I’ve always loved a battle cry. That thing you yell when you need some gumption. That thing you yell when you need to strike fear. That thing you yell when you’re running into battle.
Even if your battle is a stack of bills. Even if your battle is a day of work. Even if your battle is a meeting you don’t want to go to. Because most meetings are the worst.
I know my battles are first-world. I’ll admit that.
My first battle cry started in winter. It was 2014, and I was working in the gift shop of a historic home in North Carolina. Not a place that shuts down with a little snow. People gotta buy their ceramic novelty roosters. We don’t joke about ceramic novelty roosters, team.
It was my first taste of having to drive in inclement weather, and it was in a car that was not built for “adventure.” It was a Toyota Scion. Rear-wheel drive, guys. It’s a car built only for sunshine, high-fives, and Jamba Juice.
But you have to go to work, so you figure it out. It was when I hit my driveway that terror struck.
Not particularly steep, it was just the last place in all of North Carolina to melt, turning a five foot incline into a ski slope.
I’m not being dramatic. You’re being dramatic.
And with the perpetual slush and the angle of the driveway and my sweet little Scion being only partially useless, I never knew if I’d make it the whole way. And mine being a road that many take too quickly, I knew I needed to get my car up the driveway.
And the only way to get a car up an icy hill is to commit. There can be no hesitation. That’s when I got my war cry, but at the time, it was kind of a repeated panic-war-whisper.
Courage has to start somewhere.
As I got closer to my driveway, I’d start to whisper tightly, “braverybraverybraverybraverybravery,” and I wouldn’t stop until my car was parked safely.
That’s where it started, but over the years it got louder and stronger and only marginally cheesy. But good-cheesy. Like a curd. An emotional cheese curd.
Sorry, guys. I’m tired. I’ve got some cylinders and only three of them are firing.
If you’re exhausted too, try a battle cry to get your feet moving. If “bravery” isn’t your thing, try some of these battle cries on for size…
WAKE UP! IT’S HEALTHY!
When to yell: First thing in the morning. Or after a nap. Or after day-dreaming.
Admittedly, I stole this from Julie Andrews singing “I Have Confidence” from The Sound of Music. This is a great one because shouting this first thing in the morning will probably help your neighbors out as well. What a friend you are! Try it!
If you hear banging on the wall, it means they’re saying thank you.
When to yell: At work.
I stole this from no one, but feel free to steal it from me. This one is particularly effective if you’re going to an important meeting.
To do the battle cry justice, run to that meeting. With head thrown back and arms straight out. Like the dragons do.
I am trying really hard!
When to yell: Every 12 minutes
Who can argue with honesty?
My metaphorical boots are made for walking! And also my regular boots! ALL MY BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING!
When to yell: When wearing boots
This is great 1) for confidence and 2) for answering people’s questions about your boots.
I’ll tell you what I want!
When to yell: All my precious time
This is for the 90s kids, but also, with this as your battle cry, someone might say, “what do you want?” And you can say, “JUSTICE! And a breakfast sandwich. And a zig-a-zig-ahhh.”
I’m every woman!
When to yell: Every time you leave a room.
Yell and then knock something over. There is no anger like righteous anger. And that righteous anger will scare someone into picking up all the things you knock over.
CHECKS AND BALANCES!
When to yell: When you’re afraid for your country. When you are tired of knowing more about the government than your president and the white supremacist who sits beside him.
First you yell, then you donate to the ACLU.
Actually, do that second one- volunteering counts too- and then call your representative. Yelling optional.