You can find these shoes in…

Westchester County, NY

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They belong to…

I’m 30 years old and work a desk job to make ends meet. But my main passion is writing and Olympic Weightlifting. I’m also married and currently live in Westchester for the time being.

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What it’s like to walk in her shoes for a day…

I wake up extra early to make myself breakfast and talk to myself. I know it sounds crazy, but I take the extra time to make sure my mind and body is situated before I actually begin my day. My husband leaves for work earlier so I get to wish him a good day before he leaves. Afterwards, I say hello and feed my cats (three adopted black cats) then I get dressed to head to my day job. Once my 9-5 is done, I literally run home to get ready to go to Olympic Weightlifting. I seriously cannot wait to go lift because this is the place where I just feel absolutely alive. When my session is done, I come straight home to make dinner for my husband and I. And before I go to bed, I take out my iPhone and put some meditation music on to prep my body to sleep.

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Growing up in her shoes she was…

I was given so many mixed messages when I grew up. From my father, his expectations were for me to be tough. To always make sure that I strive for excellence (especially in sports) and to work hard for the things I want. From my mother, she wanted me to be prettier. She wanted me to wear more dresses, fix my hair, and always tend to the people around me if I wanted to be liked or loved. It’s safe to say that my childhood was just a ball of confusion and my emotions were all over the place. Then when I was in school, I had expectations of being a girl that everyone would like or would think is cool.

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Her biggest challenges day-to-day…

A few years ago, I had a huge identity crisis. I was constantly depressed and was a closeted alcoholic for years (literally closeted as in I would hide beer bottles in my closet so that no one would see). One day I just woke up and realized that I was living my life for other people and I hated it. I hated feeling like being myself wasn’t enough for my family and friends. And I hated how I allowed them to make me believe that I wasn’t worthy of love unless I did things for them. So I basically had to decide: them or me? And for the first time in my life, I chose me. During the process I saw numerous people leave my life, some by choice and some just stopped reaching out. I wasn’t the fun one anymore who went out to drink and who gossiped about other women. This was tough because it meant leaving behind years of relationships and pissing people off – which as a people-pleaser I never liked doing. The process was very rocky at first and I started going to therapy, writing in my journal, and reading as many books as I could grab. I was trying to deprogram my mindset, all the years of putting other people first and always saying yes to things in order to be labeled a good friend/sister/lover/employee/spouse/human. Honestly, I’m still not there yet. But I am way happier and healthier then I was when I first started and that’s what keeps me going. My challenge is to make sure that I check in with myself. I still try to see if my mind is happy and healthy first because if I’m happy, I have the ability to enter my relationships with love and compassion.

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What are the advantages of being a woman in the 21st Century?

I think we’re currently living in a historic time for women. With the MeToo movement and Time’s Up, we’re now seeing women becoming braver and embracing their stories. We’re taking ownership that our society needs an adjustment and through technology, we are able to reach and relate to so many amazing women. Because of the internet I was able to find so many bad-ass female leaders who unknowingly helped me gain my power back.

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Flashbulb memories (s) or what it’s really like to walk in her shoes…

When I was young, probably around 8 years old, I was playing in the backyard and fell down hard. So hard that when I got up, there was a huge scrape all across my leg. My father took me inside the house to disinfect it. Since I knew what was coming, the pain of hydrogen peroxide, I was super hesitant and I didn’t want to clean my scrape. My father sat me down and took out the First Aid kit. He saw the look on my face and the anticipation of pain but he looked at me and said “Be a Marine.” My father, who served 6 years in the Marine Corp, raised my siblings and I with this slogan. Be a Marine, which to him meant be brave. Be tough, be resilient. Sometimes I still hear his voice in my head whenever I’m about to do something that scares me.

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Things you should know if you’re going to walk in her shoes…

Some days I am fully aware that the moment I walk out the door, there’s a target on my forehead. I remember talking to my husband about not having enough time in the day to run outdoors. He suggested that I should jog at night and I immediately said “I can’t do that. Do you know how many women are abducted just by jogging at night?” Women are still struggling to, well, just living their lives. The constant scrutiny or being too thin, too fat, too muscular, too strong, too weak, the list goes on. If you don’t voice your opinion, you’re a push over. If you DO voice your opinion, you’re a bitch. Our very existence is dissected down to labels and ridiculous standards that it can be exhausting.

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Anything else we should know?

Being a woman can feel exhausting, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

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Hey you, can you relate to Kimberly’s story? Do you have a favorite quote or thought? Share it in the comments

How about YOUR shoes?

“This is Kimberly’s story, it is unique, it is hers and it tells you something about being a woman in the 21st century.

If you identify as a woman, your story is just as important. CLICK HERE to get the questions and be part of our story, history and Her-story.”

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