Who am I?

I did something new today! I love days where I can do something new. It's not even anything that exciting. As a matter of fact, it's something I don't desire to do ever again (although I'll have to). I ...drum roll please... mowed my own grass! Ok, ok, those of you who do this on the reg can quit laughing now. I know, people whose husband's are deployed or other widstas or single ladies, a lot of you are used to this but look, the first (and only) house Jonathan and I had together, there was a lawn care agreement. It was included in rent and we didn't have to worry about mowing. The most we did was trim the hedges (with scissors, mind you. I'll have to post the link to that). Then, I moved into the new house on the.. what was it? the 3rd? something like that? anyway... of January, and NC well, there is no grass on the 3rd or so of January. By Spring time I'd met Zach and by the time there was any grass to think about I knew him well enough to ask him to cut my grass for me. So, today, Zach's been gone what? 3 weeks? Something like that? (Gosh, my perception of time is awful, huh?) and there were these patches of grass. Because that's how it works down here. It's not like it all gets out of control. It's little jungley patches. So, I bought a lawn mower at WalMart, a nice little weed-eater push mower. Totally standard, nothing fancy, least expensive in the store. And after Ari went to bed I got down to it. It definitely wasn't as easy as I remember from the couple times I helped mom and dad as a kid. It was hard work. I broke a nasty sweat. And let me tell you, I don't like to sweat. Then I had to fight with the wheels with the damn thing because I was apparently cutting too short (I did have to call dad for assistance because I filled it too full and gas started spilling out... my bad). And of course the people in the neighborhood are giving me a smile and a wave but do any stop and see if I need help?? 'Course not. So I fought, I only swore a minimal amount, I smiled for the most part, and I sweat through it. And guess what?! The front grass is cut. No more patchwork jungle. It's far from the prettiest yard in the neighborhood, there's a lot of weeds left to deal with, I won't be winning any awards on it, but I MOWED MY GRASS!! Woo.

Overcoming a new challenge is most often rewarding. It can be frustrating, but once you've overcome it, well, it's an awesome feeling. I don't know how this all really ties in with the lawn mower story, maybe I just thought it was funny, but I'm embarking on a challenge that is both new and old. A challenge that is ever present but I'm choosing to face it again with more vigor than before. The age old question - WHO AM I? There are some things I know. I know I'm Rachel Porto. I know I'm a daughter of my parents, E and B. I'm the wife and widow of Cpl Jonathan D. Porto. I'm the mother of Ariana Ralyn. I'm the current girlfriend of Zach. I'm a blogger. I'm a student. I'm a writer (at heart if not by profession), I'm a friend, I'm an enemy (apparently, didn't mean to be), I'm a talker, I'm a photo junkie... I am all of these things and more but WHO AM I? I have taken some time lately, since I've been sick (that's a whole different story...) to start really thinking about who I am and what I want out of this life. Since the last post really, things have been stirring up in my mind. I want more. I want to figure this life out, and where I'm supposed to be. What's my niche? So, I think it's time to do that. Explore a bit. I'm still young, even though I feel like I'm 60 some days. I've got time. I'm 97% sure I'm going to drop beauty school. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. It was fun, the people were cool, and I was decent at it (I think so anyway) but... I just don't think being a hair stylist is my calling. I definitely wanted to learn and I'm glad I did. I've walked away with techniques I am so thankful knowing and I would still love to do people's hair if asked (I just can't get paid for it) so it wasn't a total bust. But so much has changed with the class this semester, including the hours and honestly, I just feel kind of chained down. Almost like I've been suffocating. Anxiety about making my hours and not being able to take time to do the stuff I really want to do. I just don't feel my heart's in it. I think I wanted it more as a hobby. To have a successful career as a stylist, it's best if you stay in one place long enough to build clientele. I just don't see myself doing that, at least not right now. When Ari starts school, that's a different story, but for now I'm young, Ari's young, I want to be able to explore, not chained down by mandatory hours at school. Maybe it will just be a pause. But right now, there are other things I want to pursue and work on. Other career paths my heart is in that I want to see where I can go and what can blossom if I take the time to follow them. Maybe I will find my true calling and can be happy and successful. Maybe it's a bad decision. Honestly, I can't tell ya, I won't know until I'm done. At least I know, it could just be a break. I could go back if I want and finish. But right now I need time. Me and Ari and Zach when he gets home, but for now me and Ari taking some time to just... be and explore and not feel pressure to do anything but what we love and just... take time. Ugh that doesn't make any sense does it? Well, in my heart it does, I guess I can't really fully explain it on here but I figured I'd share anyway. Since I've started making this decision, I've felt freer, I've felt less weighed down, the anxiety is lifting, and I'm ready to... explore. I just feel like since Jonathan's death I've kind of bounced from one thing to the next. I haven't really taken that time. Sure, I've gone here and there but I've also enrolled in this school and that. I need to stop, look, and listen to my heart. I need to do what my heart's telling me to do. It's been whispering for a while but it's shouting now and I need to let it lead.

