SETTLED IN THE UNSETTLED

Friday, December 1, 2017


I think I felt it when I stepped out of the family minivan and rolled my carryon bag down the bumpy concrete path to the res halls. For one thing, the air was colder; after spending four days in inland OC, the nippy San Diego temperatures made me more aware of the differences between home and school. For another, the campus was still pretty empty: as I trekked down the path alone, something clattered hollowly around the area bridging my heart and my stomach.

FLUSTERED & IN FLUX

Thursday, November 23, 2017


As I write this, I’m sitting on a futan in a room that was mine two months ago but isn’t now. My old bedroom desk, formerly laden with papers and strewn with pens and markers and pencils, is now bare (and clean), supporting only a sewing machine and a pencil cup.

HOME!!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2017


I’m going home in two days, and I can’t wait.

BUSYGIRL

Monday, November 13, 2017

IT'S SO PRETTY

I have ten minutes until today fades into tomorrow, and all that’s pounding in my head right now is a wave of exhaustion because I need to go to bed but also I have so much to do tomorrow.

HOW TO BUILD A LOG CABIN

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


How does one build a log cabin?

HALLOWEEKEND

Sunday, October 29, 2017


[written on Saturday night]
It’s Halloweekend, which means the past few nights in my suite have been a flurry of costumes and loud voices, bright colors and door slams at three in the morning. I don’t begrudge the partiers their fun; neither do I envy them. I’m a girl content to be the only one in the study room on a Saturday night, surrounded by books and papers and washable markers. Tomorrow is Sunday, and Sunday means church, and church means that I need to go to bed soon-ish tonight.

A DAY IN THE LIFE AT COLLEGE.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


7:30am: I don’t have an 8am class, but somehow my body has somehow engineered itself to wake up at 7:30 every day, without fail, even if I’ve gone to bed at 3:30am. It SUCKS. I feel like my body’s trying to decide if it’s a night owl or an early bird and hasn’t figured it out quite yet.

AND ALL THE THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED...

Friday, October 13, 2017


Every day, I buy popcorn, walk inside the theater, prop my feet up, and watch the Show That Is My Life. I swear I don’t have control over it; college is the kind of place where life just kind of happens to you, so I’ve just been observing and watching and being entertained.

TWENTY-FOUR

Thursday, October 5, 2017


The caffeine from this morning’s coffee is running low in my system, so as I write this my eyelids are already drooping.

HOW TO SAY NO

Saturday, September 30, 2017


I came home one afternoon--how funny that I call it home now--and collapsed on my bed, exhausted. At that point, I’d been going pretty hard for a week and a half. The thing about the beginning of college is that there are so many things to do that you can’t help but feel pressured to do all of them, but there are so many of them that you physically can't.

TIME TO LIVE [college vlog]

Sunday, September 24, 2017


This past week, I gave myself permission to stop thinking about the future and to just live in the moment.

CAUGHT IN THE NARRATIVE

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I’m not homesick yet, but I know I will be, and that’s when the fairytale will end.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY SEVENTEEN | I DON'T HAVE A VIDEO

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I don't have a video.

I filmed one, but I wasn't able to edit it in time.

So yeah. I don't have a video.

Also, I move in today. So that's cool. Thanks for sticking with me through this entire countdown. I can't believe we're finally here.

Yay!

THE COUNTDOWN DAY SIXTEEN | HERE WE ARE

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Snagging a moment of time to sit down and write this. Currently combatting a headache, but I can deal with headaches; it's migraines I can't stand. I know I'm going to forget something, but I hope it'll be something inconsequential, and not stupidly enormous, like shampoo. I've already packed my shampoo.

Tomorrow's the day!

THE COUNTDOWN DAY FIFTEEN | THAT TIME I WROTE FOR THE REBELUTION

Friday, September 15, 2017


Exciting news! My post “Why We Can’t Change the World” was published on The Rebelution :) Click HERE to check it out!

THE COUNTDOWN DAY FOURTEEN | THROW OUT THE JUNK

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I have three days until I move to San Diego, and my room is currently even more of a mess than it was before, but that’s okay. It’s okay, because I’m purging.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY THIRTEEN | RACHEL'S SUMMER RECAP

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


A few things I did this summer!


THE COUNTDOWN DAY TWELVE | MAGGIE STIEFVATER'S ADVICE ON WRITING

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Maggie Stiefvater has some excellent writing advice. I spent quite some time on her site the other day, sifting through some of her posts. In fact, I liked them so much that I compiled a list of them on a Google Document for future perusal.

Here are some of my favorites:

THE COUNTDOWN DAY ELEVEN | A PEP TALK FOR MYSELF & A NOTE TO ALL THE HATERS

Monday, September 11, 2017


I had just flopped onto my bed when I realized that I still hadn’t written a blog post for tomorrow (or, rather, today, as it’s past two in the morning). I’d been up for hours trying to bang out some ideas for a novel o’ mine, and I had meant to write the post but then I didn’t until now.
Here is a pep talk for myself, with a note to all of the haters (of which there are few).

