Member Feature: Jen Moslander

Editor's note: Each month we'll be featuring a member of the illuminate community so that we can all get to know our writers better. We're excited to "meet" all of you and cheer you on with your writing goals. Give a warm welcome to Jen, our featured member this month.

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Who I Am:

I'm a girl that was in nine schools across the Eastern US by the time I made it to ninth grade but I am a loyal Pittsburgh area native. Currently, I live with my husband and two cats in McKeesport. We met in our early twenties when we both worked at Kennywood. The two of us now operate a youth baseball league in the area together. The ages of our players range from 13-18 years old. I find working with this group keeps me entertained, tech-savvy, and amazed by the hearts of teenage boys.

Humanitarian, mentor, and advocate are all words that I would use to describe myself. I enjoy time in a classroom, both teaching and learning, and out in the world connecting with just about every population of people I can. I try to infuse empathy and compassion everywhere I go.

I founded Em Connective in the past year to create a safe space and community for adult women that have experienced disordered behaviors around food, activity, and lifestyle. In the past, I've struggled with Exercise Bulimia Nervosa and can remember a time in my life that I vowed to myself that it would be my secret and no one would ever know about it. Over time, I realized that by me not sharing my stories and experiences about this, I was hiding my true self and keeping silent was isolating me from some of the most intuitive and emotionally intelligent women on the planet.

Professionally, I'm a full-time night shift paramedic and an independent licensed massage therapist. I have worked for companies such as Walt Disney World, CCAC's Public Safety Institute, and Massage Envy.

I relish in a clear night sky on a hot summer night on a blanket in the grass with a nice cold Stongbow Cherry Blossom Cider.


What I Write About:

I set out to write about body image, diet culture, and my experiences with an eating disorder. The things that I find most interesting about these topics is that the more I share my own experiences, the more I connect with other women that have been in similar situations and, even if they don't have an official diagnosis, can relate to many of the same emotions and behaviors that are involved.

I find enjoyment in writing about my observations of personal growth in others. It sparks my curiosity when I notice that someone else is growing from their own unique experiences. I like to explore how those growing pains and joys might impact that person, might impact me, and might impact our environment.

I've also written poetry for as long as I've been alive. Using words as toys has always been amusing.


My Favorite Piece of Writing By Me:

Here is an excerpt from "What I Want to Tell Parents” (click here to read the whole post):

This is something that you can get through with your child.

This is not something that is just a phase.

This is not something to be taken lightly.

This is something that does have reprieve, but not necessarily a cure.

Your kid is going to hide and lie and be secretive and these behaviors are going to drive you crazy. I suggest you seek your own professional help to supplement your own self-care and well-being.


Where You Can Find Me Online:

-My blog: emconnective.com/blog

Mia Sutton