And by the way, I'd still recommend getting your hair/nails/face done at the Miller-Motte Jacksonville Cosmetology Clinic. They still have such talented people there and I plan to go there to get my stuff done (while I'm in the area). And of course, if we're friends and you want me to cut your hair or do an updo for ya, it's still cool. I don't want anyone to think it's because our clinic sucks or anything, I would definitely promote their services and encourage friends to go there!

Also, in other news, I'm watching So You Think You Can Dance. Melanie just won and I've got to say she was my favorite. I love how she moves her body. That is dancing. I feel like the way she moves I can feel the emotion of the piece. This is completely irrelevant, but you go Melanie! Get it Girl!!

Ok totally weird post over.


  1. I love your "totally weird post!" You have the world in your hands, take as much time as needed, and do what makes you happy. Too many people live for others, not for themselves. You are an extremly talented writer! I just love your blog. :)

  2. Oh man! I watch So You Think You Can Dance on Hulu, so I'm behind. Not shocked she wont though.

    This post sounds kind of familiar. My WHOLE life (Ok, from 13 to 18) I knew I wanted to be a stylist. I graduated cosmo school in March 09, and FINALLY found a steady job in January.

    Well, in two weeks I start nursing school. I just needed a change. When Steve was alive, I was a stylist. Now he's not alive, and I'm.... just a stylist. I need to be more. If I'm going to be just me, I need to do something more, something bigger, something to help people.

    I just hope it works out. Good luck to you for figuring out your passion.

  3. Before I met Hubs & moved to Jacksonville area, right out of high school I went to beauty school. I did it for about 6 months, and my heart wasn't in it either. I knew I wanted something more than that. I know exactly how you feel. it just wasn't the right thing for me, and I wanted it as a hobby as well, and not a career. It makes a lot of sense. two years later, I know JUST started studying criminal justice and I love it. Just take a break, relax, and do some research on different things. It took me TWO years to figure it out, so don't worry :)

  4. Enjoy taking time for you. I hope you find the path that is right for you. And hey, doing hair is a cool skill to have in life, even if you don't do it as a career. Ari will always have cute hair and one day you're gonna be the cool mom who does prom hair :)

  5. Mowing is hard work, so you rock. And I think it's awesome that you're searching for who you really are. :)

  6. I totally understand where you are coming from. We are still really young women and have an entire world of things to explore. I feel the same way and I'm DYING to try a new career or at least finish the one I'm doing (haha) but you have the right idea to just take time to sit back and do what you want to do and make what you want out of life. It's YOUR life and you will do what makes you happy :)

  7. Haha, thats funny. The hubs and I usually have to "fight" over who cuts the grass. For some reason I enjoy it [weird I know] but I use it as my outlet for exercise. It's always been something I've enjoyed as a child.

  8. I can't believe you're going to quit cos school!!! BUT Move your ass to PA so I can get some good hair stylings done. I'll pay you... nobody has to know!!!!

    I'm proud of you for mowing the lawn. I've NEVER been allowed to do it. My parents would never let me help, and there are people doing it at the apartment! But, is your mower self propelled? that may help with your needs... (Like I know what i'm talking about!)

    I wish I could tell you what you're going to end up doing with your life. I wish I knew what I was going to do with mine!!!

    Maybe you should audition for Jersey Shore! hahahhaha!

    But seriously, You'll find the path you should take. :) Just enjoy yourself while finding it!!!!!!!!

  9. Woo hoo!!!! I know the first time I cut my own grass is was an awesome feeling...granted I was covered in grass shavings and had mosquito bites all over, but it was definitely a lesson learned!!


  10. I just found your blog and I just wanted to say that you are so strong and amazing. I've been a military s/o as of April and it's been a strengthening experience, but I admire and respect you so much for keeping your head up the way you do after a terrible loss. I couldn't do it. So I'm just saying hello and good luck :)

  11. Your character and optimism astounds me! I can only wish that if I ever endure all you have I'll be half as wonderful coping with it all. Stay strong, lovely human being :)

  12. I've been reading your blog for a while now. I don't think I've ever commented, but I just had to on this one. I definitely know how you are feeling after cutting your grass. I just cut the grass for the first time as well. Along with taking out the trash. I had NEVER touched a trash bag before. My mom never allowed us girls to touch the trash and it was just a standard I carried throughout my life. Now that I am living as a single mom I have learned how to take out the trash and cut the grass. Both of which totally suck, but are so rewarding at the same time! www.worldoflandon.blogspot.com


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