I Was Once a Beautiful Badass

Once upon a time, I was a badass. A beautiful badass, although I didn’t think so at the time.

I read a bunch of old blog posts and journal entries the other day, and I realized that I used to be the determined and strong woman I want to be right now. I used to wake up before 5 am to get my workout in. I would participate in fun runs, color runs, intense mud runs, and a Tough Mudder. I wrote almost every single day. I used to actively and consistently work toward my goals. I wouldn’t always crush them, but I would get closer to achieving what I wanted then than I do now. And this was after Miss Maya came into my life, when my pre and post work hours overflowed with the nonstop activity of chasing a toddler around. I was a badass and then I slowly sunk back into mediocrity.

So, what happened?

Many people, when they look back to try to figure out how they got so off course, look for a specific event or a series of events that “caused” them to wander. Something external must be the root of the problem. Or, if they can’t find an incident, they’ll look at another person to place the blame. It’s someone else’s fault. And if they can’t pinpoint a person or a specific event, they’ll shake their heads and simply say, “Life happens.”

We hear it all the time. Life happens.

Here’s the rub: they’re not entirely wrong. Life does happen, and the reasons we give to explain why we gave up on our dreams or woke up light years from where we imagined we would be in life might even be valid to a degree. Work stress, check. See, blame can go elsewhere. Financial issues, check. I could easily blame that one on someone else, and it would be a true and valid reason. Health problems likely due to stress. Age. I don’t drop the weight like I did when I was younger. Completely valid. I could go on, but you get my point.

But here’s the final truth: The excuses are bullshit.

Yes, you might have reasons and I might have reasons, but at the end of the day, for most of us, it’s all bullshit. We’re lazy and we don’t want to put in the work necessary to surpass our goals and create extraordinary results in our lives.

So, what happened?

I became lazy. Plain and simple. I stopped doing the work. I gave up and sat the fuck down on my sofa and watched Netflix instead of writing my book. I slept in instead of getting up early and exercising. I ate and drank stuff on a regular basis that wasn’t the best for my body.

I became too comfortable living in my excuses instead of pushing beyond them.

Since the beginning of last year, I’ve been reading book after book, searching for bits of wisdom to help pull me out of this rut. I’ve watched hundreds of motivational videos and listened to podcasts on a regular basis. While I’ve gleaned a significant amount of information on how to create better habits to help transform your life, I realized the other day that what I really need to do is search within. I keep looking outside myself for inspiration, but everything I need is right here. I wrote it all down, for Pete’s sake. It’s in front of me in black and white. Everything I need is already flowing through my veins. I’ve had moments of badassery creep back into my life during the past couple of years and I’ve broken through some self-imposed barriers and pushed through fears. But I must do more. Daily.

Last night I dreamt I was in a prison of sorts, trapped at the top of a tower, the perimeter surrounded by guards. I kept trying to figure a way down the steep, stone wall, but escape seemed impossible. I remember my friend Desiree standing at the bottom and telling me that if I could make it off the tower, I would make my way past the guards. I then realized there was a curtain of sorts off to the side. I grabbed it and glided down to the bottom of the tower. I gently landed and said, “Well, that was easy.” I put on a guise of working there and walked right out the front gates to freedom.

We all have our prisons and our towers and the guards in our minds who tell us we can’t do it. It’s all a lie, and we need to stop listening to the guards and we need to start listening to the rebel voice inside that yells at us to rise and fight. I believe we all have everything we need inside of us to break free and create the lives of our dreams. We just forget we have the strength to do it.

I still am a beautiful badass. I simply must stop being lazy and believe in my own power once again.

15 thoughts on “I Was Once a Beautiful Badass

  1. Pingback: “…Always Be A Beginner” – Conducting and Music Ed From a Different Angle

  2. Sigh …

    When I started writing fiction 15-16 years ago, this was my life:

    My boys were 8 and 6. I coached them both in baseball and soccer, which meant ten months out of the year, weeknights were mostly taken up with practices and games and Saturdays were all about games and tournaments.

    I had the same job I have now (only my responsibilities significantly increased in 2005 and those responsibilities remain with me now).

    I cooked on weekends. Meals that took hours to prepare. I baked a lot more. I gardened a lot more. I did a lot more yard work.

    I started running and ran enough to run a handful of half marathons.

    I tried to teach myself how to play classical guitar.

    My days were so full of things.

    And then I started writing and over the next few years wrote two novels and dozens of short stories.

    I look back and have absolutely no idea how I did all of that stuff.

    I was a badass. Not beautiful. But, yes, I was a badass.

    And now all I want to do with my free time is as little as possible. Every day I swear I’m going to do things differently and at the end of each day I can honestly say I haven’t even come close to cracking the door back open to all of that stuff I used to do.

    I come home from work, have dinner, surf the internet, read and am done by 9:00 or 9:30. My weekends are — a morning run or bike ride, mow the lawn, weed the veggie garden, and then do as little as possible. Whereas I used to love those meals I made that took hours to prepare, my cooking objective now is “what’s easy?”

    There just came this point some years ago where the emotional weight of my job and other things going on in my life became too much for me to bear, while trying to find the emotional energy to do all of those things I enjoyed. Which is really an odd thing to say. How can things I enjoy take emotional energy? Well, hell, they just do. And when so much is going on that is difficult and challenging and energy-sucking, it can get really hard to find that energy needed for the enjoyable pieces of life.

