This week, I am so excited to announce Katie Krimer as June’s Writer of the Week. An “aspiring clinical social worker”, Katie is a young woman who is passionate about psychology and mental health, not to mention one of my best friends! In addition to being a dedicated Graduate Student at NYU, Katie also has quite a way with words. Read her beautiful interview below and stay tuned for her post later on this week!
1) Katie Krimer, “aspiring clinical social worker/therapist”, tell us about your passion for digging around inside of people’s minds? Where did it come from?
I’m not sure it was quite the passion for digging, as it were a passion for listening and providing empathy. I was having a really difficult time in 8th grade. One day I was heartbroken to hear that one of my closest friend’s dad passed away. I had to switch gears, be there for her, provide a comfortable, safe space. It was the first time I realized that being there for other people during difficult moments was more meaningful to me than anything that I was going through. This realization then evolved into a fascination with human behavior and I quickly realized how attuned I was to people’s emotional states. I found myself always wanting to make others happier. Now I’m working on learning how to read minds.
2) What has been the most profound experience you’ve had so far while doing this work?
This question is so overwhelming. I have been so lucky to have had a variety of experiences working with people and they have all impacted me in different ways. If I had to choose, I would say that interning on the children and adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. It reminded me of the fragility of human emotion and of the mind, but also inspired me to have faith that both could be strengthened to build a life worth living.
3) Can you share with us the people, places, or things that inspire you the most?
I always feel like this question has the capacity to swallow me whole. There’s just too much. Nature, nature, nature. I’m such a poor sap that my breath can be taken away by a too-perfect breeze or a mountainous backdrop. I’m inspired by people in general–especially those who are inspired, motivated, moving, doing, and living. I’m inspired by those who make me feel inspired–I like to say that these are ones who breathe in and out the same way that I do. I’m inspired by people who set goals and who are ambitious enough to strive for them and then fail and then try again. I love people with unique interests, people who take the time to learn a new language, people who choose happiness and people who love deeply. People with passion and people who make me love and see things differently. I haven’t travelled enough yet, but every new place I envision visiting inspires me. Not just the monuments everyone expects you to see, but the graffiti on the side streets and the vast greenery and quaintness of the French country-side and the remnants of concentration camps in Poland and the little stand on the side of a dirt road selling sheep wool on the trip from Colorado into Wyoming. I love places that scream of history and places that whisper “no one has stepped foot here.” I can go on forever.
4) You’re originally from Russia, do you think you would have still pursued this line of work had you not moved to the States?
Every single year, on August 16th, we get together for my grandfather’s birthday. Every year, my dad and my aunt thank him for bringing us to this country. All I know is that our life was changed for the better when we came here. Regardless of the rich culture and family roots, Russia is a difficult place to live in. The concept of psychology is rather foreign and misunderstood there and I think I would have probably grown up believing and knowing and thinking different things. The cultural gap is just too great. But I’d like to think that if it were still me, I would still have developed the same inherent capacity for emotion and empathy as I had here in the United States. I don’t know what makes me say this, but I feel it was always my destiny (or whatever you want to call it) to end up somewhere else.
Either an absolutely overwhelming scene of nature or the sight of the person you’re in love with walking into the room.
Fresh berries and fruit at the beach on a hot day.
Hands running through hair.
Water–splashing up against rocks, washing over sand, playing with the wind.
The scent of a shirt worn to a campfire or to the beach.