Episode 30

Episode #28 - Connection Across Time & Shared Connection: An Interview With Kim Herbein

No matter how far time and space disconnects us, it is often surprising how we are brought back to those who had a profound impact and influence in our early years. Today's guest, Kim Herbein, has personally deep connections with our podcast host that will be rehashed after a long hiatus of not being able to connect, and describes what have been some of the biggest struggles in overcoming both personal and professional endeavors, while at the same time, continuing to push forward to build a lasting lifestyle through the conversations with others and learning to be herself again.

Guest Bio

Kim graduated from Oley Valley High School (Pennsylvania) in 2005, and attended college at Oklahoma State University where she majored in Food Science which she graduated in 2009. She started her job in Reading, PA at Dairy Farmers of America picking up where one of her internships left off, and after 6 years in this role, embarked on a journey into pharmaceutical testing in Lancaster, PA. In 2017 she came back to the dairy industry and into her current role as the QA & Compliance coordinator for Berkshire Dairy and Food Products in Wyomissing, PA, a subsidiary of DFA. In herpersonal time I enjoy helping my parents on our farm and watching her nephews play sports. She also have a Blue Heeler pup that keeps her busy. She is married to her husband Chris since 2018, though we've hit a rough patch in our relationship that has led to some separation & therapy through this rough path. Navigating uncharted waters is certainly something that will make or break you.

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Intro/Outro By: Michael Dugan, Podcast Host: Voice4Chefs

Transcript
Intro:

Welcome to the podcast where relationships, confidence, and

Intro:

determination, all converge into an amazing, heartfelt experience.

Intro:

This is Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Welcome back to episode 28 of Speaking From the Heart.

Joshua:

Today we have a very special guest, at least for me, as this is somebody

Joshua:

that I haven't spoken to in over 18 years and was able to connect as

Joshua:

a result of starting this podcast.

Joshua:

Her name is Kim Herbein.

Joshua:

She graduated with me from Oley Valley High School, which is located in Oley,

Joshua:

Pennsylvania, closer to Philadelphia and more specifically Reading, Pennsylvania,

Joshua:

in 2005, and attended college at Oklahoma State University where she majored in

Joshua:

food science and later graduated in 2009.

Joshua:

She started her career in Reading, Pennsylvania with the Dairy Farmers

Joshua:

of America picking up where one of her internships left off, and after

Joshua:

six years in that role, embarked in a journey into the pharmaceutical

Joshua:

testing area of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Joshua:

After 2017, she actually came back to the dairy industry and then became

Joshua:

a quality assurance and compliance coordinator for Berkshire Dairy

Joshua:

and Food Products in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, which is a subsidiary

Joshua:

of the Dairy Farmers of America.

Joshua:

She enjoys helping her parents out on their farm and watching

Joshua:

her nephews play sports.

Joshua:

She also has a blue heeler pup that keeps her busy and she has also been through

Joshua:

some uncharted waters, which we get into with this episode, and I really enjoyed

Joshua:

not only catching up with her, but what I didn't realize is what some of the things

Joshua:

that she's been through and the common threads that interweave together, even

Joshua:

though that we might have been separated as classmates for over half our lives.

Joshua:

With that, let's go to the episode.

Joshua:

All right.

Joshua:

I'm here with Kim Herbein.

Joshua:

Kim, thanks for speaking from the heart with us today.

Kim:

Hi, Josh.

Kim:

It's been a long time, but it's good to reconnect with you.

Joshua:

Now, I'm going to say, full disclosure, for the audience that Kim and

Joshua:

I go back over 18 years because that's the last time I saw her when I walked

Joshua:

across my high school graduation stage, so yes, folks, we are classmates from

Joshua:

way back when, and I have to tell you, Kim, that you now earned the badge of

Joshua:

being the first classmate on Speaking From The Hear, so congratulations.

Joshua:

I have stickers made up.

Joshua:

I will mail one to you because I gave one just recently to another

Joshua:

person that has been on our show showing off their photography.

Kim:

Oh, that's fantastic.

Kim:

I will look forward to that in a mail.

Joshua:

Absolutely.

Joshua:

I have to get them made up first, so we might have to wait quite a while, but

Joshua:

Kim, I let the audience know everything about what you've been doing over the last

Joshua:

several years of your life, and I want to start off with this question because you

Joshua:

and I both grew up on farms, and I feel like that's the biggest passion, even

Joshua:

for me, although I've moved out now, it's been almost 20 years or so since I've

Joshua:

even picked up a pitchfork with my mom.

Joshua:

When you grew up in a farm setting, did you think that you would have a

Joshua:

career that was based around that?

Joshua:

Did you ever think that would be where life would take you?

Joshua:

I'm just curious what that has meant for you, especially as you've gone

Joshua:

down the path since I've last seen you.

Kim:

Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to stay in agriculture.

Kim:

I didn't think I'd be where I'm sitting today, but I definitely, ever since

Kim:

I've been a kid, one of my favorite animals were pigs and cows, and I loved

Kim:

being on the farm with my parents.

Kim:

I loved feeding animals.

Kim:

I loved showing livestock and educating the public at the fairs, being involved

Kim:

in 4-H and FFA, so ever since I was a little kid, I think my first

Kim:

dream was to be a large animal vet.

Kim:

I wanted to take care of cows and make sure that they were all healthy and

Kim:

well cared and kept for and everything, but, as I got older and as I got more

Kim:

in tune with the industry and the different facets of the industry, I

Kim:

definitely evolved, and I feel found my passion in the industry doing QA

Kim:

and compliance and food regulatory, making sure we have a safe food supply

Kim:

for the people of the United States.

