Each month, we feature interviews and stories from successful women from all over Canada. These women have taken the time to look back on their younger
years and share their memories, lessons and strategies for sparkling to the maximum. We hope her words comfort and inspire you. Just remember, if she can do it, so can you.
This months Sparkle Spotlight is…. Nicolle Hodges!
Nicolle “Double L” is constantly teetering between reporting on events, entertainment, and news stories relevant to the community. As a multi-dimensional freelance journalist and host in Vancouver, she can’t imagine going a single day without learning something new or taking a nap. Half social butterfly and half hermit, you can often find her dwelling in coffee shops with a steady WiFi signal and a killer drip coffee. She currently works for Novus TV, CTV Vancouver, VancityBuzz, MONTECristo, and Black Press, among many others. The longest word she knows is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.
Can you remember how you felt about yourself when you were a preteen/young teenager?
My home life was pretty tumultuous. My parent’s divorce was messy and my mom was always angry. Going to school and basketball practice every day was my only sense of stability. I didn’t let what happened at home bring me down or impact how I felt about myself. Ultimately, I found strength in deciding to push through the adversity. I had pretty high self-esteem because my friends were accepting, my basketball coaches pushed me to be better, my teachers always encouraged me to keep writing, and my brothers and I created a bond that got us through the hard times at home. It was important for me to nurture those positive relationships, even if I wasn’t completely aware at the time that I was doing it. Of course I had days when I felt down, but I knew that if I had respect for myself and kept putting love out into the world, I would get it back.
What were the biggest challenges you faced at that age?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during that time was trying to maneuver my home life without it impacting my schoolwork or self-esteem. I felt like my home was a battleground, and I often stayed at a friend’s house for long periods of time, even weeks, just so I could feel relaxed. I found power in words. Writing helped me sort through and make sense of all the feelings I had, and public speaking helped me feel heard; like what I said mattered. Finding people and places that grounded me when the whole world felt upside down saved me from going crazy or giving up.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Nothing. I was meant to go through life as it was, the same way I am now. I was able to seek out other people’s opinions if I chose, but if I went back now and tried to tell teenage-me not to drink so much on weekends because it might lead to heartbreak, I would have laughed and probably drank more. I was meant to learn those tough lessons, I was meant to rebel, or get angry and skip class sometimes, and I was meant to stumble through the dark until I found a version of myself to hold onto. Without those lessons, I wouldn’t be who I am. I felt deep down that I was guided by something that at least kept me afloat, but nothing more, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
What is your sparkle tip?
Trust the timing of your life.
Photo cred: John Yoo