young woman with long dark hair and brown high boots lying on stomach in grass, head resting on hands below chin

be kind to everyone you meet

We put out a challenge to our Facebook followers to answer our people of barrie ABCs – 26 questions inspired by letters in the alphabet. Here’s what Nicole, a local nurse, had to say.

What Age do you feel inside? I feel a different age every day. When I’m hungry, refuse to go out to dinner any later than 6 p.m. (4 p.m. is prime time to eat on weekends!), I’m 65. When I second guess my career choice or decisions I make because I’m insecure, I’m 15. When I’m playing ‘What time is it Mr. Wolf?’ with my niece and nephew, I’m 8. When I’m commenting on how teenagers these days are so badly behaved (when let’s face it I did many of the same things they are doing like drinking and laughing loudly), I’m 40. My age has become so fluent; it’s how I feel on the inside and the circumstances surrounding my environment and the day.

What’s your Blind spot? When I take off my glasses or take out my contacts. Literally I’m blind – everything is a blur. (she winks)

What TV Character do you wish was real? I’d have to say the entire cast of Friends. And they would be my friends. Witty and supportive.

What’s the most Daring thing you’ve ever done? Move out of my parents’ house. I don’t think I appreciated the little things while I was there. I actually had to plan meals, go grocery shopping and wash dishes. Did you know that those things don’t just magically get done by themselves?

What’s been the most Extraordinary experience of your life? Failure. I lost myself and my way in the world and didn’t understand my own feelings and what they meant. I was profoundly scared, anxious and felt so alone. You don’t realize or become grateful of people in your life and the support that they are able to give you until you hit rock bottom. I’ve have been in that dark place. Most wouldn’t say it is extraordinary – it isn’t. The extraordinary thing is being able to pick up the pieces and put your life back together so you can be present and live as a happier person.

What’s the most Fun you’ve ever had? Laughing. Doesn’t matter with who or where. When I’m laughing, I’m having fun.

What was your most painful Goodbye? The end of high school. Saying goodbye to my friends was the most heart wrenching thing I had done up to that point in my life. I wrote of a few of them letters about the experiences we had together and what they meant to me, thinking I would never see them again. Ironically, most of us still get together today. I miss them if it’s too long in between dinners and get togethers, but a friendship like ours stands the test of time.

What Historical event do you wish you’d been alive to witness? It isn’t an event, but a period. Dinosaurs were, and will always be, fascinating to me. I wish there was a real life Jurassic Park just so I could see the magnificent beasts.

Where do you draw Inspiration from? I draw inspiration from decorating. This runs in my blood. My grandparents and parents were always painting and changing rooms in their homes. I used to rearrange furniture in my room and the livingroom as often as I could as a kid. I’m sure my mom thought I was a pain in the butt because most often I had to change it back. I take pieces and ideas from pictures in magazines, Pinterest or by watching HGTV.

What did your first Job teach you? My first job taught me work ethic. I worked hard for that first minimum wage paycheck. I always tried to finish early and do things the right way. I was taught to be polite even when people are rude to you – you never know what their story is. I also learned to do things the right way and not to take shortcuts. And the most important thing I learned is if someone pisses off a deli person, if you give the bag of meat a squeeze before you hand it to them it causes the meat to stick together. Try getting it apart at home you jerk!

Who do you wish you Kissed but didn’t? I’m not telling that. I wish I just wouldn’t have put so much pressure on kissing a boy. I was so worried about how to do it right that I scared myself into running away rather than embracing it.

What Lyrics sum up your life right now? Lyrics are a powerful thing. I’ve always been moved by the melody of a song or the sounds of the instruments. I don’t think one song can summarize my life right now. I can tell you my all-time favourite song is “Black Balloon” by the Goo Goo Dolls. The guitar sucks me in every time.

What Memory do you turn to in dark times? I think of my dog. I think of how incredible it is to come home every day to someone so excited to see you, it’s almost as if you are meeting for the first time or after a long time apart. It’s the “trot trot trot” down the stairs, tail wagging fiercely and little jumps that make me smile.

What’s the Nicest thing you’ve ever done for someone? Hmmm…I don’t necessarily strive to do a nice thing. I’m not one to plan it out. I think I try to overall be a nice person and, in turn, things come out of that which are “nice”.

What lost Opportunity do you wish you could go back and pursue? I don’t want to go back and change opportunities that I’ve missed. I wouldn’t have been able to learn from my mistakes or meet important people in my life if I went back to change or do anything differently.

What do you believe your life Purpose is? Working on it. Maybe my purpose is finding something that is incredibly and profoundly important. Maybe it’s letting a stranger go first at the stop sign. See? Working on it.

What’s a Question you’re always asked? Why?

What’s the biggest Realization you’ve had over the past year? I need to put myself first sometimes. It may sound selfish, but in order to be the best I can be for others, I first need to take care of myself.

Do you have any Secrets? I’m terrible at keeping secrets. But yes, I have some. Do you know them?

What’s your main Talent? My main talent is knowing song lyrics. I can remember a song fairly quickly and feel like I never really forget it. Not sure where it is stored in my brain since I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast, but I can put on an old CD and sing at the top of my lungs that ol’ Backstreet Boys song.

Have you ever felt Unworthy? Yes. Everyone has self-doubt. I have days I never feel pretty enough, am bad at my job or don’t deserve the boyfriend I have. I think it’s an opportunity to humble myself and be more thankful for the wonderful things that are in my life.

What are your core Values? Belief, love and kindness. Belief it’ll all work out. Love wholeheartedly. Be kind to everyone you meet.

What do you Want right now that you can’t have? A BBQ. I can smell all your good food cooking on the grill…I’m jealous.

If your brain was X-rayed, what would we find weighing on your mind? Work.

When you were Younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a nurse! And I am! Except, I wanted to be in surgery or emerg. I liked the stories my aunt would tell about gunshot wounds and the gore. Now I prefer to help people navigate the health system and work on health prevention.

What fills you with Zeal? What’s zeal? All I know is it rhymes with teal.

Feeling ambitious enough to answer our ABCs? Connect with us at thepeopleofbarrie@gmail.com.