As I sat in my new house in Elon, North Carolina contemplating how I wanted to share what has been on my mind lately, I realized that the last time I wrote about something besides travelling was in August. August! That was five months ago. My blog was my first outlet where I felt like I could write and listen to what I had to say, and maybe other people would want to listen too. That's a weird concept, you know? How often do you listen to what you have to say? Today, so many people and things are shouting at us - believe this, read this, look at this, do this - especially in my generation. I think we often forget who is really in charge of what we are doing, thinking and believing - we are in charge of what we believe and do.
but, don't be afraid to tell yourself to shut up.
While I was living in Dublin and travelling, it was often the little things that made me the most anxious. Many of these things were out of my control. I started to learn how to better cope with the anxiety I felt over such small problems. In turn, I began to focus my energy and the time I spent worrying into being productive. Suddenly, I was pushing myself to do things I would not have thought possible before travelling to Dublin. I decided to apply for a spring-semester internship. "Yeah, maybe you could handle a full-time class schedule and an internship. Why not?" Then, I decided to apply to be the Vice President of Recruitment of the Panhellenic Association at Elon. That is, direct all of sorority recruitment. I almost talked myself out of that one - "There is definitely someone more qualified than you. Why not a smaller position in Panhellenic?" Then, I convinced myself to reach out to the company I dreamed of interning with last year and experienced my first awfully hard disappointment when I did not get the internship. As I wrote the email, I thought, "They already know you - you interviewed last year and they didn't want you. Why not try a new company?" But I forced myself to hit "send" anyway. Then, I convinced myself not to apply to be the Student Leader of Elon's Catholic Ministry trip to Jamaica that I went on and raved about last year after it changed my life. "You are a good leader, sure, but you're not super religious. There are so many people who are good leaders and more religious - leave it to them." But, after some hesitation and some self-encouragement, I poured my heart into my application and applied.
Then, I waited. "Maybe, you will get one of the four things. Maybe, you were right, and your newfound confidence will pay off a little." Maybe.
tell others what you're thinking, and maybe you'll hear it too.
Without even realizing it, the first way I learned to do that was by writing. I clarify things in my brain by reading what I am writing. Then, it began happening that way with spoken words, too. If I am upset, or excited, or nervous, it does not feel real until I say it out loud to someone. I started to realize that if I talked out my doubts or my hopes, it often helped me to understand what was going on in my head and make sense of whatever I was going through.
With that realization, I started a second journal. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend and mentor, I started The Five Minute Journal, a journal that prompts you to reflect on the same principles every single day: what you are thankful for, what would make today great, and positive affirmations ("I am..."). Then, every night, you are prompted on what made today amazing, and what could have made today better. Same five prompts, every single morning and night. In one month, it has begun to transform how I see self-talk. I am telling myself everything I need to hear without even realizing it until later. I took this picture in bed tonight before I sat down to write this post, and if I just convinced you of its power, you can buy it here.
Talk about yourself.
Last April, I wrote this blog post about having faith in yourself and your decisions and not chalking everything that happens to you up to fate. Accountability, if you will. I wrote about the disappointment I experienced when I did not get the internship I wanted most last summer. But most importantly, I said that I knew better things were coming. Rachel, holla girl, because damn right they were coming.
Within a two week span, my world turned upside down in the best way. I received an offer to intern with Trone Brand Energy, an advertising agency in High Point, NC this spring. Then, I was slated to be the next Vice President of Recruitment for the Panhellenic Association. Just days later, I accepted the position of Student Leader of Elon's 2019 trip to Jamaica. A few weeks later, I got an interview with the same company that had turned me down the year before after I reached out again. Last week, I accepted a full time summer internship with that company - March Communications, a tech PR agency in Boston.
And since then, I have been talking about it. I told everyone that asked me how I was. At first, I hesitated - I value being humble and I wasn't really sure if anyone besides me cared. But, the more I explained my next endeavors to my friends and family, the more I started to value them and really understand just how lucky I am to be here now.
Listen to yourself.
I am proud. I am proud of myself and my faith in myself. "Talking" to myself and listening to what I had to say changed my entire perspective on what I am capable of, and it changed my future. I wanted to share my accomplishments with my readers and I did not want to sound like I was bragging - so I hope this is an effective of way of doing both things.
I think it can be hard, especially in college but all throughout your adult life, to find your voice and not lose it. I think people, especially women, often doubt anyone wants to hear what they think. To every single person reading this: people do care, and people will listen. But first, take the time to listen to yourself.
Just living, learning + loving and writing some of it down along the way. Senior + Director of Panhellenic Recruitment at Elon University in North Carolina. Currently interning + curating social for some badass clients at SFW in Greensboro, NC. Yogi, sightseer, shopaholic, foodie, writer.
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