What It Really Means to Be a Rebel: An Interview with Giulietta “Julie” Nardone

Julie NardoneBeing a rebel is not about breaking the law to prove you’re a badass but about breaking off the mental chains that keep you from living your own life.” — Giulietta “Julie” Nardone

When Julie Nardone became the fearless rebel that she is today, she realized that we all need to be rebels. The sheep are the dreamers who never take action because they’re comfortable following the person in front of them. Julie advocates a non-linear life of adventure through which you can truly live out your heart’s desires and be the greatness that you are.

A Winding Road to Freedom

Before discovering her Fearless Why, her raison d’être, Julie was also a flock follower, equating passion with job titles. Anthropology and sociology seemed appropriate for someone who “wanted to learn more about other cultures and the universal human conditions.” It turns out, her Master’s degree in sociology only led to research jobs that didn’t harmonize with her personality. “These jobs were way too statistically oriented for such a right-brained gal,” Julie explains.

As her research job began to “feel like a spiritual death sentence,” she found herself posting inspirational quotes on her wall. The quotes would instigate a drastic turnabout, instilling courage in her to take a giant leap of faith: she quit her job even without another job lined up and followed her heart to graphic design and communications. “I loved the creativity involved in doing all things graphic design and started calling myself a graphic designer,” Julie recounts. “I soon had a much better paying job in a marketing department, where my boss let me mold the job to my personality. Several years later, the company paid for me to get a graphic design certificate.”

Town Hall

Uncovering Her Fearless Why

These days, Julie is known as being unconventional, bold, brave, out-of-control and fearless, but she wasn’t always described this way. “After many years of being tossed out of classes for my outspoken personality as a child, I soon learned to stifle myself and withdrew in my shell,” she says. “It sent me into an unfulfilled, depressive state until my thirties.” When a beloved building in her town was under threat, Julie’s fearless spirit was given an opportunity to reveal itself once again. Everyone told her that the building couldn’t be saved, yet she took on the project. “I started a grassroots movement and learned to speak up for this defenseless building, which ultimately taught me how to speak up for myself and to reclaim my rebellious side,” Julie remembers. “Never fear anyone in power. It’s the collective fear that keeps such people in power.”

When she was later laid off from her marketing job, it was this very fearlessness that would push her to carve her own path. “I found the work world had become quite hostile to flexibility and that many of the hours had expanded,” Julie explains. “The thought of doing that kind of ‘cubicle time’ made me crazy, so I said, ‘I’m going to be free and do my own thing.’” And free she lives, regularly finding ways to live out her Fearless Why — to challenge the status quo — in her life and career! These days, you can find Julie: helping businesses unearth their Fearless Why, expressing her natural creativity in design, painting, writing and singing, motivating others in “life shops” (workshops for women on reviving their lives) and persevering in community activism. “I do not like being in any kind of rut,” Julie says. “Very dark and moldy down there.”

Dream Like This

If it isn’t evident yet, Julie is a dreamer and when it comes to dreams, her eloquence shines in a way that can inspire others to live life with more gumption. In her own words, Julie says that she dreams to:

  • “Continue getting lost in my life, exploring all the passageways and rooms, especially the boarded up ones or the ones that say, ‘danger, keep out.’
  • Continue writing my disobedient essays and articles for the world.
  • Continue singing songs that take my voice to places it’s never been.
  • Open a non-institute institute that encourages folks all over the world to challenge their inner and outer status quos. Most of the worldwide suffering comes because people don’t realize they have other choices.
  • Continue visiting the places from National Geographic I used to read about in National Geographic.
  • Continue to make time in my life for things that will matter when I’m sitting in my nursing home bed reflecting back on my life.”
  • Are you being enough of a rebel in your life? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments below!

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    1. Abe
      Posted September 2, 2011 at 3:50 am | Permalink

      When I was young and trying to make a name for myselfe I too was sheepish around those that had authority over me. Although I was full of confidance and moving to the top of my game I felt as though I needed to tone down disposition even when provocked. This enabled me to learn from those that could teach me without revealing anomosity toward the people in power. In my due time I began to show my true colors. Through trial and error, successes and failiars I too broke my mold chalking it all up to expeiriance.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Haha! I had no idea, Abe! =) Come to think of it, I guess I was like that a little bit too as a child. =) Love the idea of finding that balance, so we’re still open to learning. =)

      • Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

        Hi Abe,

        Yes, so many of us our taught to be frightened of those in power when we put them in power! Glad you got away from the mold … Appreciate the comment. G.

    2. Posted September 3, 2011 at 3:08 am | Permalink

      Julia congratulations on finding a new way. Love the Fearless Why concept. Why is so much about purpose. Would love to connect.

      • Posted September 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        I can’t wait for you to connect with Julie, Roberta! =) Sounds like you gals would really hit it off! =)

        • Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

          Hi Roberta,

          Happy to hear you like The Fearless Why. Finding it changes everything. Please send me a note via my web site.


          P.s. my anti-spam word right now to post this is connect!

    3. Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

      Fabulous! Love the image of the dark, moldy rut. Living outside the box leads, I believe, to a much more exciting life. Following our passions is definitely one of the keys to successful living…love that Julie is shining brightly.

      • Posted September 13, 2011 at 12:44 am | Permalink

        Hi Tambre,

        Thank you for your lovely, mold-free comment! Why we walk into those boxes/cages in the first place astounds me… G.

      • Posted September 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        Well said, Tambre! You are definitely one of my role models when it comes to living outside the box as well, friend. =)

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