Nina

I found strength from learning how to be completely alone and take a leap of faith to find myself. As a child I grew up in a happy home full of creative artists with full encouragement to follow my dreams, which is what most people dream of, and I am grateful for that experience. But then life happens, once you break out of that bubble and you go out into the real world. Everyone is not your best friend, everyone is not your cheerleader.

I lived in Manhattan after acting conservatory training and felt very idealistic about a career in theatre.  I started working in a clothing boutique as my part time job and developed a real love for personal styling and closet editing- I loved helping people realize their most confident self, meanwhile I had no idea I needed my own advice! In hind sight, all my focus on other people took the focus off of myself.

Struggling with an “all or nothing” approach to life, I started to experience the highs and lows of my acting career. If I was working on a play or show it was early to bed, clean diet, tracking my calories earned by how many fitness classes I could complete or how many miles clocked on the treadmill. Confidence through the roof.
When rejection came in, I felt like working out and strict schedule was so boring! I felt like I had nothing to offer, and had to hide.

So work would be my day job and partying would be my “performance”. A false sense of confidence came from being in the scene, what I was wearing who I was with and where we got in. Out I went. And I mean, I went OUT.
Dinner to the bar, bar to the club, club to after hours.
No counting the drinks and cigarettes and anything that happened after that was a blur. Life’s a party. Until it’s not.

A string of codependent relationships took up most of my time, once again doting on my difficult boyfriends took the focus off of my own career. I could worry about their life instead! Until one day I read a quote “never make anyone a priority, when you are just an option”.

It hit home. Hard.
I took a leap and moved far out of my comfort zone across the country and it proved to provide me with just the right amount of soul searching and life held up a huge mirror and I did not like my reflection.

After the initial surface level fun, I dug deeper and took a completely sober turn.
I am not an alcoholic.
I am not a drug addict.
I was co dependent.

With everyone, and everything.

My alone time and sobering period consisted on completely removing myself for months away and out of my every day lifestyle and surroundings- “cutting the cord” with toxic relationships and toxic vices.
I quit smoking
I quit drinking
I quit soda
I quit fast food
I quit staying out late
I quit making long term plans with anyone for anything
I put myself first
I rescued my puppy Nick

 

Difficult? Yes.
Rewarding? Absolutely

For the first time at 34 years old
I made my own decisions, did not seek others for advice.
My vision was clear on goals and what I could attain if I kept my focus on just me.
It did not feel selfish, it felt mature.
I no longer needed my friends to be babysitters.
I was focused
I was responsible
I was healthy
I was clear headed
I knew what I wanted.
I was finally ME.

A real vehicle for this new found strength and confidence was physical fitness. Signing up for personal training, group classes and adhering to goals and a schedule that I could accomplish one day at a time. So I made it my job.
I found my calling, helping others change.