Audacious Freedom

Dee Dee Mendez

I am a sassy and audacious story-teller, a geeky and emotional empath, who deeply reflects on my experiences and what is happening in the world around me. In this podcast, you’ll hear my raw - and often embarrassing or funny - stories about childhood, a failed marriage, life after divorce, dating and becoming a mom on my own. In Season 1, I share just some of my private stories and hope I may inspire some of you listeners with my messy and often weepy journey and reactions to life as I seek out freedom and love and support for myself and all human beings.

Audacious Freedom (Trailer)
Trailer 25 sec

All Episodes

Even though cigarettes can kill you, I still can remember - decades later - the ritual of smoking them. And sometimes, I actually have little flickers of memories of the ritual and wonder if I would smoke cigarettes again if ever a *healthy* and *non-stinky* version of cigarettes were made. (Not e-cigarettes).

Nov 16

18 min 10 sec

Every late afternoon/early evening, Bogie, our 15-year-old pug PANICS. And he turns into the Tasmanian Devil until he gets his dinner. And when he PANICS, I become agitated and my daughter is agitated with me because she is now home from school and she needs me to listen to her day.

Nov 16

17 min 2 sec

I am a Single Parent by choice which sets me apart from other parents who might also call themselves *Single Parents*, but who are in fact, Single Parents not by choice and co-raising their child or children with an ex.

Nov 15

14 min 14 sec

Before my last two years of high school, I began taking classes at the local university, George Mason. I took French, then Spanish classes. I met two Soul Sisters and I graduated from my undergraduate degree a semester early, at 21 years old.

Nov 15

13 min 12 sec

I don’t know why this pisses me off, but it seems that more and more when we meet new people, some think that I named my daughter after a damn car. No, I did not name my daughter after a damn car. I named my daughter after my mother, Mercedes.

Nov 15

11 min 47 sec

This episode’s title kinda tells it all, but it doesn’t tell you why. Well, let’s just say he told me that he was unable to “cheer me on” for my choice to become a single mom. Take a listen to how I responded to him over 12 years ago. And how I responded to him a couple of weeks ago.

Nov 15

13 min 15 sec

Moving is so painful for me because I like all our things in order. To pack everything up from the old place and to unpack and put things away in the new space - however lovely - is like a giant Rubix cube! Join me on this episode as I share the pain and the things I would tell my future self to do differently in our next move!

Nov 15

22 min 53 sec

On this 20th anniversary of the attacks on America on 9/11, I reflect on the events as they unfolded as I had just arrived at my office in Midtown Manhattan. I remember some of my phone conversations and the fear running through my family and friends on this horrific day. And mostly, I honor all the victims and their families.

Nov 15

19 min

I don’t think I have done anything harder in my life than reaching out to three of my ex’s as a courtesy before launching Season 1 of this podcast. I don’t name any of them and I would very much like for their identities to be private. But good lord, in this episode, I share the painful and emotional process of reaching out to my life’s biggest mistakes.

Nov 15

28 min 42 sec

Getting ready to move in less than a week, I reflect on how *capable* I am with this move and in hosting cocktail parties and meals over the decades. I am efficient and I get sh*t done!

Nov 15

17 min 21 sec

Confident is defined as “the feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s own appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities”. I further define it and own my own confidence as: “the feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s enjoyment of and gratitude for one’s own abilities and good qualities”. I reflect on my confidence and the memories and stories told to me at my 35th high school reunion 2 years ago - stories told to me by four former classmates, all men. I am grateful for their love and support of this confident woman. Oh, and their names have been changed.

Nov 15

26 min 14 sec

In this episode, I share my scores on Brene Brown’s “Wholehearted Inventory”. On her “Unlocking Us” podcast, I listened to Brene’s 6-part “Summer Sister Series” on her book “The Gifts of Imperfection”. I react to the behaviors I am *letting go of* and the ones I am *cultivating* on my report of the inventory and as Brene and her sisters, Ashley and Barrett discuss in the series. *Emotional alert*. I cry in this one.

Nov 15

34 min 8 sec

I have a recurring dream where I can’t yell or scream at someone who deserves it. In this episode, I share my thoughts on the dream and on my getting caught off guard by people in my waking life who do or say something unkind to me.

Nov 15

17 min 13 sec

In this episode, I share the essay I submitted to The New York Times Modern Love column. I wonder if I’m too sassy for them because I heard back that my piece was not *right* for their *needs*. I wonder if I’m arrogant and therefore off-putting to the editor and the column and if I could ever be happy in a relationship with another *body*.

Nov 15

19 min

Elizabeth Lesser blew my mind with an alternate version of the story of Adam and Eve, and, with the Greek myth of the story of Cassandra. I reflect on the women’s liberation movement, #metoo and Lesser reminds us of how we ended up with the trial of Dr. Larry Nassar, who for almost 30 years sexually abused hundreds of female athletes under the guise of medical treatment.

