We sure are bossy, aren’t we? We keep telling you to “Stay Unchained,” as if we are your mothers, dropping some hot wisdom like “never leave your purse in the car, dear” or “don’t walk down a dark alley at night by yourself, honey.” I mean, you’re grown, intelligent, badass women. You understand that doing those things isn’t even an option. But “Stay Unchained?” What the fuck does that even mean? And why should you “stay” that way? It might help if we explained what we are asking of you, right?

Sorry ‘bout that. We think you have a pretty good idea of what we are about here at Unchained Jane, but we should have explained our little motto sooner.  At this point, we think it’s critical that you get an understanding of what we are not-so-subtly reminding you to do so that you start to carry it with you everyday and remind yourself. 


Above all else, being “unchained” is to be FREE. Free to be who you are, who you want to be, pursue whichever goals make you happy, fill whichever interpersonal roles you deem to be worthy of your time and energy. We want you to be free to be YOU. We want you to make a conscious decision at each and every turn about what you want your life to look like and what will, ultimately, make you happy.  “Staying Unchained” means resisting the artificial barriers, pushing yourself to jump the high hurdles, and breaking through real and imagined boundaries. It is precisely because these things exist that we feel it’s every woman’s obligation to help other women – we are all in the same boat, fighting the same-ish fight. We are all trying to find our voice, our passion, our happiness, our balance. 

It could be a stay-at-mom thinking about using the oh-so-coveted nap time to paint or draw, but she feels like she can’t spend her free time “on her” when there are so many other things to get done. It could be a hard-working gas station attendant, who wants to go back to school, but is paralyzed by fear of failure or simply doesn’t have the means to pay for classes. It could be a single mom, who wants to start a business, but is too overwhelmed by the time and energy it might take away from her children. 

We want you to feel free to choose your life and understand that there is no “one way” to get where you want to be. However, playing a victim of circumstances has never bought anyone a golden ticket to self-confidence, self-acceptance, happiness, wealth, balance, or peace.  Don’t be a victim. Your life doesn’t’ just happen to you. You make the choices; you run your life (and, eventually, the world, but, you know, let’s start small). That being said, we ALL need three things in particular to exercise our freedom to choose our own path.

1. To Stay Authentic.

Step One is figuring out who you are, who you want to be, what you imagine for your life, and what your priorities are. We won’t shit you – this is hard work. And many times, you will have priorities that conflict with each other. Well, bust out that paper and pencil and rank those bitches because there is very little in this world that is more satisfying than being 150% unabashedly yourself, owning what is important to you, and having clarity about your priorities. The beautiful thing about being authentically YOU is that no one else on this green Earth can do it. You are the only you - so don’t waste it! And let’s just all agree right now that we don’t ever woman-bash other women for being their authentic selves either. Yes, you are a special snowflake. But so is every other woman you meet. Support that. Respect that. Love that.

2. To Stay Sassy. 

When we first started thinking about this article, we honestly kind of skipped over this one because our first thoughts were, “Hell, UJ and its readers got this one on LOCK. No sweat at all. We have sass coming out of our ears!” So this is the easy one, right? Right? Not so fast.  

“Staying Sassy” is not as simple as back-talking your spouse and children and being a dick to your girlfriends just for fun. Nor is it simply laughing at some smart-ass memes (although, I’m sure we can all agree that the UJ memes are the shit!). What we are telling you when we say “stay sassy” is that we want you to carry yourself like you’re a force to be reckoned with (because you are). We want you to speak up and speak out if you see something that doesn’t sit well with you (because you can). We want you to never feel trapped or cornered or bullied (because you always have options). We want you to strive for your goals, no matter the hurdles (because you’re worth it). And, in each of these instances, we want each and every one of you to have the self-confidence to live your authentic self OUT LOUD. In essence, this is the hardest one. Fear is everywhere. It’s all around you and within each of us (seriously, do some people-watching and see if you can pinpoint all the fear-driven decisions that folks make – it’s an incredible phenomena). It would be much easier to keep your authentic self tucked away internally – for fear of being judged or criticized or for fear of failure. There will be folks who will try to push you back into a box. When we tell you to “stay sassy,” it’s a boiled-down way of saying, “Fight for every single fucking inch you can get for yourself and for your fellow women. Push. Pull. Blast. Speak. Yield no ground. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

