Rachel 'n Stuff: A Life of Fabulous (mis)Adventure

in the words of the great philosopher, Taylor Swift, "we're happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time."

Los Angeles ‘n Stuff

Hi there, my name is Rachel Davis and Monday I spontaneously flew to Los Angeles, no plans, no job, just dreams, and this is where my story begins.

I wrote most of this over the past few days and I’ve got to tell you, waking up every morning I’ve been completely terrified. I have no game plan for day-to-day but I need to: look for jobs, email about 20 people (literally 20), find a place to stay starting tomorrow, potentially get a rental car… my tendency in situations like this is to freeze, stay in bed all day and pretend like there’s nothing happening. I can’t do that here, it’s time I start living my life whether I’m terrified or not, life is just one big adventure.

For the past two years, all I have wanted was to move to Los Angeles. At first I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or where I would live, I just knew it was where I wanted to be [starts singing the Weezer song in my head – “Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be”]. After I graduated college, I knew 100% that what I got my degree in would not make me happy and that brought along the quintessential, post-grad, existential crisis. I knew whatever I did, I wanted it to make me happy and I wanted it to help others in some way and the only things that I could think of that would do both were music and films.

From the two I found out about the job title: Music Supervisor. So I started doing my research and began looking for ways to move to Los Angeles to pursue it. The main thing I found was that if you didn’t already live in LA, it was going to be next to impossible to get a job there. So for a year I applied for jobs anyways, looked at apartments and honestly kind of sat around waiting for an opportunity.

Well, as you’ve guessed by now, 3 days ago I got a little bit tired of waiting for an opportunity and wanted to make one happen. This isn’t as brave as it sounds, I had tried everything possible to get on a standby flight home but there were no flights available to Northwest Arkansas, to 35 minutes from home or even to the airport 2 hours from home. The only flight available that Monday afternoon was to good ole LAX. So I thought “why not?” well that was after a phone conversation with my mom that ended in “RACHEL IF YOU DON’T GET ON THAT FLIGHT…” ha side note: thanks mom for pushing me.

So I’m here. I talked to a friend yesterday and he told me not to get discouraged and not to give up. Then today I had coffee with a connection from AOII, (BLESS SORORITIES!!!) and just from that hour and a half so many doors were opened.

Every morning I contemplate getting on a flight home, this is the hardest and craziest thing I’ve ever done. I’m terrified of everything but I know that even the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad. Even though I’m scared, I’m even more afraid of what would happen if I don’t take these risks. So far I’ve learned that: anxiety and fear are OKAY, but you can’t let them keep you from what you really want.

So for now that’s all… I’ll keep you updated because who honestly knows what will happen! Here’s to crazy adventures and hoping for the best!

Love you to the moon whoever you are. Thank you for reading this!


vegan ‘n stuff

also… i’ve recently gone vegan. i started out with a plant-based, gluten-free diet and over the past few months have decided to attempt the transition into a cruelty-free lifestyle. i’m not 100% there yet, it has been a learning process, but if you are vegan and have any life hacks or helpful tips please share with me.

i’m going to quote Ellen here but, “be kind to one another”.

to those who read this, i love you to the moon and back… ‘n stuff.

I wish I could use a beat of a song as a title… ‘n Stuff

The life I want feels so close, but the one step that it takes to get there is the one step that’s missing. I know what I want and it feels like it’s in my grasp but in reality it’s 1500 miles away. I’ve slowly figured out exactly what I want, but getting there is what seems impossible.

*puts on Figure It Out by Royal Blood as motivation*

Take A Leap ‘n Stuff

One of the hardest things for me to do is chase my dreams. Whether its out of fear of the unknown, fear of failure or fear of being inadequate, I am paralyzed by fear.

