Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's a bad-ass anyway?

Occasionally, there are moments in life that stick in your mind - images that are seared onto your brain, words spoken that ring in your ear for months, years, decades.

I had such a moment not long ago when I first told my pal, Laura, about my SCRANCH plans. I'll never forget it, we were driving down Speer Blvd., here in Denver, and we had just come from putting down her beloved kitty, Lil. I'd come along with her for emotional support and once we were getting close to home, she turned and - like all good friends do - asked what was going on in my life.

Laura is someone I have known since 1998, back when we were co-receptionists in San Francisco at a crazy place called Macromedia (along with our other Charlie's Angel, Rachel). We experienced the full insanity of the dot com boom together and I was sitting next to her when I first heard about the Columbine shootings. So, it's ironic that all these years later, we should find ourselves living within five blocks of one another here in Colorado.

Me and Laura in front, Rachel in back - circa 1998.
After I gingerly and faux-boldly (I was still new at saying all this stuff out loud) explained my plan, it got quiet. Finally, she spoke with shocked admiration in her voice:

"Um, that's kind of bad-ass." 

To which I could only respond:

"Yeah, I guess. But that's really a pretty loooooooong hyphen between 'bad' and 'ass' - I have a LOT to figure out and learn. My muscles, for one, are going to have a serious wake-up call."

We laughed at this glaring truth and since then I have pondered what it really means to be a bad-ass. It's a term I like to use for people (especially women) I greatly admire, people who get important shit done but still have the tenderness to care for small things while retaining the ability to laugh loud and often. Hillary Clinton is bad-ass. Lady Gaga is bad-ass. Sandra Bullock is bad-ass. Madeline Albright is bad-ass. Chrissie Hynde is unquestionably a bad-ass. Same goes for PJ Harvey. These are people who, in their own specific style, reject fear and move forward to do great things. I aspire to these attributes and this plan is my own way of reaching higher than I think I can. 

The first person that comes to mind when I ponder this 'bad-ass" term is my friend and former college roommate, Laurianna. She's a firefighter and paramedic who lives in New Mexico and is the mother of two of my favorite boys, Wyatt and Jack, my godson. Besides being in top physical condition (really, it's pretty amazing - her triceps would make you cry), she (and her parents) have provided a stable sounding board, a non-judgmental place for me to explore religion and develop my own spirituality.

She's is a phenomenal mother, a loyal friend and one of the best gigglers that I know. She a damn good cook, a conscious citizen of Earth and is enthusiastic about life. In fact, I'm pretty sure there is no hyphen necessary when I call Laurianna a full-fledged BADASS.

Recently, when I watched over her kids while she ran the Bataan Memorial Death March, I said to Wyatt, "You know your mom's a bad-ass, right?" 

With a proud smile, he said, "Yeah, I know."  Talk about raising the bar for the future Mrs. Wyatt!

Me? My hyphen is certainly longer than I would like but the Universe is giving me (mostly) all green lights on this project so I've got to keep my eyes on that prairie prize. Yup, my bad-------------ass skills are going to take some work but I'll get there.

Recently, I met a woman in a bar who had read this blog and was under the impression that I had already moved to North Dakota. My apologies if I have not been clear: I am still in Denver, packing up all my things, tying up loose ends and preparing for my new old-style life in North Dakota.

After possiby fighting a hangover the morning after a rousing Hearthstone send-off on Friday night, ("A Barnyard Bash!"), we'll stuff all my worldly belongings into a 17-foot U-Haul truck on Saturday. Sunday morning, June 3, we hit the road and head straight north for two days. Tuesday, June 5 will be my first full day as a NoDak citizen.

I'm terrified, exhausted and nervous. I'm also excited, happy and somewhat impressed that I haven't backed out yet.

1 comment:

Camille said...

Your hyphen is getting so short it will soon disappear altogether. You set the bar for me Heather!