Are you happy at the moment?
Yes – with who I have become and with the independence that I have gained. After my divorce, I started out terrified to be alone and then terrified to have anyone in my life. I’ve swung back to the middle now…I think. I believe I’ve reached a place personally where I’m aware of all that I truly have to offer others.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16 year old self now – what would it be?
Don’t be afraid. Tear the walls down and let people see who you are. Some will leave…but others really will stay. Your fear of yourself is going to cripple you if you don’t step out. It is okay to be strong, intelligent and beautiful. You have always believed that you’re “too much”. You do NOT have to pick and choose which one (or two) to downplay at different times to be accepted. Some men will be afraid of you and that’s okay because the right ones will not be. Be strong and follow your real dream, because abandoning it will haunt you later. You are worthy. Oh…and, seriously, he’s not perfect…but look for someone like Dad (just trust me on this one).
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
That beauty is not defined by anything or anyone in particular and that I am really stronger than I ever thought I was.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Wow…I really want three things! Greedy? I want to be an inspiration and the rock for my daughter to continue to be fearless with the obstacle of her visual impairment. I want to meet someone special. I want to focus more on writing!
What’s your secret to happiness?
No secret really. I love Jesus, and it’s not about religion. It’s about a deep and sustained relationship. Also, my relationship with my parents and with my children…they are my foundation and what catapults me into life each day. Being able to speak to my parents each day is precious to me.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Communicating in a very real and visceral way with my God. If others heard how I communicate with Him they might be appalled…But, He’s a big guy and He can handle me, my anger, my passion, and my emotion. I just dump it all on Him and He helps me sort it all out. I’m NEVER “too much” for Him.
What’s your biggest regret?
Honestly, I made a ton of mistakes, but my only true regret was beyond my control. I wish I would have been able to grow up with my big brother. I was five when he died in a tragic accident. He was seven. I think my whole world would have been different had he lived. I’ve missed him every single day of my life and I’ve wished for him at every major event in my life…ever joy and every sorrow I have wished to be able to share with him.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
To keep your word. I was raised to believe “if your word means nothing, you have nothing.” My children know that I am a woman of my word and I expect them to be men and women of theirs.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Doubt. I question myself too much instead of trusting myself.
Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
The work I have done with the wounded and the mentally ill. As a therapist I carry precious secrets of others (and will do so to my grave). I have listened to the most painful moments of people’s lives and worked with them to assist them in helping themselves, to better themselves and to live healthier lives. I guess what I am proud of the very most are the children I’ve worked with and how I was able to reach into their lives and leave a positive mark.
When were you happiest?
In spite of losing my brother, I had a great childhood and teen years. But, you know, I think I’m really the happiest now than I’ve ever been.
What ten words best describe you?
Loyal. Passionate. Strong. Gracious. Merciful. Forgiving. Accepting. Funny. Sensitive. Caring.
Stacia Hood is a mental health/substance abuse therapist and writer living in the Dallas, Texas area. She has four children; two biological and two that were gifted to her through a former marriage. The ‘big kids’ are out and about in the world so it’s just Mom and ‘The Baby’ left at home together. She is the author of “Through Her Eyes”, a peek into her life with her daughter Devin who began losing her vision several years ago. Follow her on Twitter @Stacia411 and Fearlessgrace.wordpress.com.