December 21, 2016

this is my fight song

fight song

losing friends and i'm chasing sleep
everybody's worried about me
in too deep
say i'm in too deep

As much as I absolutely love Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, I have a feeling that this is not where I'm supposed to be, a feeling that the world holds a lot more for me than I'm giving it credit for, that, in the end, I can't fully be myself as long as I'm here. It's a sad kind of realization because I am very proud to be a Wisconsinite, I'm very proud of my little city of Milwaukee. It's so dear to me, but the truth is, I don't think this is where I'm meant to be at all.

It hit me this morning as I was listening to fight song. This song was one I listened to almost constantly over a year and a half ago when I was going through a lot of stuff. It was, without a doubt, the anthem of my life, and listening to it for the first time in that long, really listening to it, brought back literally everything and it made me think.
Listening to that song was extremely painful. It felt like someone pierced my heart with a sword and left it with a dull ache, but at the same time I had an odd sense of comfort, and the pain wasn't completely bad, there was a tinge of that pain that you almost like, that feels almost good. It hit hard, and left me thinking.

I've tried to make this work for so long, I've had everything and lost everything, and then lost my nothing, and then I lost even the nothingness. Most of the time I don't know where I am or who I am or why I am, and I know that no matter what boundaries I put up, either way the pain will remain, and the truth I found is that it's really just not meant to be. I don't have an option right now, but instead of thinking that I can make things work while I am here, I'm gonna change my mindset to think that when I get out of here, that's when my life will truly begin. It honestly doesn't surprise me and it makes a lot of sense. Too much has happened here. There are too many burdens here that I cannot bear for the rest of my life without living a depressive and overwhelmingly uncontrolled life. I am a free spirit, nomad, wanderlust, and vagabond (adj.) at heart, and I have to surpress so much of that with where I am right now. Being extremely loyal has its costs, too, and it takes such a toll on your life. 

I've started over, in a way, once already. I feel like that was the test to see if I could handle something like this, and I know I am fully capable of it. I've had desires to leave and start over for years now, and it all makes sense, and this morning I realized that, despite the fact that I have always imagined it to be, this is not my home and I can feel that ever so clearly now.
xo, rn
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November 10, 2016

it's good to make hard decisions

after work today i decided to take a few moments and think about something i have accomplished. i wasn't going to allow my negative thoughts to cloud my thinking, as i know i've accomplished plenty of things in my life, even if my mind is used to thinking the opposite.

today, the thing i'm most proud of accomplishing is that i am a successful adult. just saying that sounds weird, but it's true. every day i have to get up to an alarm (or 7, in my case), every day i have to get ready and consciously make the decision to continue my education, or continue working hard and earning money to better my future, sometimes, and most often, i make both of those decisions.
throughout the day, i am making decisions on my own. i can choose who helps make those decisions,  but overall, it is my own thinking that is involved.

i do my research, i know what i stand for, i know what i believe in, i know what i value. some of these things were taught to me at a young age, but eventually i had to go out and see what was true for me, some of those things i was taught were reinforced, others were let go of. i am still learning, i am still digging, i am still researching, every day, because i like to know what is going on around me.

most days, i enjoy being an adult. most days i enjoy attending classes, having deep, interesting and insightful conversations with my teachers, coworkers, siblings, friends, elders, and peers. other days i wish i could just stay in bed for a few minutes longer. other days i wish i wasn't so busy that staying up until 2:30am was absolutely necessary, some days are hard, and some days i wish that maybe this was my last day.

the thing is, on those days i can make different decisions. i've found that it's okay to skip a class for health reasons, i have found that it's okay to ask for a day off of work to try to catch up on life stuff, it's okay to let someone know that you can't physically do something with them because you're just so exhausted and in need of some extra time. those decisions are hard to make, but good to make.

