The Courage to Become | Rachel Lily Campbell
There are so many “things” I have accomplished in my short 33 years of existence. I have had a lot of life experiences that have been teaching, growth producing, fun, hard and joyful. You could say I’ve had a pretty full life up until now. So, as I was reflecting on what I truly feel the most proud of, it’s the absolute certainty of who I am as a woman, that only comes from the experiences life brings.
Being a girl is tough. From birth we are held to a lot of expectations that only get more and more intricate as we get older. Motherhood is no different. Combine the pressure and the expectations of womanhood and motherhood, and the lack of genuine support I believe all woman need, it’s TOUGH.
So, we learn to cope right? We settle because that’s what we think we are supposed to do. We stay in careers that don't challenge us, under bosses that don’t value us. Or, we stay in relationships that don’t serve us; we don't set clear boundaries of how we expect to be treated, and we feel guilty when we do finally speak up. We give in to the pressures of the media, and dishonor our bodies with erratic eating habits. We workout as punishment for our bodies betraying us, instead of celebration for what it has done for us. I have been ALL of these places. I have been all of these versions. Until, I was forced, to become who I was meant to be.
I want to tell you that I had this super epic “a-ha” moment and I was brave and blasted through low self esteem and came out victorious and now I’m about to share with you the secret “I LOVE LIFE” potion. But, that’s not my story. I was FORCED to be brave, and in that journey of becoming, is where I found the courage to finally, and unapologetically be me.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born and raised in LA and NYC to 2 very nontraditional artsy parents. I was painstakingly insecure - but very outgoing, which was a confusing mixture for me growing up. I struggled for years with debilitating eating disorders, that almost killed me. I found recovery a few times but nothing permanent until I gave birth to my son 3 years ago.
Pre-motherhood I worked for 10 years in the beauty industry before I got married to a conservative football loving, country boy, and desperately tried to fit the mold of the small town housewife. Fast forward a year or so later, I was suffocated and had completely lost my sense of self, but I was pregnant with my baby boy, the baby boy who would soon turn me into a mommy, which was the most soul shattering, earth crushing rebirth of my own self.
What was one thing you always dreamt of doing, were afraid to do, but did anyway?
This question is tough. I still dream of doing big things. Helping others in HUGE ways, and really changing the world.
But on a smaller scale, when I was married, I just knew the marriage I was in wasn’t for me. This baby boy inside of me deserved a mommy who was sure of who she was. Living in her authentic self. I was such a shell of who I knew I was made to be. I knew I needed to rebuild, and I couldn’t do it there. My son's father and I decided to divorce when he was just 4 months old. I moved to Austin and started a business, all while still in the throws of new motherhood, cluster feedings, sleepless nights, and my divorce.
How did it feel getting started?
I wasn’t scared. Maybe it was the adrenaline, I think I was in survival mode. Failure wasn’t an option. I believed in what I was doing. I knew it would help me, I knew it would help others, and I knew I could do it.
Tell us about some of the obstacles you faced when you got started?
Every new business venture has obstacles. I knew there would be financial hardship in the beginning, but I failed to realize that this was MY business, this was something I was SO passionate about. Not everyone would share this sentiment initially, so I was really disappointed when the first few months I was in business, I literally had not one client. I couldn’t figure out why every single other mom wasn’t on my level of excitement here. Throw in a few weeks of EPIC storms and flooding, it made for a miserable first quarter in business.
What motivates you?
My son. Hands down, he is my hero. Becoming a mother transformed me. It brought about a version of me that is stronger and braver than I ever knew. He is the reason for so many decisions in my personal and professional life, and being accountable for raising a human from the ground up is not only humbling but it has been the absolute joy of my lifetime.
Which living person do you most admire?
Oh I feel like I have so many answers to this! I admire so many different people, for so many different reasons. I would have to say all of the moms I know. We truly are a different breed of superhero. The selflessness that goes into motherhood, is HEROIC. Every single mother I have the opportunity to know, inspire me.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could dance. Like really dance. Think Janet Jackson. Yes, that would be amazing!
What is your most marked characteristic?
I would say my energy and my enthusiasm for life is what I get complimented the most on. I am just as PUMPED about a new flavor of coffee creamer as I am when my son learns a new skill!
What is your motto?
I cannot take credit for this, as it’s by one of my favorite authors, Marianne Williamson but I have lived by this for so many years, “We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
What are some things you are proud to have accomplished?
Starting and growing my business and raising my son. I’m sure there is more, but right now, in this season of life, these are at the forefront of my accomplishments
What keeps you going when you feel like you are knee deep in mud?
God, wine, girlfriends. IN THAT ORDER.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to women who are about to embark on the journey you are on?
You are capable of amazing things. We, as women, were built for so much more that we think. Just keep swimming.
Rachel is real and she is joy and she is a gift!!!! If you're in the Austin area - check out class opportunities here on the web site and for some daily feel good and motivation - follow Stroller Strides on Instagram and Facebook.
You will be so grateful to be part such a wonderful community of mamas lead by such an amazing spirit!
Treat yourself to hope, sisterhood + solidarity by grabbing a copy of
The Courage to Become tonight!
Available on Amazon, Kindle, Audible, iTunes and Barnes and Noble.
"Catia and I have almost nothing in common. She is Hispanic, I am not. She wears regular sized jeans, I wear plus sized jeans. She has dark skin and an olive complexion, I have blotchy, white skin. She is shorter than I am. She is skinnier than I am. But her story mirrors mine in so many ways, it is uncanny! I couldn’t believe how much this girl, who I had known many years before, who I had literally almost nothing in common with, could be so on point with how I felt. It is an awe-inspiring read and I highly recommend it. Courage is something we all have, just like the Cowardly Lion… it just needs to be brought out. I appreciate Catia’s courage to bear her soul more than she knows. " - Review from The Brown Eyed Lady Blog