THE COUNTDOWN DAY TEN | GOD BLESS THIS CHAIR

Sunday, September 10, 2017


This post contains nothing deeper than a simple celebration of my new chair.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY NINE | ON IDEAS [con un video]

Saturday, September 9, 2017


I LOVE coming up with ideas.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY EIGHT | SOMETHING TO CHEER YOU UP

Friday, September 8, 2017


hi...


don’t forget to be happy.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY SEVEN | WHY I VLOG

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Vlogging, I’m told, has kind of a cringey connotation to it. And much of it is. I mean, I don’t want to watch a thirty-minute vlog of someone waking up, eating toast, going to the store, and watching TV. If I’m going to spend thirty minutes of my time watching something, it better be entertaining.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY SIX | WHY WE CAN'T CHANGE THE WORLD

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


We love feeling empowered.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY FIVE | THE PIZZA WARS

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ABOUT THE COUNTDOWN
My brothers started school, and a lot of my friends have already begun college, but I go to a school that’s on the quarter system--which means I move in until September seventeenth. Because I have nothing to do, I decided to challenge myself to write and publish a blog post every single day, as well as come out with new videos every other day. It’s an avalanche of content that is most significant, for me, in the fact that I’m just trying to do it. I don’t really expect people to read it every single day or watch all the videos (although it’d be great if they do); I just want to work hard.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY FOUR | MY IDEAL BLOGGER PARTY

Monday, September 4, 2017


ABOUT THE COUNTDOWN
My brothers started school, and a lot of my friends have already begun college, but I go to a school that’s on the quarter system--which means I move in until September seventeenth. Because I have nothing to do, I decided to challenge myself to write and publish a blog post every single day, as well as come out with new videos every other day. It’s an avalanche of content that is most significant, for me, in the fact that I’m just trying to do it. I don’t really expect people to read it every single day or watch all the videos (although it’d be great if they do); I just want to work hard.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY THREE | CULTURE, CONSUMPTION, & CHRISTIANITY - CANDID CONVERSATIONS

Sunday, September 3, 2017


ABOUT THE COUNTDOWN
My brothers started school, and a lot of my friends have already begun college, but I go to a school that’s on the quarter system--which means I move in on September seventeenth. Because I have nothing to do, I decided to challenge myself to write and publish a blog post every single day, as well as come out with new videos every other day. It’s an avalanche of content that is most significant, for me, in the fact that I’m just trying to do it. I don’t really expect people to read it every single day or watch all the videos (although it’d be great if they do); I just want to work hard.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY TWO | FRESHMAN YEAR COLLEGE GOALS

Saturday, September 2, 2017


ABOUT THE COUNTDOWN
My brothers started school, and a lot of my friends have already begun college, but I go to a school that’s on the quarter system--which means I move in on September seventeenth. Because I have nothing to do, I decided to challenge myself to write and publish a blog post every single day, as well as come out with new videos every other day. It’s an avalanche of content that is most significant, for me, in the fact that I’m just trying to do it. I don’t really expect people to read it every single day or watch all the videos (although it’d be great if they do); I just want to work hard.

THE COUNTDOWN DAY ONE | ON "LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO" & SYMPATHIZING W/ TAYLOR SWIFT

Friday, September 1, 2017


ABOUT THE COUNTDOWN
My brothers started school this past Tuesday, and a lot of my friends have already begun college, but I go to a school that’s on the quarter system--which means I move in until September seventeenth, a whopping two and a half weeks from now. Because I have nothing to do, I decided to challenge myself to write and publish a blog post every single day, as well as come out with new videos every other day. It’s an avalanche of content that is most significant, for me, in the fact that I’m just trying to do it. I don’t really expect people to read it every single day or watch all the videos (although it’d be great if they do); I just want to work hard.

PICK AND CHOOSE

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Once upon a time, Rachel was thirteen years old. She didn’t really know how to say things to people. So she wrote them on her computer and published them to the Internet. (It was like a blog written completely in stream-of-consciousness, only she didn’t know what stream-of-consciousness was back then.)

A MIDNIGHT VOICE MEMO

Saturday, August 19, 2017

I haven’t been able to sleep lately.

IS COLLEGE GOING TO SOLVE ALL MY PROBLEMS?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Answer: No.

THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIVEAWAY OF THE YEAR

Thursday, August 10, 2017



Wooahhh! It’s that time of the year again!

WHAT I BEEN LEARNIN ABOUT WRITING (and life)

Sunday, August 6, 2017


This summer was significant in its emptiness.

