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Getting Friendly With My Inner B*tch

getting friendly with my inner b*tch

Just Outside The Frame

DECEMBER 17, 2018

Getting Friendly With My Inner B*tch (jack@ss for the fellas)

The other night, I was at a Mexican restaurant with some girlfriends. I asked the server for a cocktail that included three different types of juice, simple syrup, lime bitters and whiskey. I didn’t want the simple syrup.

“That changes the cocktail,” She told me.I am aware of the chemistry of cocktails, but with all those juices, it wasn’t a “real cocktail” anyway.

“I know,” I responded with a tone. “It will make it less sweet.”

“They won’t do it,” she replied shortly.

I ordered something else.

I was annoyed with her, but I was also annoyed with myself. I could have just said, “OK” and ordered something different, but I had to make a point in calling her out. In the end, I lost, so it was all for nothing; however, in the moment, it felt like a battle I couldn’t back down from.

“Just make the damn drink,” my inner b*tch wanted to shout. Sometimes she takes over. Sometimes I regain control.

The struggle is real.

Any time I lose my patience or temper, I often feel like garbage after. There is a momentary high that comes with being combative, the choice to fight over flight, but almost immediately the reality of the triviality of the situation sinks in and I usually beat myself up over it before I can acknowledge it as a teaching moment and move on.

I just want to be the nice girl. The girl who when people refer to her exclaim with their hand over their heart, “Isn’t she the sweetest?!”

I am not that girl. I’m trying.

I’m not trying for the label, but rather to avoid the shame spiral that comes with giving my inner b*tch a voice. There is almost never a need to be combative and yet it continues to be my default.

I need more yoga and ocean in my life.

I am the best version of myself after a surf. There’s something about both the solitude and connection with nature that brings me a sense of peace. The feeling of catching and riding a fun wave is unmatched.

I was talking to a girlfriend once about surfers and my longing to be in the water every day, a longing that was partially fulfilled when I lived in Nicaragua last year. Her response was more or less that they were bums; that I’m a bum.

I can be.

“But what is their contribution to society?” She asked.

Her practicality sometimes kicks into overdrive.

I explained to her that maybe if we all spent a little more time doing things that brought us joy – that filled our metaphorical cup – as opposed to things we felt obligated to do – that depleted our metaphorical cup – than maybe people might be a little happier.

After a surf, I’m in a fog. It’s a similar fog that some of us find ourselves in after a yoga class. There’s a feeling of lightness and ease that is almost otherworldly. I feel unfazeable. Even after exiting the water or the studio and being confronted with traffic and noise and grocery lists, I’m able to hold on to that feeling for quite a while. The feeling of joy radiates through the body long after the moment has passed as if our tissues are holding on to every last drop of serotonin. The ripple effect of those good vibes can be pretty powerful.

If you’ve ever smiled at a stranger on the street and they smiled back, you know what I’m talking about.

For me, the main method of inner b*tch suppression has been to fill my life, as much of it as possible, with things that bring my joy. I am a much cooler person to hang out with when I’m in a good mood and I have way fewer mean girl shame spirals.

Sometimes that can be hard for us – to sit down with a good coffee and make a list of all those little things that fill our hearts. Sometimes it feels as if there aren’t enough hours in a day, or that they feel like an unnecessary luxury.

Moments of joy are not the same as Christian Laboutin shoes. Not even close. Trust me when I say that it is a luxury you will never regret making time for.

In addition to surfing and yoga, I love drinking my morning coffee in silence and writing in my journal, playing with my nieces and nephew and cooking dinner in my old lady robe while listening to a podcast. None of these things are hard to do, but they take time.

So many times I have talked myself out of going to yoga class, I can be very good at convincing myself to not do and do things, but it is rare that when I do go to class I regret it after. The 60 or 90 minutes is almost always worth it even after I started telling myself I would do a home practice before bed.

Ya right…

Deep down, I think our inner b*tch just wants to feel heard. She wants to protect us, but when she speaks all that comes out are catty comments and swears we didn’t know we knew. Like our ego, she cannot be totally suppressed. She is part of us, but she doesn’t have to define us.

I think the trick might be to bring the inner b*tch to yoga class and show her what’s up rather than the other way around. Maybe once she gets a taste of all the good vibes she’ll buy the album, wear the t-shirt and sing the title track for the rest of time.

If you ask Flo Rida, I think he’s got a good feelin’.

-Ashley Atkinson

Ashley is a surfer, yogi and writer living and loving in Calgary, AB. She aims to write the way she lives – freely and unapologetically.

Read more of Ashley’s essays at or follow her on Instagram @anothergirlnamedashley