Old picture...but I look comfy enough to tell you a story, right?
Old picture…but I look comfy enough to tell you a story, right?

I’ve been through it all…and I am still here to tell about it, and help you be victorious in the midst of it.

 People often ask me how I became, “Coach Steph.”  So…here goes… As the “goto” girl for relationship advice, I prided myself on being able to help people see what they couldn’t see was effecting their situation–romantic, platonic, family or as we now say, “complicated.”  However, life took me through some changes, and no one was there to do that for me (I need a clone).

I was a misfit in junior high and high school, made popular through expensive clothes, and the fact that I had a computer when having a computer was a luxury. (I loved–and still have–my Apple IIe.)  I hid a very powerful bout with low self-esteem in these things, and it took years for me to “love me with no clothes on.” But, I am here to tell you it can be done…no matter what you look like, or what size you wear.

Anyway, until dating kicked in, my relationship problems were mostly familial.  I didn’t fit in…for numerous reasons.  I took ballet, they didn’t, I had gone to private school, they didn’t.  I spoke proper English, they didn’t…and here come the lovely monikers reflecting that I was merely black on the outside…you get the idea.

Fast forward…

So...What college did I goto?
So…What college did I goto?

College was an interesting time, and a great time until I met, “him.”  He would take me through changes that I never thought I would experience.  He was not a bad person, just a little misguided.  He ultimately went to jail, and that began the demise of our relationship.  While I spent 10 years in that relationship, it never really worked, and I would spend a fair amount of time wondering why I stayed in it.  Of course, I figured it out, which is why I can help you avoid giving your time, energy and emotions away on someone who isn’t bad, but just may not be good for you.  Additionally, he and I have conversations to this very day…no bitterness, no resentfulness, all is well between us.  Now, how many people who spent a decade in a dysfunctional relationship can say that? No too many.

Between then and now. I’ve loved again.  I lost my best friend.  I got a new best friend.  I fell in love with Jesus (for real), and I’ve apologized, made amends, and atoned for many things that I did to others…and to myself.

Yep! This is truly my story.

Now, call me crazy, but in all of this, I have evolved to love my life. I love the misfit that can now flip from proper English to Ebonics as the mood suits me.  I love that I have a wonderful “family” of adopted brothers and sisters who support me, and who I can support as well.  I love that I am able to spend my days helping people–young and young at-heart navigate one of the most important areas of their lives…their relationships.

The high points:

  • My father was my very best friend until he died in 2010.
  • My mother has grown to accept that I don’t like Christmas sweaters. (This is major!)
  • My spiritual relationship has evolved and I have no clue how I lived my life before I met a man named Jesus.
  • My romantic life is just where it needs to be.  I take my own advice…now.
  • I am about to meet YOU!

So what does all this “story” mean to you?

  • It means that I know what it feels like to want something or someone so badly that you can’t see if it’s right or wrong.
  • It means that I know, firsthand, the hurt that comes from losing someone you love–by break-up or by death.
  • It means that I am not someone who just decided to become a relationship coach.  I am someone who fought becoming this because I realize that it is a true privilege to be a part of someone’s journey.
  • It means that I can be your cheerleader and your confidant, while asking questions that help you stop settling for an average life (or love) because someone told you your standards were too high to begin with.

Bottom line: Relationships mean something to me.  They mean love!  They mean life! I didn’t choose this…it chose me, and I plan to ride it until the wheels…fall…off! Roll with me?!