Why am I, Jenell Riesner, a complete and total Badass?
When we first challenged ourselves to write a post about being a badass, the first thought that popped into my head was, “How am I going to write a blog post about being a badass when half the time I don’t feel like one?”. I felt this way even after just having spent four days listening to Jen Sincero’s Audiobook, You Are a Badass on Audible (which I would highly recommend).
I asked myself when the last time was that I sincerely felt like a badass? There were two examples that instantly came to mind. First, when I finally got my first bar muscle up (if you have no idea what I am talking about, check out my insta). Second, the summer I turned twenty-one. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane for this second one because it isn’t exactly what you might expect, but man did I feel like a total badass that summer!
I was going to school in a small town in Northeastern Wisconsin at the time. During the previous six-months I had ended a relationship, with my then boyfriend, had completed my junior year of college, and was on the verge of being able to legally drink alcohol (OMG!). I had secured an internship working full-time for a robotics company in marketing for the summer, and myself and a small group close friends were staying in town.
To be honest, a whole lot of nothing happened that summer. There was nothing groundbreaking that flipped my life upside down; in fact, just the opposite happened. My internship ended up being a bust. I didn’t go on any amazing adventures or vacations. I didn’t meet the man of my dreams. I didn’t have any profound life altering discoveries. Nada. Nothing. All we did that summer was drink, lay out in the sun, shoot-the-shit, talk to strangers in bars, flirt our asses off, get no sleep, and worked to pay our bills.
What made me a complete and total badass that summer? A simple change in perspective. For the first time in a long time, I actually believed that I was a complete and total badass. I wasn’t trying to be one, I just felt good in my own skin. With no profound trigger, I had finally grown to believe that I was a fantastic human being. Or rather I had stopped worrying about what I was not. Inside I was singing my own praises. I was good looking, fit, single, smart, hardworking, ambitious, and suddenly carefree. I walked around with my head held high, heels that would make you do a double take, and the confidence and unapologetic swagger of Kayne himself.
That summer I transformed from a caterpillar to butterfly with no external change, but an amazing internal one. While I still had insecurities from time-to-time, mostly, I felt light, care-free, and that I didn’t give shit about what anyone else thought of me. And boy did people notice. There is something about an unapologetic, confident person that attracts others like metal to a magnet. Did my over confidence get me in trouble that summer? Absolutely. But that summer taught me a really important lesson, one that I need to constantly remind myself.
I was a badass that summer because I unapologetically embraced who I was. I stopped focusing and worrying on all my flaws. I kept working hard towards my goals, but did only what made me happy. I didn’t take life too seriously, unless I thought it would hurt my future or any of the hard work I had completed over the past three years. I stopped beating myself and accepted I was going to make mistakes, then laughed them off and learned from them.
This leads me to two very important points,
- Whatever or whoever you want to be, believe you are that person, truly believe it because when you do anything can happen and it can change everything.
- Find someone that supports you and who you want to be, and truly believes and wants to challenge you to be that person. Someone to blast through any self-doubt or fear that pops up along the way. My friends were this for me that summer and still are today.
It takes constant work and laser focus to keep functioning at that level. As you can tell from the start of this post, I may not be channeling 21-year-old Jenell every day, but it’s important that we all keep striving to be our own 21-year-old badass, or 33-year old badass, or 61-year old badass. We’d all be a lot happier if we did.
Life is happening. Go for it.