Get Inspired/ Personal Best
Kristin Booker • August 16, 2012

Daily Reflection: I Just Gotta Be Me

This photo was taken Tuesday night at an event. Do you know WHY I love this photo? Because I’m laughing and I’m happy in it. Oh, and this David Lerner dress is everything. Photo: Anaphoto

When I started this site three years ago, I was still reeling from about a decade of what I would commonly refer to as Living in Hell. I just wrote a bit about this on xoJane as an article about why it’s been a bit traumatic for me to lose the last 20 lbs, but I wanted to delve into a bit more here on FSB so you guys know where I’m coming from.

This is me, four years ago. This was “dressed up” for work. Happy? Nope. Stylish? Not at all. This is when FSB was just an idea for me.

I spent 15 years in a job that I absolutely hated in a career I never wanted. If you had told the 18 year old me that this was the path I would have taken, I would have laughed hysterically and probably given you three fingers in the shape of the letter “W” (for “Whatever”) and walked away. And yet, I would up moving in financial services and human resources after initially going to school for art and design. That led to a long time of trying to manipulate myself so I could best suit the tastes of the people around me.

I spent almost two decades being everyone but myself. I tried really hard to blend into corporate America. I was told to get different hair cuts, not wear flashy jewelry, tone down my eyeliner and other such nonsense. And I did it. And it slowly snuffed out all that artistic instinct. I effectively became a drone, devoid of personality to a large degree.

That inevitably led to me dating the wrong people as well. I dated really dangerous people, I guess in some way to counterbalance that incredibly safe exterior I was honing. Those guys who wear ties and who appear so harmless and normal? Some of them do really scary things when the door closes.

That unfortunately led to violence against me. I’m not happy to report that I was attacked and I’m definitely not thrilled that I was attacked by someone I knew. An ex-boyfriend, actually. I’m also not thrilled to report that the violence and years of trying to be everyone else but myself led me to a nervous breakdown, 26 different cocktails of medication and the weight gain of 100 pounds of fat.

And here I am now. Happy? You betcha. :)

But here I stand, years later and all that’s behind me now. When I say that I understand what it’s really like to lose some weight and overcome obstacles, I’m not kidding. I am free of all of those traps. My mind is my own, my body belongs to me again. These last twenty pounds are all that stands between me and the life I always wanted. But by shedding them, I have to final acknowledge that freedom. The convenience of pointing to all of those things that happened to me will be gone. I have nothing to point to but the future now. It’s scary, but it really feels good.

A recent photo taken for the Timex #WatchForIt. Ah, now see? That looks like me, especially this MAGICAL DKNY dress with leather sleeves. Could you DIE?!? LOVE. Photo: Giafrese

I can’t believe how long I lived without enjoying the joys of a good leather jacket. Honestly, now that I have two I want more. I just rediscovered them and they make me SO happy.

I’ve also realized that this site has been through three years of me having to come into my own, to figure out what I wanted to say and how I wanted to live. I had to not only put myself together again, I had to shed some serious history and figure out who I am. I had to figure out my own life, not just for the sake of this site, but to connect with the person I’d been shoving down so long. I hope you’ll stay with me to see what’s emerged, because the woman I am now is – at least I think – really, really fabulous.

So, I’ve said all of this because I wanted to make sure that the article in xoJane was elaborated on a bit..and that I have nothing to hide. The truth is out there. Sometimes a girl needs a little help. As women, we have to stop hiding those sensitive parts of ourselves so deeply. I just admitted that I had a nervous breakdown, that I had to take medication to get over it, that I was date raped and that I had to figure my life out again.  But look at me now. Even I didn’t know I could be this happy, that I could shine so brightly.

Dear readers, dear friends, don’t hide who you are from anyone. Let’s just put it all out there. We’re fat, we’re thin, we’ve got scars and troubles and some of us don’t love where we came from. But we’re here now, so let’s live it up, shall we? Life is calling. Let’s answer it with our faces pointed toward the future, with a sense of honesty, beauty and a style all our own.



8 Responses to Daily Reflection: I Just Gotta Be Me

  1. Meredith says:

    Beautiful! You are an inspiration, Kristin. Never forget it.

  2. Lesley says:

    My darling Kristen, you are such an inspiration. Your honesty is beautiful.

  3. Sydne says:

    You are such an inspiration for women everywhere. I’m so proud of you and you look INCREDIBLE!!!!

  4. Victoria says:

    You’ve always greeted me with a smile when I saw you at an event. I often found it comforting since some people didn’t think I belonged there. I loved reading this post. And love seeing you so happy. xo

  5. I don’t know you Kristin, but I know of your struggles–I’ve had them too. I was date raped at age 23 by my sisters boss! I’ve gone through 2 marriages, 2 divorces, my weight has gone up and down, I’m still in menopause (it’s NOT fun). I started my blog almost 3 years ago after my last divorce because I wanted something that was ALL mine–that I created and didn’t have to share with anyone.

    I applaud you Kristin, I can you’re happy from your pictures–you radiate it!


  7. Hello
    This was my first visit to your blog, and it really moved me. I am sorry for what you’ve been through but SO glad you’re strong, happy and rocking that beautiful confidence.

  8. Michelle says:

    You are so inspiring! I also spent too many years in corporate America building up a corporation while disintegrating myself. I’m now rebuilding my life as a writer and blogger!

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