The Interview: Meet Rachel

Whenever people used to ask me what I do, I’d panic a little. Since having kids the easiest answer was to say, “I am a mom.” Although I’ve done all kinds of things, I’d never had a traditionally discernible career path. I love people, I crave change – in myself, in the world – I wanted to help make this place what it could be.

I believe with all my heart that women have the capacity to change the world — we already run it, why not fix it? Every great teacher has taught us that change comes from within. If we want to see change, we must be changed.

I wanted to create a place where any woman could find a simple process, friendships, and backing to become all she is capable of. This is exactly the kind of place I wish had existed when I was stepping into adulthood and every day since. 

The Interview

What is your favorite characteristic in yourself?
I love easily and deeply. Really. Sometimes it’s frustrating, to be honest, I keep collecting people I adore and maintaining friendships is hard when you are always open to new ones. Nevertheless, I love loving people.
What do you consider your biggest flaw?
I get bored easily!
What do you think you have the most of: Talent, Intelligence, Education, or Persistence
Intelligence
What is your favorite way to spend time?
Cuddling with my kids. Having a drink and a cheeky conversation with my love.
What is your proudest achievement?
I used to say that my divorce was my proudest achievement. I wrote about it on the blog. It was a long, scary, mind-bending, soul-crushing experience where my identity, my relationships with (many) others, and my future were completely re-written. It forced me to be honest, courageous, and it made me a better human and mother.
But life has moved on further from there, and I spent years as a single mother. Those years were overwhelming and I often felt inadequate. But I look back with equal parts pride and humility in the journey to re-build a vibrant life for myself and my children.

I am now proud of the family I get to lead with my amazing partner. I am proud of the way we tackle life together, and continue to grow and learn and build a future we are believe in.

Favorite qualities in a friend?
Acceptance. There are some friends that just don’t get ruffled by shit. I always carry a secret fear that I am about to fail the people I love. When a friend sees my flaws and accepts me with a smile anyway, it never ceases to amaze me, and fill me with hope.
Oh, and a wicked sense of humor. That’s not a requirement, but it’s awesome.
What is the best gift you ever received?
It was a collection of gifts given at once. When I moved from London to Australia (age 23), I left behind an amazing community of friends. Before I went, they put together a picture album, a collection of money, and a two disc CD compilation of songs they all contributed. I felt so very loved.
What is your idea of happiness?
Freedom. Freedom to change, explore…
Also, coffee in the morning and wine at night.
What is your idea of misery?
An unending tedious routine.
If not yourself, who would you be?
I’ve come too far to think about switching now. I can’t imagine a better life than continuing to make the most out of the raw materials I arrived with.
Where would you like to live?
Everywhere – long enough to get a taste of people and culture.
Favorite color, flower, animal?
Uh… color, maybe yellow? But I couldn’t say for sure. Flower? Lilly of the Valley, with a close second to Gerbera Daisies. Animal? My daughter and I have agreed that our favorite animal is an elephant, but not sure how committed I really am to that one either..
Favorite book, movie, TV show?
Book(s). Any Human Heart by William Boyd, Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch
Movie(s). Bourne Trilogy
TV Show. House of Cards
Who did you look up to when you were younger? Who do you look up to now?
Hm.. I looked up to.. religious leaders in the conservative evangelical world I came from. Now I admire Bernie Sanders, and I admire all people who have had courage to live honestly, lovingly and humbly, especially when it was unpopular to be and believe what they do.
Favorite food/drink?
Oh food is always changing, it depends on my mood, the weather… But I love a creamy curry almost anytime. Drink, a really well made (strong) latte or a glass of rosé.
What do you hate most?
Seeing people living in fear.
What natural talent would you like to have?
Listening longer before speaking. Luckily I can work on this, right?
How do you want to die?
Quietly with a smile and goodbye to my partner, children and their children all around.
What faults or weaknesses do you have the most tolerance?
I must admit, I am pretty tolerant of most weaknesses. I often see them connected to a bigger picture of human frailty. But there are certain people I struggle to tolerate period, and any of their weaknesses can tick me off.
Favorite motto or piece of advice?
Don’t be afraid.
How did you discover Behind the Woman, and what made you want to join?
I discovered Behind the Woman in the shower one morning. I mean, that is where the idea started. Crying about about some relationship struggles I was having, I realized I needed support. It occurred to me that it is so easy, especially for women, to invest in others (partners, children, colleagues…) and neglect the things we must accomplish to meet our own potential. I wanted to meet mine, but I needed help. I created Behind the Woman as the very place I wished already existed – a place to be reminded of who I really am, to be empowered to keep living and pressing in the direction of my dreams, and to share whatever I have of value with other women who are doing the same thing.
What is important to you? How can our community support your dream?
Join the community, share your thoughts, and tell your friends to come along too!
1 Comment
  1. […] for those who work to make this community site function (right now that is Rachel and a wonderful freelancer named […]

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