PAB Feature: Kami Lingren

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Kami Lingren is a perfectly ambitious woman currently residing in Southern Oregon. In fact, she and her husband just moved there at the beginning of the year! Kami is still soaking up all of the mountains, trees, and the beginning of fall!

She is the owner and operator of a chronic illness blog titled Living Grace. Kami primarily blogs about life with chronic illness, with topics ranging from marriage and relationships in illness, self-care, spirituality & faith, finding community and more. 

Kami describes her blog as a sacred space for her to unpack the harder aspects of life with illness, but also a place where others can feel safe to share honestly too!

When choosing her niche, Kami chose this one because it's what she knows, and what she knows well. She was so encouraged by the posts she'd read from other bloggers that shared their experiences and struggles openly that she wanted to help make a difference for others too!

She explained that there's just something powerful about knowing someone else out there that really "gets it." Kami explored other niche's as well, while she was in the process of finding her voice, but she began to challenge herself with the question "does it feel natural to write this?" So now, she makes a point to ask herself the same question before introducing a new topic on her blog, even if that topic is within her current niche.

Q & A with Kami
Q: Do you think it is good or bad to have dreams you may never accomplish? And why?
A: That’s a good question. It can be a sensitive one in chronic illness, especially considering the dreams that I may never accomplish (or have no idea when) that feel painful. If we’re talking about travel, plans to have a family, healing illness, those are the dreams that are rooted deep and that I long for. Others I can see give me something to reach for, ideas and aspirations that are possibly within reach in the midst of sickness. It can help inspire me, sometimes even bringing to fruition new dreams and goals.

Q: Have you ever been told you were too ambitious?
A: Recently, yes! Haha! I’m in the process of working on opening a digital design shop on Etsy and between that work, some side work, and running my blog I’ve been pushing my sick body hard​. My husband and I have had several conversations about setting some healthy boundaries so I don’t overdo it, which includes setting more realistic - and flexible - goals for myself.

Q: How do you define perfectly ambitious?
A: I would define this as the delicate balance between chasing dreams, embracing your talents, and honoring your limitations/health. The second I start holding myself up to unrealistic standards or other people’s goals/drive, I begin to lose sight of my purpose. So I’m working on that balance I mentioned!

Q: What inspires you?
A: I’m inspired by others’ vulnerability, justice, kindness, and conversations about deeper things - my introverted self struggles with small talk! “Let’s just get to the goods, okay?” ;)

Q: What other perfectly ambitious women do you admire?
A: I really admire the ladies over at More Than Lyme. We share the same disease and their inspirational Instagram and website continually inspire me. In the midst of fighting their own fights with illness, they are reaching for dreams and empowering others in the process.

Q: What is your favorite part about blogging?
A: My favorite part has been the connections and community that has come from sharing my experiences. I’m always so inspired and encouraged when someone comments or sends me an email along the lines of “I needed that today, THANK YOU.” It warms my heart to know I’m making a difference, even in a small way.

Q: What advice would you like to share with others?
A: My advice would be to not be afraid to approach new topics if you’re struggling to find your own voice. It takes time! Those first couple of years of writing posts I was kind of all over the map - but those posts have helped shape my writing style and have played a big role in crafting my authentic voice. I’m sure my voice will continue to evolve as time (and life) go on and that’s a natural part of life and writing. Embrace you!

Q: What music do you like to have playing while you're writing?
A: As much as I enjoy music, my neurological sensitivities to sound have made it a challenge to listen to my faves. When I’m up for it, I like listening to the softer styles of Piano Guys or Ed Sheeran.

Q: What does your blogging process look like?
A: I keep a running list of blog post ideas as well as any inspiration I get from reading other blogs. I have learned that I can't push the writing process. I have to wait for the right moments, otherwise it will feel forced. Reading a lot of other similar blogs and connecting with the stories of others help me get into the right mindset to craft each post.

Q: What are your future goals?
A: My husband, Trevin, and I dream of starting our family, which includes adopting one or more of our children. We have such a heart for giving a home to children who need a family to love them and eagerly await the day we are able to see that dream realized! I also want to travel to Spain with Trev - it’s been a long-time dream of mine! As for my career aspirations, I want to grow my blog into a viable business, which is why I’m working on these other outlets that I can intertwine with the blog. I have plans to offer courses, write books, and help others achieve/craft new dreams in the midst of illness.

Q: What do you want to accomplish?
A: My view of accomplishments has been shifting in illness. Where I still have these dreams to build a manageable online business and continue writing, my sense of accomplishment now comes more from how I live. My priorities, how I treat others, what I value. My hope is that at the end of my life I can feel like I embraced those core things more than material gain/accolade, that I made a difference in some small way.

Fun Facts about Kami
  • Her favorite quote is from Ijeoma Umebinyuo and it is reads, "Healing comes in waves and maybe today the wave hits the rocks and that’s ok, that’s ok, darling you are still healing. You are still healing."
  • Her most recent favorite book is this compilation of Mother Teresa’s private letters.
  • Her favorite movie is Anne of Green Gables!
  • She wants to learn more about the coding side of blogging because she feels like it's such a foreign language to her.
  • She thinks she is horrible at being too hard on herself and respecting the boundaries she sets for herself and her health.
  • Her biggest accomplishment is working hard at her marriage. She and her husband have spent the majority of their marriage with her being very sick and both of them have had to work incredibly hard to communicate and support each other. They are embracing “in it to win it” as their relationship motto!

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