There seems to be a lot of talk lately about labels and how we define ourselves and our roles in this world. Do those lables really make up the whole picture? Or are they just a snapshot, a 3x5, when the real picture is a panoramic? My lovely friend Brianna wrote an amazing post, painting us a bigger, better picture of who she really is. I am so often inspired by her words and this post was no different. So without any more babbling or stalling, here is my own.
I am Stephanie.
I am Betty McSunshine, Ashley, Kiwi, Alice, Georgia, Pima, Steph, Stephie to none, thank God.
I am Queen of Nicknames.
I am mom, daughter, sister, niece, friend.
I am a little exhausted, but mostly invigorated. Life is a precious gift and I don't want to waste a second of it.
I am an imperfect person.
I am giving myself permission to be an imperfect person. It is not an excuse to be lazy, selfish or intentionally hurtful, but a realization that I am human, and as such, will always fall short. If my house is not spotless at the end of the day, if the laundry isn't all caught up, if I didn't cook my daughter a gourmet meal, or get the pictures hung or the flowers watered, it is OK. The world will not cease to exist because my bed went unmade for the 12th day in a row. I can not be everything, do everything, please everyone. It is impossible and unreasonable to ask that of myself.
I am a good friend and I am fiercely loyal. If you need me, I am here. Regardless of the day, the time, the reason, if you call me, I will come. No questions asked. I am forgiving but I don't forget if you hurt me or my family.
I am a judgement-free zone. I may disagree, it may not be what I would have chosen, but I respect that we all have the freedom to make our own choices. I will never judge you. In return however, I ask that you not judge me. I absolutely refuse to build relationships with those who do.
I am bold and intense. I am loud and my brain has no filter. I am going to say something that hurts your feelings at some point. I am going to apologize for hurting you, because I am truly sorry that I did. I am never going to be intentionally mean.
I am addicted to post-it notes and quotes. Lucky for me they go together so well.
I am a creative soul. I love to make jewelry, cards, things for the house, etc. My favorite thing to make is baby blankets. As I sit with the soft yarn intertwined around my fingers, I pray for the child it is going to. That it will keep them warm and offer them security. I secretly hope that they keep it always and pass it down to their own babies.
I am brave. I am also terrified. Of so much I don't even know where to start. But I refuse to give in to the fear. So I put on my big girl panties and move forward, one tiny step at a time.
I am a believer in Jesus. I believe that He loves me always. I believe that He loves you always. I am so thankful that He extends grace and mercy to a train-wreck like me.
I am in love with my daughter. I am the mom who stares at her in awe and wonder. I am proud of her and the little person she is already becoming. I am her protector and I am always surprised how quickly that shield flies up.
I am incredibly blessed by amazing friends. Marcel Proust said, "Let us be grateful to those who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." My friends dry my tears, make me laugh, love me when I'm unlovable. They even hold me tightly while it storms and cover my ears when it thunders. Did I mention I am scared of storms? I am a sissy.
I am a writer. I write every single day, even if it's just for 5 minutes. I want to publish the novel I am working on. It is the first one that I believe actually has the potential to not suck. I dream of the day that I can hold my book in my hands and weep because I actually freakin' did it.
I am at peace the second my toes hit the shore of the Pacific Ocean. As the freezing water rushes past my ankles, my toes dig in a little deeper and root themselves to the spot. All extraneous noise dies, the voices in my head shut up, and all that surrounds me is the whipping wind and crashing waves. That is what happiness sounds like. I am blissful.
I am me and I am the only me there will ever be. I am strong and true and brave.
I am ME.