First things first, it’s Kirsten.
With an “I-R.”
I point this out for two reasons: 1.) Kirsten and I share a pet peeve of people spelling and/or saying our names incorrectly; and 2.) I totally. spelled. her. name. incorrectly. when we first met (SMH). Yep, outstanding first impression right there, but thank goodness Kirsten is kind and gracious and a wonderful addition to our kooky little team.
So, without further ado!
Kirsten is our newest content writer, and a brilliant one at that.
Growing up, she knew she wanted to be an artist or a writer (or both). She frequently won art and writing contests, participated in art club, and later joined the journalism staff in high school. In college, both undergrad and grad school, she pursued another one of her passions—nutrition—and feels lucky to have built a successful freelance career that combines her love of writing, creating, health, and food. (Be sure to check out her craft book on Amazon!)
So far, Kirsten says the best part about her job at Solutions 8 is being able to connect with other people who appreciate creativity and writing in the same way she does.
“I definitely ‘click’ better with other creatives,” says Kirsten. “So it’s pretty great to work with them, even if I haven’t met them in person. We all just ‘get’ each other.” It’s true; we do. We right-brain folk are pretty awesome. Though, if I’m being honest, the left-brainers on our team are just as awesome.
Being a freelancer, she says the most difficult aspect of her job is staying on top of all the paperwork: invoices, taxes, and all that other stuff we’d rather stick hot pokers in our eyes than deal with. Of course, she must be doing something right, because her tax accountant compliments her every year on her paperwork organization. (Side note: My tax guy does not.)
She’s also a mountain girl who was born in Manhattan.
Kirsten spent the first few years of her life in the Bronx and New Jersey but primarily grew up north of New York City. She told me she always loved being able to commute into the city but just as easily escape into the mountains of the Hudson Valley. Talk about the best of both worlds!
These days she lives in Beacon, which she says is like “a little Brooklyn in the mountains.” From her desk in her apartment, she has a view of beautiful Mount Beacon—the highest peak in the Hudson Highlands mountain range, according to Wikipedia. Isn’t the internet grand?
And speaking of mountains…
Kirsten says her favorite place she’s ever visited is Yosemite National Park. In her words, “From hiking for eight hours to running out of gas at night (in a forest), it was quite the adventure!” She says just thinking about it makes her miss the heck out of the Pacific Northwest.
As for her dream vacation, you’ll notice an underlying theme: Iceland, New Zealand, and Vancouver are among her top choices, but she says as long as there are mountains, local art, and great food, she is 100% down. Kirsten says travel inspires her, even if it’s just to the next town or state over, and her best ideas often come when she’s on the road.
She is definitely one of us.
Then I made the mistake of asking a fellow freelancer what she does when she’s not working.
“When am I not working?” Kirsten joked, but then followed up with, “Just kidding, I’m finally learning how to give myself frequent breaks, which has made all the difference.” She admits you’ll likely find her cooking, baking, or making a craft project—usually home decor, sewing, or embroidery. “I’m almost always making something,” she told me.
Otherwise, you can find her soaking up the beauty of Hudson Valley (especially in the autumn), hanging out with friends at local breweries, or taking a spin/kickboxing class.
When I asked for one of the most influential people in her life, she gave me three.
Kirsten calls them her “girl gang” and says she became close with Ashley, Mackenzie, and Kat when she was living in San Francisco.
“We’re all extremely different from each other,” says Kirsten. “As a result, we influence each other to look outside the box, step out of our comfort zones, and see things in a different light. I’ve had many life situations where my reaction (or decisions) were influenced by conversations with the girls, and it has helped tremendously. These days, two of us are in California and two of us are in New York, but we’re still as close as ever.”
That’s the thing about really, really good friends. Distance just doesn’t seem to matter.
Like a lot of us, Kirsten has a love-hate relationship with social media.
She loves how it connects us to one another and to our favorite authors and creators but worries that it often gets in the way of real life. To prevent the problem in her own life, she keeps her phone out of sight when she is with friends or at an event.
Kirsten also—and I think this is brilliant—uses an old-school alarm clock instead of her phone to help her “get out of bed in the morning without going down a deep, dark hole on Instagram first. This way, when I do have time for social media, I actually browse with intention.”
(Mental note: Buy an old-school alarm clock.)
First three things she’d use the money for if she won the lottery?
- Donate money to organizations she cares about
- Save money for retirement
- Adopt a dog or five
Retirement, acquirement. Adopt ALL the dogs, Kirsten. And welcome to the team!