Joshua:

Do you see that being a challenge, especially nowadays, because I feel

Joshua:

that having all these regulations when it comes to food and how we process

Joshua:

it and things; it's come a long way.

Joshua:

I know when both, you and I went to college, not the same school, but

Joshua:

different schools, I know I learned a lot about the fact that that industry,

Joshua:

that's been over a century old even longer, has gone through a lot of changes

Joshua:

because product safety was really big.

Joshua:

Have you seen that getting even tighter over the course of your career, and if

Joshua:

so, tell me a little bit about those struggles, because I'm sure that there are

Joshua:

some struggles when you're dealing with compliance and QA, all of those things.

Kim:

Oh yeah.

Kim:

I believe FSMA went into, which is the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Kim:

President Obama put that into office, I believe in 2011, and that really kind

Kim:

of hunkered down on a lot of regulations food manufacturers here in the United

Kim:

States have to adhere to, which came with a lot more paperwork, a lot more

Kim:

traceability, and just a lot more work on everybody's part, so we definitely

Kim:

see a lot more paperwork in the last 10 years in the industry than we ever have

Kim:

before, but it's all for the better.

Kim:

Audit schemes to make sure companies are checking all the boxes to make sure

Kim:

that they have all the parameters in place to have safe, quality food for

Kim:

the next step in the process because some of these manufacturing companies are

Kim:

making ingredients for another company.

Kim:

It's not even going straight to consumer.

Kim:

There's definitely been a lot of hurdles, a lot of challenges,

Kim:

still a lot of challenges.

Kim:

Regulations are still changing with the FDA and the USDA every day,

Kim:

but we're definitely getting there.

Kim:

It's definitely safe for the people, safe for consumers out there, and everything's

Kim:

done with that safety in mind, so I think that we're definitely on the right track

Kim:

with all the changes that we are seeing and the changes that are being made.

Kim:

It's just at what point do we feel we've had enough change?

Joshua:

Speaking of change, I've noticed that you've changed a lot over these

Joshua:

last 18 years when it comes to the different roles that you've had, not

Joshua:

only professionally, but looking at you now and thinking about the last

Joshua:

time I saw you, I've just seen like this big expansion in your own life

Joshua:

when it comes to possibilities, and I'm just curious, why have you jumped

Joshua:

around, because you've been in the pharmaceutical industry for a little bit.

Joshua:

You came back to the dairy industry.

Joshua:

What makes you passionate about this?

Kim:

I started right out of college in the dairy industry.

Kim:

I worked on the manufacturing side for the same company I actually work for now

Kim:

and that was my first job out of college.

Kim:

I actually got that job.

Kim:

I had the internship there the year prior, so I kind of

Kim:

already had my foot in the door.

Kim:

I knew what I was getting into right out of college, and coming out of

Kim:

college, being a broke college student, you kind of just want that security

Kim:

of, "Hey, I have income coming.

Kim:

I'm not going to have to worry about bills.", stuff like that, and I found

Kim:

over the six years I was working in the lab that I really liked lab work.

Kim:

I really liked troubleshooting problems.

Kim:

I have a very, I feel, scientific brain, if you will, so that kind of

Kim:

stuff really just sings to my heart, so equipment and testing and stuff

Kim:

like that, really was my passion.

Kim:

Unfortunately with what the position I had, I was on third shift for six

Kim:

years, not really a whole lot of room for opportunity and growth at that

Kim:

level in the position in a plant.

Kim:

You can only go so far, and I just needed a change.

Kim:

I needed to get off of third shift, I was starting a relationship with someone.

Kim:

I wanted to have some stability there.

Kim:

I didn't want to watch third shift, make another relationship in my life, crumble.

Kim:

I found that's when I jumped to the pharmaceutical industry.

Kim:

I was doing testing there as well.

Kim:

Completely different testing than I was used to.

Kim:

Completely different atmosphere than I was used to, and a big reason

Kim:

for that jump is I wanted to make sure I was where I needed to be.

Kim:

I was questioning if I wanted to be in the science field and just worry

Kim:

about testing or if I was truly wanting to be in the agriculture

Kim:

industry and where I really wanted to be, and I thought I knew that answer.

Kim:

In my head I was like, "Yeah, you grew up in agriculture.

Kim:

You want to stay there", but I felt like I needed to be sure.

Kim:

I had that moment of questioning myself.

Kim:

I didn't last in the pharmaceutical industry very long.

Kim:

It was about three years.

Kim:

it's really stressful over there, I found, and they're a lot more strict

Kim:

and stringent on their testing and when things go wrong and paperwork trails,

Kim:

and not to say the food industry isn't strict about that, but the pharmaceutical

Kim:

industry's a lot more strict.

Joshua:

That's actually surprising to hear because I would've thought

Joshua:

the opposite, so for me to hear this is actually eye-opening.

Kim:

Yeah, they take things very, very seriously over there, and that's

Kim:

not a bad thing, but, it is just a little too stressful for me, and I

Kim:

got to my breaking point early on.

Kim:

I knew pretty quick the pharmaceutical industry was not where I wanted to stay.

Kim:

I was good at what I did.

Kim:

My bosses and stuff sang praise to me for the job I did and everything,

Kim:

but it just wasn't for me, and just by happenstance, this position

Kim:

that I have now was newly created.

Kim:

I work for Dairy Farmers of America, and Berkshire Dairy in Wyomissing Pennsylvania

Kim:

is one of the sales of marketing arms for Dairy Farmers of America, and the

Kim:

office here had been pushing for a QA position and they finally decided,

Kim:

"Okay, it's time to create this position.

