Here’s to the girls who always strived to be the best, who push and push themselves without taking a second to breathe.
That girl is me.
My whole life I have been determined, reaching hungrily for my goals and dreams as fast as I could without stopping and when something happened that got in the way, panic set in.
I spent exhausting amounts of time and energy trying to make sure I graduated high school with a good gpa and upper level classes and by my freshman year of college I was in junior standing from all the college level classes I took in high school. I was at my dream school, ready to graduate early and get into the work force as soon as possible. I was saving myself time, energy and money by getting through as soon as possibly.
So what happens when dreams change? I’ve never been one to quit. I keep pushing through always trying to be bigger and better. But my dreams were no longer my dreams. I was at Belmont, a school I loved, with people I loved. I finally felt like I fit in somewhere but I knew I was not where I needed to be. I was not enjoying my studies. This career I was reaching for was not what I expected and it was not my dream anymore.
My previous goals had turned into a mere destination. I was sprinting towards something I didn’t want anymore.
Winter break came along and the day after I got home I had a serious conversation and decided not to return to school. It didn’t feel good. I left the school I called home, my sorority, my friends, everything without a notice or a goodbye. I drove back up, packed up my things and was gone. Before I had time to process anything I was back at home with my parents.
The past year has been full of questioning my future, full of lonely nights and confusion. But God answers and here I am at PTM. Through seasons of doubt and wondering about what’s best for me I’ve come to realize it’s okay to not have all the answers; God is in control. I’ve been learning a lot about slowly down. Life is not a race. There’s not prize for getting through everything the fastest. Brownie points don’t exist in real life. I’m 19, barely an adult by any means more than a number. I don’t know what I want but I’m so excited to see how God uses me this year as I continue prayerfully consider what’s next after this.
And for now, I’m learning to just breathe.
Rachel is a native of Orlando, Florida brought to Nashville by her avid love of the Nashville Predators and Belmont University. In her free time, Rachel can be found making and eating macaroni and cheese, listening to early 2000s punk music, and scheming how to get into her next concert. Before moving to Nashville, Rachel was a dance teacher at All Star Dance Company for 3 years. During her LEAP Year, Rachel is serving as Resourcing and Administrative Coordinator and Assistant Site Director at PTM’s Park Avenue site and St. Luke’s AME site.