Sep/Oct
2016

I Am A Beautiful Rochester Woman: Lindsey Polin's Journey

Written by Elizabeth Harris Photography by Tracey McGuire and Dawn Sanborn
Print
Share

An evening filed with emotion began as Lindsey Polin’s mom, sister, grandma and friends gathered at Zzest to see her photos for the first time. After all were comfortably seated, her mother, Kristen Herring-Asleson, tearfully read aloud the nomination letter she wrote.

A Mother’s Love

I am nominating my daughter, Lindsey Polin, as one of your Beautiful Women. At the tender age of 17, Lindsey was an addict who spent two years of her life in and out of treatment. In 2010, she discovered sobriety, but she also discovered she was pregnant. Out of pure selflessness, at the age of 19, she lovingly created an adoption plan for her firstborn child. That same year, my sister and her husband were given the news that they could not have their own children. Lindsey gave them the first choice to be the adoptive parents, which they excitedly accepted. When Lindsey’s daughter was born, she lovingly kissed her cheeks and handed her to her new parents.

In essence, although she struggled with low self-esteem and confidence, everyone who knew her knew that she was capable of having confidence and self-esteem.  She just had to believe in herself in order for those things to shine through. Yet, when she hurt on the inside, it was evident on the outside whose who saw her self-inflicted scars. 

Throughout the past couple of years, Lindsey has been an administrative assistant, and she does marvelous work. She coordinates events, plans travel, is a team player and doesn’t falter when it comes to her responsibilities. She takes on any project head on. Yet, even when she receives compliments, she still heads home with not an ounce of confidence or feelings of self-worth.  

In August 2014, after a failed relationship, her life spiraled out of control once again.  Her self-worth, confidence and esteem all but disappeared. And then she landed a new job in June, and slowly, she has become a much happier, confident woman. In September 2015, she celebrated one year of sobriety and also got a promotion at work.  

The light is beginning to return to her eyes, and she cares deeply about her job and other people, along with making them happy. Yet, with all this, she still does not see her potential and worth.  

Although Lindsey is a young adult and does not live at home, she does have a younger sister and three younger brothers with whom she is always instilling confidence, love and encouragement them. She never stops telling them how strong, amazing and incredible they are, and takes her role as a big sister very seriously.  

Despite how she has acquired well deserved promotions and new responsibilities at work, she still does not fully see her own self-worth. Despite how her younger siblings look up to her, she still does not have self-confidence in herself. And despite how proud I tell her I am of her, her self-esteem does not rise. She has overcome addictions and demons and so deserves to be shown how beautiful she truly is.

– Kristen Herring-Asleson

Finding Her Beauty

The power of these words radiated throughout the room the evening of Lindsey’s reveal party, much like her beauty radiated on the day of her photo shoot. Lindsey chose to have her photos taken at her grandma’s stunning garden, complete with waterfalls, a hobbit tunnel and a grotto. 

On the day of her photo shoot, Lindsey reminisced and told stories about her family, while walking the winding path with her beloved dog. Animals are a passion of Lindsey’s—in particular, her rescue dog who she says “saved her life.” Lindsey thinks that her love for rescuing animals comes from her mom, who has saved several horses and given them new lives, just like she has done with her dogs. It is those kinds of selfless acts that show Lindsey’s inner beauty. 

The night of her reveal party, Lindsey finally saw that beauty. On her way out the door, she stopped with a smile on her face to say that she really did feel beautiful.

We would like to thank Amber Berry from Aberry hair for providing hair and makeup services for Lindsey and Camy Couture for gifting Lindsey an outfit for her photo shoot. It is through the generosity of our sponsors that we are able to continue this program. 

Elizabeth is a freelance writer.