3. To Stay Informed.

Good news!  This is the easy one! Thanks to the Internet Age, the vast majority of information that you could ever need or want in order to explore your options for happiness is available to you.  Literally, it’s all there. Need a grant or scholarship for school? Look it up! Need to know where UNICEF is based? Google to the rescue! Need to know how to buy materials from China? Look it up! Need to figure out if you should file Head of Household on your taxes? Scroll the IRS website at your leisure! Need to know what happened in women-related news this week? Look that shit up!  (And by “look that shit up,” we mean “come here to UJ and see what we’ve been up to.) There is virtually nothing off-limits to you. You can order groceries, clothes, shoes, school supplies and men online. You can look up ways to be more efficient at work and more organized at home. You can join online communities and get the support of other women going through similar life obstacles as you are. Information is the key to freedom. We cannot stress this enough: DON’T WAIT FOR INFORMATION TO COME TO YOU; SEEK OUT THE INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED. Importantly, also seek out information that other women need. In the process of helping yourself stay informed, you can also help other women stay informed. We think you’ll find that the more informed you become, the easier the authenticity and sassiness comes. So, please, give a damn about staying informed and share that knowledge with other women. When we support women in this way, we all win. And, most importantly, it creates a dynamic where all women are free to choose the path to fulfill their own happy life.

And so, we say to you now – with complete transparency – #STAYUNCHAINED.

 - Saera Jane, Amelia Jane, Elisabeth Jane & Calamity Jane - 

1 comment:

  1. I am LOVING what I am reading! I just started back to graduate school, I have an 8 year old, and my dad is dying of cancer...oh and wait my controlling selfish sister and I arent speaking yet again. She screamed her head off at me in my fathers hospital room that I was crazy, all the medical staff at the hospital thought I was nuts, and our family too..WELL FUCK YEAH I AM CRAZY, the day she chose to do this was the first day in 6 ahe had been to the hospital (I HOWEVER SPENT 14+ Hours a day there because dad was VERY sick, I love him, and hey, I am a nurse, I knew his were over worked and I wanted dad not to shit the bed waiting for someone to assist him. ON THE OTHER hand she "already had her gift to herself for getting her Masters" scheduled - a total refurbished plastic surgery on her face and eyes.YOU ARE WELCOME BITCH for my being dads private duty nurse, falling behind in grad school, and my heart breaking when my daughter cries to me she misses me because she hasn't seen me in 8 days (my heart was breaking too). After she walked in and pissed off every medical professional with her demands, lack of ANY medical knowledge, and stupid questions she loves to ask in big words so she can seem smart; I think i finally had a breakdown. I am better now, after 2 or 3 days of hopelessly and helplessly barley able to crawl out of bed. I gave her what she wanted - CONTROL. I told my parents let her have it, she can refuse to speak to me or acknowledge my presence yet be the one to speak to the doctors etc. I am DONE, fuck her! Fuck her, fuck her opinion of me, fuck her I am better than you attitude. For the last 4 years I have done everything I could to try to have a relationship with her. If I disagree or have a differing opinion she pulls this shit till I APOLOGIZE to appease my parents or because I hate chaos and unrest but strive for peace and gratitude in my life. NEVER once in 40+ years have I heard her say I am sorry or I am wrong. I AM FUCKING DONE WITH TRYING TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH A SISTER WHO CLAIMS I AM ANYTHING BUT GOOD? OH, BTW, I have been sober for 4 years this July, how I did it IDK, since she was so suppoetive of me she called DCFS because she was "worried" about my daughter. Thank you for that hot mess and the month I wasn't ALLOWED contact with my daughter while I was investigated and she redid a bedroom for MY DAUGHTER in her childless home (coincidence?) YEP FUCK HER, MY FORGIVENESS whether real or for the sake of my parents, is OVER! And interestingly, so is much of my overwhelming anxiety. YES BITCH you take that "Control" you crave. For a double MS, one in counseling, she doesn't GET is NON of us ultimately have control over this life. However I DO have control over how I allow people to TREAT me or continue to be more HURTFUL than Healing and Helpful in my life. Nope, I appeased her yet again by saying "You are right, Go ahead control control control). Unbeknownst to her newly stroked ego, I TOOK CONTROL - OF MY LIFE, AND MY FEELINGS, AND ALLOWING HER PSYCHOLOGICAL BULLSHIT TO ROLL INTO MY LIFE AND INRO MY HEAD. I no longer WANT her to ruin my peace and gratitude for great kids and my loving husband and soulmate. Great isnt it? I SO want to explain to her my reverse psychology and how ultimately what really happened, to her I know it all, if I fix everyone else I dont have to look at myslwf and fix me attitude. But i would yet again lose my control and give it to her. SO FUCK IT FUCK HER AND FUCK HER IN MY LIFE EVER AGAIN. Oh, and as for dad, I didnt step away, I just stepped to "THE SIDE" of her inflated ego. Let her sound and act important, Im still here doing what I was doing all along, being a caring, loving, daughter AND being a nurse, for YOU.