I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Rachel a few days back, and let me tell you, there were laughs and even a few tears as we talked about past, present, and future, discussing family, careers, and of course, our pageant journey. I hope you will be inspired by her as I am.
Rachel Driver is your reigning Ms. Woman Colorado United States 2022. She will be competing at Nationals coming up in October. She is a single mom—or “mama” as she calls herself—of two beautiful girls of 8 and 3 years old. These two angels, she says, are the reason she is trying to be a better person every day.
She is an entrepreneur, founder of the Rachel Driver Advertising, where she manages Google Ads for businesses in the mental health and wellness field. As if that was not impressive enough, she has a promising second business, C Squared Recovery, an online addiction treatment center. Admittedly, inspired by my advocacy work with our Veterans’ mental health and wellness, we did stay off topic for a while, discussing the catalyst for COVID-19 and the contemporary need and drive for online treatment. I am sure we will continue to have conversation down the road on how to support mental health from all avenues possible.
Rachel’s passion in life is to remove the stigma of mental illness, to support adult survivors of childhood abuse, and to prevent it from happening to other children. As a survivor herself, Rachel knows intimately the toll that trauma at such a young age can take on nearly every aspect of one’s life. This powerful passion and the foundation of the United States system around family and community were the driving force behind Rachel’s decision to compete, along with a friend who inspired her to go for it.
Besides being a mother of two, an entrepreneur, the reigning Ms. Woman Colorado United States, Rachel is currently studying for her MS in Professional Counseling, and she is creating a program aimed at supporting mothers who are survivors of abuse. As I heard all that she had going on, I asked her how she manages to balance them all.
“Honestly, I do not have a great answer to that. I believe that women can have it all but not all at the same time. Some days, my house is just going to be a mess. Some days, I am going to have less downtime for myself. I have to mindfully get my priorities straight and continue to check in with them.” Self-care is also important, taking time for introspection, finding out where do you go when you are stressed. One place is running or walking, getting out in the fresh air.
“I started to realize that my self-worth was in the gutter toward the end of my 13-year marriage,” Rachel shared. “I got divorced and ended up in a toxic relationship because I felt deep down that it was what I deserved. I pulled myself out of that with a lot of love and support from family and friends, and decided to choose a life for myself, rather than just rolling with the punches. It is certainly a work in progress!” Rachel went on to say that life is too short to feel that way. She goes on to say that, “I learned that I have some control over my own destiny. I learned that I can be kind, caring, and supportive, and still have boundaries. I have learned that I am safe to speak up and use my voice.” She is now with a boyfriend who does know her worth.
I want to leave the readers with some advice that Rachel wanted to share with other women who are worried about allowing themselves to set boundaries, to speak up, and to go for their dreams.
#1 – See a great therapist. Find someone you connect with and be willing to really examine your core beliefs about yourself and the world.
#2 – Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to love and be loved.
“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” – Ben Sweetland.
Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story with us and brightening our paths along with yours.