Nadine O. is a TV news editor by day and an inspirational speaker, vlogger, podcaster by night. After turning 50, she began to reflect on her life’s purpose. Many around her spoke of doing things like traveling, picking up old hobbies or learning new one’s after retirement. Sadly, a few didn’t make it to that milestone. Then there were those in retirement who struggled to fill the hours in their days. She began to wonder, was that it? No!
So, she created her very first company, the Yandy Project. Y.A.N.D.Y. standing for ‘You Are Not Done Yet’, and made it her mission to inspire, to support and to share stories of hope, exploration and new beginnings, for and by people over 50. Her first mini-series, appropriately named, You Are Not Done Yet!, followed the daily lives of several seniors in retirement or approaching retirement. Since then, 3 of her guests passed away. This challenged her even more, to inspire others not to wait, to keep learning new things, to see the world, and to re-discover their passions.
Nadine O. is presently dusting off the cobwebs on her first mini-series and getting fired up about the new, Over 50? You Are Not Done Yet! show! After posting a few of her episodes, she felt the need to turn the spotlight on herself.
Today’s episode titled DREAM BIGGER, is all about her and her journey to podcasting. Discover who she is, her story, her song, her dream and what she wishes for you. in this intimate conversation with you.
Nadine O.: Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions in life? This podcast is for you. A while back, I felt just like you. It wasn’t until I heard that whisper in the wind: “Nadine, learn to podcast.” Now, I’m on a journey of discovery, interviewing others who have also leaped into the unknown. I’m Nadine O, Creator of the Over 50? You Are Not Done Yet! show, a podcast about personal awakenings, spiritual connections, and stories of joy. Shall we begin?
Nadine O.: One of the last things my father said to me before he passed away was, “Nadine, you’re not dreaming big enough. Dream bigger. No, bigger.” Hi, my name is Nadine O, the host of the Over 50? You Are Not Done Yet! show. I thought I would do something a little different this episode and that is to just sit down and talk to you about who I am. Grab some coffee, tea, hop on your stationary bicycle, and let’s have some fun.
Nadine O.: Who am I? I’m spirit first, a seeker, inspirer, an artist, a TV news editor, an avid traveler, and now, a new podcaster. I’m originally from Philly but raised in Norfolk, Virginia, so I don’t know if you can tell or hear somewhat of an accent. I don’t know. I think I’ve lost it along the way.
Nadine O.: I don’t know if I’ve always seen myself as an artist. I love to create things with my hands. I’ve gravitated towards all kinds of things like learning how to play new instruments, photography is one of my passions, poetry, I love poetry, and of course, I love the editing stories. I do it all the time. Eh, well, I mean, it is something I truly do enjoy and that’s telling other people’s stories. I guess I am an artist.
Nadine O.: You’re listening to the Over 50? You Are Not Done Yet! show. I’m Nadine O and this is my story.
Nadine O.: I really realized that there was this artist inside of me when I was five. My father, he was an artist, a photographer in the Navy and he did it on his own. Actually, I come from a whole line of photographers. My grandfather as well had his own studio.
Nadine O.: I remember being really young coming downstairs into the basement and my father had this molded mold of clay of the head of a person and I imagine he was done with his creation and it was at that time he let me get my hands all in the clay and I just had so much fun. There was just this feeling that came over me that was in my life, I have probably felt that only two other times. It was truly a moment of grace. I felt like God was smiling.
Nadine O.: You’re probably wondering how did I get into TV news? Well, first of all, I’m a late bloomer. I actually went back to school and actually, I changed my major. I started off as a musician. I used to play upright string bass. Really? I used to play upright string bass in a symphony orchestra. I loved it. It’s such a cool instrument. At that time, there weren’t many black female upright string bass, or fiddle if you want to call it bass fiddle, musicians that I could look up to or that I knew. It was a lot of fun.
Nadine O.: Then I thought I would become a music teacher, but I felt rather quickly after taking some courses that I really didn’t have the patience for listening to kids play out of tune. That’s just me, I don’t know.
Nadine O.: I continued to take courses part-time. I worked and found a job in University City at the International House and I started meeting people from all over the world. One friend of mine that was half-Kenyan, she actually gifted me a book and it was Introduction to Film and Video. I started reading it and there was one part where I just gravitated towards and that was The Art of Editing. Then I thought, “Okay, this looks fun.” I decided to go back to school. I graduated with a radio, television, and film degree in communications and I’ve been working in TV or TV news for over 25 years.