    This is my daily challenge these days. To break out of this rut. Like you, I want to exercise each morning, write here and there, and do all sorts of other things. But I’m lazy. So wonderfully, incredibly lazy. I’m waiting for something, and the reality is that what I’m waiting for isn’t going to come unless I make it come. I am the creator of my life and only I can change this dynamic. I just wish it wasn’t so hard. I must find the internal fortitude to do this.

    Thank you for writing this. It’s a thing that needs to be said, a thing that needs to be read, and a thing that needs to change. I hope you find a path forward to where you want to be.

    By the way … you are still a beautiful badass. Never, ever doubt that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh, your entire paragraph about emotional energy hit home. “And when so much is going on that is difficult and challenging and energy-sucking, it can get really hard to find that energy needed for the enjoyable pieces of life.” You nailed it. Honestly, I completely feel all of what you just wrote.

      For me, I know I have to simply force myself to do whatever it is I need to do. I can’t wait to be in in the mood, because that doesn’t work. Here’s the kicker: every time I exercise, or create decent art, or take the time to make a healthy, wonderful meal, I never regret it. Never. I’ve been so damn lazy, though. Can’t do the lazy thing anymore.

      And thanks. I think you’re a badass, too. We’ve just been lazy badasses.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! When I go for a hike or a run or a bike ride I always feel better. The best runs or the ones I do when I least want to do them.

    When I manage to put words together to form sentences and paragraphs I feel better. I’ve started exploring acrylic pour art. I love it when I do it.

    I agree with you … just gotta get over the emotional drain and recognize the value and reward in all of these things that are so much more about who I am than the things that cause the drain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One more thought … for our emotional and mental well-being (both of which actually play into physical well-being) we have to recognize that the “wants” are actually more important than the “have to’s” … and make sure we give ourselves a chance each day to experience some of those wants.

    To feed our souls, those “wants” really are “needs” just as important as the needs that drain us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lazy is good.
    Maybe you had achieved the goals you had set until the point where you got lazy or the things didn’t have much meaning to you and so you changed tact.
    But the best part is you can reflect on it and do something about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ed

    Too often we make a calendar of short term events instead of looking at the big picture or long term and that goes for budgeting also. When credit cards consumed my actions I hade to work out a 5 year plan to pay everything off and use only debit cards. Well with the end in sight I look forward to life in two more years without debt! It meant a financial diet but it was worth it, and so it goes with other events in our life we must think ahead like an ocean liner trying to turn directions. It takes more long term planning! So forget about that weekend grocery list and plan how to feed an Army!☺️💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with your plan to budget for long-term goals. I’ve done that many times over between saving money to move thousands of miles with no job set in stone to paying for a $5000+ trip overseas for us to visit my son without accruing any debt whatsoever. We came home from Finland owing nothing. I know how to budget and plan, and I have no credit card debt. What I do have, however, is unexpected thousands in ER medical expenses along side my $300/mo in health insurance for myself and my daughter. I’ve budgeted to pay them off by the end of year, which means scraping by.

      I wholeheartedly support long term financial budgeting. However, it can be rather difficult when you’re literally budgeting simply to make it from month-to-month for the past year and you’ll soon bicycle to work because your car is literally falling apart. No air x 2 summers in the desert. I still pay all of my bills on time or even early. Bills first, other stuff second. In fact, I’ve go of some stuff like HBO to add every little bit I can to have $ to feed my kid.

      That being said, my current circumstances are far less severe than most of the population on the planet, and for that I’m grateful. I mean, I’m online, in my air-conditioned home, chatting here.

      I believe that with my financial dedication, I will be on the up again by the end of the year. This year has been brutal financially yet I have done what I needed to make it. Whatever I need to do, I will do.

      I wish you the best in the remainder of your 5 year plan to pay off debt. It sounds like you’re right on track. 🙂


  7. Hi Michellestodden. You don’t know me. I’m from Belgium. Some time ago, when I was active with my blog lesaventuresdethierry, I had started to follow you because I liked the way you wrote and about what you wrote. Very genuine, very pure, funny too. Today I’m back on wordpress to update my profile a bit so as to attract more employers when they google my name. It must have been 4-5 years since I didn’t read anything from you, but I still like it. It’s melancholic. And it does feel that you still have what it takes to go where you want to !

    Even if I didn’t plan for this, I’m gonna try to help you. Ahem. I don’t know you, but from what I just read : about Goalsetting and so on… I wanna make you an offer you can totally refuse 🙂

    Maybe you heard of it already : it’s called LIFEBOOK from Mindvalley.
    This changed my life. More to the point, this allowed me to change my life drastically. It didn’t change by itself. Best of all, it’s free!

    Well, it’s free if you complete the work in 6 weeks time. So you do need to make some time free when you start. Otherwise it’s 500 euro’s. (Again I’m not spam, I’m doing it right now myself). You wanted to search in yourself. It’s a great tool to do it. My girlfriend did it. She got her money back after 6 weeks. It helped her a lot. I choose to continue the program so I didn’t. Since again, I’m just trying to help out, I’m not gonna put the link. you will have to type sth like “lifebook mindvalley special offer” (it’s not a special offer and it starts every month) if you want to do it.

    Granted, the guy and his woman who gives the lifebook course are not very likeable at first. Very “made of money” I thought it was like a cult or something. So I have been really careful. But it’s not. Lifebook is great cause it’s just a framework. You put into it, whatever you want. It’s a tool to shape the life you have always wanted : your lifevision. And you have a whole community who’s doing it at the same time as you, so you can help them and they can help you…

    Hope I could light a spark or something. If not, that’s okay too. Have a great day Michelle !


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