Hello, stranger! My name is Stephanie.

I’m 27, highly anxious, and have been ignoring my parents’ concerns about Internet stranger danger since I was about 14 years old. (I would apologize, but my therapist says I shouldn’t apologize for things I’m not actually sorry for… so…)

… I’m also pretty ridiculous. Very important thing to know about me.

I think this is where I am supposed to explain what I do and what I like, but whenever people ask me those types of questions I freeze up and then stutter out intelligent sounding words such as “Stuff?” and “Uh, things?” and then smile and look for the closest restroom. Actually, I’m not that awkward in public (anymore…) but that’s what’s happening internally.

By day, I am an HR professional, and I moonlight as a yoga instructor on the weekends. I’m certified in both because I am precocious like that (PHR, RYT-200). I also really like to cook and bake (and eat), travel, read (aka buy lots of books but never open them), over-research things on the internet like “the best way to make tea” (don’t ask, or we’ll end up down a rabbit hole), run (I’m training for a marathon because I secretly hate myself I guess?), and… other stuff…

Why does this feel like writing a dating profile?

I have a dog named Norman, and a cat named Disco.

Norman is a rescue from my local animal control department. He’s an English Coonhound, aka “red tick” coonhound. He has giant ears, giant eyes, a giant nose, and giant poop. It’s gross. Anyway, he was an abandoned hunting dog, presumably because this dog can’t hunt for shit. I take him for walks past literal fields of bunnies and he’s like, “CHECK OUT THIS DANDELION, IT’S HUGE AND SMELLS LIKE STUFF.” But it means he doesn’t chase my cat, so it’s all good. I think he’s like two years old? I don’t know,  whatever, age is just a number or something.

Disco is also a rescue; I got him from the humane society when I was in graduate school. Disco’s what I like to call a “lovable asshole,” in that he likes to cuddle, but he also likes to trap your arm like a bear trap and attack you — out of love, of course. He’s a brown mackerel tabby, and easily the handsomest cat you’ll ever meet. Seriously. He should be gracing the cover of Cat Fancy.

Other important things to know: I am a liberal heathen feminist. Basically that means I’m not a huge fan of Republican agendas, I don’t really do the God thing, and I would rather have a root canal than argue about the existence of mansplaining with you. If you can roll with that, you can sit by me.

One of my biggest struggles is dealing with my depression and anxiety. I am a very ambitious person, but my brain is a jerk and likes to tell me I am not good enough, or other people don’t think I’m good enough, and that I just shouldn’t bother. After a really rough summer that culminated in an eight-day stay at a behavioral health facility, I’m actually doing really well. I’d like to thank my therapist, psychiatrist, yoga teacher, and the Academy for their support in this endeavor. I know there will probably come a time that the medications I am on might stop working, or I’ll experience a setback, and things won’t feel as awesome. But the good thing is, I know (now) that they can and do get better. You just have to keep moving forward.