What makes a Badass?

Lately I have become obsessed about the idea of being a badass. I want to be useful and I have been thinking long and hard how to go about it. In fact, I stepped away from blogging at the beginning of this month to concentrate on this very question. However, the reality is I am more the too scared to do it variety of person and no one in their right mind would ever think of referring to me as a badass. 

Well, actually that’s not quite true. I think sometimes we just need a reason and there was this one time.

My eldest daughter and I were living and teaching English in Italy. A cramped apartment sparked a decision to move. We were fortunate enough to find the perfect place but as often happens when you are a visitor in another country things run a little differently. Cash payments are preferred for most rental transactions. Paid by cheque meant we needed to go to the city branch to cash the cheque. So, we did. Running ahead of schedule for our meeting with our new landlord, we stupidly, mother and daughter duo, decided to do some shopping.

 This is where it gets exciting. Two women and a gentleman (he wasn’t as it turned out), entered a clothing store shortly after we did. My daughter T and I had separated to different corners as you do when browsing. At first the three appeared to also be browsing until it became browsing on top of my daughter. My antenna immediately went up. T was young, an automatic attraction for those nefariously bound. As their bodies seem to elongate and mover closer and closer to her, progressing to leaning over her she took umbrage. Calling out to me first, she then politely said something to them and distanced herself.

They followed, casual but definite. I began my way over to T conscious that we had stashed the cash in her handbag. Yes, hindsight says we were absolutely idiotic but hindsight, well it sucks.  Things then sped up the way they might in an out-of-control time machine. One of the women reached over to unzip T’s handbag. The sales assistant noticed, began shouting for help, screaming about thieves in her store. T was valiantly trying to hang on tightly to her bag. Three against one are terrible odds but I had reached her by then also screaming and yelling, swinging my arms, and kicking.

They were surprised to find resistance but had their eyes on their prize. Fuming I found myself making a fist and punching the man in the face. Even that angry I couldn’t hit a woman. I did keep up the verbal attack and the physical with kicks and wild swings. T kept up the yelling and so did our saleswoman. Surprised, distracted, he stopped to look around and so did his companions. People were pouring into the store. I guess yelling works. Still fuming I had my fist ready to go again when they took off.  Was I relieved? No. Was I beyond furious? Yes. I wanted to hit him again.

Tara and I left the store and found ourselves sitting in the gutter, completely incapable of standing. Adrenalin wipes fear. My daughter turned to me and told me I was her hero. I had become a badass when normally fear would have kept me incapacitated. How can I forget that moment? Of course, reality set in, helped enormously by my cousin who told me later that night these people carry knives, and we were fortunate to walk away unharmed.

I am not a violent person but the thought of someone taking away what my daughter and I had worked hard for, had a profound effect. The badass hat felt good to wear. I stood up for what was right. However, these days I admit to not knowing how to stand up and what to stand up for. Every time I look around, I see a mockery of the things that matter. I can’t help but think, what is the point. We speak up and it is automatically negated but I don’t want to lose my voice. It brought to mind an article I read some time ago entitled 7 Reasons Writing a Book makes You a Badass.

Writing a book is hard. Go ahead and try it. See I told you. Doing it thought makes you feel good about yourself. This feeds bad ass tendencies, pushing you further. By the time you work out the mechanics, the edits, and the ‘D’ word (delete) you are wearing a cape and ready to leap from the tallest building until the fear rears its head – the constant fear of rejection firstly by professionals, and then your peers and last but most important – readers.

Didn’t I say something somewhere about not losing my voice? Well, writing is a voice; it is a loud voice. It was not just blogging I was worried about, it was writing. I reminded myself people who write dream of being writers and fulfilling a dream is not an everyday occurrence. Who other than a badass could do it? So I’m going to keep giving it a go. Wish me luck.

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6 Comments

    • Funny you should say that, it has but with a little twist to it. It’s part of the second novel and I am working hard trying to finish it. But for many reasons it has not been an easy sail.

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