Be Happy Always

My final semester of university is coming to a close (FINALLY), and as such, I have been reflecting on my journey not only through university but life up until this point.  I was catching up with a friend this past week and she commended me for how much I have grown as a person since entering into U of T in 2011.  My life has certainly not gone how I could have ever imagined, for the best, and I could not be happier with my educational choices and future career goals I now have.

I have shared before on my blog about my personal struggles with anxiety and am proud to say that it is so extremely minimal now that I am rarely affected.  I am open to talk about my struggles because I know I am not alone and many others too feel anxious in a variety of situations.  Don’t get me wrong, life can be overwhelming, but my support team of friends and family, and my job, help keep me grounded.  One thing that has allowed me to remain driven throughout my five years in university to conquer this struggle in particular is something that a former teacher told me in high school, during the peak of my anxiety struggles.  She told me “there is no way [you] will make it in university!”  You want to bet? Just watch me walk across the stage and get my diploma in June!  That was 5 years ago and I have used the negative comment, stemming from lack of education on her end, to motivate me to be the best I can be.  I never forget the negative comments people say about me.  I keep it in the back of my mind for that extra push of motivation or inspiration during tough times to help pull me along.  People will always be ready to take you down, so you just need to be ready to fight back to be successful. 

This next part might be too much information for some, but it is part of my story and has simply added to my awesomeness…I hope.  I had a boyfriend for a few years in high school and came into university still being in this relationship.  I quickly realized that was definitely not what I wanted in a relationship and that ended, but probably took longer than everyone had hoped (5 years later I can make some jokes haha).  Throughout my university life, I also had another boyfriend; someone who I deeply cared for and loved, but recently that ended too.  I was simply devastated.  To have someone who you care so much about tell you that they can’t give you the same support back down right sucks.  For a week of my life, I barely ate, slept, or did anything except teach my classes. I just couldn’t wrap my head around this.  All anyone could tell me is that “things happen for a reason”.  If I could receive a dollar every time someone told me that these past three weeks, I would have one heavy pocket.  

I have taken the time in the last week or so to focus on me.  Now, I could not be in a happier mindset.  I have been provided an opportunity here, to give myself two more months of school to be amazing.  I have never felt more confident in my abilities, my looks, or myself overall.  This is by no means how I foresaw my final weeks of school panning out but things do happen for a reason, right, and I am owning it.  There you have it, me sharing too much info once again :)

A few things I have learned:

  1. People will always try to knock you down.  Whether it was my high school teacher, or someone slamming my fitness career dreams, you can count on someone being there to pull you down.  From my own experience, it is those who feel threatened by what they feel you are capable of that causes this.  If you have been on the other end of this, why not take a step back, encourage others and maybe use that as fuel to your own fire of amazingness?!
  2. Things happen for a reason.  And I truly believe that now.  I have been given the chance to accept myself and just how amazing I am.  Everyone needs to be confident enough to stand on their own and know that it is okay.  When you are used to relying on someone else being around, it isn’t easy, but let me tell you, I think I have gained a new found confidence.  I am taking this time to worry about no one but ME.  It is alright to be selfish sometimes. I have accomplished more this week than I have in a long time and I did it all on my own.
  3. Believe just how truly amazing you are.  Whether you have people pulling you down with negativity or others right there boosting you up with compliments, before we listen to any of it, we must first know how we feel about ourselves.  It doesn't matter what others think of us if we don't have the confidence to know who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.  This is something that I have become better at myself as I have taken the time to reflect on what strengths I possess and where some areas of improvement are.
  4. Find your passion.  Whether your goal is to be a pro athlete, become a doctor, or simply find a job upon graduation, find what drives you and run with it.  There is a saying that says “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”, but I have recently discovered that it is the complete opposite.  For me, fitness instructing is my passion.  Yes, sometimes it doesn’t feel like a job because I am having fun but I am working harder than I ever have.  Once you find your passion, you are going to work so extremely hard at it that you will always be working.  In my case in particular, I am always reading books, taking courses, and practicing new things to take to my participants.  Someone recently referred to me as a hustler, and I took that as the biggest compliment!  If you have a passion, you will never stop working at it to be the best.  I am never complacent with where I am and I am always striving to become a better version of myself.


The time I took to reflect has really helped to open my eyes and clear my mind for me to be able to make this the best month it possibly can be. Now, I encourage all of you; whether your school year is coming to a close, you are graduating or not, or you are just waiting for winter to end and spring to finally arrive (and actually stay), take some of your own time to reflect and realize how amazing each and every one of you are.

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.

Rachel

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