Kim:

We're to the point with all the documentation, the paperwork, we need

Kim:

someone to just take the reins and handle this", and I just so happened to see it

Kim:

before they had closed the applications and made a decision on hiring someone,

Kim:

and, they pretty much, without telling me, they hired me on the spot, hired me

Kim:

on the spot, so that made me feel good to kind of walk back into not only an

Kim:

industry, but to a company that I was already familiar with and I already

Kim:

enjoyed working for, so when I did get hired, it was just like coming home.

Kim:

I hit the ground running.

Kim:

I really didn't take much time at all to get my feet wet.

Kim:

You already know the material, you already know the regulations and the

Kim:

documentation and the paperwork and the day-to-day, and I feel like I'm a

Kim:

very strong asset here, and hopefully have a long time and a long career in

Kim:

my position here at DFA in Berkshire.

Joshua:

Are you satisfied now, because you were saying earlier about

Joshua:

having that level of satisfaction and trying to find that, but are

Joshua:

you professionally satisfied?

Joshua:

Are you personally satisfied that all those elements come together

Joshua:

with what you're doing now?

Kim:

I don't think I could be more satisfied right now.

Kim:

DFA is a dairy cooperative.

Kim:

We're the biggest dairy cooperative in the United States currently,

Kim:

and we work for our farmers.

Kim:

Our farmers own our cooperative.

Kim:

We have over 11,000 farmer members, and some of them I know personally because

Kim:

they're right here in Berks County, so for me to sit here and know that the work I'm

Kim:

doing directly impacts and benefits people I know personally outside of work is

Kim:

about as meaningful as it can get for me.

Joshua:

Before we even hit the record button, Kim and I were just catching up

Joshua:

over what the last 18 years have been and how this world has completely changed,

Joshua:

especially since we graduated high school.

Joshua:

Kim, my question to you is, seeing what we have seen over these years since we

Joshua:

walked out of those doors of Oley Valley High School: shout out to all of my alma

Joshua:

maters out there, Kim and I are shouting out to you, wondering, do you feel that

Joshua:

you were prepared when you left school to take on the world and what that has meant,

Joshua:

and you're already shaking your head at me, but I really would love to hear your

Joshua:

verbal response and so do my listeners.

Kim:

No, I don't think I was prepared.

Kim:

Could I have made it on my own if I had to?

Kim:

Yes, I did.

Kim:

I went to school halfway across the country.

Kim:

, I didn't know a single soul when I got there.

Kim:

I feel like I made it.

Kim:

I could handle it, but I wasn't prepared for it.

Kim:

I got to college and I didn't know how to study.

Kim:

High school was a, I don't want to say a cakewalk for me, but I didn't

Kim:

have to put a whole lot of effort into keeping my grades in high school and

Kim:

in college, I was humbled very quickly that this is going to be hard and

Kim:

this you need to take it a little bit more seriously than you ever took your

Kim:

studies before, so for me to struggle like that and have to figure out how

Kim:

to study at the age of 19, 20 years old, that was kind of a shock for me.

Kim:

Just on that aspect alone, I don't think I was ready, and I don't know if

Kim:

things have changed in the public school system since, but things like mortgages

Kim:

and taxes and 401ks and that was all very just confusing the first time I

Kim:

had to deal with any of that as well.

Kim:

You're not taught it, you're not prepared for it, and you just kind of stumble

Kim:

through it and hope whoever's helping you is giving you the best advice possible.

Joshua:

Now I'm going to mention a couple teachers that come to mind, and I think

Joshua:

this is going to be a blast from the past, but as soon as you started saying it, I

Joshua:

started thinking of, "Hmm, I wonder what those teachers were that kind of helped us

Joshua:

a little bit, but maybe not all the way."

Joshua:

I remember Mrs.

Joshua:

Gundrum, I don't know if you ever had her, she was the computer teacher that taught

Joshua:

a lot of different software, but she also did a little bit about personal finances.

Joshua:

Did you have her?

Kim:

No, I didn't, but now I think it might have been beneficial if maybe I had.

Joshua:

Well, Mrs.

Joshua:

Gundrum, if you're still around, I'm hoping you are.

Joshua:

Thank you for allowing me to write a check, because I've been able to write

Joshua:

a check ever since your class for over 20 years, and yes, I know it's a dying

Joshua:

art because we have the PayPal and the CashApp, but I still write a check

Joshua:

because my landlord still likes the paper, but I don't know if you remember Mr.

Joshua:

Wiacek.

Joshua:

I think he did teach a little bit of that too, although he was more on the social

Joshua:

studies side, I remember him being able to provide a lot of that for us too.

Kim:

I had him for economics and he did talk a little bit about investments and

Kim:

things like that, so it made understanding my 401k a little easier, but when

Kim:

you first come out of the gates, some of those terms they throw you during

Kim:

settlement of your mortgage and stuff, you just, it's deer in headlight season.

Joshua:

Mr.

Joshua:

Wiacek, if you're also still around with us, please, next time you should

Joshua:

have taught us more about mortgages, but all kidding aside, Kim, I know

Joshua:

exactly what you mean and I'm just baffled that you took yourself more

Joshua:

than halfway across the country to actually start your career path.

Joshua:

Can you tell us if that was a struggle even getting started too, because I know

Joshua:

you started to go into that a little bit when it came to adjusting with the

Joshua:

academics and not knowing anybody, but was there more to it than just that?

Kim:

Well, I think the struggle for me started when I first just applied because

Kim:

I didn't know where I wanted to go.

Kim:

I was one of the last seniors in our class to actually commit to

Kim:

a college I didn't commit until the end of May, our senior year.

Joshua:

I had no idea about that, because I think I committed in March

Joshua:

or April when I went to Alvernia University; shout out to my alma mater.

