Rachel Boehm is an award-winning journalist, turned workplace wellness organizer and advocate. Her experiences with school and workplace bullying, fat shaming, disordered eating, perfectionism, and verbal and emotional abuse began at a young age and continued into her late-twenties.
Embracing a survivor’s mindset, Boehm now views her journey as a calling to transform the way individuals and organizations view well-being, the beauty of the human body, metrics of success, and the fragility of time.
Boehm was raised in Austin, Texas. A love for the fine arts, film, and television took her to Southern California for undergraduate studies and to pursue a career in the industry.
A quarter-life crisis fueled by the tumultuous nature of the industry and a realization of society’s flawed definitions of beauty and success, sent her on a multi-year soul-searching quest. She traveled back to Austin, then on to the UAE, Syria, Jordan, Europe, and New York City, before accepting a graduate studies scholarship with American University in Journalism and Public Affairs. Following commencement, she moved to Northern Virginia.
This journey is detailed in her memoir I Am NOT! .
Please tell us about your current release.
I Am NOT! is a memoir and anecdotes chronicling struggles kids, teens, and adults increasingly face today: bullying at school and work, body shaming, disordered eating, perfectionism, stigma, and gender stereotypes. These issues, touched on through a series of vignettes, are set against a coming-of-age and growing-into-oneself journey.
What inspired you to write this book?
I feel strongly that everything happens for a reason. I believe I was given my journey so I could survive it and then share it. My hope is readers will discover that they can be their own hero. They can choose to and have the power to shed labels others have placed upon them and redefine themselves.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I have a few ideas in the works! I’m in a listening and observing phase, while focusing on the launch of I Am NOT! . It is likely the most important work I will ever put forward.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably in high school, when one of my English teachers told me I was good enough to apply to a writing camp at Bryn Mawr. I won’t elaborate because this is a vignette in my book!
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time; writing is one of several side gigs I have. It’s a mode of expression that I fit in when compelled. I fit it in, in the nooks and crannies of my day. When I’m not writing I am working my full-time job in employee wellness, growing my wellness coaching practice and skincare business, working out, hanging with friends, or finding adventures—even simple local ones.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Mostly a singer and actor. I had a photography phase, though!
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Whatever it is you want to be or do, you can. The mere fact that you want to is enough to start.