At nearly 6 am, I still haven't gone to sleep. I would love to say that I have been working, jet setting around the globe, but the fact is, I had to clean my bedroom. From vacuuming the floors, to going through the closet and sorting items into 'throw away' and 'goodwill' boxes, I spent my night hours ridding my life of clutter. Hopefully, the physical clutter was some sort of cathartic gateway for the more, lets say, non physical tolls that have been impending.
Now, I will be honest, less than a year ago, there is no way I would have taken the idea of being a professional model seriously. In June of 2008, I was on my way to Isiolo, Kenya from spending my entire life in the US (I did go to Mexico and Canada though). Like most freshly 21 year olds, I had to get out of the box that I had made myself, and for me that was working for a health clinic. I wish I could say that it was the need to help other people, but the decision to go had a lot to do with wasting my physical body. I wasn't living a healthy life, or what I thought was healthy anyways. I ate what I wanted, smoked, drank a bit much, I wasted money that I spent a long time earning and saving. I started talking to people that I normally didn't talk to, and researching some organizations, watching documentaries, and writing people who were, and still are trying to help people who have no means of helping themselves. I have been spoiling myself, when there are people who don't have the chance to blow there money in Las Vegas, or smoke a pack of cigarettes in two days. Some people want to succeed, and I wanted to "give them a Steph" to help them do it. So, after contacting one of the women who ran Mamahope.org, I got a meeting.
Then comes early October 2008. The meeting. I was nervous, but just in the back of my mind was the thought of "if this doesn't fly, then do whatever makes you happy". I'm sitting at the restaurant, 15 minutes early, I figure she'll be at least 5 minutes late because of the traffic I just missed. 15 minutes into the supposed meeting time, still no show. 30 minutes, still sipping on my now room temperature Pepsi, and chatting up an older grampa looking type next to me. I finally get a call from the woman, she JUST left the office. A thought passed through my head that this meeting is already in the crapper. She gets there, strokes my ego of being young, innocent and full of naive life, then pulls out all the stops. I am too young, need to go out of the country more, and every one there hates white women. I put on a smiley face until she leaves, the I realize I had just gotten shot down while pleading for the thing I have had my heart set on.
Replaying the conversation in my mind, I realized that every time she said no, I had a valid and respectful rebuttal that should have made her say yes. I had backers, I know people in Kenya, I mean, no I won't get a body guard in case people really do hate white 21 year olds.
My friend, who was managing models at the time, finds me after that meeting of torture, and says, "Look, how about you try a few modeling gigs, and see how it goes. If its fun, keep going, if not, then you can move on to the next thing." So I did. And here I am. In January, I gave myself 6 months to get signed. In March, I got a call from City Model Management, by April the papers were signed.
Now, its the hard part. But we can pick up that story later on.