Nadine O.: I’ve done many things. I’ve worked out in the field, in the news van setting up live shots for reporters, editing their stories I have actually gone out as a photographer for them. One of the other things that was pretty exciting, I was a photographer in a chopper. I actually did that pretty much in the very beginning of the time that they hired me full-time. I remember they asked me, the manager at the time that they were going to hire me full-time and they really liked my work and, “While we’re here, would you be interested in flying in the chopper?” I was like, “Sure.”
Nadine O.: After the meeting, I left and went out and said, “Oh, God, help me with my fear of flying.” But you know what? That’s the best thing is to leap even though you’re afraid. That was one of the biggest lessons that I learned. It required a lot of focus getting used to looking down, but it was a lot of fun and there were some pretty amazing things, pretty unforgettable moments from doing that as well as some of the other stories that I’ve covered.
Nadine O.: How about I tell you my most memorable experience? It is kind of glamorous. I guess you would say that because I happened to be in the chopper at the time. My oldest brother passed away and I had to come back to work and I was feeling pretty numb. I had been in constant conversation with God asking God why did He take my brother and why didn’t He take me because there was so much I had done and so much life that was still left for him to do.
Nadine O.: I had an assignment and that was to fly in the chopper and photograph several accidents that had occurred during a storm. As we’re flying up in the sky looking around and there’s clouds and I’m just thinking, “Why him? Why not me? Why him? Why not me? Why him? Why not me?”
Nadine O.: Then we were flying back after covering one scene. The pilot turns and he says, “Do you see what I see?” I said, “What? He says, “Look there.” I’m looking in the windshield and there’s like this, it looks like a reflection of colors. He says, “No, but look over there.” I was like, I look over there and he’s like, “Wow.” Then he starts shifting the direction of the chopper right, then left, then right, then left. He was like, “This is weird. It’s not moving.”
Nadine O.: It’s a rainbow and we’re looking at it and it’s huge. Then we were just standing there. He was like, “It’s like I’m on some serious drugs.” Mind you, drugs are bad. I was like, “No, it’s crazy.” We’re looking at it and then there’s another one on top of it: a double rainbow. Of course, you can’t look at a rainbow and not photograph it. Obviously, I photographed it.
Nadine O.: Then we finished our work and then we flew back to the heliport and we landed the chopper. The pilot landed the chopper, I just watched him. The whole time, the rainbow is right in front of us. I don’t know how that could’ve happened, but I was just like, “Wow.” Then we just sat there dumbfounded. It felt like, wow. It felt like 10 minutes went by, but maybe it was only a couple of minutes. Then it was there right in front of us. Now, mind you, the heliport, it is across from the Camden Aquarium. Eh, adjacent and across. The rainbow is like over Camden. We sat there, we looked at it until it disappeared.
Nadine O.: That was one of the days that I will never forget, partly because I felt as though that was a gift. If you’re a believer in God, a sign from the heavens. If you are just spiritual and believe that it was just a sign from the universe, however you would take it, but it was, wow. I guess there’s still something I’m supposed to be doing.
Nadine O.: Another time I would say I will never forget: 9/11. I woke up, turned on the TV. I don’t know. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the first plane going into the tower, into the Trade Center, and then the second one. I remember being numb and I remember grabbing my stuff. Whenever there’s anything really, really big that happens in news, it’s a given you show up to work. It’s going to be a long day. That’s what I did: I packed my lunch, grabbed some things, and went into work and started editing.
Nadine O.: The reason why it’s etched in my mind is because as an editor, you have to go through all the video to find the images to help tell the story that the writer or the producer writes. I don’t think there is a piece of video from 9/11 that I have not seen over and over and over again.
Nadine O.: I believe everyone has a few stories to tell and sometimes, we just don’t take enough time to actually listen and ask the question. I would say wanting to tell more of their stories was probably the one ache that I have from being a TV news editor, not being able to share more.
Nadine O.: Why did I decide to make a podcast? Part of it is because I wanted to share more of other people’s stories. Also, I just want to inspire people. As an artist, you look at things, you see the way in which light hits whatever, if you’re taking a picture and it’s of a person sitting on a park bench and the way the light hits them, the leaves create this little shimmer and then you have your video camera, you’re capturing this moment.
