Chinese American from Boston, MA
Karmen is a fierce young professional from Boston, MA and one of the most positive minded people that I have ever met. I caught up with Karmen to learn more about what drives her and her perspectives on personal and physical strength.
“I guess I’ve never really aligned with that whole, ‘you gotta find yourself’. I think centrally I’m pretty whole. I think I’ve grown to be more comfortable in my own skin. Through different social situations through break ups and make ups. I’ve never really felt lost , but I’ve felt extreme cases of loss of self worth but that’s with any teenage girl. But scientifically, the most emotionally engaged type of stage is when you’re a teenage girl and I def experienced that. With acne, gaining weight, and drinking so much in college, I think I’m at a point in my life where I feel the most centered and the most at peace with myself and that just comes with a lot of waves of different experiences to deal with . But I’ve always just welcomed it in a way.”
“I think after the last break up that I had, it was actually the most emotionally distraught and questionable time in my like where I completely lost myself , where I didn’t have a sense of self and was just relying on someone else for my own happiness. And through that , I accepted it for what it is, why I need to feel it, and then why I don’t need to feel it anymore .and then after that it was kind f like an out of body experience that was one phase in my life that I don’t really need to live it anymore. I can only improve myself from there.”
She takes a moment to reflect on her childhood and whether or not that may have influenced her mindset. . .
“I was physically disciplined when I was younger , probably somewhat differently than some other Asian kids. I’m sure some people can relate to feather dusters and what not. I would have to kneel in a corner , you know the traditional way and hold my earlobes… things like that. I mean being in the situation back in the day I almost thought of calling Child Services. I contemplated on calling and I would think about doing it but deep down on the back of my mind, even at a younger age I already knew that it was sort of for the better. I didn’t quite understand it but for some reason I knew it in the back of my mind.”
“I feel like back then, if we were physically disciplined by our parents, we didn’t have anyone to talk to aside from our siblings but now it’s like it can take a turn for the worse I think. You can talk about it with people you don’t even know and they can encourage retaliation towards your parents or something. It can escalate way differently whereas when you’re silently contemplating with yourself , what did I really do wrong? Did I deserve this? Probably not, but it was for good reason and I kind of expected it.”
Today, one of her biggest passions is powerlifting. . .
“Powerlifting is definitely something I got into completely self taught. I didn’t have any friends that I lift with. I just took it on because I felt like it was a good thing to do. I already had felt strong on the inside but to be actually physically strong , I think, is just really rewarding. I think it kind of trickled into the other areas of my life. I don’t have any immediate power on a lot of things in my life, like where my career is going right now because it will take work and time in terms of building that out. But immediately something that I can change about my physical self, is promoting my own fitness. I love being what people expect me not to be, especially with being such a small size Asian girl. People have come up to me to tell me how much they’ve seen me grow and how much I’ve inspired them. I’ve never expected that to happen. This was something that I was doing for myself but just to see his ripple effect that it had on others was kind of rewarding.”
And just before ending the interview, Karmen wants to give young girls this small piece of advice. . .
“Don’t sweat the small things, never be afraid to be yourself and don’t wish for more than you can work for it.”