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  • Writer's pictureNicola Graham

Would the real Nic Nic please stand up!

"If you could see what I see, you'd be blinded by the colours Yellow, red, and orange, and green, and at least a million others So tie up the bow, take off your coat, and take a look around

'Cause the sky is finally open, the rain and wind stopped blown' But you're stuck out in the same ol' storm again You hold tight to your umbrella, well, darlin' I'm just tryin' to tell ya That there's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head"


Artist: Kacey Musgrave

Album: Golden Hour

Release: 2018


Warning: Todays story children ... is a reflective one!

So … How is it, a woman in her <ahem> late 30s, can feel like she has only just recently discovered the true her?

I think I’m not alone when I say this, but 2020 has definitely been an interesting year so far. And let's face it like most of my fellow cycling, diving, running … oh bloody hell all of my friends, we have had lots of things cancelled and rearranged on us.

I started the year with a growing company including several prospects, 5 sporting events booked, 3 weddings to enjoy, 2 diving trips booked and a partridge on a pear tree.

And … oh those 1st world problems of mine (let us ignore the severity of the lives lost for a moment to discuss my poor existence #sarcasm),

a pandemic started and life … well quietly honestly stopped like a blitz on a quarterback.

Before, my focus was targeted towards how much I could fit into each waking hour, of which I have many hours to fill #insomniac. All of a sudden my social life, hobbies, travels, events, and clients were stripped away … and well I was left aloooone.

Quite honestly I lost my sh*t … Not many things phase me as a human, but as an extreme extrovert, the idea of isolation terrified me. Obviously, I had to apply my own expertise to this and recognise the stages of change resistance I was going through at the time, but it wasn’t without 1 or 2 tears on the way.

I’ve not spoken out before about the condition of my mental health, and I try to avoid stereotypes and clichés’ but I think it is honest for me to say that I have had to actively work hard to keep my mind healthy and focused for many years now. So when a pandemic breaks out and puts additional stresses on those who need certain external distraction and regimes, its fair to say that it hasn’t been without a lot of darkness, and struggles. Especially when your support group including your therapist is in isolation too.

Whilst I want to steer away from the negative of the past months, and I’m definitely not one to ask people to read a depressing blog, MY GAWD guys has it been hard!

And quite frankly I want to express how proud I am of each and every one of us, for getting to where we are and making it to this point … hopefully, this resonates to you … Please keep going strong ... you are worth it!

So … let's skip the middle of this story and not worry about the details, let's just say it was bad. But what the last few weeks has given me is a new clarity of what this journey has meant for me.

(don't be fooled by the cuteness, she makes Predator look like a Disney movie and if I have one more rodent present ... I may just rehome her to Mickey)
Predator has nothing on this one!

You see for years, I’ve actually been filling my time with stuff to do to avoid truly looking at myself and why I am the way I am.

Well, guess what with only Miss Marbs as company for most of the time it's fair to say that I have now had the time to really reflect and ask myself those deep-rooted questions.

Pssst: don't be fooled by the cuteness, she makes Predator look like a Disney movie and if I have one more rodent present ... I may just rehome her to Mickey.

This often comes as a surprise to those who meet me, when I explain to them, how I view myself to the outside world. I over criticise and judge every thing about me, from my physique, to sporting ability, right through to personality traits. I’m guilty like most of us for getting caught up in the superficial and fake media that we are surrounded by. But you know … I’m really quite tired of it now.

I’m fed up of flogging myself. I’m fed up of keeping up with others. I’m fed up with 1000 selfies for the perfect shot. I’m sure as hell fed up with scrutinising my body. And I’m mostly fed up with worrying about what people think of me.

What I do know:

- I’m a great friend, and I am confident that I always lift and remind my friends of how stunningly wonderful they are as beings.

- I’m a great mother who is confident that I always raise the boys to view people as individuals and not to judge them on anything other than the way they treat others.

- I’m a great role model to my team, who is confident that she is giving opportunities and supporting them in their careers.

Screw it I even remember to feed the cat these days 😊

Its time to apply some of this compassion to me. And Just Be Real.

I hope to inspire my gorgeous nieces to be true and value themselves and I hope to demonstrate to those young men of mine the good qualities in people, that they should surround themselves with.

I asked friends to help me change my Instagram name, as I wanted to shift my social media presence to help motivate, encourage healthy lifestyles, promote the positives of fitness, as well as increasing awareness to topics I find passionate. But most of all this is my way to hope I can give you all a true reflection of who I am and how I hope to bring a little energy, laughter and positivity into your lives.

It was encouraging that out of a dozen friends I asked advice from … something that was consistent from them all … was about how real, down to earth I am and non superficial I am.

So … I'd like to introduce you to Naked Nic Nic. A woman with scars, tears, passions, some crazy stories and a lorry load of laughter and smiles.

Keep strong everyone. Here is a personal thank you to all of you who have been there for me and helped me smile during this time. My thoughts to those who have lost people during this time and may we all bloody well be able to go back to normality soon … i.e. Roadhouse nights, music festivals and hugging each other!

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