I have decided to take International Women’s Day a step further and celebrate the amazing women who have come in and out of my life all month. These talented and driven ladies have all given me encouragement as I reach for my goals, and I want to honor them and hopefully through their stories touch other women and girls who are trying to follow their own dreams. I present today’s Women of Inspiration featuring Angie Kujala.
Angie is quite modest about what she has been doing lately, which is making a powerful difference in the fight to bring attention to and end domestic violence. Oh yeah, and she is really rad to hang out with.
Please describe who you are and what you do.
My name is Angie Kujala. I am a kind, intelligent strong woman. I’m damn funny too. What I do – my profession is HR for Lone Peak Physical Therapy, but what I do is so much more. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. I do all those things all at once and I do them well. I speak publicly to educate about domestic violence, I speak for women’s rights. I volunteer and I mentor.
When did you decide to pursue your dream? Was there a specific moment or event?
I made a big career change a year ago and it changed my life. I found my inner voice and began to let her speak. I’m still pursuing my dreams which makes life exciting and fun.
What has been the scariest or most difficult part of your journey, and what did you/are you doing to overcome?
Part of my journey, speaking out about domestic violence, has been the most challenging. It was difficult and scary to tell those closest to me that I endured an abusive relationship and I kept it hidden from them. I was scared they’d think less of me or that I’d appear weak. To overcome I did a TedX speech sharing my story that essentially told everyone close to me the story, all at once. I feel comfortable speaking now, there are no more pieces hidden.
What is the best part about what you are doing?
Finding support from those people closest to me. Finding support from strangers. Helping other women see the signs of abuse, helping them get out. Giving a face to the darkness of domestic violence. Speaking is by far the best piece of this journey.
If you could tell all the young women out there questioning themselves one thing, what would it be?
Go with your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right it’s not right. Trust your inner being and never doubt yourself. Stop being so hard on yourself, focus on your strengths and your beauty. You are enough. – that’s more than one but I could list more!
I’m writing because you obviously inspire me, who has inspired you?
I’m inspired by people who seem to have everything stacked against them yet they prevail. They stay true to themselves and continue to love and take care of themselves. I’ve met many women over the last year who have done this, they are my inspiration. I continue to blossom and grow because of them.
Learn more about HAVEN’s End the Silence group against domestic violence HERE.
Angie, have the guts to get up in front of the world and talk about something so personal is truly amazing and I look up to you more than you know.
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