There is something beautiful that happens when people are telling you their story. It all starts out the same way when we sit down with real people. We get the resume. The party line. The who, what, where and why. The bare bones and the facts. It isn’t until we pick up on the tells that are told and we ask subtle questions that the real people start to go deeper and open up like a flower in the sun. And, that’s when the beauty emerges. But, when we spoke with Karen Walrond, we didn’t do the talking tango. It could be because she is a blogger, published author, photographer, accomplished speaker or just because she leads with love, either way, she is beauty defined.
Karen Walrond – Beauty Defined
Karen Walrond comes from Trinidad. You wouldn’t know that if you were speaking to her, unless she wanted you to, that is, in which case, she will easily slip into her Trinidadian accent like her most favorite jeans. Her father is self-educated with a Masters and a PhD and Karen grew up in a fishing village until she was 11 years old, when she moved to Houston with her family for her father’s job.
Karen Walrond and her family moved out to Kingwood, where she was one of a handful of black kids and was bullied by the teachers when she was in the United States, but she spent most of her time moving back and forth between the US and Trinidad, where she would live with her Grandmother. Moving back and forth was also hard, because Karen never felt as if she could settle in, fit in or have much of a social life.
Karen Walrond ended up with a law degree and living in London when she met her husband. She fell in love and they quickly got married, but circumstances brought them to live in the United States, where they moved to Houston to make their home.
Karen Walrond – Chookooloonks
Karen and her husband are in love. Madly and passionately in love. They have a daughter. They are madly and passionately in love with her too. She is adopted. Not because Karen and her husband couldn’t have kids, but because they decided as a couple that they didn’t want to have children the biological way, but the adopted way. They wanted having a child to be a conscious choice. Do you see how she leads with love?
While she was in the States with her husband, his family was in London, so Karen Walrond started a little weblog called ‘Chookooloonks’. Originally, the blog started out private and as a place where she could share with her InLaws the process she and her husband were going through with the adoption process, but eventually, Karen made Chookooloonks public, which is a term of endearment used for a child in Trinidad, and the site started to gain interest. It seemed that many people were going through the adoption process and were very interested in her experiences.
Karen Walrond – The Beauty of Different
When Karen’s daughter was about two years old, Karen Walrond’s focus changed. She had her little girl and she no longer wanted to write about adoption. She still wrote about life being good and she still cultivated her community, but her focus was keeping her lens in focus behind her camera. She had taught herself photography and she had found a new passion.
The Beauty of Different is the book that Karen Walrond has published and it is beautiful. If you know anyone who feels insecure in their own skin or unsure of who they are, this book is for them. It is empowering and stunning, just like Karen Walrond. Karen embodies the beauty of different. She loves her differences and although it took her a long time, she has learned to embrace them, and it shows in her confidence, her smile, her dress, her actions and the way she carries herself. We want to be Karen Walrond when we grow up.
Karen gives her advice on how and why everyone should embrace differences and lead with love.
You can take your power back by creating your own story, so don’t give that power away. Say that you are going to create your own story. What is different about you is beautiful. For me, the things I struggled with growing up required to fake it till I made it and be vocal and intentional about it, even if I didn’t fully believe it at the very beginning. I believe it now.
There is so much diversity and difference in every other culture, so why can’t you love that in yourself? And why does it matter if you are different? If anything, being different makes you more attractive because you are not afraid to let people see who you are and to see all parts of you.
Karen Walrond is real people and she can lead us in love anytime, because she is beauty defined, from the inside to the outside and back again to the inside.