“Isn’t it terrible that we’re all pretending to live these picture-perfect lives? What a missed opportunity to learn from one another.”

Nina left her marriage for a man who then left her… days before she purchased their house.

But let’s begin here– Nina Orezzoli is the first-born child of immigrants and a female Creative Director, in an industry where that’s an incredible rarity. Nina is a born fighter, and an energetic one at that.

She works at an ad agency in Minneapolis, balancing various blue chip clients with a plethora of side-projects, like the making of a documentary film or whichever new craft she’s just picked up. Hers isn’t a job, she explains. “It’s my passion. It actually defines who I am. In my role as a woman and a mom and a partner, I am a Creative Director. Always.”

To achieve what she has, Nina attended a portfolio school after college. Then she begged for internships and worked 80-hour weeks at ad agencies around the United States. Four years ago, she signed on to help a Midwestern ad agency become nationally-recognized, which is quite an undertaking. It’s a goal she believes she can meet.

“It’s all a matter of alignment. Find out what you’re MEANT to do, which is more complicated than what you’d really LIKE to do or WISH you could do,” she advises. “And when you can see what you’re meant for and things get tough, the challenges and the hard work will energize you instead of deplete you. You’ll have the strength and confidence to take anything on.”

She’s using that hard-spun confidence to deal with her latest challenge– this one, a matter of her heart.

“I broke off my marriage because I was sure I’d found something unique. I thought it was okay to put everything into this dream the way I’d gone all-in on so many other opportunities in my life. And the lesson here is that nothing is unique, nothing is guaranteed, and so nothing is worth giving yourself up completely for.”

Nina shared the details of her affair with her close friends and leaned on them in the needy, disconsolate way we all do when we doubt ourselves deeply. Meanwhile, her public persona remained as that of the bold, creative leader.

“And then one day I was looking at my Instagram account with snot running down my face and thought, this is a half-truth. Isn’t it terrible that we’re all pretending to live these picture- perfect lives? What a missed opportunity to learn from one another and share. To, you know, actually be social, which is what these platforms were designed for.”

That day, Nina launched a new Instagram account, called @cakeseeksfrosting. It’s a pictorial diary of everything she’s going through as she reconfigures her self. Her posts are sometimes raw and angry, sometimes heady with her successes. She moved forward on purchasing the house, which came with a complicated renovation project and the challenges of single ownership. She’s also ventured into dating, while maintaining focus on bringing stability to her two children. And of course she continues to push herself at work.

“Let me be clear: this is no pity party and I am no victim. I made every single one of the choices I made, and I don’t believe in spending much time hoping backward. But there is true strength in telling our true story. Perhaps people will see what being open is doing for me and give themselves–and the rest of us–that gift.”

To follow the true story of Nina’s imperfect life on Instagram: @cakeseeksfrosting
Or for her Creative Director lens on life, see @abullyforyou on Instagram and Twitter.

Photo credits: http://www.oliveavenuephotography.com

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