My life is a series of events and I like telling them. I’ve owned shelliestephens.com since 2003, I think, the year my family moved to Japan and I used the site as a repository for Misawa Air Base, Japan photos for the extended fam.
The site re-invented as I went to law school in 2008, and again in 2012 when I was an intellectual property lawyer doing battle with Apple and Sears and for United Technology. Those were the years I almost lost my mind and health because I could work 1 to 3 days without sleep. I don’t blame anyone for that—I’m just stating it’s who I was as a litigator.
But now I’m in another chapter, and I like it. I think of life as a book with roughly 20-year chapters—in this chapter, I’m going to fulfill some lifelong dreams, indulge my inner entrepreneur, and get set for my sunset years which will also include starting and fulfilling some dreams.
So now it’s time to update these pages. The below “about” preserves previous “abouts.”
Verve. I think I engage people with a lot of verve. That wasn’t always the case, perhaps, but it is now. I think it’s because I am passionate. The things about which I am passionate sometimes surprise people, but I think that’s mostly because I don’t say I am passionate about my children.
I am passionate about minority rights, justice, and equality for all—all—in America and women’s rights globally. Which isn’t to say that I don’t care about child abuse. Actually, I am quite passionate about children’s rights, but I am not focusing my life’s time on child abuse. Nor on pet abuse nor on the environment. I care deeply about each, but I think trying to be a Renaissance activist only dulls your steel. I appreciate the efforts of my fellow activists in these areas and I support them when and however I can. I’m glad they’re there, and I hope they’re glad I’m here.
My path to here looks like: happy child, early teen without a mother, high school student with ambitions of being an ambassador or politician, young bride, young mother, college graduate, wife to medical student, wife to future doctor, doctor’s wife, family practice resident’s wife, U.S. Air Force doctor’s wife, U.S. Air Force dependent in Japan with four kids, private-practice doctor’s wife,law student, divorcee, intellectual property lawyer, and solo lawyer from 2017 forward with an entrepreneurial bent. Also, grand anti-Arkansas-era-Clintons Republican to full-blown bleeding heart Democrat with a crush on Obama and Hillary. But that’s just growing into a good human.
Far too many wifes above. But they do tell the story of my life from the 1970s and its times. My life and marriage were a series of events which made it easy to overlook the fact that, after 19 years of marriage, we were not a good fit. How could we be? We dated less than one college semester and eloped over spring break. I do not deny there were good times—we almost made 25 years.
I should say, though, that I am not a divorcee—I am single. Be pedantic about it all you want, here is where I stand. I think people want to know if you are divorced for health reasons—divorced people are not being constantly “groomed” for optimal health by their mates nor being watched over by a sleeping partner who shoves you if you snore or stop breathing. So your doctor needs to know. There is no other compelling reason to categorize people casually that I can think of. Anyway, I am just telling you that I am not defined by a terminated marriage and that I love being single an enormous lot. I can’t tell you how superior the experience is for me. I hope I can help young people think about their choices. My advice: don’t default into marriage, do it if you choose it.
I am rightfully (and curiously proudly) defined as the mother of four (one son). They’re grown and they are interesting. You had to be interesting or someone would invoke “Cheaper by the Dozen’s” “NOT OF GENERAL INTEREST.” I’ve often invited them to dinner with a text, “Dinner out tonight. You can come if (1) you have something interesting to say, and (2) you don’t ask to leave early.” Sometimes they decline. I love my children, but I am much closer to anti-natalist than “my kids are my life.” I do not understand this sentiment and I’m far more passionate about why women are expected to say this.
I’m passionate about making the world a better place and I think I can. I’m proactive, confident, and skilled. I plan to build the habits to power my progress—I think I’m good for it.
Thanks for visiting.
2018: No cosmic “it” girl, this. I’m an attorney and I tweet. A lot.
Once dubbed a Cosmic “It” Girl, I think I’m closer to Cosmic “Lucy Ricardo”: Things Work Out But Damned If It Was Anything I Did.
Normal: How normal? Middle-aged mom of four hostages ranging in age from 9–17. I used to homeschool the hostages but rarely cooked for them. Now I never do.
Admitted: I graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in May 2011 and was admitted to the Texas Bar in November 2011. Photo above – first day of law school, August 2008.
Procrastinates: Usually, I am not a procrastinator. I flirt dangerously with making poor decisions solely to not procrastinate. If there’s a decision to be made, I made it yesterday. That sort of thing.
Addicted to fountain Pibb Extra: True story. I have been addicted since 1999. To the fountain part that is. In 1999 I decided that I would rather have 32ozs. of Mr. Pibb (before they screwed the formula up; hate it when good cola goes bad) for dinner than actual food. I think this was the beginning of a habit.
Detail-oriented; saves everything (electronic data really – actual clutter bothers me); you have no idea. Mac’s ability to “save as PDF” is the great enabler.