My name is Rachel. I'm a 49-year-old native New Yorker and an American Ex-Pat based in Spain. I am going through the deepest and most profound transition of my life. Because of this moment, I have had time to reflect and acknowledge how extraordinary I am.
Over the years, I've lived many versions of myself, triumphantly evolving at each transition. In my twenties, I had a successful career as a Fashion Stylist and Consultant. In my thirties, I got married and became a mother of twins, stepping back from my career and going on the great adventure of moving with my family to Europe.
We spent five years living in the South of France. I experienced the new taste of morning coffee at the cafés, Cote de Provence Rose Wine on tap, and delicious cheese plates filled my belly. I shopped at charming French Flea Markets and met fascinating characters that came every year for The Cannes Film Festival. We immersed ourselves in the culture and learned enough French to get by. Calling another country home felt like riding a bike for the first time; it was freedom, fear, and excitement. It was the crash course in how to be a chameleon. This experience enriched my life and built my character.
So when it was time to pick up and move again, I was excited about our next adventure. We moved our family to the Bohemian island of Ibiza, where we are currently based. Again, we learned the language and fell into this utopic island's customs, food, and culture. What I love most about Ibiza are the magical sunsets, the free-thinking people, and the all-encompassing magnetic essence of this place. I am an artist and have always been inspired by my surroundings and drawn to light and visual characteristics.
My next transition was an unfathomable brutal divorce, breaking my life apart into shards which pierced through me and the notion of my life. But my art was what grounded me and gave me purpose. Through my art, I rediscovered myself; it became my vehicle to meet like-minded people on the island that helped me get back on my feet again.
But I still had another transition to experience. This one is painful, menacing, and invasive to my body and mind. A Cancer diagnosis. One that required me to undergo chemotherapy, surgery and a substantial recovery period. All in another country, far away from my family and old friends.
I have left behind Rachel, the girl, and I have had to summon Rachel, the woman, the warrior, the person who will beat Cancer. I have had to call on capacity I did not need in the past. I have summoned all my innate supernatural powers, engaged in meditative dialogue with my ancestors, and prayed to every god, deity, supreme being and divinity to show me love and support in winning this battle. I am extraordinary. I will conquer this; I will emerge on the other side indestructible. I will again be triumphant.