i enjoy being an adult, i enjoy thinking for myself, i enjoy being stretched and i enjoy growing, i enjoy learning many different things about the world, about what i believe and why i believe it, and about myself. this is important, and though i definitely don't have it figured out by any means, i have accomplished being a successful adult who makes mistakes, and realizing that making those mistakes is part of the process.
xo, rn

November 3, 2016

dear anon. i don't blame you.

dear, anon. 
you have commented on my blog frequently, always taking the name anon to hide your identity. 
i don't blame you, because after reading, and then deleting, all of your comments, I would not want anyone to know it was me writing those, either.
truth is, i am glad you chose me to hate me weird, but i am. why? because i can handle it. it doesn't bother me like you want it to, and you won't get some hateful reaction back, because i think that you're hurting and the reason you're doing what you do is that you want others to hurt, too.
but about the comment you left on my last post...something was tugging at me to acknowledge it. maybe that's what you've been wanting, maybe that's why you keep coming back, either way, i published that comment, and i responded to is that response: 
hey anon,
no. i don't know who you are, and obviously that is how you want it. you've commented on my site so many times, and every time you never have anything nice to say. at this point, i wonder why you even bother anymore.
the fact that you don't ever have anything nice to say does not bother me like you want it to. i've been dished plenty of crap in my life, and it seems that you are also struggling from that. i am truly sorry, it's not a great feeling, and it hurts.
truth is, i have never been more myself and i do truly love who i am. your words will not reach my heart like you want them to. 
even though i know i don't have to explain myself, i can also say that i have never spent any money on followers in my life, and i never will.
if you do truly mean the words you say, i am sorry you do, but it makes me wonder why you keep up with me. you obviously read my instagram posts and my words here on this blog. i don't know why, but you do. something is making you come back, and maybe you should dig into why that is.
i am here if you would ever like to talk. i would love to help you in any way that i can. 
you have great value. you are so very loved.

xx, rn

September 29, 2016

"i like to be busy."

philippians 4:13
lately i've been feeling like every time i complete a task, i'm falling three more tasks behind. i know that i am trying to do too much, but that isn't stopping me from taking more on. i am being giving so many opportunities for things i've always dreamed about. it's absolutely amazing to see them coming true, and i can only stand in wonder of just how good God is and how evident His presence is within this area. 
the problem i keep running into is that i don't have the time to take twelve credits, work over 25 hours a week at my part time job, do homework, have a social life, sleep + eat consistently, plus run three other businesses on the side (with another one looming). 
"i like to be busy", i say, as i feel like i'm being crushed by the staggering amount of stress i so constantly feel. "i'll figure it out, once i get my rhythm", i say, as i am talking myself through yet another panic attack. 
the mental and emotional breakdowns have been real and occur far more often than i know they should, and i don't know what to do about it, but i think the hardest part is admitting that there is a problem and letting go of the mindset that you still have control.
xo, rn

August 23, 2016

au revoir, summer 2016

i can't really say i'm sad to see this summer come to a close, if i'm honest, the past few summers have not been great. i'm honestly not really sure what it is about summer, but mine never seem to live up to the hype that summer is supposed to live up to. they're always confusing, hard, full of working (which i can't complain about), and really just usually all around difficult.

this summer wasn't really any different, except that looking back i see a lot of growth. so much has happened, and God continues to pour out blessings on me. i am so grateful for where i am now, even though it's completely different from where i thought i would be.

i know i have been very absent from here (so many sad faces), but i have been working on something, at least, so you can get a taste of what this summer was like... i have created a video of every day of my summer and it's just about my absolute favourite thing right now.

au revoir, summer 2016 from Rachel Nicole on Vimeo.
xo, rn

June 18, 2016

keep in mind that looking back is always 20/20

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along with these images, 'Stressed Out' (tøp) is appropriate

(june 2nd, 2016)
you know that feeling when you're struggling to find a reason, so you look back at old pictures and remember the good memories you had (like these images), and all you want is to get that back even though you know what you were feeling then and it wasn't anything better than what you're feeling now... truth is, i want that back because of the good moments. i know i don't want to go through everything again, and i'm in a much better place because of the events that took place, however painful they were, but i want the good moments that seem so rare. 

