so you want to be a badass

The older gentleman asked what my word is for this year. "Badassery," I replied with a laugh. He threw his head back and chuckled. And then promptly asked, "So... when a waiter messes up your order, you're gonna tell him off?"

Ummmm.... No. Not at all.

Badassery is not the same as assholery.

(Apologies to those I may have offended. I legitimately can't find a tactful way to say that.) 


(And don't worry, mom. That's not what I said to him.) 

But please hear me. By badassery I certainly don't mean unkindness.

I actually mean more kindness—toward myself.

Let me back up...

It was October when I decided this would be my word for the year.

A friend told me, "There's a general badassery about you." And I was floored. Straight up shocked. Me?! Cowardly, awkward, insecure ol' me?! The others in the room echoed full agreement, and I just sat there shaking my head in disbelief. What?!

After I scooped my jaw off the floor, I thought more fully about what they'd said. I certainly couldn't see what they saw, and I knew then and there that badassery was my word for 2016.

Because I want to live into it. 

I want to intentionally be that woman that my friend sees in me. I want to be able to see it for myself, by purposefully developing my badassery muscle. 

Brené Brown describes it best. Of course. (And yes, if you couldn't tell before now, I have a total girl-crush on Brené. #fangirl)

When I see people stand fully in their truth, or when I see someone fall down, get back up, and say “Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me and I’m going in again”—my gut reaction is, “What a badass.” ... People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.

We need more people who are willing to demonstrate what it looks like to risk and endure failure, disappointment, and regret—people willing to feel their own hurt instead of working it out on other people, people willing to own their stories, live their values, and keep showing up.
— Brené Brown, Rising Strong

Dang, right? 

What she describes? That's what I want to live into. I want to be that girl. 

I want to treasure my own voice enough to use it confidently. I want to embrace what I have to offer this world (after figuring out what the heck that is) and then offer it fully.

I want to lean into possibilities, start believing in hope again, and stop second guessing myself. 

I want to develop eyes to see what others see in me, which means recognizing, accepting, and owning my good qualities as well as my bad. I seem to have no problem owning my weaknesses. My strengths are another story. To do so conjures up loud internal voices, shouting that it's arrogant and self-seeking, and slinging all manner of guilt and shame at me. This is gonna be a rough one... #DeepBreath

I want to foster authenticity and vulnerability in myself and my relationships (which is soooooo scary and risky). 

You want to be tough
You want to be rebellious
You want to be a badass

Then show your heart to everyone...
— Michael Xavier

Yeah. That.

I commit to being more fully honest, starting with myself. I'm going to stop doing things I don't actually want to do—things I typically go along with just so I don't rock the boat, voice a differing opinion, disappoint someone, or step on any toes. #AdventuresInHonesty

Putting others first doesn't mean putting myself last. I'm still learning that truth. I need to get better at prioritizing myself in healthy and needed ways.

I'm going to let myself be genuinely happy when I have reason to—which means fighting the breath-holding of waiting for the other shoe to drop. And not caring when the haters hate. 

I'm going to learn how not to be a doormat. There will be lots of boundary setting and maintaining (which is oh-so-uncomfortable), and I will learn to say no with grace and dignity. 

I'm going to wear more red (breaking my personal rule of dressing to blend into the background to avoid standing out in any way). 

And I'm going to stop waiting for a special occasion to drink good wine.

A friend summed it up best: 

Do no harm, but take no shit.

That's my badassery motto this year. 

Can you see now how it's a continuation of my wholehearted journey from last year? Sheesh.

This stuff is hard. And takes a lifetime.

I'm keeping a badassery list, writing down all the times I do something badass. Do me a favor?

Tell me when my badassery is showing.

Since it's so difficult for me to recognize in myself, lending me your eyes every now and again would be an enormous help. 

Also, in case you're wondering, hitting publish on this post is going onto the badassery list.