Joshua:

Go Golden Wolves.

Kim:

I couldn't make up my mind.

Kim:

That all started back in fall when I applied to schools.

Kim:

My mom hated me because every school had an application fee, and here I was

Kim:

spending all of her money to apply to all these schools, because I couldn't

Kim:

make up my mind where I wanted to go.

Kim:

I had good reason to want to go to each of them, so I narrowed it down

Kim:

to six, and I applied to all six, and I said, "Well, we'll get at least one

Kim:

rejection.", and I had a safe school that I knew I would get into no matter what.

Kim:

That way if I got all the rejections, I knew I was still okay, and then none

Kim:

of them rejected me, so while that was great, it was also really annoying

Kim:

because I had to make a , I was trying to figure out in the first place.

Kim:

So after a lot of heehawing around, a lot of talking about scholarship

Kim:

opportunities at these locations, programs I had to offer, judging teams,

Kim:

just looking at every pro and con, I finally settled on Oklahoma State and

Kim:

committed the end of May, about two weeks, I think, before we graduated.

Kim:

I committed without ever visiting campus.

Kim:

I did not do a single campus visit.

Kim:

I'm probably the only high school senior to never visit school before she commits

Kim:

to it, but, that was also 2004, 2005.

Kim:

It was the age when FaceTime and Zoom weren't available yet.

Kim:

The Internet was not near what it is today, so I kind of went into this

Kim:

all very blind, but, the second week of August, we loaded up and drove out

Kim:

to Stillwater, Oklahoma, and I knew from the minute I got on that campus

Kim:

that it was where I was meant to be.

Joshua:

You were able to go through and you've had this successful career.

Joshua:

Has there been any personal struggles for you, and if so,

Joshua:

how have you overcome them?

Kim:

Yeah.

Kim:

We all have different personal struggles.

Kim:

I was always an angsty teen, I didn't always portray it or show it.

Kim:

I tried to still behave in the public eye, but at home I always, like any teen,

Kim:

we all had the disagreements with our parents and stuff, but most recently

Kim:

I've just hit a very rough patch in my personal relationship and, it's been

Kim:

probably the hardest time of my life up to now to the point where I've actually,

Kim:

it's about a year and a half now, I've been in therapy, working through like

Kim:

just the struggles and how I got here and why I got here, how to make, if

Kim:

not for anything or anyone else, my life better, overcome the struggles

Kim:

and move into the next phase of life.

Joshua:

For my audience, they have heard about my struggles, and Kim,

Joshua:

you've been following me ever since high school too, about what those struggles

Joshua:

are too, and I think you have shared some of that personal connection, and

Joshua:

I will never underestimate the power of having somebody to be able to talk to

Joshua:

about it, especially a therapist that's trained to help you to professionally

Joshua:

process that because they have skills and counseling opportunities to do that.

Joshua:

You said that it's a struggle.

Joshua:

Is it a struggle because it's a lot to process?

Joshua:

Is it because of the uncertainty of where that will take you, because for

Joshua:

me, as I've been going through therapy and working through this therapist that

Joshua:

God bless her for being able to stick with me in my nonsense that I had the

Joshua:

first half of that time where I was lying to myself of, "Oh, I have no problem.

Joshua:

I have no problem.", and realizing that I was telling myself this

Joshua:

fake story that wasn't really true.

Joshua:

Have you felt like it's been a struggle because of the things

Joshua:

that you've had to tackle with it?

Joshua:

Is there anything that you could share with us that might help

Joshua:

bring some insight to this?

Kim:

I think you hit it on the head a little bit.

Kim:

I think the first struggle is accepting that you need help and accepting that

Kim:

you need to talk to somebody who you don't know and doesn't know you or your

Kim:

struggles so they can kind of come in as an outsider and see the truth and help

Kim:

you, you realize it and understand it.

Kim:

I didn't want to seek therapy initially.

Kim:

I figured I could figure this out on my own.

Kim:

I'm Pennsylvania Dutch, so I do have that stubborn gene.

Kim:

Um-

Joshua:

Yes, we all know what that is, and I definitely grew up right up

Joshua:

the road from Kutztown, which is the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Joshua:

For those that are outside of Pennsylvania, you can certainly find out a

Joshua:

lot more if you talk to Kim and I, because we can give you a little taste of it,

Joshua:

but I'm sorry, Kim, I had to share that.

Kim:

No, it's okay.

Kim:

My dad's from Kutztown, so I fully understand.

Kim:

I have that stubborn gene and I didn't need anybody else's help.

Kim:

I could figure this out.

Kim:

This was my problem to deal with, and I was going to deal with it, and I

Kim:

finally got to a point where I just didn't understand my problem anymore.

Kim:

I wasn't even sure if I understood myself anymore.

Kim:

I finally got to a point where I said, "Yes.

Kim:

I need to work on myself and I need help doing it.", I reached out to a

Kim:

therapist and started initially going every week and just explaining the

Kim:

struggles I was dealing with in life and trying to wrap my head around it

Kim:

and, she's amazing, and she makes me question, "Well, why did you do that?

Kim:

Why did you stay in a situation?

Kim:

Why didn't you speak up?

Kim:

Why do you let people walk on you?

Kim:

Where did your backbone go?", and after a little bit, I finally did start to

Kim:

speak up again, and I finally did find my backbone that went on a vacation without

Kim:

me, and eventually it got to a point where I was standing up for myself again.

Kim:

I was saying what needed to be said.

Kim:

I was addressing things differently.

Kim:

One thing I found is I'm an emotional person when it comes

Kim:

to my relationships and I speak, ironically enough, from the heart.

