Starting over, in whatever season you’re in, isn’t always easy. But I’ve found joy in the moments I’ve shared with a friend, a lover, my mother, myself.
“Breakdowns are the path to breakthroughs,” they say, right?
I’m not sure why I’m writing this, but as my writing has done for me in the past, it can help me sort through my emotions when I’m feeling a mess. And it can possibly help someone else, too, ya?
For most of this year, I’ve taken the backseat. I started the year fresh from having just quit my job of two+ years, stuck in a grind and a hustle and a routine that brought me small joys but a bigger burnout. I did some soul searching aided by The Artist’s Way, which helped me unlock and unblock a lot of my own creative holdings, doubts and routines that would lead me into a state of flow. I took a hard look at myself and the relationships in my life: ones that felt strung along, little, and which I grew tired of having to entertain; others that were wholesome, healthy, and vibrated alongside my path to higher vibrations; and the few and in-between that were really good to my heart and soul, that I was afraid to lean into.
I put a lot of myself into any and everything that I do. And perhaps that’s what makes it so hard for me to commit to something — anything — because when I know, I give it my all.
My capacity for caring, for leading, for inputting my own personal brand and self, is limitless. And perhaps that may be rooted in a deeper need of a younger Rachel who never felt she was enough — regardless of her brains and beauty and talent and flocks of attention she was always given, but never paid any attention to. I prided myself on my work, my input, my involvement, to my community, my friends, my family, my peers.
“People don’t remember what you say or do, but they remember how you made them feel,” is an adage by Maya Angelou I have always kept to heart. Not only have I personally felt that, but I have always been so sensitive to the energy of a room and my peers, first.
When you strip yourself of your routine, your flow, and your compass (because you knew in your heart the life you were leading wasn’t sustainable), it can be hard to find your footing again. It’s as if you’re breaking everything down to break through with a new you. And although that is all good and exciting, it can be scary, uncertain and life-altering — all things I was prepared to face. But it was never going to be easy.
So I took my time. I learned to slow down. When I was caught in this massive hustle culture with fast results, I wanted to slow down and sit with myself, unpack the things I needed to unpack, because I was never prior given the time to do so in the pandemic.
And I grew jaded. “I’m never going back again,” I said to the grind. “I want to take my time and be selective with my next job venture,” I told myself. “I just want to live my life and make myself happy, first,” I said. “Life’s too short,” and “I refuse to be a slave to the system,” I’d tell myself.
Just like Cassie in Purple Hearts: “Rough would be punching the clock at some soul-sucking job while I’m just making the rich richer. I’d rather hustle for my art any day.”
I know my joys. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I know where I thrive. I know what lights me up. And I know I have a resume full of experience to show.
Yet, “With the changing world and times, I have been looking to make a career change that aligns with my own goals and values,” as I wrote in a job application yesterday.
The search for that rhythm, that routine, and that work that you can get behind in your day-to-day can feel frustrating, sad, discouraging, and ultimately a blow to your self-confidence when every way you look, nothing seems to feel right and you begin to think, “Am I even cut out for this?”
These photos were taken almost a year ago and it’s wild to think how much my life has changed — mentally, physically, and emotionally, within the past year.
As a deep-feeling soul and creative who has a tendency to expect so much of herself, it can be hard for me to just let go and live (which is wild to think since I’ve been living in a state of so much joy and bliss lately). But when it comes to my own heart and goals and values, I’ve been living in an “in-between.” It can be hard to accept living in this world that has changed so drastically, where our society is so backwards and everyone is hurt, depriving themselves of their joy and burnt out, where it seems nobody has our backs and we’re losing our rights and “selling our souls” to just even have a roof over our head (!!!).
The thing is, is that I’ve found life can be so damn beautiful when we allow ourselves to show up for it, and ourselves.
I’ve seen it in the little joys, the laughs, the moments I’ve shared with a lover, a friend, my brother, my mother, and myself.
I’m just trying to find my way in, without it all.
And that was never easy.
On days like today, I feel stuck, helpless, unmotivated, uninspired and lost — like I’ve lost who I am trying to fit myself into this world that doesn’t just fit. But perhaps I’ve been looking in all the wrong directions. Perhaps I know in my heart that where I’m meant to be, is elsewhere. And I’ve just gotta keep following my calling.
With love and honesty,