“I spent three years of my childhood living in central Alaska. During the summer, many of my days and nights involved running through the deep woods. I remember feeling free and fierce. I was always a tiny kid – skinny, with a very soft voice, and a face that made me look younger than I really was. I was the littlest person in my entire extended family. People constantly commented on my size and my voice and this, paired with moving every few years, meant I grew quite shy (which sometimes read as coldness). For a large part of my life I’ve carried the weight of others’ judgements and perceptions of me and at times it has affected how I perceive myself. But when I was in the woods, I felt strong because the wilderness never judged me. It never mattered how big or loud I was. I felt invincible, like I was apart of that majestic space – and it was amazing.
In my adult life, I feel the strongest when I tie into that same feeling I had in the forest and I block out the chatter in my head that is concerned with how others perceive me. When I move forward without questioning myself, that is when I feel the most powerful. Working on the Strength Source Project has made me feel stronger because while I am naturally introverted, I have pushed myself to meet with so many women all over the city. Pushing beyond the perception of seeing myself as small or meek, I feel like I have become apart of something so much bigger — a greater connection with other women – and we are in that wilderness together – and it’s wonderful.”