looking back is always 20/20, and those good moments are something i look back on fondly because they were rare and sweet and beautiful, and i would give anything to have that in this moment that i am in... but the hard reminder is that i do have those moments now, they're just different than they were, and when i'm through this, i'll be able to see them for what they were, and they'll be just as good.

it's hard to keep going when everything seems against you, i find this to be true more often than i don't, it seems, but the most important thing to remember, is that when you've stood the test, once you've gone through the trial, you will be grateful. you will look back and say 'that was good', you will be thankful for how you were stretched and grown. the person you will be at the end of this will be a stronger person than you are right now, and that's good. it's okay to not be okay, but when you're feeling completely helpless and lost, remember that one day you will look back and you'll understand why.
xo, rn

May 7, 2016

turmoil of mind

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when all you want is peace and absolutely no one around you, but in that place, you are so overwhelmed by all the thoughts swimming around in your head.
when you are with people because you need an incredibly large amount of distraction from yourself, but everything that humans do and say is frustrating to you.
but the area between those two is worse, it is like sitting in a room full of people with headphones on and working on something. you are frustrated with all the unintelligible noise and the people asking for your attention, you are frustrated because whatever you are working on is not coming along like it is supposed to, and it's because you are trying to use distractions to mask the turmoil of your mind. but deep down you know what is really happening, and it is you being absolutely consumed by your thoughts, which you are trying to run from because you just do not know how to approach them, 
and the last thing you want to do is try.
xo, rn

May 1, 2016

cold as stone

today i was looking back through my drafts, posts i had started but never finished, for one reason or another. i knew i would come upon this one, because i remember distinctly writing it. i remember how hopeless i felt, i remember the exact feelings i was maneuvering my way through while i was writing this post. i remember how i was so ready to give up, how i saw absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel.
and the thing that kills the most, is that this post wasn't the start or the end of it. it had been gradually coming for over two years before this post, and it didn't really start getting better until around four months later, in fact, it actually got much worse before it got better.

this post was only one of many pieces i wrote in an attempt to cope. i have many pages full of hopelessness and despair, tears of frustration and hurt, things that no one would ever wish upon anyone, yet so many people are feeling them and experiencing them. that was the most difficult, but also most rewarding trial i have ever experienced. i am the person i am today because of the person i was then, even if i cannot relate to them, even though they made so many stupid mistakes, even though i am still so ashamed of who i was then.

i had wanted to share this post for quite awhile now, because who i was then is so important to who i am now, i want people to understand what i was going through so that they can understand better who i am now, because, whether i like it or not, that experience shaped and changed my whole life, and i know that i can tell my story and people will better understand, but that's nothing to the influence of actual pieces written during that time. you can't fake the words written during a true trial, and in an effort to better come to peace with my past, here's a raw post from the thick of it.

also, if you are going through something that even sounds vaguely familiar to what is written below, go find someone to talk to. i know it's actually the last thing you want to do, i know that you feel like you would rather die than do that, i've been there, i know what that is like, but know that people do care. i don't want you to put up an excuse or reason you have against that statement because it is just a lie and you do actually need help. even though you're in the pitch black of it, there is light at the end of that tunnel, but you can't reach it on your own. reach out so that you can begin healing. it's not going to be easy, but you can be happy again, and you deserve that.

as a side note, this piece was never edited or completed. i had a lot to say then, but after writing what i did, i was too ashamed and depressed to continue, what i had written had completely worn me out and i couldn't go further than i did. i knew i was never going to share it as it was or as i was anyway, so i gave up. my hope is that these words reach someone who needs it.

as i sat looking out that window, i could feel my heart grow cold. it sank like a stone in icy water. something was not right, and i could tell. i didn't want to hate, hate wasn't something i ever was fond of. it pulls and tugs, and you never feel right about anything. but hate it was, and i felt helpless to the cause. 

