Many of us take the time to slow down from time to time and rest, reset and have some self-care, to be in the moment. But what about those of us who don’t or rather don’t know how?


We live in a fast paced, achievement driven society. Many of us have become so hard wired to just achieve that we forget what it means to just “be”. We have been so all consumed by the self-defining moments of our achievements that we have forgotten who we are. Without our achievements, we suddenly lose our sense of identity. We are driven to continue to strive for achievement. Knowing no other way to define ourselves, we get lost in this endless loop of achievement.

What many find out all too late is if you don’t slow down on your own, your body or the world will slow it down for you, whether you want to or not.

Slow Down

I have always been that fast paced individual. It is probably driven by a hyperactive state of untreated trauma. Either way, if you ask anyone, they will tell you they don’t know how I do it all. For example, in grad school I took 16 hours of classes, did 15 hours of internship and worked a 40 hour a week job. Sounds impossible, but I did it and completed my Master’s degree in a year and a half.

I don’t remember most of that time. It was a running joke with my now husband that he was living with a ghost. I would have boasted that it proves it can be done. But in reality, the question that needs to be asked is whether it should be done or not is.

I am now a mother of two, one of which is a newborn. I am working as Interim Executive Director of a local non-profit, married, writing, and doing content creation on TikTok. Amongst all of that, I wanted to go back to get my Doctorate and decided this was the year to do it. So, at 37 weeks pregnant I completed my application for graduate school. When my son was just two months old, I completed the interview. After two weeks of waiting, I finally got my answer on my acceptance to the program. I was waitlisted.

Being honest, it wasn’t the answer I was hoping for. I think being rejected would have been more acceptable or comforting. Being told you’re good, but not good enough to be the top accepted somehow hurts more. But I digress. 

Not Right Now

Not being immediately accepted was disappointing, initially. But as the weeks have gone by, it has been mostly a relief. I realize I am not in my 20’s anymore and don’t have the energy I did back then. Also, trying to “make” it happen seems to keep falling apart. The world or God or whoever is trying to tell me “no” or “not right now”. This is the message I need to listen to and focus in on the other important things in my life, like my new baby.

I have always wanted to be a mother, but never wanted motherhood to define me and so this has been a hard pill to swallow. However, in accepting that “no” and embracing the other gifts in my life I have realized that sometimes “no” is something we all need to heed. Just like in that old country song by Garth Brooks Unanswered Prayers, “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. He doesn’t answer because it allows you to see what is in front of you now. Learn to “be” in the moment instead of always looking toward that next “achievement” that YOU think defines you, instead of all the things around you that give meaning to who you are.

Find more from Jessica here.