I am a Badass, with Equal Parts Soft, Squishy and Vulnerable
This was originally posted November 20, 2015 on my blog, The Corvid Drifter. My thoughts on the subject have evolved since I wrote it but I decided to leave it mostly as it was originally written.
I was recently called "She-Ra" following a yoga class. After which the other classmates chimed in, making comments on my practice that morning. It was..a bit awkward. Largely because another student was comparing their practice to mine and seemed to feel a little down about themselves by it. I'm not sure. That was my initial impression (which I've learned is often correct) however, maybe not. Hopefully not.
Class was just as hard for me that day as it was for anyone else. I've been doing this body movement thing a bit more intensely lately so perhaps I made it look easy..??
I was certainly feeling strong in class while also extending myself to the point of intense physical effort. To be honest, I did feel a little swell in my confidence when I was referred to as the Princess of Power but not because I needed validation of my strength. I know I've been working hard and I can definitely feel the difference and it felt good to be recognized. I just don't do it well in front of other people. I'm a one-on-one type of complimenter/gusher. But I've learned to take compliments with grace and humility no matter the circumstances in which they are delivered. I have earned them and I'm not afraid to accept them with gratitude anymore.
I don't ever want to be someone who others use as a measurement to their own abilities. I know I know. It's a thing we all do. I'm totally guilty. I'm far more comfortable these days with measuring myself with myself instead of others. Even still, I could measure myself with myself three years ago, hell even three months ago, but that was actually a totally different Carrie.
The truth is, there is no comparison, only who we are within the space that we are in right now.
And today, I am a badass! That's right. I'm not afraid to say it. I have had it thrown my way on the regular for a few years now but kindly deflected each one. I have felt kinda badass on occasion and enjoyed that but also been afraid.
Being a badass woman isn't easy you see. And not because you have to work at being a badass without trying to actually be badass. You just are badass. That's how it works. People will say that I’m such a badass when I’m just being myself. And I honestly don’t get what makes me more of a badass than the person telling me that I’m badass. Because I’m not.
It's not easy because people are sometimes intimidated by you. Except other badass women. We're like magnets to each other! It's awesome! We understand that it’s not us that you’re intimidated by but the badass power within you that we represent that scares you.
We are the ones that have to have it together all the time (well, we think we do anyway annnnnd it’s often seemingly expected of us). We are the ones who have to have it figured out. We are the ones that have to know what to do and how to do it. We are the ones that have to fix the broken things. We are the ones that have to change whats wrong. We often do this alone.
But we badass women, we see each other from a mile away and we gravitate towards each other. As hard as it is sometimes but we can't help ourselves. We shoulder so much on our own. We long for other badasses who understand how exhausting badassery can be.
Because we are also soft.
Here I am hugging a fake elk at the Yellowstone National Park gift shop. I really needed this hug.
We are the softest. We are the squishiest. We are the most fragile. We are so solid because so are our hearts. We take no shit but help whomever we can. We are stoic and sometimes isolated because the caring is often too much to bare, so we have to close it off. We will just take care of what needs to be done or help out as efficiently as possible and call it good. This is how you know if a badass cares about you.
But something hit me after being called She-Ra, the only way to be an honest to goodness, legit badass is to be equally as vulnerable and open about it. Let me repeat that so it can sink in: the only way to be an honest to goodness, legit badass is to be equally as vulnerable and open about it.
After getting through the slight compliment awkwardness, I got out onto the street and the feeling went through me gently, I am a badass. I am a legit badass!
The way I processed all of that was graciously, humbly and honestly. I was strong and soft at the same time. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. And there I was, badass without ego, only knowing.
Or maybe I've always been a badass but never really understood exactly what that meant until that moment.
Either way, I am a badass and I no longer feel the need to deflect the compliment.
I was strong. I was loving. I was connected to those I came into contact with. I was true. I was calm. I was balanced.
I want to share with you a picture of my back. I carry my stress in my shoulders first. I injured my rotator cuff several years ago and it is always an area of my body that I am mindful of. I have upped my physical training lately thus causing my left shoulder area to alert me of it's compromised condition. I have to constantly be aware of how I am holding my chest, back and shoulders no matter what I am doing or I risk an obvious injury.
So below is a picture of my back. It is strong. It is toned with a layer of body fat that I own today. I have worked hard on this back. I felt this strange desire to take a picture of it today to share. I don't look at my back in the mirror. I didn't really know what it looked like until I took this picture.
As far as I'm concerned, this back is a work of art. This back gets me where I need to be. This back is strong because my core is strong. This back will continue to get stronger and take me wherever I want to go. I am proud of this back! It's the back of a badass and that badass is me!
p.s. I've posted links in this post to so many of my badass lady friends and there are so many more that either don't have websites or I failed to remember at the moment. I may just add more as I recall them. Each one of them has had a profound effect on me in some way shape or form. Thank you ladies!!