Stephanie Kocer

Writer. Editor.

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(Just Like) Starting Over

My goal after graduating college was to be like everyone else; appear to have my life together. It wasn’t until after college that I realized nobody in their 20s has anything together.

I used to tell myself that if I got a cool job then everything else would fall into place. I have a cool job now. Or, at least a job that I enjoy on most days. And yet, the last year of my life has been a shambly mess. It seemed like the more I succeeded in my professional life the more my personal life fell apart.

Of course, those two pieces of me aren’t necessarily always related, nor do they have to be. And I suspect that I threw myself into my work life because I felt so hallow and empty in my personal life.

It’s funny. A year ago I would have shamed myself for the next thing I’m about to say, which just goes to show how much I’ve changed. All of this restlessness started with a boy.

Gross, right? I have never been the girl to let a guy get the best of her. I let my guard down for a minute and let one in. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting a guy in, either. Sometimes it comes with wonderful results. I just made the mistake of letting a bad one in. A really bad one. I knew from the moment I met him that I was going to get crushed. And I let myself fall anyway. And when he decided I couldn’t live in his world, well, I unraveled.

I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating. I started drinking too much. I lashed out at friends and family. And worst, I stopped writing.

It took me a long time to snap out of whatever spell I was under. And I’m strong enough now to admit that I still have bad days. Slowly, though, I’m making my way back. There’s so much to my story, but for now I’ll just say that asking for help is never a sign of weakness. And so, I found some help and tried to focus on how to be me again. Continue reading

New Season Brings Adventure

 

I’m very happy to say that since April I’ve been working for Special Olympics Iowa as their Marketing and Communications Manager. I get to edit the website, write articles and press releases, talk to media, and run social media. It’s a dream job for me, but one that I never saw coming.

Those who know me know I’m not always the most warm and cuddly person. I certainly don’t like organized group activities or even the idea of fundraising. And yet, here I am. Working for a nonprofit and somehow feeling a strange sense of determination and purpose.

This new role has brought new challenges and stresses to my life. It’s a 9 to 5 job, but not always in the traditional sense. Last weekend we held our annual state Summer Games. Since I’m the new kid in the office I had just over a month to prepare all of my small parts that make this very large, very important event function. I brought work home with me every night. I replied to important emails after 9 p.m. I even got a text from our CEO after midnight once because that’s just how hard everyone works. Continue reading

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