Brutal Truth is a Beautiful Thing Interview with Nina Banks

I have started a little interview process called  "Brutal Truth is a Beautiful Thing."
I'm doing this because I love to get to know the "real" people behind their blogs. I think so many of us are afraid to tell the truth whatever it may be. We want others to like us. We want others to read our blog. We don't want to scare anyone away.

Me included!! 

You can read my itnterview anytime {HERE}  
For the first year I never really shared a lot of personal information because I didn't think people wanted to hear it.I posted my recipes and a few cute pics of the kids and that's it. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, people still want all the fabulous recipes and cute photos but they want to know me. I have gotten the biggest responses from my "on my heart" posts. People want to know you, what makes you you, the person you are. They want to know how you live your life. They don't want a bunch of  nonsense about how fancy your car is and perfect your life is. I think we all want to be able to relate to each other and NONE of us are perfect!!!

Today's Interview: Nina Banks

What's your greatest weakness?
Being defensive. I hate disappointing people, making a mistake, or not living up to some expectation, so I get really defensive. I know I'm not perfect, and so does everyone else. I don't know why, but alwasy get flustered and worked up.

What's your greatest strength?
I'm a lover, through and through. Almost to a fault, I just want to love, hug, and support everyone. Many times this strength has led me to befriend people who only use me, or treat me poorly. I want so badly for everyone around me to be happy, so I often allow myself to be a doormat or not standup for myself simply to keep the peace.
What has emotionally crippled you in your lifetime?
I was 14 and it was my first year of high school. I'd been a dancer all my life and loved it more than I could describe. I had danced at a studio for years, but really wanted to get invovled with the activities at school. Our dance team was down right pathetic and there was basically no way on the face of the planet I was joining cheerleading it was.
I rocked the try-outs, made the team, and for the most part came to love my new sport. We were a serious, competitve team. Major stunts, gymnastics, the works. It wasn't dance, but it certainly was fun, except for my coach.
Screaming and yelling were only the tip of the iceberg with her. Her words had a way of biting you, cutting you to the core. I was young, I looked up to her, and got my heart and confidence smashed into pieces.
We were on our way to cheer camp happily bouncing around the bus chatting with one another. I remember very little about the conversation, or how it got started. All I remember is a bunch of us were sitting around talking to our coach, eating from a tub of red vines, when she proceeded to call me and a few of my teammates out for being "roley polies".
I heard nothing else from that point on, just feeling my cheeks turn bright red with embarassment and shame. The rest of the camp went by in a blur of being over-practiced, not enough sleep, and having our coach play food police at every meal. The rest of the season went on similarly for me, I was called a liar and brat when my knee hurt due to a 3 month long mis-diagnosed torn meniscus, a wuss for needing surgery to correct the problem, and then was stuck in the back of routines like I didn't exist when I was well enough to cheer again.
The worst part of it all, her son was one of my friends, and her daughter only a year younger. I went to a small school, we all knew each other, we were all friends, sort of. I left the team after that year and started a re-vamped dance team. I became competition, and therefore enemy #1. She told other girls to hate me and make fun of me, all while spying on my team, stealing my choreography and songs. I never realized anyone could be so hurtful to someone else, let alone an authority figure to an impressionable child.
As I write this, I realize that I still haven't really come to grips with this hellish year. Part of me is still that scared little 14 year old who was told she was too fat, a liar, not good enough...

(I'm on the O)
What has elated you with joy in your lifetime?
It sounds so cheesy, but being a mom. I've always been a little mommy, loving to babysit and care for all my younger cousins. I was always dying to hold the baby, or play with the little ones. I kinda always knew I was meant to be a momma, but I had no idea how much love and joy this role would bring me. I really feel that I didn't come into my own until I became a mom.

Have much have you evolved since your teenage years? Are you a similar person?
I am, and I'm not all at the same time. As a teenager I was very self-conscious and not confident in myself at all. While I'm far from being in a great place with this, I'm much better than I was.
I spent much time as teenager searching for answers. I visited many churches, attended different services with friends, spent lots of time questioning. Now that I've found my church, my beliefs, and what I stand for, I'm a much more confident and self-assured person.
(me and the hubs at HS graduation)

What's something you don't want to tell us about?
Two words...chub rub. It's so embarassing and annoying when my pants inbetween my thighs, or my tops along my sides pill up from chub rub. Please tell me someone else gets this too!!

When the world is crashing down on you, where do you go?
My couch with a blanket, my little man snuggled up next to me, and "Pride and Prejudice" the Kiera Knightly version playing. I could sit there for days.

Do you have any goals? What are they?
My biggest goal is to get in better shape. I don't really care what size or weight that means, just as long as I feel good. I've been going to kickboxing and eating healthier and while I hate to admit it, I feel better. I want to keep this up and keep improving.
I also want to grow Momma Go Round and reach moms everywhere who are stuck in that horrible frumpy mom rut that I was in. It has done wonders for my self esteem and confidence to try new looks, put effort into how I look most days, and develop my style. Just because we are moms doesn't mean we have to succumb to the frumpy mom look!