My dream, at times, even sounds crazy to me. Did you know that less than 5% of music producers are female? I didn’t either, but I saw it on google so it has to be true *smirks*. Music has been one of the most constant sources of support and understanding in my 23 years of life. It started as a teenager listening to bands from My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, All-American Rejects, Blink-182, U2, Coldplay, to solo artists like Michael Jackson, Hilary Duff (I listened to Metamorphosis on my CD Player so many times it broke), Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Celine Dion and the list goes on (just like her heart). Music made me feel understood, like I belonged somewhere when I felt like I didn’t. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I became truly obsessed with sound. A southern rock band called NEEDTOBREATHE released an album called The Outsiders. If I could pinpoint only one album that shaped who I am today, it would be The Outsiders (I even have a playlist on Spotify with every version of the track The Outsiders that they have released). When NEEDTOBREATHE released their next album (fourth album), The Reckoning, I sat for hours, no joke HOURS, watching videos they posted of the making of the album over and over again. They put such detail and thought into every single millisecond of sound on their album and that was so special to me and at the time I wasn’t seeing anyone else really do that. Looking back, I’m sure they were, but I just happened to see NEEDTOBREATHE’s videos.

Anyway, I can tell you one thing, my desire to make music that changes the world may hide in the shadows of my fears sometimes, but the fear of not giving it a shot FAR outweighs the fears of unknown, failure and inadequacy. I may be the worst audio engineer of all time, but I won’t know until I try. What if I start this journey and its not something I end up wanting to do? At least I gave it a shot. And you never know where this life will take you if you simply take a step.

All of my life I have felt like I was made for something bigger than the life I have now. Maybe this is it, maybe its not. Only time will tell.

[so… any music producers reading this that want to take on a 23 year old apprentice?]

College Graduate ‘n Stuff

Well, it’s official, this girl is a college graduate. Here’s the proof:


*pauses for applause and continues*

Now that it’s over, I’m going to be completely honest and say that I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with my life. People keep telling me, trying to be comforting, that no one knows what they’re doing. I’m stuck between dreaming as big as I can and being realistic (although whoever said dreaming was unrealistic should be tapped on the shoulder with, or by, a rubber chicken).

The Dream: working for music producers or audio technicians… OR… going on tour what a band doing honestly whatever they want me to do, whether its fluffing pillows (there are some divas out there), getting coffee/food for the crew, making sure the sound tech has everything they need for the shows to run smoothly… honestly, “I’D DO ANYTHING… JUST TO” work for a band/tour manager/sound technician. [ps. that sounded like Simple Plan’s I’d Do Anything in my head]

The Reality: currently living in Fayetteville, AR, until my lease is up at the end of July and I’ve never met a music producer or audio technician or sound engineer or whatever term you want to use for someone who makes music.

This summer is supposed to be one of “self discovery” and whatever cheesy term parents use to tell their unemployed college graduate children that they will figure their sh*t out eventually… but can I do my self discovery in Edinburgh, London or Sydney? Can I escape all forms of social media and explore Europe and just live while I try to figure everything out? Who knows! I could be sitting on a train and have an idea that leads to the next best selling book, or write the next Billboard Hot Summer Song (that was of course recorded by someone other than myself).

Well, I may not have any clue what I am doing, but I have plenty of free time now and will be posting regularly. So here’s to many misadventures *raises cup of coffee for this toast because i’m feeling like more of an adult*. [that references the “Who I Am ‘n Stuff page…]

A Letter ‘n Stuff…

Dear people I’ve never met and the only 4 people who will actually read this,

You are loved. So, so loved.
You are beautiful.
You are unique.
You are set apart.
You are different, in the best ways imaginable.
Don’t be afraid to be weird. I am genuinely bizarre, but its one of my favorite things about myself.

Don’t be afraid to fall in love. I’ve never been in love and actually never even been asked on a date, but I used to fear love more than anything. Even harmless flirtation in 6th grade filled me with anxiety.

Don’t let your past dictate who you are or want to be. You can overcome anything, with focus and hard work. It will not always be easy, but it will not always be as daunting as it seems. You are capable of doing ANYTHING you set your mind to. I mean if you’re 6 ft and want to be a gymnast, that might not happen, but work your tail off because you never know!

Fan girl/boy over bands if you want to. Honestly who cares what people think about your taste in music. If you like 5SOS or 1D or Taylor Swift or whoever else people love to hate (even though they haven’t actually listened to a full song), don’t be ashamed to like them because someone thinks its uncool. Your taste in music is just that, YOURS. That goes the other way too, if you don’t like the music that everyone else likes or pretends to like, don’t be ashamed if you don’t. I guarantee there is someone out there who still belts out Queen, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Coldplay (the old stuff) and Phil Collins like I do, (even though my best friends and I jam in the car to 5SOS and 1D unabashedly, sometimes even the JoBros).