Nov 15

35 min 10 sec

It’s that time of year again and social media is on fire with bare feet and cocktail posts by the pool or by the ocean! In this episode, I share my perspective on the hype and on my relief to be at home this summer, with my daughter and our pug, Bogie. Going absolutely nowhere.

Sep 15

16 min 54 sec

As the launch date for my podcast was approaching, I felt as if I wanted to slow time down a little. Not unlike the way I was in no rush to give birth to my baby. Tune in for how birthing this podcast and birthing my baby are similar in how my life will never quite be the same.

Sep 15

18 min 50 sec

People come and go in our lives and some people we remember and others we forget. One beautiful man named Lucas is a friend to be remembered, for a particularly kind gesture at a unique time in my life. In this episode, I share - with the permission of Lucas and his wife, Camden - the sweet story of this one beautiful man, if only very briefly in my life. Oh, and their names have been changed.

Sep 15

16 min 18 sec

Tune in for the story of my little guy, Bogie the black pug. Fellow dog-lovers and dog-parents will understand how devoted I am to his care as we now navigate doggie diapers, UTI’s - yes, dogs get Urinary Tract Infections, too! - kidney disease and cluster seizures.

Sep 15

23 min 41 sec

As bars and restaurants are beginning to open fully as COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted and people are getting vaccinated, I realized how much I missed just walking into a bar and ordering drinks and a meal. By myself. In this episode, I share some of my favorite moments belling up to bars in NYC and day-drinking.

Sep 15

15 min 17 sec

I have been doing a lot of energy work and meditating this year, tapping into the presence of some of my family who have passed on. Tune in to hear the stories of my relatives who have inspired me with their audacity and freedom and how I continue to feel their love and support today.

Sep 15

20 min 33 sec

The sudden loss of my precious pug, Cookie, at only 4 years old, left me in horrible pain. She had been my travel companion all over the country and she had filled a hole in my life after a sudden divorce. In this episode, I share my stories about devastating loss and the shifts I made in my life and work that brought me to a brand new chapter in my life as a mother to my baby girl.

Sep 15

22 min 28 sec

Here’s a riddle for you: A woman has been divorced for 21 years. She has an 11-year-old daughter. Who is the daughter’s father? Tune into this episode for the answer to this riddle - the story about my daughter and me. And it’s clearly not as the old nursery rhyme goes: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.” Hah!

Sep 15

16 min 31 sec

In this episode, I reflect on how I have dressed up at different times in my life to get the attention from men, going all the way back to high school. Over the years, I’ve had to find my own unique style and at 55, I’ve settled into my naturally short, curly, gray hair, staying fit and *feeling sexy* for myself in comfortable outfits.

Sep 15

13 min

What does fashion have to do with firearms and safety training? Tune in to this episode to hear how learning how to dress for a new business-casual work environment led me to a 4-hour safety and firearms class, and a permit to Carry a Concealed Handgun, all before I ever held let alone fired a gun. My experience afterwards at the range left me uneasy.

Sep 15

21 min 33 sec

On June 17th, 2021 President Joe Biden signed a law making Juneteenth a federal holiday. I chose to use this *day off* as a day to further educate myself and reflect on the history of Juneteenth. In this episode, I share my reactions to re-watching Ava DuVernay’s documentary, 13th and to Patrisse Khan-Cullor’s book, “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir”.

Sep 15

11 min 12 sec

One year to the day after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, I reflect on the past year’s police reform, including banning chokeholds like the one place on George Floyd. And on the goal of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as well as on the day’s social media posts on this one year anniversary, by Wanda Sykes, Emmanuel Acho, Kerry Washington and Ibram X. Kendi

Sep 15

8 min 16 sec

On what would have been my 31st wedding anniversary, I reflect back on my doomed marriage. It’s been over 20 years since the split and yet I still have so many thoughts and stories to share about what was so bad on the inside of a marriage that looked *good* on the outside.

Sep 15

11 min 14 sec

In this episode, I react to Celeste Ng’s 2017 novel and New York Times Best Seller, “Little Fires Everywhere”. It also became a Hulu Original Series in 2020 starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. I share my reactions to some very hard topics: racism, classism, motherhood, entitlement and mental health stigmas.

Sep 15

13 min 58 sec

In Glennon Doyle’s third memoir, UNTAMED, she broke the mold on what’s expected of wives and mothers. Her brave story about divorcing her husband and the father of her three children, then falling in love with and marrying her new wife, reminded me of my own mold-breaking story. Several years after my own divorce and no children, I decided to have a baby on my own at 43-years-old.

Sep 8

9 min 19 sec