This week on Stylist’s Nobody Told Me… podcast, radio host and journalist Vick Hope reflects on the importance of finding her independence after being in longterm relationships.
The last episode in season two of the Nobody Told Me… podcast, which is sponsored by Clinique, features another brilliant guest with an inspirational story to share.
Vick Hope is a hugely successful TV and radio presenter, who you’ll know and love from Radio 1’s Life Hacks show and, of course, Strictly Come Dancing (she came fourth in the 2018 series). She also speaks four languages, has worked with Amnesty International since she was just 16 years old and has written two children’s books with her former co-presenter Roman Kemp.
Hope is clearly a woman with unfathomable amounts of energy and drive, and in this week’s Nobody Told Me… she talks about what it’s really taken to get to where she is…
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Born in Newcastle, Hope was so adamant she wanted to study Modern Languages at Cambridge University that she paid for her own evening courses and shocked her parents and teachers when she was offered a place. A similar pattern has followed ever since – if she sets her mind on something, she makes it happen.
But it’s also that desire to impress, to always say yes, to seize every opportunity and to please everyone around her, that led Hope completely burning out a few years ago. It’s something so many of us can relate to in a world that equates busyness with success.
An important lesson that Hope learned while going through this was that she needed to be on her own for a while. After moving into her own flat, which she’d got without help from anyone, she felt alone for the first time.
“I’d never been on my own, I’d never been in silence, I’d never enjoyed having my own company because I’d never had to,” she says. “I’d always been with someone or lots of people. So I worked and worked and worked that year – my first year being single since being a child, my first time living in my own place – and I spent no time there [in the flat]… I took three days off that entire year.
“This idea of coming home would be admitting to being on my own and that sounded like a weakness.”
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Hope quickly started dating people who weren’t good for her before realising that she needed to work out who she was and what she wanted: “Nobody told me that you needed to learn to be alone to learn to love your own company, to find peace and to be yourself.”
After a conversation with her mum, Hope realised that she’d never stopped to just “be”, and that the pressures of her growing career had led to burnout. She was lucky enough to go travelling in Malaysia and finally spend time in just her own company, learning how to enjoy things without having somebody next to her.
“When I returned my flat was my haven, my sanctuary. And I found myself enjoying those evenings alone and realising that all I’ve got in myself,” she says. “Because you’ve always got yourself.
“And that silence became my favourite thing.”
Images: Stylist, Getty
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…