the trees rolled by. acre after acre. my whole body was icy. this wasn't anger. anger is hot, clammy, oppressive. hate is cold, hard. a feeling of nothingness. like your heart has thrown off it's normal tendencies, and decided to be only a pit. a pit of nothing. hate is something you forget about for a moment, yes. but you can never be happy. hate is nagging, not frustrating or angry, hate is bleak, and black, and dangerous. 

before you know what has happened,  you are a stone statue. when you have let hate reign, there's no room for anything besides. you are not capable of loving anyone or anything. you're good for nothing, your life is a waste. if your life is useless to everyone, why are you living it? why are you here right now? there's only one space for you in this world if you are capable of nothing, and that is in a hole in the ground.

when you believe the lies people say about you, to you, and for you, you will come to hate yourself. things won't be right, and there's no way to turn them around. life is not life without love. when other people strip the love for yourself away from you, you aren't capable of loving anyone else. when your thoughts are so consumed by why you are not good, why you are not worth the good thoughts of others,  why you have no place in this world, you have no other thoughts for the lives and problems of people.
this is the problem with todays society.
xo, rn

April 14, 2016

because in the end, He has complete control anyway.

it's such a hard thing to let go of. you think you have it down, you think you have it figured out, you think if you can just get past this last thing, everything will be okay, everything will go back to how it was, you will continue what used to be normal, and life will go on.

but it won't. it won't go on like it used to, because you were brought through that for a reason. God has a beautiful something waiting for you at the end, but in order to get there, you're going to find out that you can't get past that thing, that everything will not be okay, not until you surrender that control to Him.
and even after that, things won't go back to how they were, what was once normal will now seem foreign and impossible, and that's okay. it's good. i promise, God has something much better for you than what you used to be familiar with, and it's going to be beautiful.

but first, you must surrender that control. you can't do it on your own, i promise you can't, you may even already know that truth. let it go, and know that what is waiting for you on the other side is worth all the hurt and pain you will endure, because He is good and He knows what you need better than you do. He won't disappoint you, He won't let you down. He will be with you through the thick and thin, through it all, He loves you, He cares for you, He knows, He knows it all.
xo, rn

March 29, 2016

i'm going to tell you the real, raw, hard truth.

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i'm not telling you that it's going to be easy, because it's not. i'm going to tell you the real, raw, hard truth.
it's going to be the most difficult thing, getting over your past and just completely moving on. you're going to break, you're going to heal, you're going to break again, you're going to heal again, you're going to repeat this process many times, you're going to sob and shout into your pillow until you have no tears and your voice is raspy.

it's not going to be an easy task, there are going to be days when you feel like giving up, there are going to be days when you feel like going back would just be easier. there are going to be days when you want to take up your old habits, even though you know they will only make it worse. there are going to be days when those horrible thoughts come creeping back in, there are going to be days when a bad idea seems like a good idea. it's a part of the process.

but don't let any of that control you, because i absolutely promise you: 
if you stay strong, if you hold on, if you trust that God's plan is better, if you say no more, and actually mean it, if you stay the path and trudge through the pain, frustration, anxiety, hurt, depression, hopelessness, and utter despair, you will heal. You will get through, and what God has for you on the other side will be worth everything. i absolutely promise that you can do this, and if you need someone to help you, don't hesitate to reach out. there are arms wanting to hold you up, people want to help. ask. heal. be so loved.
xo, rn

March 16, 2016

spring break | first thunderstorm

first thunderstorm | 2016first thunderstorm | 2016 first thunderstorm | 2016first thunderstorm | 2016
it's been a long semester so far. this is spring break, and so far i've spent it doing homework. i can't really complain too much, though, because at least i'm not getting more. but the real point of this post  is to say that this evening was the first thunderstorm of the year, and it made me so happy. i was outside on my porch wrapped up in a blanket just watching... it was a beautiful experience.

