September 21, 2010

Interview - Nicole Krout (Part I)

Nicky Krout lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and works nearby as an art teacher. She is 30 years old, grew up in Pennsylvania, has 4 siblings, and earned a Masters of Art & Teaching in Visual Arts from Tufts University. Nicky is a loving, bright and wonderful person. She’s also my best friend. It brought tears to my eyes more than once in our interview to hear her stories of overcoming and making the most of her time in life. She has been an incredible example of love for many people, which is why we chose to start off our regular feature of interviews with single women with her. Thank you, Nicky! Love you!
Since the time you agreed to be the first interview for our blog you’ve gotten engaged! So happy for you. When you look back on the past few years of being single what do you think you will view as the best part? Funny you should ask. I was just writing in my journal about this recently. In my journal I always put a big “R” next to things that are revelation. I had the illumination, as I was writing, that if I were married now I would have missed out on slumber parties at my sister’s spent laughing and laughing, staying up late watching movies, being with my nephews and nieces, traveling. I’ve gotten to know people, family, in ways I wouldn’t have if I were married. People have taken me under their wings in ways that they wouldn’t have otherwise. I guess the best example would be, my sister Missy always gets me these sweet presents at Christmas. She’s tells me – don’t tell anyone about this present, but you’re like our daughter – on their own people take me in. I just know I’ve gotten to know a lot of people in intimate ways that I wouldn’t have if I were married. These moments are priceless to me.

What are you most glad you did in this period of your life? 1. Served a mission [Texas, San Antonio Mission]. 2. Education. 3. Going to the Dominican Republic on a service trip. I’m glad I took opportunities like that.

You went to the Seychelles off of Madagascar this summer. Can you talk a little about that experience? I went to the Seychelles with Global Vision International (GBI) for 6 weeks this summer. I collected data for Seychelles marine conservation.

How did you find out about the opportunity? The ocean has always been a theme in my life and a part of my personal mission. I was searching the Internet for volunteer scuba opportunities because I needed to be in the ocean for an extended period of time. I had to go. The moment I found out about it I lived for it, it was in the middle of a really bad year. It sustained me through the end of a really bad year. It absolutely carried me, I knew my expectations would be met and they were exceeded.

It must have been expensive to go on this trip as a volunteer. How did you afford it as a teacher not long out of graduate school? Many people generously donated and I put every penny I could towards it. There was a moment when it came down to paying certain bills or going on this trip. I called my sister and she asked me, 'how would you feel if you didn’t go?' I started sobbing! And decided to put every penny towards it. I was really living on that at the time.

Any hesitancy about going so far away? No, not at all. I think this kind of life-changing experience is so worth it. I had 2 difficult days while in the Seychelles. One day everything was just going totally wrong. On top of a lot of other things adding up, I messed up on my dive that day really badly. I was so upset. It hit me that this experience was one of the only things in my life I was really doing my absolute best. And that one of the reasons I don’t often give my best is so I won’t hurt that bad if I mess up. I went to the instructor, who knew I was upset and told her my feelings. She was so supportive and really positive. She said, 'I don’t want you to feel inadequate'. The next day the instructor had me do it again only to show me I could do it, specifically so I could feel the success of completing it properly and it felt so good! It made me feel like I had been wasting so much time and wanted to put my heart into the things in my life.

You mentioned having a really hard year. What was that about? I got really bitter last year and I regret that. And because of that, last year wasn’t a good year. The year before was great because my focus was on the gospel. Bitterness isn’t the right word – I became disinterested. This experience reminded me of how good it felt to put my heart into something.

I think we all go through those times. Any advice?
Don’t waste your time. This life is so short and there are so many opportunties. Whether it’s picking up the phone and calling someone, going on a trip. Get up and move forward don’t waste your God-given time. Don’t sit around in a poopy diaper, so to speak. In hard times the Lord’s message to me has been, 'be patient'. And that he’s got it all under control. And that I’m not not on the list. I’m thought of.

To be continued . . .

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