Meet Kristin: A 32 year old teacher, photographer and mom who lives in Virginia Beach with her hubby Peter, 6 year old daughter Lucy, 4 year old son Tommy, doggy Rambo, and kitties Carina & Tori…at least until next week when they’ll all head to Okinawa, Japan for three years!
What do you love about yourself?
This is a hard question to answer. Modesty turns into self-criticism very easily…it’s hard to love myself. I think I’d have to say my brain. If you don’t feel the nerd oozing off me in the first 30 seconds you’re around me, then you probably haven’t met me. But the advantage to being such a nerd is that the possibilities for life are endless. I firmly believe you can learn anything if you put your mind to it, so I do. I always have a slew of hobbies and I love reading and learning and teaching others what I have learned. I’m a constantly growing person. Being smart gives me a lot of flexibility to adapt to life.
If it were possible for someone to be YOU for a day, what would you want them to experience & understand in order to really ‘get’ who you are?
You know that joke online about how the best way to understand a woman’s mind is to look at an internet browser with 50 tabs open at once? Yeah with me it’s more like 5000 tabs open at once! I need a certain amount of busy and challenge in my life to be happy. I need my family. I need to teach. I need math. I need photography. I need dance. I need books. I need friends. I need games. I need to travel. I need flowers and a garden. I’m the kind of person who needs to keep my mind busy and challenged to be happy.
What is/are your biggest fear(s)? What’s your greatest struggle?
Biggest fear is loss of my loved ones/family.
Biggest struggle is trying to find balance in life. I want to be a perfect mom AND have my career. I want to be a math nerd AND an artist. I want to do a lot of things that contradict each other and if I don’t find that balance I’m not a happy person. Example…I LOVE my job (teaching math) but when it takes over my life I start to resent it. I LOVE my children…but I’m also happy to go into work and have “me” time every day.
What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
I’d hope that I made the world a better place. I hope I’m making an impression on my own children and my students, and that future generations will be my legacy.
What are you most grateful for?
My husband, Peter.
Share a proud moment from your life / accomplishment you’re proud of.
Definitely proud of my babies. Every day they impress me with something new!
What is the best advice you were ever given?
Live in the moment. I try not to dwell on negative feelings. You can’t regret the past, only learn from it. And you can’t obsess/worry about the future, just plan as best as you can and be flexible with how things go. Too many people get swamped in negativity and miss out on life in the process.
If you could speak to a large group of women, what would you say to them?
Love and support each other. Too many women judge and compete with other women. We need to be supporting each other and lifting each other up.
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Well one time I hopped on a plane by myself and went to do a study abroad in China for a month. Not sure if it counts as “crazy” but it was definitely a defining life experience that gave me the courage to later hop on a plane by myself and follow my husband to Japan for four years (without the support of the military initially, although I bullied them into letting me stay).
Share a treasured memory.
One of my favorite things to do as a child was pick “wild flowers” (aka weeds) with my grandmother. My favorites were these delicate little bitty periwinkle flowers called “bluets” that covered her back yard like a carpet for about a week in the spring. I knew she loved flowers so I still made a point to do it as an adult. Then one day we were visiting her and my daughter came in the kitchen with a handful of “wildflowers” (weeds) for my grandma. Melted my heart.