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A Change of Pace

Confidence & Labels

Sitting on my bar stool with my white cane in hand.So this morning I was all excited because of an inspiration for today’s post. You know the kind, where you have to capture all your thoughts before they dissipate in the abyss of forgetfulness?

Well, so anyway I had it all lined up (my thoughts that is), I turned on my portable heater, grabbed a cup of coffee, fired up my laptop/monitor, opened WordPress and with fingers poised on the keyboard, nothing, absolutely nothing came to me. How could this be on a day like today? This post was gonna go viral, I just knew it and now it’s gone.

I was gonna write about projection and:

  • How we see ourselves
  • How others see us
  • How we want to be seen by others

I was gonna write about how as a child I just didn’t fit in and how I longed to be like everyone else. Even my name, pronounced Stef-a-nay, was different and I hated it.

I was gonna write about how in my desperation to fit in, I laughed with other classmates at students who took what we referred to as “the short bus” to a special school, but in reality I died a little inside because I knew my behavior was wrong.

Standing in front of my counter with my white cane.

I was gonna write about how insecure I felt at not being able to dress or pay for school lunches like my classmates.

I was gonna write about how coming from a dysfunctional family teaches you the value of secrets and putting on a mask to face the outside world because you can’t let people know how pathetic your home life really is.

I was gonna write about how, though there were some lines I would not cross, the ones I did cross inevitably fostered self-loathing because the things I was doing were contrary to my true character.

Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly. ~Epictetus

I was gonna write about how the acceptance of others is sometimes a price too high to pay with very little return on investment.

I was gonna write about how having children of my own gave me the strength to fight. To fight for them, to fight for my integrity, to fight for myself. To become me.

I was gonna write about how, as adults, just because someone projects their expectations on to you, it’s not your problem, it’s theirs, let them deal with it.

I was gonna write about how the definition of the word label “a word or phrase indicating that what follows belongs in a particular category or classification,” is just a word and ultimately we are the ones who ‘choose’ to give this word power, we can choose differently.

Rear view standing at the counter with my white cane.

I was gonna write about how as a 55-year-old African-American woman who happens to have lost her sight, there are things, by society’s viewpoint, I was not supposed to achieve.

I was gonna write about when I finally came to grips with who I am, aside from my faith, I was no longer going to let anything, anyone, or any circumstance define me.

Like everything else in our lives, confidence ebbs and flows and it’s one of those things that requires constant maintenance. Depending on the situation, some days you may feel more confident than others but even on those days when confidence seems to be lacking it’s not fatal. Take some time if you need to, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and then when you feel the moment is right, carry on.

This post was a little different for me as is the outfit I’m wearing in the attached photos. I’ve made no secret of the fact that black is my favorite color, or shall I say non color, but in today’s pictures I’m wearing a light-colored ensemble. Following is the complete description:

  • Winter white dress pants (old)
  • H&M light gold lamé long-sleeve tunic top (comes to about mid-thigh) with a light-colored tank underneath. A nice detail is the slit at the wrist of the sleeves.
  • H&M Cream colored long loopy sweater vest – the vest is longer than the tunic and as soon as I saw it I knew it would work with the tunic and the pants. The actual loops are more like individual tassels covering the entire front of the vest.
  • Navy heeled ankle boots – three and a quarter-inch chunky heels with a silver zipper on the front of the boot.
  • Jewelry – chain drop earrings with rhinestone ends, pendant fringe necklace with several rhinestones immediately above the fringe, cut-out pavé open bangle.

60 thoughts on “A Change of Pace

  1. Nice Stephanae..and for someone who had writers block, your thoughts on what you were going to write came shining through to a lot of wisdom. You look beautiful in your photo. Hang in there and keep keeping on your way to be a great writer.
    By the way I like your name because it is so different.

  2. Nice Stephanae..and for someone who had writers block, your thoughts on what you were going to write came shining through to a lot of wisdom. You look beautiful in th as you photo. Hang in there and keep keeping on your way to be a great writer.
    By the way I like your name because it is so different.

    1. Thank you Pat. Yeah, as I got older I came to grips with my name and now I do in fact love it because it is different. Amazing how age can make a difference in our thinking.

      1. It certainly can as time marches on

  3. I was going to just “like”, but I decided to let you know just how powerful and inspiring this post is and you look totally amazing. From what I can see, Black is not your only color. Thanks for coloring our world.

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind comment. It’s comments like these that propel me to keep going. <3

      1. You are welcome, it’s straight from the heart. Continue to move forward in your truth.

  4. Powerful post. And you look great! 🙂

  5. This is a heart-felt post Steph. Like you, the sentiments it expresses are elegant and full of grace. You should wear light colours more often – they suit you.

    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment Robyn. In the summer I tend toward lighter colors but when given the choice I more frequently than not gravitate to black, just can’t seem to help myself.

      1. Nothing wrong with going with your instincts. I wonder what determines our colour preferences. I mean besides fashions. Why are we drawn to some colours and not others?

      2. Hi Robyn, there’s a whole science behind color and honestly it’s above my head but I’ve always been fascinated with how color affects our mood, etc. Before I began having vision issues I hadn’t considered color and sight. For people who have never been able to see color is an abstract theory and one of those things that I refer to as “you don’t know, what you don’t know.” We can use metaphors but still if you haven’t experienced what color is it’s difficult to wrap your head around it.

      3. You know, I am mortified to realise how little I considered the comment I made. I was thoughtless and insensitive to the colourless world of those without sight. I apologise Stephanae

      4. Robyn please don’t feel that you were thoughtless and insensitive, you weren’t. Color is a part of our worldly experience and we are drawn to certain colors and not others. Some people who are totally blind can be touchy about color and other visual references but this doesn’t apply to all blind people. I have friends who were born without sight and they’ve told me that color is important when needing to coordinate clothing and such but even when decorating it’s considered. With the technology that we have today many people with sight impairment make use of color identifiers to help them.