Joshua:

Well, I always like a shout out for speaking from the

Joshua:

heart, so I know how that is.

Joshua:

Thanks for shouting that out.

Kim:

You're welcome.

Kim:

I do wear my heart on my sleeves more often than not.

Kim:

I care more about other people than I care about myself sometimes, and

Kim:

I only want the best for people and I take that too far sometimes.

Kim:

I don't care about myself enough at times, and then I become a pushover, or that's

Kim:

when I get walked on and she's made me see that you can care about yourself, but

Kim:

at the same time, not get to that point; not get to that point where you're used

Kim:

or walked on or overshadowed by other people taking advantage of your kindness.

Kim:

I still go every other week or thereabouts as best I can because I still,

Kim:

I don't believe anyone is ever perfect and while you might not think you need

Kim:

to see a therapist or that life is good right now, I feel like it always benefits

Kim:

to have that person in your corners if you need them, so I have kept up going, things

Kim:

have gotten better but I definitely think it's something that you should always

Kim:

have an option to do if you need to.

Joshua:

I find power in what you say because I would've never thought,

Joshua:

Kim, is somebody that grew up with you for many years before we went our

Joshua:

own separate ways, I would've never thought I would hear 18 years later

Joshua:

saying, "Yeah, I went through that.

Joshua:

That was very tough and I lost a little bit of myself.", and I'm encouraged

Joshua:

to hear that you has started to find those pieces and you continue to work

Joshua:

on that, even outside of therapy.

Joshua:

What are some of the things that you have done to continue to build that

Joshua:

confidence back for yourself, knowing that it was damaged, it was destructive?

Joshua:

How did you do that?

Joshua:

I think my listeners would love to know that because there are healthy ways to

Joshua:

do it and there is also the not healthy ways to do it, and I've seen both and I've

Joshua:

also been part of both in my own life and I've had to separate those things out, so

Joshua:

I'm curious if you could talk about that.

Kim:

Well, I've been lucky to have some of my really best friends and

Kim:

my parents behind me as a support system, so that has really helped.

Kim:

When I just need somebody who isn't my therapist to talk some sense into

Kim:

me sometimes or make me realize, "Hey, you're heading down the wrong

Kim:

direction", or, "Hey, you're doing really good today.", they'll give me

Kim:

positive reinforcement too, and I think people are so quick to point out your

Kim:

flaws and to point out your negatives and where you're making mistakes.

Kim:

You don't have enough people out there telling you, "Hey, you're doing a good

Kim:

job.", or, "you did this, and it's really good to see you do that again.

Kim:

You haven't done that in a long time."

Kim:

I'm really blessed to have a good support system in my corner, but I also like I

Kim:

said, I lost myself for a while and I wasn't doing any of the things I enjoyed.

Kim:

I love to go country line dancing.

Kim:

I love to craft in my spare time, and I love to spend time at the farm with my

Kim:

parents and their, the livestock and I wasn't going to my parents for a while.

Kim:

I hadn't been dancing in years.

Kim:

I just wasn't doing anything for me.

Kim:

I was so focused on doing things for other people, and I'm finally back to that point

Kim:

where I try to go out once or twice a month with friends and go dancing again.

Kim:

I go to my parents at least once a week again.

Kim:

I try to make time every week to do a craft or some kind of hobby that

Kim:

I enjoy, go for a walk with my dog, something that's just for me and

Kim:

makes me feel good and happy, and I really haven't put that time and

Kim:

effort into that in a very long time.

Joshua:

Wow.

Joshua:

I know that I did that to myself too.

Joshua:

I was an avid reader and that helped me get over a lot of my speech impairment

Joshua:

early on, and it still helped me to continue to build this big library

Joshua:

in my brain of all these different philosophies, tolerations of different

Joshua:

thoughts, things of that nature, and I want you to do this for me.

Joshua:

I want you, because obviously we are now double the age of when we were going

Joshua:

through high school, so here we go.

Joshua:

I want you to take the picture of yourself that you were when

Joshua:

you were half your age, okay?

Kim:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

And I want you to now take your other side and look

Joshua:

at what you're doing today.

Joshua:

Did you ever think that you'd be telling your 18 year old,

Joshua:

"Yes, I'm doing this right now.

Joshua:

I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life.

Joshua:

I think that you're going to enjoy what you're doing.", and do you ever think

Joshua:

that would've ever happened, that you would've led yourself down this path of

Joshua:

maybe feeling that way or even some of the things that you've done professionally,

Joshua:

and if so, or if not so tell us why.

Kim:

I don't think I would be; if I were 18 right now, I definitely would

Kim:

not have seen myself where I am now.

Kim:

Back to the stubborn, like when I was 18, this is what I'm going to do and I'm going

Kim:

to climb every mountain to get there, and I was so dead set on, this is where

Kim:

I was going, this is what I was doing, that I didn't really leave a whole lot of

Kim:

room for adjustments and change, and I think once I got to college and I started

Kim:

taking those classes and I really started to understand things that were truly

Kim:

my interests, that's when I was like, "Well, maybe I'll be happier doing that.

Kim:

Let me explore that a little more.", and lo and behold, I did find something I

Kim:

was a lot more passionate about, and it took me a struggle to even understand

Kim:

I needed therapy, let alone to go, so at 18, I never would've imagined I

Kim:

would've, I'd be in this place in my life mentally or anything like that.

Kim:

It's definitely not where I expect it to be, but I'm not

Kim:

sad with where I am either.

Kim:

I'm humbly content where I'm at right now.

Joshua:

That leads me into a very important question I have for

Joshua:

you because there are some people that are not satisfied with that.

