April 18, 2023

More About Multitudes (Episode 10)

Nicole:  Hello, and welcome back to Multitudes, where you can explore a multitude of conversations and new perspectives, to add another layer to your life. And if this is your first time joining the podcast, hello, I'm Nicole and I am so happy that you're here. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I hope you're doing well today.  

As you can see in today's episode, it's going to be a little bit shorter and it's also going to be just me. I have wanted to add an additional way that I can connect with you. And this is going to be the episode where I talk a little bit more about my background, why I started the podcast, and then we’ll wrap up for today.  

A lot of my interview conversations are fairly focused on the guest and their story, and, so I have wanted to provide a space to cover a bit about me. I picked three main themes that I’ll be talking about when providing more about myself. And I picked these three themes as well because I think they are directly connected to conversations I'll be having on the podcast going forward. 

First, identity and belonging, and family. Secondly, religion, spirituality, personal beliefs. And thirdly, I'll wrap up with sharing a bit more about my career, education, and what I’m doing outside of the podcast.

First to start with my identity and my family, which I feel ties very much into the idea of Multitudes.  I am mixed race, black and white. My mother was a white, Jewish, third-generation American from New York City. And my father is a black, Christian from Barbados, and immigrated to the US to New York in the 1970s. 

And my parents met in New York and married and had my older sister and me. And I was born in New York. But then my family relocated to the Midwest, to St. Louis when I was five.  And I spent my childhood really in the Midwest from kindergarten to senior year of high school. 

My family was pretty secular growing up, even though we celebrated various holidays, such as Passover and Easter, Hanukkah, and Christmas. I was really given the freedom to identify as whatever, in terms of religion. Additionally, my family was solidly middle class and I went to a predominantly white and affluent school. And I remember visiting friends in wealthier predominantly white neighborhoods with their fabulous houses. And I felt that my family felt distinctively different from this. 

And growing up in this setting combined with the lack of media representation of people who looked like me, made me acutely aware of feeling other than different, challenging my ability to love and embrace myself while also longing for a sense of confidence around my identity, body, religion and community.

And that experience made me aware of what it means to belong and what it means to have your own autonomy, and owning who you are. And I think that would be evident in the themes of the podcast going forward. Really thinking about belonging, about finding community, about having the autonomy to shape your own experience, about loving yourself, about finding your own self-confidence to really be seeded in who you are. Those are topics that I am passionate about, and we will definitely be having conversations that touch on these themes in the podcast. 

Fast forward, I went to Harvard for college where I studied Social Studies. And I've always been interested in how the world is structured and organized. And understanding the underlying reasons for social justice issues and having an interest in different cultures which I think will also be a strong theme of the podcast. 

Post-college, I spent about five years in the public sector, working in the federal government and a Think tank in Russia and eventually at the UN and peacekeeping operations for a few years in New York. And eventually, I decided that I wanted to switch sectors from the public to the private sector.

I went back to school for an MBA and a master's in International Studies at Wharton and at UPenn in Philadelphia.  And that was also motivated by around that time, my mother died from her battle with cancer, and I had been feeling that I wanted a greater sense of stability in my life. And that I wanted to gain new experiences. And while in business school, I explored a lot of different sectors and I eventually found my way into tech where I'm working now.  And I'm based out of New York City. And I'm currently working at Google, at YouTube specifically. And I'm in an operation strategy and communications type of role. And that is essentially what I'm doing outside of the podcast. 

I'm providing this context also because I know that the theme of the podcast will be strongly around; what is it that you want to do? And if your career feels sub-optimal, how can you think about making it better? And whether that is doing something else, making your current situation better. I am really interested in exploring these themes and these questions. And having wrestled through that with different types of work over the years, and also going to a business-oriented program, I would love to continue having these types of conversations on the podcast.   And that is currently where I'm at now.  

So why did I start the podcast? First, the concept of Multitudes, for me, relates to the idea that human beings are multidimensional and paradoxical in nature. And that we can desire many things and change our realities over the course of our lifetimes and in a most expensive way that we are limitless in our potential outcomes and possibilities. 

Yet, I think those potential outcomes and possibilities can be challenging to imagine if your reality doesn't mirror what you want to create. And whether that be; your circle, the people that you are interacting with on a daily basis, what you see reflected back to you in the physical world. If the conversations that you're having are not reflective of the types of conversations that you want to be having, then I think that podcasts can be a powerful medium to bridge that gap. 

I love consuming podcasts about a wide variety of content. And when I started listening to podcasts, I really felt that it was an integral part of rethinking different aspects of my life; spirituality, health, friendships, relationships, career. And part of my process of figuring out new ways that I wanted to see myself over the years, came through the form of tuning into a podcast episode or finding a new podcast about that. And I felt that these conversations were also mirrors to reflect different realities that I could be interested in creating. 

And it was such a powerful medium that I remember thinking: wouldn’t it be really expensive to have a podcast of my own where I could bring in a wide range of guests that I would be interested in speaking with and provide that for you? Provide a way for you to tune in and listen to a wide range of guests and topics. And I would also love to hear from you about what realities you are wanting to create right now. What conversations you are wanting to listen to right now? And what you want to explore and how you think a podcast can do that. 

You can send me a message via my website, multitudespodcast.com. And on Instagram at Multitudes.podcast. And I will find a way to have conversations to reflect what you are interested in listening to. Because ultimately this podcast is for you and I would love to hear from you.

And I’m really excited to share with you all of the conversations and amazing guests that are going to be on the podcast. We are going to have a conversation about music with Prince’s sound engineer like the Purple Rain Prince. And we are going to have an organization that specializes in mixed identity. We are going to have someone who is a powerful voice in the racial justice space. And also, conversations around spirituality, through reiki, human design, conversations around thinking through your career, thinking through managing what you’re passionate about with your career.

I am really, so looking forward to exploring more themes with you. I'm also adding more takeaways of what I'm personally taking away from these conversations. And you can also find those on Instagram at Multitudes.podcast. 

And if you are enjoying the podcast so far, I would have loved it if you shared an episode that you liked with a friend or share the podcast in general with a friend. And if you feel called to, a rating or review really helps the podcast get discovered. You can do that on Apple with a starred review or written review.  And you can also do that on Spotify with a starred review. 

Thank you so much for listening and we'll be back next week with a new guest episode. And I will see you next time.