FIVE STAR/MEAD PRODUCT REVIEW (giveaway coming soon)

Friday, August 4, 2017

I don’t know if you remember, but last year, I had the awesome opportunity to review Five Star + Mead back-to-school products (which included a stellar photoshoot with my friend Rachael). This year, I’m pleased to announce that I was able to review products again for Five Star + Mead! (I received the products for free in exchange for my honest opinion.)

'THE BLOOD RACE' BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

Sunday, July 30, 2017



Here’s the deal:


My friend K.A. Emmons is releasing a book on August 1st! It’s called The Blood Race, and it’s about people with special abilities who are training to save the world.


Read the official excerpt below:

SUMMER HAZE PLAYLIST

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


FOR THE DAYS WHEN YOU SIT ON THE PORCH SWING WITH A FROSTY GLASS OF LEMONADE, LOST IN A GOOD BOOK.

SUMMER HAZE, SUMMER DAZE

BIRD’S EYE VIEW // WILLOW STEPHENS
PUMPING UP CLOUDS // URBAN CONE
WATCH // BILLIE EILISH
HATE THAT YOU KNOW ME // BLEACHERS
THE LOUVRE // LORDE
WANT YOU BACK // HAIM
BROAD SHOULDERS // TAYLOR BENNETT


MEET JORDAN.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


she favors white dresses and cardigans, sugar in her coffee and Jamba Juice smoothies. when i ask if i can film her, she laughs a little and says, “i don’t know how to do this!”

but she quickly adapts to the role of interviewee and film subject, gamely marching up a dusty hill in the aforementioned white dress and cardigan. along the way, she tells me stories that i don’t manage to capture on camera: once she traveled to colorado alone on the cheapest flight possible to meet a friend from the Internet and was accosted en route by an obese two-year-old girl who screamed, “i am not your neighbor! i am not your neighbor!” in her face. she paints the people she’s met in broad strokes but adds minute details that bring them to life--rich accents, extreme introversion, blatant curiosity. it’s enough for me to get the sense that she’s keenly observant of herself and those around her, to the point where she’s able to form a perspective that allows her to find the ironic humor in her life. this she uses to spin stories, to evoke laughter, and, in the end, to connect with everyone she meets.

the first time we met, she was quiet and unobtrusive. the second time, faithful and sweet. the third time proved her loyal and charming, thoughtful and genuine.

meet jordan roth: photographer, writer, friend.



jordan's links:
instagram - @j.s.roth





TWO WEEKS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC.

Saturday, July 15, 2017



i’ve tried many times to quantify what i learned on my trip to europe, but i wasn’t able to force revelation of its own accord, so i’m just going to eke it out now.

i just spent two weeks in the czech republic, without my family but surrounded by people--some of whom i’ve known for years now, others i met the day before we started running the eight-day english camp--who believed in truth, as i do, and were therefore bonded by the spirit of likemindedness in Christ. the amazing thing is, as a Christian, there’s really no necessity to be like the other person in any other way. i had absolutely nothing in common with the people on the other team (not age, not life stage, nothing) except for our faith, but because faith is the most important thing in a good relationship, it also becomes the sole essential thing. all the other stuff--shared taste in food, books, whatever--is all just bonus.

we stayed in a triangle-shaped hotel on a green, green mountain and ate three meals a day: one at eight, one at twelve-thirty, and one at five-thirty. every morning, we woke up and went to do morning devotions at seven. we taught english and ran workshops and played games and, most importantly, built relationships with the campers and with each other.

here’s what i learned:

intention is everything. genuine relationships can’t be built on the sand of shallow questions and small talk. nor are they necessarily constructed well on foundations of shared experience. to be intentional is to seek people out, to refuse passivity and pursue activity, to ask the tough questions and not shirk from opposition. when you learn people’s answers to the tough questions, they’re allowing you to become closer to them. but people can’t answer unless something is asked of them. have the courage to ask the questions.

service is contagious. the little things are absolutely important--things like asking people if they’d like to have their water glasses refilled, or trying to be considerate of roommates you hardly know. if people serve each other in little ways, it creates an atmosphere of service, which causes other people to want to serve as well. and there’s joy in service for anyone who does so, even if he/she is not able to define it as such.

you only live once. the first time i heard this year’s english camp theme, i wanted to roll my eyes and say, “that’s so 2011.” this year’s theme was yolo, but the evening programs--which involved different speakers talking about the theme--really forced me to think about what yolo really means. our culture defines it as a term to use whenever we do something crazy or potentially regrettable. but when you think about it, you only live once also means exactly what it says: we only live once. so what are we living for? for whom are we living? why do we live?