Joshua:

They are afraid to take that first step to get self-help, and I started my business

Joshua:

earlier this year with the intention of trying to help people, not only where

Joshua:

they're at, but also get them to that next destination, whether that is through

Joshua:

life coaching, whether that is through professional development, whether it's

Joshua:

through all these different things.

Joshua:

When you see somebody, or you might have hear somebody saying that they're

Joshua:

struggling with making that decision, what would you say is your advice to

Joshua:

them, and it could be even these very people that are listening to this right

Joshua:

now, what's your message to them to help them get across that finish line so that

Joshua:

they are able to change that perspective of, yes, I need to go get help?

Kim:

I think one thing is if you have friends or family that come

Kim:

to you and talk to you about that, don't brush them off.

Kim:

They're coming to you because they're concerned and they care about you.

Kim:

It's not because they're trying to push you to do something or change you.

Kim:

Their is genuine concern there, and you might not want to hear what they

Kim:

have to say, but at least listen.

Kim:

Even if you think about it later, don't just brush them off and tell them

Kim:

you're not interested in what they have to say, but at the same time,

Kim:

self-reflection I think is always helpful.

Kim:

We can always sit down and look at our situations and situations

Kim:

we were in or encountered and look back at them and be like, "Okay, I

Kim:

should have handled this differently.

Kim:

I could have handled this better and realize where our issues are", and then

Kim:

once we figure out what those issues are, decide if we can change them ourselves

Kim:

or if we need help changing them from someone with more experience in those

Kim:

issues, and that's kind of, in some aspects, what led me to gain some of the

Kim:

help I went out and sought it, knowing I'm an emotional person and sometimes

Kim:

I speak before I think things through.

Kim:

I needed to understand, how do I control my emotions?

Kim:

I need to sit down and compile my thoughts and compose myself before I have a

Kim:

heartfelt conversation with somebody so I don't say the wrong thing or I don't

Kim:

speak too emotionally, and my point is clear when I'm trying to get it across.

Joshua:

We're getting closer to the end of our time, and this

Joshua:

has just been really awesome.

Joshua:

It feels like it's a flash from the past catching up with you and getting to see

Joshua:

you because I have to be honest with you, before I hit the record button, I, I'm

Joshua:

going to let the audience know this, Kim, because I think it's really important.

Joshua:

I actually apologized to her because I said I really alienated a lot of

Joshua:

people from high school because of some deep seated hatred that I had

Joshua:

from people that teased me and people that bullied me, so for all those that

Joshua:

are listening to me right now, I'm going to say one thing: ha, I got you.

Joshua:

I did it.

Joshua:

I was successful, and Kim, you could do the same thing, but you know what's

Joshua:

special about you is that you're very humble about it and you're very

Joshua:

persistent in continuing to still push forward even though in these things

Joshua:

that are happening in the background, you're making a career for yourself.

My final question is this:

if you are doing that, if I am stating what my

My final question is this:

opinion is true of you and what I've seen, of what your story has been, what

My final question is this:

would you say is something that has carried you through these last 18 years?

My final question is this:

One value.

My final question is this:

I want you to think about one value that has carried you forward,

My final question is this:

that represents this whole entire nebulous of our conversation, and I

My final question is this:

want you to tell us why that value and how does that apply to us?

My final question is this:

How can we make that apply to us when it comes to either having

My final question is this:

great relationships, whether we're having great confidence, maybe

My final question is this:

being determined to move forward.

My final question is this:

I want you to speak from the heart about this.

My final question is this:

I want you to really share it with us.

My final question is this:

What is it that has gotten you through thick and thin?

Kim:

That's a good question.

Kim:

I think the one thing that just keeps pushing me forward is that we're

Kim:

never, we don't know everything, so-

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

Kim:

I'm constantly yearning to learn more.

Kim:

I'm never a know-it-all.

Kim:

I mean, I'm good at my job and I know my job well, but there's always more to

Kim:

learn and you could, just by listening to people, whether it's their life experience

Kim:

or actual scientific data, they're trying to tell you no matter what the topic,

Kim:

listening to people and understanding people, getting to know them, getting

Kim:

to know their stories, just shooting the breeze with a stranger on the street.

Kim:

You can learn so much from people and not even realize you're learning it,

Kim:

and then you can take some of that and carry it with you through life.

Kim:

Make changes of your life with some of the stories people tell you, so I

Kim:

think that's one thing that always just keeps me going and pushes me forward

Kim:

is knowing that there's so much out there that I don't know that I have

Kim:

the opportunity to learn and know.

Kim:

It just pushes me to seek more, understand people, more, gain friendships, talk

Kim:

to that stranger in the grocery store, even if it's just a casual passing in

Kim:

the chip aisle or something like that.

Kim:

It's just beneficial to put yourself out there and understand

Kim:

the people of the world.

Joshua:

Yeah, you're absolutely right about that, and that's what makes us

Joshua:

so important in this bigger picture that we call the world, because now

Joshua:

we're interconnecting each other with being able to understand what those

Joshua:

viewpoints are, learning a little bit more about what those individuals are

Joshua:

saying, but more importantly, we're creating that value within ourselves to

Joshua:

be able to touch other people's lives.

Joshua:

Kim, I don't know if you really knew this or not, but I held this back and

Joshua:

I really wanted to tell you this, is that I remember a situation in third or

Joshua:

fourth grade that happened to me that I didn't really understand why it happened.

Joshua:

I don't want to really get in particulars with the audience about it

Joshua:

because I'm not quite ready to share it, but lemme put it to you this way.

Joshua:

I don't know if you ever remember me running out of the classroom

Joshua:

or just freaking out all the way back in elementary school.

