In honor of Thanksgiving and being thankful for the people in our lives, today’s Woman of the Week is my very own aunt Kim. She has defied stereotypes time and time again, and deserves to be recognized for the amazing woman that she is.
My aunt Kim was born in Korea to an American father and Korean mother, and life there was really hard for her as a young child. Since she was “mixed” the other kids made fun of her incessantly, and her mom received much criticism as well. When she was five years old, Kim was adopted by my grandparents. She didn’t even know that she was going to a new home when she boarded the plane, and came to the United States not knowing a single word of English and bringing literally nothing except the clothes on her back. When looking back on those days, Kim remembers giving my grandma money to fly her back home to Korea, and hoarding food from the fridge because she was scared it wouldn’t be there the next day. In kindergarten all of the kids wanted to sit by her and stare, because she looked so much different from all of the other students living in Duluth.
Growing up the youngest of seven kids was really difficult, and Kim didn’t learn to be truly comfortable in her own skin until very recently.
“Like most other women I’ve been self-conscious about my weight, and when I was younger I never liked that I looked different from others. It wasn’t until I turned 50 that I realized ‘who cares? As long as I have my home and I’m happy, that’s all that matters’. Finding my own passion helped me to feel good in my own skin, and to feel proud to be different.”
Kim’s passion that she discovered a few years back was hunting. Since then she has become an excellent hunter, and is one of the few women in hunting competitions each season. She has a passion that’s against most female stereotypes, and I’m so proud of her for finding what makes her happy and doing it.
My aunt is one of the toughest people you’ll ever meet, yet at the same time she has so much compassion for everyone. She is one of the few people I know who doesn’t judge based on outward appearances, and she has the incredible ability to look at people and see their full potential, rather than to focus on mistakes they’ve made in the past. When I’m around her, I’m never worried about saying something that sounds stupid or ridiculous, but instead she makes me feel comfortable with being just the way I am.
As a kindergarten teacher, avid hunter, aunt, mother to three boys, wife to a lumberjack, and coach of the local kids baseball team, my aunt defies all expectations and exemplifies what it means to be confident, kind, and beautiful on the inside and out. Thank you, Kim, for being such an inspiration to me!