiing for the first time and, logically thinking, I started on the bunny hill. Did I rip through some badass powder to show off my skiing skills?

Well, if that means skiing right between someone’s legs and spraining my ankle...then, yeah, that was pretty badass!

When I was 19, I hopped on the back of a motorcycle with a guy friend and we took to the open road. We didn’t wear tough guy leather jackets or rally with biker gangs, but ended up at the State Fair eating ice cream with sprinkles and corn dogs. He was a perfect gentleman that day; however, I ended up declining future dates. 

I don’t know why!

Maybe he wasn’t badass or, most likely, I didn’t think I was. 

In my twenties I went parasailing.  In my thirties I went hot air ballooning.  In my forties I performed improv for the first time. 

All pretty cool, but not really bad or badass. 

Or, was it?

Chasing the open road for new wild adventures, having scandalous love connections, making risky choices, living on the edge of criminal activity is the Thelma and Louise style we picture when we define badass. 

But, is it really about being bad?

Having the fortitude to chase your dreams or facing hardships in a marriage or relationship can be very powerful. The difficulties we have every day in our jobs, school, parenthood, serving or caring for others, and other life’s hurdles can bring strength we didn’t know we had. If you're battling health issues or caring for someone with these battles it's undeniably resilient and tough.  Showing vulnerability in your most fearful moments is absolutely courageous.

So, if you didn't know it, I'm certain you've been a Badass!

Recently, my daughter celebrated her college graduation and if ever there was a time I felt a bit intimidated and age challenged was when she invited me to go celebrate with her and her college friends. 

As soon as we stepped into the first college town bar, is when I felt my badass days were behind me. Distant memories of riding on that motorcycle and parasailing over the Pacific came crashing into my thoughts. 

I scanned the crowded bar filled shoulder to shoulder with college students and this is when reality crept up my granny panties

The young man checking ID’s at the door asked for my daughter's ID. Then he looked at me and waved me by with a nod like an old dish rag past its scrub-worthy prime. 

Quickly, I found myself feeling like an imposter and thought probably the same thing he was thinking, “Do you know where you are lady?”

This is right about the time when my inner “Badass Thelma” kicked in. I looked at him and said……

“Listen up young punk; I’ve birthed babies that stretched places bigger than the gaping holes in your jeans. I’ve cleaned more poopy asses, mine included, than you’ve washed that T-shirt and I’m pretty damn sure I’ve made more meatloaf than you’ve hoped for girlfriends!

So, you’d be very wise to pretend that my 22 year-old daughter is my sister and just ask for my damn ID with a starry-eyed smile and respect the knowledge sprouting from these gray hairs!”

And guess what?  
I didn’t say any of those things!

But, I thought it!! 

Does that count?

By the way, I had a great time with my daughter.  Her college friends were a delight and the most respectful! Not to mention, I'm truly grateful that she actually wanted me to hang out with her and her college buddies. 

That made me feel pretty BADASS!

What makes you feel Badass?

Indulging In the Write Stuff 

One More Thing Before You Go!

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