Read books if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.
Listen to music if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.
Paint if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.
Play sports if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.
Make music if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.
Sleep all day if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.
Eat a whole pizza if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.

I write all of this to tell you that no matter what or who you want to be, I support you. NO MATTER WHAT. There is nothing you can do to make me love you less, and I am a stranger. But I’ll tell you what, I love you!

Life is FAR too short to not be yourself. Life is FAR too short for unnecessary rudeness, unkindness and meanness. Be yourself, and if people around you don’t accept you, know this: some random almost 23 year old in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA, is immensely proud of you for being yourself.

Be unapologetically you.

Ed Sheeran ‘n Stuff

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who had discovered Ed Sheeran. He was supremely talented and his first album had just been released. This girl got back from a weekend of doing nothing and was about to eat a “delicious” lunch in her sorority dining room.
“Did you hear about who was on Dickson this weekend?” She overheard and ignored at first seeing as this was a common question.
“Some famous red head” was the phrase that sparked her attention.
“I’m sorry what? Who?” She tried to utter out. “Ed Sheeran?”
“Yeah, that’s him! He was hanging out with…..” the rest didn’t matter. “ED SHEERAN WAS IN FAYETTEVILLE, AND I MISSED IT!” she thought. She then proceeded to fall on the floor of the kitchen, partially joking and partially as if to say, “what have I done with my life”.

That girl was me.

Moral of the story: NEVER LEAVE TOWN BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHO COULD SHOW UP! Actually just kidding, do whatever you want. I just love Ed Sheeran. It’s all fun and games until you miss your favorite musician and now they’re super famous.

The End.

Nostalgic ‘n Stuff

Two months ago tomorrow, I tearfully left the sweet, affectionately termed “Commi-housing” in former East Berlin. As the taxi drove on I said goodbye to what had become home. Growing up the only place (apart from grandma’s house) that has ever actually felt like home has been Germany.
From living in Düsseldorf, to flying into München on the way to Österreich, to living in Berlin, this country has a forever place in my heart.
The bus exhaust on bitter cold winter days, doughy bakeries that cause fogging up of glasses, Kaffee [the real and only form of coffee humans should drink], Apfelschorle, and my personal favorite, the Deutsche Bahn. A country rich in culture. A country with an ease about it. A country that has perfected the simplicity of life.
Today, I long for Germany.
Today, I long for public transportation.
Today, I long for Prinzenrolle cookies.
Today, I long for Haribo Gummies made with real fruit juice and not corn syrup.
Today, I long for a Döner.
Today, I long for a simpler life.
Today, I long for Berlin.
Today, I know that these longings will never truly satisfy me.
Today, I know that I will never truly be satisfied by things of this world.
Today, I know that Christ is risen.
Today, I know that I am loved by someone who died to know me.
Today, I know that I am not afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Today, I know that only Christ will satisfy,
Today, I long for more of Christ and less of myself.

The Doctor ‘n Stuff…

“You know you watch to much Doctor Who when you’re studying for History of South Asia and a temple looks like a Dalek and you have to do a double take to make sure its not.”

My mom’s response: “Estudiate”

Chasing Trains ‘n Stuff…

At the beginning of the school year I added something not so typical to my bucket list. There are train tracks that run behind the house I live in and there is a bridge down the street that the tracks go under. For some reason something I have always wanted was to be able to stand on that bridge when a train goes under it. Well… two days ago it happened.

I was having coffee with one of my favorite friends when we decided to go on a walk. We were walking to my house when all of the sudden we hear a train coming. Naturally I start getting really excited and saying, “I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE A TRAIN GO UNDER THE MAPLE BRIDGE!!” as fast as I can, over and over again. So we start sprinting up the hill toward Maple. We get to the top of the bridge just in time to see it go under.

As strange as it sounds, that was the most alive I have felt in a long time. A feeling comparable to skiing down the 70 degree slope in Kirchberg, Tirol, Austria. There is just something so freeing about adventure that makes you feel truly alive, like you can do anything.

So, I’ve made a decision. Whatever I do in life, I want to make it adventurous. Chase that train. Get that second cup of coffee. Eat that gluten free cupcake.

Life happens once, why not make it an adventure?