My mom says I was born right at 8:00 AM. I came out with my fist in my mouth.
A prophetic omen I suppose.
Then when I was 10 I broke my leg while playing tackle football. I was almost over the goal line with the football when the largest boy in my 5th grade class pounced on me. My leg snapped in three places; worst of all they had to cut off my tye-dyed jeans to set the break. I really liked those jeans.
When I was 12 I broke my arm dancing in my kitchen. Apparently you aren’t supposed to do Paula Abdul dance moves while wearing socks, on linoleum. Word to the wise.
Looking back it seems my life has been full of signs.
Little did I know the gift of gab, sports and dancing (Zumba) would really be my thing. But looking back it is now easy to connect the dots.
I have been doing a lot of that lately, especially on the eve of my birth.
here’s what I know-my misses, failures and heartaches have literally defined me, in the most positive and profound way.
I ran into one of my toughest and dearest professors at the SEC Baseball tournament last week. His name is Ric Smith and he changed my life, literally.
When we crossed paths I was going through a very tough time personally, I was manifesting that pain in the way that most college kids do. I stayed out late and just generally had my priorites out of whack. I was scheduled to be on the desk of Eagle Eye (campus TV station). It was a pretty big deal to be on the desk. I came home from class and laid down for a quick nap. I set my alarm, but for whatever reason I overslept. I remember rushing to the studio, probably 15-20 minutes late. I ran in in a tizzy, saying to everyone, ” I’m ready, I’m ready.” Ric looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, Rachel, we will not be needing you today.” I looked up and there was someone else sitting in my place. I found a corner and watched, eventually slinking out. I had screwed up, and royally. I missed my chance by being irresponsible. I never got mad at Professor Smith for that decision and recently I have thanked him profusely. You see, if he had coddled me, and let me slide to work the desk that day, I would not know have known the true meaning of consequences within my industry at such a young age. He probably didn’t know it, but that was one of the most profound misses I’ve ever had. As my wonderful golf coach and friend, Jon Oliver, says, “make your misses good misses.” THAT was a good miss. One that still resonates with me to this day. I am so glad that GOD saw fit to let me run into him. I needed to tell him how much he meant to me, and to my ongoing growth.
You just never know how you will affect someone, positively or negatively. It’s your choice, every moment of every day.
The other thing I have been reflecting on is living with heart and purpose. I am striving to truly live for others and to die unto myself. I look back and some of my happiest times have been when I have “done” for others. Not when I was playing grab-bag or hoarding, which I have done. Giving is one of the most beautiful things we can do. GOD has equipped me with a lot of JOY, enough to go around, and I intend to spread it. I often say in my motivational speeches that if you would have asked me five years ago my life’s purpose, I would have told you it was sportscasting. Now, it’s a different story, a different motivation. My life’s purpose is people, everyday and in every way. I pray to be a blessing, instead of being blessed.
So l”m living with heart and purpose, not by accident, or my feelings (that’s a toughie).
And I’m watching out for those signs, and praying my future is accident-free.
Which is not likely, considering its me.
Whatever is to come, I know there is a lesson, a purpose, and maybe even a bit of magic and foreshadowing in every experience.
Bring it on life, I AM READY!