Katelin Walling, Managing Editor
I grew up in Maine—the Greater Portland-Midcost area—and although I’m new to the New York City area, I’m nothing like the naïve, fresh-faced country girl hopping off the bus dreaming of making it big on Broadway—you know, the one pictured in movies.
Although it may be hard to imagine, I loved being the youngest and only girl in the family. My brothers Graham (left) and Mason (right) looked out for me growing up; I always knew they had my back.
I’m the youngest in a family of five and my parents’ only daughter. My two brothers, 2 and 6 years older than me, were my best friends growing up—I wanted to be just like them and do whatever they did. Thanks to them and Dad, I’m just as much of a tomboy as I am a girly-girl. They’re also why I’m more comfortable socializing with groups of guys than with girls.
I participated in Boy Scout activities, Dad was the troop leader, and I hated Girl Scouts because they never went camping, hiking, or shot BB guns or archery (I have my own compound and recurve bows and was the best shot at Boy Scout Camp!). I went lake fishing in the spring and summer, ice fishing in the winter, hunting in the fall, and camping in all seasons.
Clearly I'm a trendsetter—I was a hipster way before it was the cool thing to do.
While we spent virtually every nice weekend and most of the summer doing the outdoor activities previously mentioned, there was still plenty of time for me to do the typical girly things, like play dress up, pretend house and school, and dolls—my brothers’ G.I. Joes usually kidnapped Barbie and held her for ransom—and paint my nails.
My entire childhood was spent around creative people, which is why I’m obsessed with DIY. When I was really young and Dad was on deployment in the Navy, Mom made things, like wooden wreaths, and sold them at craft fairs, and quilted; both my grandmothers knit and crochet; Dad used to cross-stitch and is a carpenter. We remodeled our entire house over the course of 5 years—I now have the basic working knowledge to do anything from electric and plumbing and framing rooms to hanging drywall and laying wood flooring.
From a very early age, I was so obsessed with motorcycles that I wanted to get my motorcycle license—I still do. Dad even made me and my brothers a rocking Harley instead of a rocking horse.
Growing up in a creative family, I knew I wanted to have a career in a creative field. I was only in eighth grade when I realized my dream of working in publishing—that was the year I fell in love with grammar. I attended the University of Maine, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in music. I participated in marching band and pep band and was in the band service sorority. After graduating, I attended New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute for Book, Magazine, and Digital Publishing.
I would love to have kids someday in the very, very far future. And hopefully, with everything I learn while at NYMetroParents and experiences from my new city life combined with how I was raised, their childhoods will be as interesting and varied as mine was.