A Playlist to Be Your Badass Self

Earlier in November, I took a trip to visit my family. It was the first time I’d been to their home in…two years, maybe three, and I was pretty nervous, especially since the last two visits back had been filled with PTSD shit. On the way there, I developed a kind of “Be Your Badass Self” playlist to help remind me of my courage and keep me grounded in who I am now rather than being dragged into who I was back then. Below, I share some of my favorites. What are the songs that would be on your “Be Your Badass Self” playlist?

  • Brave—Sara Bareilles
    Truly one of my favorites. I think I listened to this song about fifty times before my job interview and grad school interview.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4
  • Shake It Off—Taylor Swift
    A new one, and a bit of a silly one. But damn if it doesn’t have a good message…not to mention that it’s a great song to really shake to. At some point, I swear I’m going to figure out how to use this song for belly dancing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM
  • Don’t Rain on my Parade—Glee
    Glee’s version of this song is one where I will say it was better than the original. This rendition gives me goosebumps every single time.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLTYh2RM4pA
  • Unwritten—Natasha Beddingfield
    An older song that beautifully reminds me that it’s okay to make mistakes and be unsure of where I’m going sometimes. Being happy to be me and to be in the moment is enough.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7k0a5hYnSI
  • Into the Blue—Kylie Minogue
    The chorus says it all: “When I got my back up against the wall/ Don’t need no one to rescue me.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL6FaI-wJxs
  • Let It Go—Frozen
    How could I have a playlist about being yourself without some Disney? Especially without the song from Frozen!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk
  • Raise Your Glass—Pink
    The “be yourself” song when you’ve just had it and need to revel in the fact that people are freaked the hell out by who you are.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjVNlG5cZyQ
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5 Key Ways that Husbands Can Support Their Wives in Graduate School (A Parody)

The following satire was “inspired” (and matched word-for-word in some places for effect) by 5 Keys to Supporting Your Law Enforcement Husband, an advice piece recently published by a fairly popular website for police. 

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It’s been one of those weeks. Your wife has been working on three group projects, waking up early in the morning to cram in a chapter of text reading before work, and coming home hours after dark only to sit in a room with headphones on to write yet another paper.

Meanwhile, you’re stuck with all the day-to-day tasks all on your plate.

You might be tempted to complain about the fact that you’ve had to wash dishes, cook dinner, and scrub the toilet for two months now without an ounce of assistance from your significant other. But men, if you really want to be able to support your wife during this significant yet stressful time in her career, complaining isn’t going to help.

So here are 5 key ways that you can support your special lady:

  1. Always have a meal ready.

When your wife comes home from work or class, she’s hungry and tired. She’s been dealing with the world all day, and the last thing she needs is to have to wonder where her dinner is. It’s a simple gesture to have dinner waiting for her when she gets in at night, but it makes a HUGE difference in her day. It lets her know that you’ve been thinking about her.

In the morning, set your alarm clock for just a half hour earlier so that you can brew a fresh pot of coffee and give her a good start to her day before she heads out. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when your wife is in graduate school, she’s going to need a lot of brain food to keep her at her optimal.

  1. Connect Every Day

Your wife is busy. She’s going to be missing out on a lot of life trying to keep up with her studies. But you can help her feel connected by little gestures that keep her in the loop. Meet her on her class breaks with a little snack and an “I love you.” Send her text messages throughout her day letting her know that you’re thinking about her. Get involved and stay up to date on the things that her school is doing. Maybe even bake some cookies for her class. Try not to get upset that she isn’t there and help her feel a part of your life.

  1. Stay Available

Graduate school is notoriously hectic. There will be entire weeks and weekends where it seems like your wife doesn’t emerge from her books except for food and water. But when she does have some free time, you want to make sure that you are there to spend it with her. Find out what her class schedule is, when her projects are due, and when her days off will be. Write your own schedule around hers. Plan in when she will need to eat meals by herself, whether at home or on the run, and make arrangements for her to have healthy options. Make a note of when you can have meals together and guard those days or evenings from other encroaching activities. Don’t make plans with your buddies during the times that your wife will be home. Turn off that football game when she has the odd free hour. Protect your time together, whether it happens once a week or once a month.

  1. Resist the Urge to Complain

I get it. Sometimes you’re tempted to resent the fact that she’s sitting in classes and reading books while you wrestle with an uncooperative washer or haul six bags of groceries in from the car, but resist the urge to complain. When she comes home from class, steer clear of any topics of conversation beyond asking about her day for at least an hour. You want home to be a haven for her, not a place where she has to face yet more stress. Walking into a house where her husband is complaining about how she gets to sit around with her group members and put together a powerpoint will only make her want to take up an extra class on scrapbooking and call it a required credit for her degree!

  1. Love her!

Well, you think, I married her. Why wouldn’t I love her?

But I’m not talking about that feel-good kind of love. I’m talking about faithfulness. Going that extra mile. Love her when she’s up until four a.m. working on her thesis. Speak proudly about her to your friends, telling them about her commendations from teachers and the articles she has published. One day, she might hear about how proud you are of her, and it will boost her confidence all the more to know that you get so much from her accomplishments.

In doing all of these things, husbands can support their wives in graduate school. As the semesters drag on and the projects pile up, grad school students can know that they are loved and appreciated at home.

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Think this is ridiculous?

Great, so do I!

No one in their right mind would think this is good advice to give to a man, but it’s just a sample of the kind of “advice” women are given on how to relate to their husbands. Isn’t it about time that “support your husband by having no life” articles are recognized for the pathetic bullshit that they are? Let’s leave the 1950’s housewife in the 1950’s, please and thank you. And I’m expected to believe that sexism is dead…

It feels good to be back! 🙂