also, keep holding on. it'll get easier, i know it will, because you're so special, in the absolute best way possible. i know you can succeed at whatever you put your mind to.
and that was just as much for you as it was for me.
xo, rn

February 10, 2016

this is how The Office wins. again.

i have a really long day ahead of me tomorrow, and by long, i mean i actually don't know how i will survive. i'm going to be fasting all day, even though i can only possibly get 4 1/2 hours of sleep if i go to bed right now. but i haven't begun studying for my quiz tomorrow, so it's not even going to be 4 1/2. i'm totally going to be drained, and because of my fasting i can't drink any coffee, and as we all know, coffee is my drug, of which i survive on days like what tomorrow is going to be like.

i don't know if i'm making any sense, but i'm just going to leave this tweet here because this is actually what i feel like right now. i don't know how i am going to make it, but i am determined.

xo, rn

February 3, 2016

the day i knew was coming.

if you follow me on instagram you might have seen this post from yesterday. if you didn't, you should go look at it if you want a backstory.

so i was in my first accident. it wasn't a huge accident, no one was injured, both vehicles drove off the scene, and we didn't even call the police (honestly, i had absolutely no idea what to do). i drove off, went to work thanking God for preserving life during this time. it could have gone so much worse than it did, but God is good and i am so thankful for that. i was definitely in shock, and was pretty off all day, but all throughout the work day, i felt okay. this wasn't the end of the world, i just needed to shake it off. my coworkers were very animated, and that helped so much. however, when i got home from work that day, things went way downhill, and fast. by the end of the day, i felt the weight of the depression that had been creeping up on me all day. i had been praying and praying and praying all day, i needed to shake it off, but i just couldn't.

here's the deal with my depression. i haven't really dealt with it too much, or on the level that it used to be, for a few months now. God has turned my life completely around, and things were going so well. i absolutely love my life and i am so thankful for everything He has done. so basically when my depression started to fade and He brought me into this season, i hadn't figured out how the right way to cope with it, i hadn't figured out a healthy way to deal with it while it's there, and that is why i have been freaking out about it all day yesterday and today. that is why i've been begging God to take it away. i can't go back to that, i can't go back to how it was, yet i know no other way, i have no idea what works for me, and i don't want to trigger something that will make it worse. i am so scared of the power it has over me, because i know that it can be very strong. i experienced some of it last night, and if it gets worse, i know i'll just be sucked down again, and i can't let that happen.

this isn't to say i'm giving in, there is no way i am doing that. i am fighting against it as much as i can by praying, praying, praying... but i can't shake it completely, and i don't know what to do. i hate feeling it, but it's surrounding me and i just feel so helpless in it.

as i try to find my way through this mess, i would definitely appreciate and prayers or advice you may have. i know i really can't go back to the way it was, i absolutely cannot, and nothing in me wants to, but it's pulling on me so hard, and i don't know what to do.

xo, rn

January 21, 2016

morning coffee | film

Morning Coffee from Rachel Nicole on Vimeo.
this is a little project i filmed one morning after Christmas as i was making coffee in my new Moka pot. i have been wanting to get back into filming/videography, and this was the perfect little project to get my feet wet again. i recently have upgraded from my Nikon D5100, Léon, to my new Nikon D7100 who i call Marcus. he handles video so well, and i am so excited about what i have been learning & of what i am capable of. videography is so much fun, honestly, and i can't wait to dig in further. enjoy!
xo, rn

January 1, 2016

welcome, 2016.


my first day of 2016 was spent reflecting on and writing about everything that the past two years have been for me. it's been so messy, but i can see God's unceasing faithfulness through every part of it. beginning 2016 by writing what has been on my mind increasingly for over 24 months was the right way to bring this new year in. writing somehow brings a massive amount of clarity into the picture, and having that along with peace about past things is something i can't even attempt to explain, but it's good. i am feeling so very thankful for this crazy beautiful life that He is orchestrating so spectacularly!

xo, rn
(i totally realize that i posted the exact same thing on instagram, but i wanted to share it here as well.)