NICOLA

 

Do you feel like you know who you are?

I used to. I was headed down an exciting path. A path that inspired me, motivated me. Then life happened and it changed me. I am a cancer survivor.
This title comes with responsibility, a new identity, and at times an inability to recognize myself. It often feels like life stopped but time kept going. As I jump back into life, as I am now, it can feel unsteady. I know who I wanted to be, I am working to let that go to make room for new.

What does that feel like?

Unstable and emotional, but with glimpses of excitement, newness, and creativity.

Who are you?

A cancer survivor, a daughter, sister, friend, partner, and nutritionist. I am playful, loyal, curious, and forever a work in progress.

What has the journey been so far to connecting to your true self?

A Journey! That’s exactly how I’d describe it. I now think of my life as before cancer, and after cancer. There are threads that carry through both stages, my friends and family, my relationship – though even those have been touched by this. It’s impossible for it not to have when you care for someone. I believe I’ll be connecting to and redefining myself for years to come.
What kinds of things knock you out of alignment to your true self?
I am sensitive to language. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. 
I can be very indecisive and as a result I seek reassurance more than I’d like.

What kinds of things help you feel more your true self?

In the past, I constantly filled my life with noise. Not all negative, but always projecting outward to escape self-reflection. Being extroverted can be a blessing and a curse! I work now to stay in balance. I am learning to slow down, be more still, and listen more. Not to fill every moment but to just be with myself, and have that be ok.

Does your clothing affect how you connect?

For me clothing is an extension of my personality and how I’m feeling on that day. It’s a first impression, a sign of respect or understand of a situation, or a warm hug at the end of the day. It can make you walk a little taller or feel stronger. So ya, clothing affects how I connect, how I want to present myself and be perceived.

About any special items with you in the photo.

While undergoing treatment I spent many nights in the hospital. When you’re sick, this can be a very lonely place. One day between treatments, my mom showed up with the most beautiful blanket she had made. This came with me everywhere I went. In moments when I felt most vulnerable instead of looking down at hospital sheets, IV’s, and countless medications, I was covered with warmth, love, and support. This blanket, to this day, lives on the end of my bed as a gentle reminder that no matter what you go through, you are never alone.
 


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