There may have been a day or two when I’ve bitched about my single status. I can admit it. While I’m usually happily single, it’d be nice to have a date every now and again. In the absence of that, I can be, well, a cranky bitch. But when I get over that, as I almost always do, I remember that there are a lot of things I like about being on my own.
For one thing, there’s no one stopping us, the single, from embracing our unabashed badassery. A significant other doesn’t always help us grow. In fact, sometimes our partners only hold us back. Judge if you will, but most of us have been there. There are the partners who don’t like this activity or that type of vacation so they either actively discourage us from doing it or refuse to ever support us by participating. Maybe they even keep us busy with their interests, and we never have the time for our own.
Being footloose and fancy-free from relationships, there’s no one to distract me from the things I like to do. If I want to spend my free time hiking or kayaking, I can. If I want to relax to a classic film or dance along to a record, I can do that, too. If I want to learn Italian, try a new recipe, and listen to a Ted Talk, it’s on. I can read for as long as I’d like. I can sign up for obstacle courses and races as I choose.
I have children and responsibilities; it’s not like I can do anything any time. But I certainly am the sole decider of how we’ll live from day to day. I’m the queen of this particular castle.
There’s freedom in that. Single people are unencumbered and can own our badassery with little interference. Usually, we’re the only ones holding ourselves back. Well, us and sometimes our financial restrictions because I’d travel the world if the budget allowed. But all-in-all, we can learn to embrace our personal power.
If you’re wondering how to go about doing this, I’ve got a few ideas for that. As you can probably tell, I’ve given this some thought. Of course, your idea of badassery and mine may differ, but all of these ideas are designed around the idea of personal strength. Here are just a few ways to focus on and enhance that strength:
If you just rolled your eyes, kindly unroll them and listen up. Yoga is the ultimate in badassery. You can work on strength, balance, and breath in a single practice. You can learn how to center yourself- physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you think you have to be flexible, think again. But it does help you gain flexibility. If you think it’s not challenging, you’ve clearly never tried it. If you think it’s some kind of hippy dippy nonsense, I’d challenge you to stop thinking about what everyone else would say and give it the old college try.
Sign up and train for an obstacle race.
There’s little that will make you feel more like a badass warrior goddess (or god, what-have-you) than completing an obstacle race. Some of them have water challenges, fire obstacles, and even mud courses. There’s climbing and sliding and, of course, a lot of running.
I did my first course with little training. It was a mud run, and I had the best time. Sure, I was completely filthy at the end, but I went home with a new shirt, a medal, and a sense of confidence that comes with completing a race with a bunch of other people. There are tons of themed races. Most of the registration fees go to charities, and there’s usually a swag bag of fun goodies for participating. There are even some awesome themes and a fun after-party.
Sign up and train for an actual race.
Okay, maybe running is not your thing, but most people are capable of completing a 5K- even if you just walk it. That’s just over 3 miles. If that seems impossible, it was for me, too. I’d only ever run a mile, and that was ages ago. Now I’m up to half marathons and happily signing up for more. Learning to increase your speed and endurance can be a great way to feel stronger.
Join a gym or fitness group.
Joining a gym to get in shape or even becoming a member of a fitness-related group can be empowering. If your budget doesn’t extend to a gym membership, other fitness related clubs are great. There are online hiking groups and groups where you can get together just to walk. If this seems like I’m focusing too much on personal fitness, improving our physical health will only help boost our emotional well-being.
Try something you’ve always wanted to try.
Learn a new thing. Take a class. Read about a subject that interests you. Experiment with a recipe. Take up a new hobby. Whatever it is that catches your interest and feels empowering, do that thing. Maybe you won’t like it or you won’t be good at it, but there’s no way to know if you never, ever step outside your comfort zone. What are you waiting for?
Get a piercing or tattoo.
If this isn’t your thing, you could always get a symbolic piece of jewelry or one of those temporary tattoos from Conscious Ink. But if you’re like me and have always wanted a tattoo, now is the time! I got my first after I filed for divorce. Sure, there are people who don’t like them, but I can’t say that I really care what those people think about mine. Embrace your freedom, and ink it up!
Adopt a growth mindset.
The best way to feel like a complete badass is to embrace a growth mindset. In a growth mindset, you don’t experience setbacks; those are called opportunities. You didn’t make a huge mistake; you had a learning experience. Instead of blaming everyone else for your life, you own your shit. You don’t just own it, you take responsibility for it. You even work on your baggage and figure out how to do better going forward.
Growth mindsets are about recognizing the kind of person that you are, accepting that, and working to become the kind of person you want to be. If that’s not badass, I don’t what is. It’s pumping metaphorical iron for inner strength.
Do no harm, but take no shit.
This is a big one. Stop caring about what other people think. What other people think doesn’t matter. We need to care more about how we feel about things than what other people might say or do. You do you. Let them do them. An essential part of the philosophy of do no harm but take no shit means that you also mind your own business. Hey, if it’s a human rights issue, by all means step up and do your thing in standing up for others.
But if it comes to what other people are doing in their personal lives, it’s not your business. Gossip is harm. Judgmental attitudes are harm. Don’t be a doormat for other people, but don’t be a bully either.
You’re single, and sometimes that sucks. I feel you there. But you’re single, and mostly that’s awesome. Think of all that free time stretching out in front of you not as a sentence to solitary confinement but as freedom to live the kind of life that you enjoy. You get to choose how to spend your time, and if you spend all of it moping about your single status, you’re wasting your time. Lots of people in relationships wish they could have more time to focus on their own interests. We have it.
I’m not saying don’t feel lonely or just pretend to feel happy 24/7. I’m all about authenticity. But I am saying that there are so many advantages to this life. The freedom is a big one.
I hope that once we learn to embrace our complete badassery we’ll be less likely to let go of it once we trip and fall into the next relationship. We’ll be more likely to remember our own value and assert our own preferences without automatically forfeiting them like we have no choice.
Maybe you question if you’re really a badass at all. Or maybe this list just doesn’t appeal to you. Fine. So noted. But you’re a badass if you want to be, and this list could apply to anyone. What I’m really saying is that we have an opportunity here. We have all this freedom stretching out in front of us, and we’re perfectly welcome to waste that time. Hey, I can be a champion time waster from time to time, too. But we also have an incredible opportunity to make our lives exactly what we want.
So what are you waiting for? Go be a badass!
More like this:
Not Your MILF: A Guide to Dating Single Moms
A friend of mine and I were recently doing what we do: comparing our lists of garbage dating trends. There are just so…