Can you honestly say you love what you do?
I CAN!!! I'm blessed beyond measure that I get to be a stay at home mom. Everyone always warned me that the time goes so quickly and they grow so fast, but I never could comprehend it until now. In the blink of an eye LJ went from a little baby to a big boy. I'm so glad that I get to be here for every minute, even the ones I wish I could skip.
Being at home has also allowed me to develop my identity as Nina, not just a mom. I can carve out time for my blog and Etsy shops. These things have helped me define myself more than I ever thought a little blog or hobby could.

Who has been the single most influential person in your lifetime thus far?
My Papa. He always has the right thing to say, stays calm and collected in every situation, and truly has a heart of gold. By technicality he is my step-grandfather, but has never ever, not even once, looked at me as anything less than his little girl. I can only hope that my son will grow up to be half the man my Papa is.

Honestly, we are all striving for something, what is your greatest goal in life? I'm not talking about money!
To build a happy, peaceful, loving family. We are so close and love spending time together now, I want to strive to continue that as LJ and future kids get older. If I can raise my kids to be kind, generous, loving, open, successfully funtioning adults who still love to call mom for a chat and are never ashamed to give me a hug, then I have succeeded.
Name your most defining moment!!!
I had a C-section with LJ so I was pretty much at the mercy of everyone else for the first few days. The first night we were in the hospital, LJ woke up to nurse and his crying woke up my hubby. He got up, handed LJ over to me, and proceeded to go back to sleep. When LJ was done, there was no way to wake up my hubby without waking the baby, and my bed was too far from the phone for me to reach to call a nurse. That first night, LJ and I slept cuddled in bed with him in the crook of my arm, and we have snuggled that same way everyday since. It was at that moment that I realized my purpose and that he would be the great joy of my life.
Are there people in your past that you wish you could make amends with?
Honestly, no. There are people who I no longer speak to and each one is for a reason. I too often let myself be a doormat and if I were to make amends with those people, I feel that I would never be respected. While I will always be nice and cordial, I never wish to be friends again.

What memory will be forever burned in your mind to the point where you can smell the room and feel the energy?
Turning the corner to walk down the aisle with my dad at my wedding. I'm a rather silly person, and all the anxiety and nerves totally got the best of me. I expected to cry at that moment, but my dad knew just what to do. He pulled out his phone and snapped a picture of us just before our cue. That moment totally helped break my nerves and so I could let go, enjoy the moment, and let out the biggest nervous laugh halfway downt the aisle. It was a very "me" moment.
What movie and/or book speaks to you?
Pride and Prejudice. I'm a lost cause as a hopeless romantic. There is nothing I love more than the feeling of being swept off my feet. I know life will never meet the expectations of a movie/book, but a girl can dream can't she?
What is your greatest wish right here and now?
Without a doubt to buy a home. We live in LA and housing prices are more than a little insane. We are working hard and saving as much as we can, so hopefully we can get a place of our own. With a busy body toddler and hopefully more kiddos in our future, we would love a yard for them to run around in, a garage filled with bikes and scooters, and a laundry room filled with muddy jeans from happy kids.

First of all, let me say a HUGE thank you to Nina for taking the time to participate in my series and thank you for your brutal truth Nina; an amazing story!

I can't say I know Nina personally but I have been religiously linking up to her "what I wore" parties on Mondays for months and months. I adore her blog. She has an amazing sense of style; a role model to all mom's out there!!!! Please pop over to her amazing blog Mama go Round and check it out. You will not be disappointed. I promise!!!!

You May read the entire series of "Brutal Truth" Interviews {HERE}
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Anon*RN said...

I loved this interview - you are a caring and beautiful person, Nina!! The picture of you with your son after delivery is incredible..beautiful and a keepsake to treasure. (though your nurse should have made sure your call bell was within reach!!). Stay strong, don't worry about others - you are awesome!

Susan said...

What an inspiration she is! Glad to learn more about this beautiful gal.

Carole Rae said...

wow. I can really relate to her in some aspects...I was never a cheerleader or whatever and I'm not a mom, but i can relate to a lot of what she's saying. Thanks so much, nina, for this truthfully and honest interview. =) said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing the person behind the blog to be real! The websites/blogs are only a small part of our lives and there is just so much more that others don't get to see or know about us, that would surprise them! Personal struggles, challenges, faith, weaknesses. Our blogs are actually a blessed escape sometimes from our reality. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to reach out to so many other bloggers!!!

M. Flynn said...

it's always so nice to read these. I love these interviews you do!

Lindsay said...

LOVE this girl so much!

stephanie said...

what a great post. she's super inspiring!

Peace Love Applesauce- Terri said...

i love nina!!

Jackie said...

love nina!!

Melaina25 said...

Never heard it called the chub rub but I 100% know what you are talking about!


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