An interview with Nicole Bruhin. Topic: “What if”. Nicole is a Swiss journalist living in Zürich. We met her in Amsterdam, had a little aperitif and talked about finding the courage to be the person that you want to be.
What if you had never traveled to Los Angeles as you mentioned in our pre-talk?
(Laughs) Traveling to Los Angeles and spending so much time alone, allowed me to discover new things about myself. I realized stuff about my future. If I hadn’t traveled to Los Angeles, I would have stayed in my daily routine and taken different decisions most likely.
What did you discover in Los Angeles?
I believe that I discovered my courage to do my own thing there. I met so many people who encouraged me in my wish to build something for myself. Because everything is quite easy eventually – that’s what I learned there. In Switzerland, it’s more common to walk the usual path. Talking to Swiss friends made feel less courageous at times. We tend to be quite skeptical. Anytime somebody wants or has something new, Swiss people tend to be suspicious about it. In America, I was lucky enough to meet people who had visions straight away. People who simply did things. And that really encouraged me and made me realize that it’s not necessary to doubt and re-think everything a thousand times, but simply do them. Even though I had always said it myself before: „You just have to do it“. But I ended up saying that to myself for eight years. Now, I have the feeling that I am really ready. I know what I am capable of and that everything will be good at the end. I gained self-confidence.
Which role did the trip to Los Angeles play in this discovery exactly?
It was important for me to be out of Switzerland and out of my usual context. To be by myself. That’s what the trip was important for. It didn’t really matter where I went. Just leave for a while. I even chose to have little contact with people back in Switzerland. I wanted to be by myself.
What are the effects of a positive mindset in your opinion? A mindset in which things are possible rather than impossible.
That’s a very fundamental discussion. It’s important to be open, I believe. I think that many people consider themselves open, yet walk in the paths that they are meant to walk in, somehow. If anything unexpected or unwanted happens, that openness is suddenly gone. Regardless of the fact whether it’s in a professional or in a personal context, everybody likes to portray themselves as being open. I am absolutely part of that. Yet, I find myself having quite clear opinions and thought patterns. Schemes of how things are supposed to work or to be.
How did the moment feel, in which you suddenly realized things about your future?
It’s really funny. There was, in fact, such a moment and I really took it with me. It sounds so cheesy but it’s true: Every time I feel a little bit down, I remember that moment and it lifts up my spirit. I went to work using the subway every day and the walk to the subway was a beautiful walk next to a park. A road with palm trees, very L.A. I listened to the same song every day and simply had a good feeling. Kind of: “It’s happening!“ or “It’s starting now!“. I knew that everything was going to be alright.
How is living in your old surroundings with this new mindset?
I’m not back for too long yet and I haven’t shared my experience with many people. Honestly, I’m a bit afraid of it. I’m scared that people will take away this special energy that I feel by being negative or overly skeptical.
Can you maintain this feeling of being uplifted regardless of that?
I just listen to that song again when I have a low and it brings that feeling back. After that, everything goes quite quickly. I know what I want now. And that means so much! So many people tend to know what they don’t want and so do I. I usually know what I don’t want. I kind of knew what I wanted but now I really defined it for my life. And that feels great!
Would you say that some surroundings can suppress creativity and freedom?
Yes, I think so. I believe that there are plenty of creative people who simply don’t dare to break free. […] I believe that it has a lot to do with harsh criticism that people are afraid of receiving.
What would need to happen for you to lose your newly gained courage again?
I’d need to be bankrupt (laughs)
Place of Birth: Männedorf Kanton Zürich (CH)
Parents: Mother Brigitte (has been a local politician for a long time and is now leading a real estate company which she inherited). Father Armin (Mechanical engineer).
Siblings: 2 sisters. Christina (33) works in the hotel business. Sabrina (30) is currently studying social work in Berlin.
Relationship status: Working on a relationship.
Romantic or realistic? Rather realistic but I’m sometimes overcome by romanticism.
How many Facebook friends do you have? I don’t know.
Adventure or Stability? I always looked for adventure but I realize that it changed as I got older.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee in the morning, plenty of tea during the day
My favorite spot in the world: Amsterdamse bos – forest in Amsterdam
If I were a bitterbal, I’d be filled with… goat cheese and honey
Sitting on a mangotree feels like… a trip through the past