Nicci Brelje used to hate the media. Now she’s one of them as the host of Mixtape Talks which showcases positive news and stories of recovery. She talks with Ladyboss about embracing the nitty gritty, taking care of yourself, and going back to college in her 30’s.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Nicci Brelje, Host of Mixtape Talks. It’s a lifestyle platform that puts positive news right at your fingertips! I have been in the media for 10 years. I started in radio, then film, interned at a life coaching company and a church on the creative/communications team then spent the last 3 years on TV with the local CBS affiliate. I am super passionate about telling stories that matter, inspire and motivate! I have been married 2 years, am a bonus mom to 2 beautiful young ladies and love fitness, overall wellness and adventures.
How did you get involved in your work?
Honestly, I took a leap of faith and went to college at age 32 back in January of 2013 for the first time. I was at a turning point in my life and needed to do something different to get different results. So off I went! It’s never too late to pursue your dreams. In all reality, I never intended on being in journalism or film. I hated the media back in my 20’s mainly because I was ignorant and only focused on the negative stories that scared me. It wasn’t until I got sober that my mindset shifted and realized I had a voice I could use to make a difference. So I pursued a communications degree. I have tattoos so I didn’t think a TV station would hire me. I started as a camera operator then worked my way up to the reporter for the morning show. Now I am using my own platform to share recovery stories and positive news.
Why is mental health so important to you? How has taking care of your mental health improved your life personally or professionally?
I am in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Statistically I should be dead or in an institution. The disease of alcoholism affects so many people, and not only that, so does anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Throughout my life I have struggled with these things but a diagnosis does not define me or my character. I believe wholeheartedly these things can be addressed with action steps, grace and compassion.
I’ve come to believe self-care is a sacred act of service to those around me. Self-care essentially means service work. It’s not selfish. Part of me taking care of my mental health means praying, meditating, staying physically active, working a program of recovery, having a relationship with my higher power, and serving others around me. I have good days and I have learning days. On those learning days I have the opportunity to dig deeper and build character. And in return I share those building blocks with other people.
If I am not actively choosing to take care of my mental health I will be of no use to anyone around me. I know others need to hear what I have to say about my experience so I am compelled to continue to take care of my mental health in order to serve them.
Who inspires you?
Everyone I come in contact with essentially is a spiritual assignment, a teacher if you will. Inspiration comes from these life lessons. The world is a classroom and life is in session. Some of these people inspire me to set boundaries, some inspire me to push harder, some inspire me to choose differently. Overall I find inspiration from everyone around me in the classroom of life.
How do you stay confident?
Knowing who I am, and Whose I AM. Also, consistency creates confidence.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently?
Get in where you fit in.
What do you think women need right now?
Women I interact with want more authentic relationships with other women. The real, unfiltered stuff. Polished, cookie cutter stuff is over. Life isn’t always pretty. Nitty gritty is where it’s at. Let’s get to work and get in the trenches together.