Nadine O.: I think the same thing happens when you talk to people. You see a spark, you see something that maybe they don’t see or maybe they need to be reminded. If I were to get spiritual and say, “Yeah, part of it is me, the person, the artist who sees it.” Then the other parts, I would say is I’m here at this moment in time and this person is feeling this way at this time. I am an instrument in the grand scheme of things in the universe.
Nadine O.: Like what we’re doing here? Rate us on iTunes and remember to subscribe and stay up-to-date on our show.
Nadine O.: One of my coworkers would often talk about all the things she wanted to do when she retired: “Only a few more years, only a few more years, and then I’m out of here. I’m going to retire and I’m going to go do this.” One minute, she was here and one minute, she was gone. You never know if you’re going to wake up the next day. Am I going to just wait until I retire or am I going to start doing? Ask the universe, ask God, “What can I do? What can I do? What can I do?”
Nadine O.: I often say, “It’s like hearing a whisper in a wind.” Have you thought of podcasting? That could be kind of cool. Eh? Eh? That’s what I did. I did some research and I thought, “Well, it’s kind of like video editing. Let me see if I can do it.” I sat out to learn the podcasting, I put the word out, I got a couple of names and I went out and I did a couple of interviews and I took and made an open and I got some music and just put the interview up in the Cloud.
Nadine O.: The first time I put it up, it was awful. I mean, many people appreciated it, the many people who listened to it, which was not that many people. I love my friends, I love my family. I had my podcasts critiqued and there were a number of criticisms and I decided to revamp it, which is the new release and tweaked the name. It went from the You Are Not Done Yet! podcast to the Over 50? You Are Not Done Yet! podcast. I’ve been having fun with it, changed it up a little bit, added some music. I just wanted it to have a feel like we were having a conversation and you’re there with us. I hope to continue to do it. It is a lot of work, but I really, really enjoy it.
Nadine O.: This is a pretty cool quote, and I believe it to be true, by Henry David Thoreau: “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” I was thinking about that. I was lost for a bit, lost in grief and wondering, “What is it that I’m supposed to be doing?” It wasn’t until that despair that I really started to hear myself and see myself not through the eyes of other people.
Nadine O.: I think that that happens sometimes, that we allow others to say who we are and what we should be doing instead of listening to what’s inside. At least that’s what I did. I let other peoples guide my direction.
Nadine O.: There was a part in the early part of 2019 where I felt as though, “If I’m really going to do this, I’m really going to put this podcast together, I have to be ready to share more of myself. Oh, my God. How am I going to do that? Let me call my friend Carol.”
Nadine O.: So, I called my friend Carol and I said, “I see you’re doing this wonderful stuff with, what do you call, healing art. Do you think you can do that healing art thing with me?” She said, “Sure. Can you commit yourself to 12 weeks?” I said, “Okay.” We proceeded and we did healing with the arts, where we created art. That was all guided by this book, Healing with the Arts. It’s really about looking at oneself.
Nadine O.: Like what we’re doing here? Rate us on iTunes and remember to subscribe and stay up-to-date on our show.
Nadine O.: Healing with the arts, for me, focused on my inner child and the work that needed to be done or that was neglected, that I neglected. The process was pretty cool. Every day I would write in morning pages, stream of consciousness, thoughts, just flowing, sketches and doodles and poetry. I was really starting to energize then and awaken the forgotten artist in me.
Nadine O.: The final project was something I had never done before and that was paint on a huge canvas board. The whole idea there was on an empty canvas, you write all the areas within you. It could be outside of you, but for me, it was within me that I wanted to heal, and then pick my palette, the colors I wanted to use, and then paint while meditating, thinking, focusing on those areas. When the final project was complete, that would represent my healed self.
Nadine O.: My painting, I call ‘River of Joy’. I felt like things were starting to flow, like the river had stopped flowing and then all of a sudden, it started gushing out. That energized and awakened the forgotten artist in me. I realized how much I wanted to paint and needed to paint, needed to create. It also put me in a place where I was ready and able to be there with my father as he transitioned in a very peaceful state. It also gave me the courage to do what I’m doing today, which is sitting down and talking to you and sharing this moment in my life. This is my story.
Nadine O.: I truly hope this show inspires you to continue to dream big, for everyone has a song or two to sing, a book to write, a person to help, to teach, to inspire, and support. Remember, there is beauty within us all. There is beauty within you. Until the next time, I’m Nadine O and this is the Over 50? You Are Not Done Yet! show.
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