I can still remember the feeling of walking down the halls of my junior high like it was yesterday.
I remember the whispers, the laughs, and the gossip. As a 12-year-old, I had no idea how cruel the world could be. What was wrong with me?
Why wasn’t being myself “good enough?”
As I got older, I found solace in all things beautiful- and discovered fashion.
Clothes were a mask to shield me from the mean girls and the bullying. I did my best to feel good, even when I didn’t feel content on the inside.
When I was a senior in college I decided I needed to move to New York City. This seemed like the solution- to live in a place where I could blend in with the crowd.
I took a few detours along the way- I got engaged, called off my wedding, moved to San Francisco, and spent two years living back in my hometown, where I created my personal style blog, “K on the Bay.” I represented brands from around the globe, and documented my daily outfits while showing the beauty of Traverse City as a backdrop.
In 2014, I finally did move to New York. Instead of my fashion career taking off like I had hoped, my alcoholism took over.
I felt empty inside. I may have had the clothes, the dating life, and the Upper West Side apartment, but I was still lost, confused, and unsure of my purpose. I had everything I thought I wanted; but what I hadn’t discovered was the best journey of all:
The journey of looking within myself.
I left NYC in 2016 and later moved to Boston, where the name “Mindful in Style” popped into my head. I started a blog of the same name six days later and began writing about my day-to-day experiences. From being a shameless bachelorette to spending Christmas alone with a cat, I was no longer afraid to be vulnerable and share what was really going on with me.
I had no idea how much of an impact this would make on both myself and others.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”-Brené Brown
This past October, I moved back to my hometown of Traverse City- a place I once feared. I realized it wasn’t where I was in the world, but how I felt on the inside that made all the difference. Not only did I stop running, but I realized how loved I was for simply being myself.
After 12 years of self-discovery, I am no longer afraid to face other people, but more importantly, myself. I am proud of the woman I am, and the twists and turns that my path of life has taken. The pages in our story may sometimes be messy, but they’re ours.