if truth be told, if i weren’t a Christian, i’d be extremely different from the way i am now. i’d probably be agnostic. i’d be a lot more cynical, ambitious to a fault, and definitely more vulgar. i don’t think i’d be as introspective (or maybe too much so), and i would absolutely be a hot mess, trying to fill up my life with meaningless things, losing myself in stories and other people’s lives and my own ambitions. ultimately, though, i would get sick of avoiding the own tough questions, which i would refuse to ask myself. because they’re hard to answer. and i wouldn’t know how to answer them. and i might have spent my entire life that way.

going to english camp made me realize how meaningless life is without God in it. but the reason why i don’t think He’s a social construct is because of how beautiful creation is, the conscious moral awareness that we all have as humans, and the way everything makes sense in the way the Bible--and only the Bible--explains it. we are naturally depraved humans from birth; we do need a Savior; Jesus did come to save us.

i talked to this one girl at english camp about God, and she mentioned that she’s the kind of person who needs proof that He exists. which i completely understand, only the proof she wanted was standing right in front of her, and she didn’t see it.

because Christians’ lives are proof that God exists. how does a person do a complete 180-degree life turn and change directions of his own accord? answer: he/she can't. lives transformed, paths veering from one possibility to the other. what could have been for me didn’t happen. what could be for you doesn’t have to.

what’s your life’s purpose? & how did you come to that conclusion?

psssst. i made a couple of videos from my time in czech! czech 'em out HERE!








SHE MADE ME TEXT HIM [Episode 3]

Thursday, July 13, 2017


In this episode of Rachel's Life, I forget how to ride my bike, my little sister shows off her acting chops, and my friends and I have a wild night in suburbia.

SUBSCRIBE to my channel for immediate updates :) [Also, Episode 4 is already here. It'll appear later on this blog, because it's special:]






ON HOW WE GROW

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I start a fresh document as we drive away from English camp, labeling it “Europe Diaries 2017.” At the very beginning of the post, I write down the following question:

How does one grow & mature?

We arrive at the place we’re staying at for the night, so I don’t get much further than that, but I still think about it over the next few days. And I’m still thinking about it now.

Out of the millions of things we learn in life, only a few of them are actual conscious epiphanies. Sure, we can look back at our past selves and analyze how we acted, but rarely is the decision to become different intentional. Sometimes it just happens by the grace of God. Which is great. And other times, we come to actual realizations, moments where we consciously notice some particular life lessons and try to alter our behavior.

Over the course of the English camp that I helped at this past week, I've felt myself changing, but not due to any particular epiphany. It could just have been the general culture of the camp, and it might be temporary, but that made me wonder: how do you mature?

Even looking back at my past actions and thoughts last year, much of which was chronicled in “Europe Diaries 2016” (none of which will anyone ever see), I have to say: I know I changed. But how was that change brought about? How did my character develop? How does one degrade or improve in character? And how do I communicate that to the characters I write, the stories I write?

People can be complacent, but we can’t be static. We change a lot. So I’m basically just going to analyze a couple of different ways I’m different now than I was before.

Self-Control.
Any time I lose control over my speech, I almost always end up regretting something that I say. Any time I lose control over my actions, I almost always end up regretting something I do. A lot of my instincts are correct, but my impulses are more likely to be wrong, and they’re stronger than my instincts when they assert themselves. The couple times I follow my impulses, I’d say that one-third of them make me do something I end up apologizing for or something, and so as a result, I’ve been trying to practice more self-control.

HOW I LEARNED: trial and error, making mistakes, etc.

Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable.
I still would prefer not to be in long lines, but I don’t loathe them like I used to. Defusing awkward situations is a skill that is acquired by practice. And I’ve learned that I’m not going to always be comfortable on this earth. If I’m honest, I’m probably only comfortable when I’m at church or at home with my family. In any other situation, I feel uncomfortable, but that’s just because I’m me, and being me means being A) a Christian, B) an introvert, and C) a human. And any time we strongly identify with a particular worldview, we’ll feel uncomfortable in any situation that forces us to address alternatives or opposites of that which, for me, happens every single day in a variety of different situations (i.e., school). That’s just the way it is—and the fact that I feel uncomfortable as a Christian gives me hope in the fact that when I die, I’ll be content in heaven. 

HOW I LEARNED: a slight epiphany precluded by an obsession with Andy Mineo’s album Uncomfortable, which had insights that greatly widened my perspective

People Matter.
This is actually very terrible, but I’m neither a thoughtful nor selfless person. I’m not great at giving gifts, and I’m not good at putting people first. But I’ve slowly been trying to invest in others, because besides Jesus, people are the most important thing on this earth. And I’m trying to do better.

HOW I LEARNED: Still learning.

There are a million things that are wrong with me, and not all of them will ever be solved. I’ll never reach perfection, which is okay, because I can’t expect it from myself. All I can do is rest in grace, and keep moving forward.

How have you grown/matured in the past year? What has caused you to change as a person?


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