Each day I get more comfortable in my skin, the skin I am currently in. I have done the work to shed the skin of my past, to understand and accept what’s happened and I’ve decided to move past all of it. Again, I’m not near where I want to be but, I’m not there yet and what I want may change along the way (as it already has) so, I’m focusing on what I know and living in the moment. I know it’s crazy, but, believe it or not, I am loving who I see in the mirror. Regardless if she is smiling or has tears streaming down her face, I’ve earned every bit of who I am – the grays that keep showing up in my hair, the stretchmarks on my stomach, the wrinkles on my hands, my thighs that touch and the freckles on my face. I never understood how someone could want to be with me, could find me beautiful, but, now I do. In my own unique way, I am sexy and downright gorgeous (haha).
I am making strides, so many things are working in my life right now, it’s incredible. Everywhere I look or anything I hear seems to pertain to me and this walk I am on. I know I am not alone, I know God is guiding my way. It’s calming to know that as long as I continue to pay attention, I shouldn’t be able to mess this up. I keep being reminded by the universe that this is my time. I feel like I’m a goonie in the well, saying that this is my time, right now, right here, it’s time for me. I have to learn to put myself first, just like on a flight when they instruct you to put your oxygen mask on before assisting anyone else. I have to master this to take my next step. It’s crazy because I used to tell Honey this all of the time and didn’t realize I wasn’t taking my own advice. I used to tell him that we have to make sure that our house is secure, that our boys have food and clothes and shelter, that they are stable before we are able to extend a hand to anyone else. It never really sunk in but, now, it seems to make even more sense to me. I have to love myself before I can love another or be properly loved by another, I need to make sure that I’m physically and mentally stable before I can expect that from another, and, I still have to make sure my kids are good before I can be of assistance to others. It all stems from how I treat myself and how I take care of mine.
I keep hearing that this is my opportunity to try something new or take a bold chance and honestly, I am ready, I just can’t put my finger on it. There are things that I have come across on this journey that I am ready to put into action but, there are things that are preventing that from happening. I keep thinking about what I want when the world can start finding it’s new normal… because, we will be doing it together. I want to travel, I want a house to call home, I want a baby, and new tattoos, and possibly a new hair color, I want to volunteer, spend time with friends. As for marriage…. well, I can’t answer that right now. I found the man I want to marry and I think I have to accept that perhaps marriage is not meant for me. That’s okay though, I am not in control and so there is no reason to get upset. I have many doors and windows open for me when I can leave this house, I have to choose carefully though.
Everything is changing, nothing will ever be the same. Again, I was supposed to be planning for our future and now I’m only planning for mine. With my Nana getting sick, we are having to face things that I don’t think we were ready for and that’s proving more difficult than anticipated. My Uncle is still in the hospital and we won’t be sure what the future looks like for him until all of this is over. My brother is having a baby boy and I’m so happy for his little family, I’m just a little heartbroken about the baby girl I am not trying to conceive as time keeps ticking. Jeremiah is going to be 15 in a couple of months, I can’t wrap my head around that. He has been such a rock through all of this craziness and stepping up to the plate to help his momma with whatever I need. I am blessed beyond measure but, things are changing and I’m not sure I am ready.
Lord, I am a work in progress, the paint’s still wet from this latest chapter. I’m not who I once was, and still, I am not who I will eventually be. Big decisions are coming my way and I have to be ready to make the right choices. No detail will be too small. I was made for this after-all. God designed me this way on purpose. I know that the ball will eventually be in my court. I’ll be ready to stand up and speak out, allow my voice to be heard. I refuse to ever get lost in the crowd again. I have a way with words for a reason. I am not some damsel in distress waiting to be rescued, I can rescue myself. I only need real people to love me the way I am. To be real and honest with me, to comfort me when I need it and give it to me straight when I’ve got it all wrong. I’m going to stumble, hell, I’m clumsy, I’m probably going to land face first multiple times. One thing I know for sure, you will never have to doubt me getting back up. I will always get back up and try again. It’s in my nature. I’m stubborn and nothing can hold me down.
I am Stephanie Elizabeth Andrade, I am 37 years old. I am a mother, a daughter, a friend, a sister, a granddaughter, but, most importantly, I am a woman! I am my own woman. And… I think I’m pretty freaking amazing!