A Decade of Adulting…

Ten years ago…

I was celebrating graduating college with my degree in business marketing. [One class and one semester late…thanks, economics.]

I was planning my move back to VA from OH—while simultaneously having panic attacks when I remembered the cost of living is like 10x what OH was. Basically I’d be able to afford living in the slums…but I’d be close to the beach again, so I got over it. [OH taught me landlock is a real thing.]

I was moving back only knowing I’d be able to transfer to the Cheesecake Factory in Virginia Beach from my current serving job in OH…obviously companies would be lined up to hire me in a sweet marketing position when I was local again.

I was internet stalking and planning my reunion [unbeknownst to him] with my high school crush…and now husband.

I packed everything I was taking to VA in to a two door Toyota Yaris and first headed to North Carolina to meet friends for a Trey Songz/Mario concert. Priorities…obviously.

After saying goodbye to my family without crying, it started to rain a few hours into my road trip….I realized I had never replaced my windshield wipers before because my dad always did….and lost it.

One job interview turned into me standing at a gas station learning how to sell car cleaning supplies while innocent people pumped their gas. [I was sadly mistaken when I thought company’s knew the difference between sales and marketing.]

By the end of 2009, I had accepted a “marketing” position at an architecture firm, rented a room in my boss’ son’s house, and went on my first date with my now husband [at mexican, which looking back, should’ve been my sign that it was the start of something really perfect].

Now…I’m married to that guy I stalked on FB (Calvin), we have two boys (Connor is 4 and Avery is 1), and a slightly weird, ball-obsessed Boston Terrier (Bailey).

I chased a career in marketing for 6 years and became a marketing manager at a credit union before making the jump to pursue this business full-time. Turns out I have a lot more passion for making women feel great about themselves than convincing them to open a checking account.

I still pack my car full of what feels like my life belongings to travel I-64 for 10 hours…except now it’s just for short trips with a full size SUV with babies, a sleepy husband, and podcasts instead of blaring whatever songs I’m obsessed with at the moment.

The beach that I longed for before moving back is now full of memories from friends visiting, to my babies growing up making sand angels and chasing birds.

Also, old habits don’t die apparently. In a few short months, I’ll be seeing Trey Songz again at SITW with those same friends I saw him with 10 years ago. haha But even better, Usher will be there, and if we happen to bump into him somewhere, that will make our lives complete.

If you asked me a decade ago what my life might look like in 10 years, to be honest, I can’t say I ever thought that far ahead. I like to make goals, but can’t say I’m a detailed planner. I’m not alone in this right?! I would’ve never guessed that I’d be running my own business, I would’ve wished for my husband and 2 babies…but had no idea what that’d actually look like. But, if the next decade is as good as this one—I can’t wait to see what it holds.

I hope that my business continues to thrive and in 10 years [hopefully less!] Stephanie Michelle is the most well-known studio in Virginia, known for creating the most beautiful portraits for all women. I hope that my family stays happy and healthy…and maybe grows by one. 😉 The rest…I’ll save those goals for another post, since this decade was already enough to fill a novel. 🙂

But what about you? Is this last decade what you hoped it would be?


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seduce yourself.