My Story

GDF Coaching - My StoryApproximately one year ago, my world as I knew it came tumbling down around me. Everything I thought I knew about myself, my life, and my purpose drastically changed.  A journey I had no idea I had signed up for began.

It was just like any other Saturday. The week prior had been an unusually tough one, as stress builds in a marriage filled with kids, bills and normal pressures of being a 30-something.  I walked into the kitchen to have my then husband look at me, in all seriousness, and ask for a separation.  I was in utter disbelief, thinking he was joking, unable to process the words coming out of his mouth.  He was very sure of this. I had no say, and no time to digest what was about to happen. My first thought was “fight” as I always do, I don’t give up.  I believe there is a solution for everything – and once I make up my mind, I become very determined.  I immediately looked for a counselor, as a heartbroken woman, hoping we could fight for the life I thought we had been building. Twelve years together and 2 beautiful children.  He was not having any of it.  He reluctantly went to 2 sessions and officially quit our life.

It took weeks for me to share any of this with friends or family.  The first couple of months were a complete blur, much I don’t remember due to the debilitating pain.  I was terrified.

Slowly, my new reality began to take shape.  My days were filled trying to wrap my head around what my life was, and was now going to be.  Every day consisted of speaking with my lawyer, desperately trying to hold myself together, and being strong for my children from 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. until they went to bed, and I could just sit, silently sobbing.  I had no clarity, no idea what/how/who was going to be a part of this new life.  Nights were by far the worst, waking up constantly believing this was a nightmare.

I write this now, from a completely different place.  My story begins like a nightmare, but as I sit here in utter gratitude…All is well.   

We often get so wrapped up in life, just going through the motions.  We know we’re not happy, not fulfilled, but continue on; convincing ourselves we’re okay.  I was trying to convince myself I was happy. I wasn’t. I was unable to see that my unhappiness was sitting next to me on the couch, sleeping with me every night, and going to Costco with me every Saturday.  I was so busy taking care of everything, I had no time to evaluate what was really going on.  I’m not saying I was perfect in my marriage by any means, I had opportunities to be a better wife. I knew I would have never left, never walked away no matter how unhappy I was.  Looking back now, everything makes perfect sense, unraveled exactly as it should, and I’m exactly where I’m meant to be.

Over the last few years, I had begun a spiritual journey, looking for deeper meaning.  I guess I didn’t know what I signed up for.  When you commit to this life, you have to be ready for everything the universe is going to bring you, and believe it’s always working out in your favor.  I never believed in coincidence. I knew deep down, no matter what was happening in my life, whether good or bad, it was all part of my journey and growth.

In those first few months, as I unconsciously drifted through my days, I can see now with perfect clarity how I was being guided.  Everything and everyone I had met up until this point in my life was placed perfectly on my path.  It was no “coincidence” that a good attorney friend was able to refer an amazing divorce lawyer who held my hand through the entire process.  When in dire panic, she was a text away…not a common thing to see with attorneys.  That was a gift.  It was no “coincidence” I started working with a very large client, which allowed me to adjust to the changes in my personal life instead of rapidly growing my business.  That was a gift.  It was no “coincidence” my circle of close confidantes dramatically changed.  Acquaintances I had known for years quickly became like sisters. They had already been through what I was currently going through.  That was a gift.  I could go on and on with examples, but you get the point.

I was told this was going to make me much better at what I do as a coach and businesswoman; to relate to my clients and build relationships on a much deeper level.  If I thought I was strong in the past, I had no idea how empowering this experience would be.  How much stronger I am, knowing I can take a hell of a punch and get back up with grace and dignity.  I have no shame, no fear of sharing this with the world because I believe vulnerability and honesty are truly the keys to happiness and success.  It marks courage, something we all need more of, and connects us as human beings.

I now have a new zest for life.  In less than a year, I went from not knowing how I was going to get through the day to waking up excited, and much more present than I’ve ever been.  I feel a dramatic shift in the way I approach every situation, person and emotion.  I am blessed to be doing what I do. I know with utmost certainty I am meant to be a source of guidance, hope and encouragement for others in both their personal and professional lives.

Listen, I know how hard it was to change my story. That’s why I’m so committed to helping others change theirs. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. If you’re ready to change your story, contact me.


Gina DiStefano Fernandez, founder of GDF Coaching, LLC, was established after 15 years combined experience in executive level recruiting and working for one of the largest restaurant corporations in the world.  Gina holds a wealth of knowledge surrounding people development, hiring, leadership training, personal growth and career transition.  For more information, visit her website at www.gdfcoaching.com

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