      5. Thanks for your generous reply. I didn’t know colour was still important to those without sight.

      6. Yes to some it is and I think part of it could be partly due to their interest. For example those who are artists, even though they can’t see, have an understanding how color impacts the world around us. I have one friend who does all kinds of fancy needle work and crafty stuff and so color was important to her because she wanted a good outcome with her projects.

  6. For someone who can’t remember what she wanted to say; WOW!! You said everything you wanted to say. No explanations just topics. I think this says it all. Also I loved the outfit.
    Sherri

  7. Stephanae you are a beautiful woman!! I so like you dressed in black, but winter white!!! Wow! Your post kept me captivated by your honesty, truth and heartfelt life lessons. Thank you for sharing, and as one of the previous neighbors commented, you hit all the marks of a fantastic post!! blessings friend, denise

    1. Denise, thank you so very much for your kind remarks. I struggled with writing it but in the end just had to let it come from my hear. It means a lot to know that what I’m sharing is appreciated.

  8. Your thoughts flowed perfectly. Great post and I love your outfit!

  9. How glamorous, Steph. That white ensemble is a fashion thriller/winner/champion.

      1. I must say that when I tried this white on white in 2012, I thought I was awesome but Neighbourhood Watch informed me that I was “fashionable.” I was like, say what now? The things women say. I don’t want to see anyone leaving the house looking less than fabulous. Best regards. xo

      2. I could just imagine hearing this dialog. White on white is fabulous but only when you don’t stain as I am apt to do which is probably one of the reasons I seldom wear it but I do adore the look. I had these pants for years but the original sweater I got to wear with them didn’t work as I imagined. So glad I found these two pieces b/c I’d almost given up hope. Now my life can go on. 😉

      3. You’re funny! I imagined Celine Dion singing at your last line. My white clothes are disciplined. They know what’s good for them. (The other colours, though). You’re so fashionable and I love complimenting beautiful, brainy women who can dress!!!!

      4. Funny you should mention Celine b/c that song was buzzing around my head when I wrote that line even though the song annoys the heck out of me. Thank you for the compliments <3

  10. Great post. You captured those “passing strangers” after all.
    Passing strangers? My description of those great thought that are there and then gone. Love the ensemble by the way

  11. For someone whose thoughts allegedly escaped her I think this post turned out pretty well Steph. I had one of those mini-lack-o-confidence moments just today and, like you suggested, re-calibrated and got it back together. Speaking of together that ensemble is “together.” Very stylish…just like the post. 🙂

  12. Lovely outfit and post.

    I grew up hiding who I really was, too….awful way to live!

    1. Hi Katelon, how are you? Thank you for coming by. It is awful and unfortunately so many of us can relate to this, which has led me to the conclusion that many more of us are dysfunctional.

      1. I don’t know if we are dysfunctional anymore though, as many of us have healed from those experiences and are now choosing authenticity and self love.

      2. Yes, those of us who have made it through. I think about the others who haven’t and the younger generation having to come into their own.

  13. You look gorgeous and great post.

  14. Well, personally — I love the post, and the outfit! And the quote from Epictetus. 🙂

    1. Thanks CM!! This quote is one of my faves.

      1. You’re quite welcome, Stephanae! And I can certainly see why it’s a fave. 🙂

  15. Excellent insights, classy outfit.

  16. Stephanae, there are a number of points that I think many of us have wrestled with in this. I think if any of this comes back to memory I’d follow through and post it. I think it will prove instructive for many of us as nice reminders. ‘o)

      1. Your welcome, Steph. Confidence can be a bit flighty, but it’s so important when pressing on with our lives. So many things can rise up to damage it on a daily basis. It’s nice to be reminded, that although it can be damaged, it can also be reclaimed. ‘o)

  17. A powerful and heartfelt post Steph! Love the outfit too, H&M does have some lovely stuff.

    1. Thank you Khaya!! I was so happy when I scored the vest and the sweater. They were both on sale and as soon as I put both pieces together in my mind’s eye I could see them with the pants. The fact that I got them so cheap only increased my joy. I rarely get to the actual store anymore but on this particular day I was out with my son and he wanted to stop in to check out something unfortunately for him he couldn’t find anything.

      1. You look stunning on that outfit!

  18. Sounds like those thoughts came alive after all! Great post, Stephanae…and great pictures! I see Abigail is right by your side…
    I understand about the “mask.” I’ve been wearing one all my life. Someday, I hope to burn it and cast the ashes to the wind.

    1. Hey Laurel, Thank you for stopping. I haven’t forgotten about the award. Been working on my online store and losing my mind a little each day but it will come to life. And I will be stopping by your way today.

      1. Well…you better get on it girl! I nominated you for another one! Take your time….there’s no expiration date. LOL. I just so enjoy your posts and your strength….you are indeed a warrior!

      2. You’re gonna give me a big head. Don’t know how I can be a warrior and a coward at the same time but I guess it depends on what we’re talking about lol. When it comes to people who can’t defend themselves, I’m there mainly with paper and pen ready to fight an intellectual war. But on the other hand if we’re talking snakes, worms or other creepy crawlies I’m outta here – total and complete coward lol.

      3. There is not a cowardly bone in your body! Being afraid of creepy-crawlies is normal. I don’t particularly care for spiders….but the thing that really creeps me out is those flying palmetto bugs in Florida. I would rather eat a spider than even look at one of those things!

      4. I’ve never seen a palmetto but (heard about them) aren’t they like flying roaches? I despise roaches but the ones I really hate are stink bugs.

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