Joshua:

I know there were certain people that remember that and I remember like a few

Joshua:

people I kind of remember in the back of my brain as being people that really

Joshua:

helped influence me and keep me going and still talk to me, although I was going

Joshua:

through all these things and there these act outs, but you've always been that

Joshua:

consistent person in my life that even though we haven't talked, you've been

Joshua:

there and it's been one of those things of like, "Wow, this is really cool.

Joshua:

I never thought that I would have somebody that I knew since my childhood still

Joshua:

followed me in terms of what I've been doing, what I've been sharing, what I've

Joshua:

been going through as struggles", and I just want to say thank you for doing

Joshua:

that, and I want to thank you for Speaking From The Heart with us today too, with my

Joshua:

audience to share your story and how you have just continued to push the thread

Joshua:

all the way across the country and back and doing what you're doing because you're

Joshua:

doing an important work, and I think that we all are safe because of people like

Joshua:

you, so thank you for being on the show.

Joshua:

Thank you for being you because I really valued our friendship even though we

Joshua:

haven't been really great friends, and I'm part of that problem and I

Joshua:

know that too, but I'm fessing up.

Joshua:

You have inspired me, so thank you for that.

Kim:

Thanks for having me, Josh.

Kim:

I really enjoyed being able to connect with you again, and share

Kim:

my experiences with your viewers.

Joshua:

I want to thank Kim for being part of this show and being able to

Joshua:

reconnect with her made me realize that even with a lot of people that I was

Joshua:

even referring to in the episode, it has those memories that we often think about

Joshua:

when we are connecting with somebody that we haven't seen in a long time, and

Joshua:

it brings back a lot of those passions, those thrills, those excitements, but

Joshua:

for me, what it brought back was pain, anger, and frustration more than anything

Joshua:

else, and I shared that a lot with Kim even before we started the interview

Joshua:

because of the things that I was going through at that time, which she has been

Joshua:

following me for over 18 years since we graduated, and has been able to see

Joshua:

from a distance what that transformation has been in even my own life.

Joshua:

It's interesting to have people come back and see who you have become as a result of

Joshua:

all those things that happen in your life, and it's always an interesting perspective

Joshua:

to receive, and I think for myself, it's really hard to discuss or describe what

Joshua:

that emotion can be when you are going through something of that nature, when

Joshua:

you are reconnecting with somebody.

Joshua:

We often think about the fact that we have people in our

Joshua:

lives that are troublemakers.

Joshua:

They create frustration points for us.

Joshua:

We can always think about ways in which we can avoid them, disconnect from them, but

Joshua:

they always seem to come back at one point or another, whether we like it or not,

Joshua:

and I really think that for our interview, Kim really demonstrated the importance of

Joshua:

figuring out how to keep moving forward despite what all those priorities are

Joshua:

that change in our lives, but to also help us to understand the seriousness

Joshua:

of being able to do that despite all the things that might be occurring, and

Joshua:

there's things that I even learned about Kim in this episode that makes me think

Joshua:

about the opportunities that still exist with even connecting with others that

Joshua:

will eventually be part of this show as a whole, because we're sometimes not even

Joshua:

prepared to even handle some of the things that happen when it comes to change.

Joshua:

Her example of going to the other side of the country after graduating from high

Joshua:

school is a prime example of that, and for her to sit in that and to share how she

Joshua:

struggled with that, to understand that the challenges and the expectations that

Joshua:

we once thought of are no longer there.

Joshua:

There's a whole new identity as a result of all those things that

Joshua:

are happening, and we have to think about what those connections are.

Joshua:

We have to understand that we have the same tools that we usually have.

Joshua:

We can always think that we're going to make it through, that it's okay.

Joshua:

We have all those things available to us, but unfortunately that is not true, and

Joshua:

it happens at every stage of our lives.

Joshua:

I know I've learned that example numerous times.

Joshua:

Thinking about the things that are changing even in my own life right now,

Joshua:

I resonate with those that are going through those examples and even thinking

Joshua:

about what they're trying to do to help themselves get from point A to point B,

Joshua:

which has always been the premise and the foundation of many of our conversations

Joshua:

with the guests that we've had on this show, but it's all about accepting

Joshua:

that you need help, and being able to understand that need of the help so that

Joshua:

you are able to get assistance when it's required, and Kim talked a lot about

Joshua:

that, especially when it came to getting through some of the things, some of the

Joshua:

challenges that are involved with changing jobs, going into a whole new industry,

Joshua:

and being able to just take care of yourself when it really matters the most.

Joshua:

That's why I resonated so much with her about her journey going through

Joshua:

therapy the last few years, that it makes me understand a lot more about

Joshua:

my own therapeutic adventures that, even though I still struggle to this

Joshua:

day as it comes to those sort of thoughts, feelings, emotions, and

Joshua:

connections with others, I know that I'm going to continue to make progress

Joshua:

because it's all about the journey.

Joshua:

It's all about what I'm trying to achieve, because there's

Joshua:

never going to be a destination.

Joshua:

That's what's so beautiful about going on a journey.

Joshua:

Sometimes people get tired during that journey.

Joshua:

They might run out of money.

Joshua:

They might run out of clothes, they might run out of all kinds of

Joshua:

necessities in order to continue that path, and we often have to rest.

Joshua:

We have to think about ways in which we can raise money so that

Joshua:

we can continue on that adventure.

Joshua:

I know that for many of my high school friends, they have even started more

Joshua:

adventures for themselves, which I've been able to follow over the years

Joshua:

since then, and I've always been in awe and of inspiration for them

Joshua:

because of the opportunities that they have created for themselves and what

Joshua:

they are doing for families just like themselves and for others as well.

