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Aug 26, 2019

Emily Harman, host of Onward Podcast, interviews Nicole Rivera, a stay-at-home mom, writer, and podcaster with a history of being a teacher and a coach for teachers. Nicole has a rare disease that took her out of the classroom and ended her intended career. Hear Nicole’s journey and learn how she found strength and determination to proceed onward into her new life’s work. While being a writer is something that always lurked in the background of her life, podcasting wasn’t ever a thought. You never know what life has in store for you — take the ride.

Episode Highlights: 


  • Emily Harman introduces Nicole Rivera. 
  • How did Nicole get involved in podcasting? 
  • What happened to Nicole when she got sick and went on disability? 
  • What was involved in Nicole’s eye surgery? 
  • How did Nicole deal with having to slow down? 
  • Nicole discusses the importance of feeling the pain, not avoiding it.
  • How did the internet assist Nicole when she was out of work? 
  • What is the ‘spoon theory?’
  • How did Nicole’s husband handle her illness? 
  • Nicole describes the toughest time in her life and how she faced it.
  • Nicole discusses how her life has changed since her diagnosis. 
  • Don’t die with your gifts still inside. 
  • Nicole is an author and she talks about her writing. 
  • Nicole discusses her podcast, Stop Writing Alone.
  • You never know what life has in store for you. Take the ride!


3 Key Points:

  1. Even when you are really busy, take time for your health and go to the doctor for regular checkups. Love yourself, it is not selfish.
  2. Nicole found a sense of community and support in online forums consisting of others facing her illness.
  3. Change doesn’t mean that your life is over. It means that part of your life is over. 


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “One of the great lessons that I have learned in my life, and my disease really hammered it into me, is taking time for yourself, is that selfishness is not always a bad thing.” – Nicole Rivera
  • “The universe just seemed to be challenging me at every point. And once I took all that on, and took the time, I started to heal.” – Nicole Rivera
  • “When I was first hospitalized it was through Facebook that I let everyone at work and everything knows what was going on. Because I couldn’t imagine having that conversation 10, 20, 30 times over.” – Nicole Rivera

Resources Mentioned: