It’s been 6 months since my last share here, lots of unpublished words, lots of stories to tell. Maybe they’ll make it here, maybe not. We’ll see. Let’s come to the present for now.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind and so much of where I find myself today still feels so unreal.

In a week, I’ll be on a flight to Africa and I’ll stop in France on my way there. Outside of Mexico and Canada, I’ve never traveled outside of the U.S. — not to mention I just got my first passport last summer.

Again, unreal.

I’ve been feeling excited because there will be so much for me to explore, not just in Paris or Morocco, but first and foremost, in myself.

That’s why I’m going on this self-discovery retreat, y’know, to experience who I am when I’m finally away from my normal day-to-day life.

Who am I when I’m a foreigner? How do I move when I hear Darija in the streets instead of English? How do I feel when I’m not just slowing down internally, but there is a slower pace around me? In what ways do I orient to my life when I’m so far from my home, family, and friends? What reveals itself in me when everything that is familiar is flipped upside down?

As excited as I am, I’ve been feeling like I’m out of my mind too.

I recognize that the risks I’ve taken over the last year and a half are things I’ve heard about in memoirs and motivational books, but I haven’t witnessed in my real life.

I don’t know anyone who was married and divorced young, so when I was first going through it, I honestly didn’t know if I would survive.

Leaving my ex broke the dam of all the fear and heartbreak and insecurity I had been storing in my body over the years because I could finally afford to let it out…

But it also wrecked my sense of self.

I’d been someone’s wife for so long, I didn’t know who I was apart from the roles I played and that made me feel deeply disoriented.

It would take me months to relearn the basics of caring for myself as a real, feeling human being and not the machine-style shell of a person I’d been for so long.

And I’m still learning the basics right now.

As an entrepreneur, there hasn’t been a manual, rather, there’s been a million and one manuals with everyone shouting that their way is the way.

When my health and soul started nudging me to shift the way I work, everyone around me was overworked, exhausted, and mostly denying it so they could keep going.

It cost me thousands of dollars and my illusion of safety to surrender to my body’s greater knowing and deep need for rest and a slower pace.

Facing my fear that there isn’t enough—money, time, support, faith, love—has broken me open again and again and again.

Even as I write this, I’m practicing trusting that there is more than enough and this last year of my life is a witness to that truth.

Now, as I prepare to leave my first solo apartment for a little nomad living, I’m reminded that I’m not new to this.

I’ve done very hard things and survived and later, thrived.

And I’m doing it again.

Except this time, I have seen it done in real life.

I’ve watched myself unravel through deep bouts of depression and I’ve learned how to ground in the moments when I feel untethered, like I’m drifting away from shore and no one can save me.

I may feel like I’m drifting, but in reality, I’m the mountain and I feel the sensation of the waves of emotion swirl around me. I don’t always have to be moved.

I’ve embodied a resourcefulness that has exposed the idea that I have to hustle and grind for money to make a living for the lie that it is. Community has saved me when I couldn’t afford my groceries or my rent. What I think I need is evolving.

So, as I prepare to travel, I’m anchoring into what I’ve lived.

Maybe I haven’t seen the things I’m doing done before, but I have the vision and I’m holding it.

Through tears and anxiety and sometimes beyond what I believe is possible, I’m choosing to be brave.

My curiosity has led me here and continues to guide me.

My bravery is a master at holding the pose.

My gentleness softens and opens me to love and receive love.

My self-awareness embraces death and rebirth because this is the way of life.

My desire to connect makes room for people of mystery and magic to join me on my journey.

I have deep trust in who I say I am, even when I’m afraid, and this is how I continue to unfold.

Ready for our adventure across the water?

I will document things here as I travel.

I welcome prayers, thoughts, and love offerings in any amount as I continue to uncover what a life that matters to me looks like and share my findings with you.

CashApp: $AndraRenee


with love,