My name is Evelyn Helminen.
I grew up in a tiny town in the Midwestern United States. I’m from a religious and conservative family, and I’m the third oldest of fifteen kids. That doesn’t define me, but it certainly has played a big part in who I am today.
I took my first trip overseas when I was 10 years old, and that opened up my eyes to a big wide world that I hadn’t realized existed. I went back to my bucolic hometown and bustling family life, not to leave the U.S. again until I turned 19 and studied abroad in Australia. A few years later, there was a month-long trip to Europe, and years after that, a 27-month experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia.
As I continued to travel, I also started to discover who I was, away from the norms and expectations of my family and my culture. Instead of blindly following the mandates and customs of the religion I grew up with, I tried to figure out what was best for myself.
It’s a scary journey, to gradually have your eyes opened to new ways of thinking and doing. It’s terrifying and difficult to remain true to yourself when faced with the unyielding pressures of conformity.
But it’s important. And to have a rich and fulfilling life, it’s essential. I’m here to help you in the journey, no matter how tough, to a better life.
Follow along, as I share stories of lessons learned, strategies to assert your independence, questions to challenge your assumptions, and challenges to Be unique. Be authentic. Be yourself.