Joshua:

I love the fact that you have to brush off what others have to say.

Joshua:

It isn't that you have to absorb that, you have to reflect on that.

Joshua:

Composing yourself is something that we often forget about doing, and it's

Joshua:

really tough to do, especially when you have all these thoughts and feelings

Joshua:

about yourself that are often challenging and often difficult to overcome.

Joshua:

We need to be able to move forward when it's really important more than

Joshua:

anything else, but trying to move that big boulder that's in the way oftentimes

Joshua:

leaves us in that same position, and Kim saw that in me for many years,

Joshua:

and I know that she also had to go through a lot of those boulders herself.

Joshua:

She mentioned about the relationship that has been having problems, and I

Joshua:

really respect the fact that even though Kim's having these problems, she's

Joshua:

still finding that source of strength in order to inspire others and even then,

Joshua:

she's continuing to find a path for herself so that she can be able to move

Joshua:

forward in a direction that is needed, where it is really needed the most.

Joshua:

Challenges in itself often mean understanding a vast complexity of

Joshua:

regulations and rules, and she does that for a living, and I respect that because

Joshua:

of her background and what I've been able to know about her for a number of years.

Joshua:

We don't need to have all these rules and regulations remembered in the back

Joshua:

of our brain because we learned those from the experiences that we're able to

Joshua:

enjoy, that we're able to understand.

Joshua:

As one guest formally put it, it's all about understanding the beauty

Joshua:

that's within inside ourselves.

Joshua:

It's understanding that acceptance of creating an opportunity of learning

Joshua:

more about ourselves and getting to understand what's truly important, similar

Joshua:

to what Kim has shared even with us.

Joshua:

I don't know about you, but I know for many of us, we go through a lot of

Joshua:

different adventures in our lives, and whether that takes us halfway across

Joshua:

the country or makes us feel fulfilled, knowing that we're back home and helping

Joshua:

those that we deeply truly care about, including even our parents, our cousins,

Joshua:

our nephews, our siblings, or significant others, no matter who those people are,

Joshua:

no matter where they're at, just know that there is always an opportunity to

Joshua:

help others when that help is required.

Joshua:

You don't have to have all these skills in order to be able to do that, though.

Joshua:

You don't have to carry a shield around, thinking that you have to protect

Joshua:

yourself from every single instance of what has happened, and you know that it

Joshua:

is really important when you are able to see that version of yourself being

Joshua:

able to take care of the multitude of possibilities that exist deep inside.

Joshua:

Kim exemplifies the stories that many of us often have, whether that is going

Joshua:

through some of the highest of the highs with being able to be promoted at work,

Joshua:

being able to get married, or even being able to accomplish that puzzle that

Joshua:

we've been working on with over 5,000 pieces, over the course of several months.

Joshua:

Sometimes though, we are going to be in those downward trends, and that's when

Joshua:

friends count the most, even if you haven't talked to them for over 18 years.

Joshua:

It reminds me so much of the importance of the connection, having those

Joshua:

relationships, the value of what my business is all about, and what the

Joshua:

value of all of our businesses are about, whether they are for revenue generating

Joshua:

purposes, or to have fulfillment in the life that we're leading.

Joshua:

It's not just about all the things that we're trying to accomplish.

Joshua:

It's about that connection.

Joshua:

It's about understanding that we can create that value for ourselves and each

Joshua:

other as the late Jerry Springer had once said, but do we need to change?

Joshua:

Do we always need to be serious?

Joshua:

Do we always need to be prepared?

Joshua:

Sometimes it's just about living life and knowing that you can live life to the

Joshua:

fullest, understanding that you are always on that constant journey of growth, and

Joshua:

if you're able to do that, and if you're able to leave room for adjustments and

Joshua:

change, you can also be successful just like Kim is in all that she's doing and

Joshua:

she's continuing to do, because let's face it, we're all successful human beings.

Joshua:

All it takes is just that first step.

Joshua:

Thanks for listening to episode number 28 of Speaking from the

Joshua:

Heart, and I look forward to hearing from your heart very soon.

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About the Podcast

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About your host

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Joshua Smith

Joshua D. Smith is the Owner and Founder of Your Speaking Voice, a life coaching, business coaching, and public speaking company based in Carlisle, PA. Serving clients across the world, Joshua got his start in personal/professional development and public speaking in April of 2012 through his extensive involvement in an educational non-profit organization called Toastmasters International.

Toastmasters International operates clubs both domestically and internationally that focus on teaching leadership, development, and public speaking skills. Joshua quickly excelled in Toastmasters International and found that he had a passion for leadership and helping others find their confidence and their true "speaking voice". Joshua has held all club officer roles and most District level positions in Toastmasters International and belongs to numerous clubs throughout the organization. Joshua has also been recognized as two-time Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest award the organization bestows for achievement in leadership and communication.

Joshua continues his active role in the community as he serves a Board Member for the Shalom House, an organization located in the Alison Hill section of Harrisburg, PA that provides emergency shelter services to women and children.

Outside of his community involvement, education is something that Joshua has always taken great pride in. His academic achievements include a number of degrees from Alvernia and Shippensburg University. He earned a Bachelor's degree in political science and communications from Alvernia in 2009, a masters of business administration from Alvernia in 2010, and later a masters in public administration from Shippensburg in 2014.

In the professional world, Joshua has held multiple positions with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for over 12 years which includes a variety of data analytics, procurement, budgeting, business process improvement (IT and non-IT), legal compliance, and working with the blind. He has applied his public speaking and development skills in the professional world to tackle numerous public speaking engagements and presentations from all levels of the organization, including executive management.

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