Sarah: The Strongest Girl I Know

My name is Sarah Wimmer. I am 22 years old and I live in Portland, Oregon with my fiancee, Rhiannon. I am from several different areas, but have spent the majority of my formative years in between Oregon and Washington (with a stint in Northern Idaho for a few years).

What’s one goal you have for the near future? What’s one that you have for the distant future? How do you plan on accomplishing these goals? Well, because I am currently engaged, I plan to get married in about two years from now. My fiancée and I are currently saving up for a wedding in 2014. We started a savings account that is specifically for our wedding fund. After she got a job at Starbucks, she began saving her tips and depositing them into the account at the end of each week. After only a few months, she has saved up over $500 to put toward our wedding! I am hoping that once I get a job, I can do something similar.
For the distant future, I would like to settle down somewhere in the Northwest (hopefully Portland, or somewhere near) and purchase my first home. I would also like to invest in other property that could be fixed up and rented to generate more income. I hope that with some hard work and dedication, my fiancée and I can save enough money to adopt children from overseas and provide them with a better life and more opportunities.

Describe an incredibly difficult experience for you. How did you pull through?
Most of childhood was difficult for me. I came from an abusive household and witnessed things that no one should ever witness. I spent a lot of my pre-teen and teenage years depressed and without hope for happiness. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how attainable happiness could be. It took me realizing my own potential, and taking some major “leaps of faith”. I identified the problem-areas in my life, and worked hard to change them.  It took about the whole of 2010 for me to transform my outlook and attitude toward life.  This enabled me to be more self-confident as well as more decisive and most importantly, happier than I have ever been.

Name one thing that inspires you. Why? I would have to say that art inspires me above all else. To narrow it down, I’m most inspired my music and literature. Music has been a saving grace for me from the time I was quite young. I can remember carrying around my portable CD player everywhere I went; I was constantly listening to the same CD over and over again (the Gorillaz self-titled album). As I got older, I also developed an obsession for books. Today, I can hardly go a week without reading something, and one of my favorite past times is perusing the shelves at some local bookstores. I find that it’s so easy to get lost in books and music. I love coming home from a stressful or busy day and disconnecting myself through a good book or a favorite album. When I was younger, I used to disconnect by drinking alcohol or smoking, but now I realize that it’s much better to sit down with a cup of tea and a good book.

Name someone who’s changed your life dramatically. What did they do to inspire this change, and how have you changed from it? Well, at this point in my life I would have to say that my fiancée has played an extremely influential role in my life. She has helped motivate me to achieve my goals and has made me feel more loved than I have in my entire life. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can see a concrete future with her and I feel optimistic about what life will bring us. I no longer feel depressed or self-conscious, and I wake up every morning ready to take on the day. I also feel more motivated to work harder, because now we have concrete goals that we will accomplish, such as getting married and buying a house.

After your recent travel to Ghana, how has your outlook changed on the world? Do you plan on traveling more? If yes, where? After spending the last half of the year in Ghana, my outlook has definitely changed. I was able to see just how unfair the 3rd world is treated, and how many of the countries were outcomes of poor decisions made by the 1st world. At first, it made me more cynical. I blamed the Western countries for their selfish actions that led to the underdevelopment of the 3rd world. However, I am trying to be more optimistic about this chain of events, as well as doing my part to make a difference in the world. I hope to travel to many more parts of the world. Traveling has been one of the most important things that has happened in my life, and I couldn’t imagine not seeing more the world. I’m not sure exactly where I would like to go next. However, I have been thinking of revisiting Mexico. My fiancée has family there, and I would like to see where they are from. I would also like to visit the Yucatán Peninsula where the ancient Mayan ruins are. 

If you could change the world in one way, what would it be? I find it hard imaging myself changing the world completely, but I am working hard to do my part to influence the small part of the world that I am a part of. If anything, I would hope to influence others to realize not only their own potential, but also the potential of others across the world. I think a lot of people dismiss the intelligence of those in the 3rd world. A lot of people make assumptions that people in developing countries are poor and uneducated, automatically making them unproductive. However, after spending quite a bit of time in Ghana, I realized that those assumptions couldn’t be farther from the truth. I met some of the most dedicated and hardworking people who were determined to do whatever it takes to make a better life for themselves and their families. Everyone in the world has the potential to better their situation, and I think it is imperative that everyone else recognizes that. If we can all remember that, then maybe our world will start to be a better place as more people will be motivated to do their part.

When you were little, what did you want to be “when you grow up?” Do you still have those plans today? If no, what do you want to be now? I wanted to be about 50 different things while I was little. I remember one year wanting to be an archaeologist and the next year I was absolutely certain that I was going to train dolphins at Sea World. I even had different visions than I do now when I started college. I started out as a music major, and now I am majoring in International Development. Even now, though, I am finding myself conflicted with what exactly I want to do. I came to a lot of different conclusions while in Ghana. I became biased toward my major and felt like it wasn’t being taught in the best of light. You can learn as much as you want from a text book, but once you see theories and concepts applied to real life situations, it can be easy to become jaded. And right now, I am unfortunately feeling jaded. But I’ve given more thought into pursuing some sort of writing career. I want to incorporate what I’ve learned in college so far with writing of some sort. I’m not sure exactly what’s in store for me, but I can’t wait to find out!

What was something you had to learn the hard way and why? I think the hardest thing that I have come to realize is that nothing in life is certain – not even the goals you set for yourself. Earlier this year, I was so certain as to what I wanted to do with my life. My major almost defined me as a person. After going to Ghana, however, I realized that as much as I was interested in doing work overseas, I might not be entirely cut out for dedicating my life to it. Realizing that made me step back and evaluate my goals and values and resulted in some major goal shifts. At first, I was scared and didn’t know how to react to such a change in my mindset. Now, however, I am learning to embrace the changes that are taking place and hope to see them to fruition in the coming year.

What’s one last thing you’d like to share with the readers of
Above anything else, I would like everyone to realize that no matter how dark and bleak life may seem, it takes only a little push from inside to bring in the light. It all goes back to that “leap of faith” I mentioned. It doesn’t need to be a literal leap; it could be a change in scenery: a new house, a new town, or a new job. If you feel it strong enough, you will know what you need to do next and eventually, everything will be OK.

Everyone used to tell me that: “Everything will be OK”. I never took it to heart, until the day I realized that everything was actually OK. I thought back over the years and thought, “Well, they were right”. So, if you are feeling unmotivated or depressed just know that everything WILL BE OK! But… it’s not going to come from a mysterious place. It’s not going to hit you like a bolt of lightening. It has to come from within you. You have to know that you’re ready for change and only YOU can implement that change. It’s terrifying. It’s not easy. But the results are well worth the effort you put in.

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