“Be true to yourself. Live honestly. Be a good person. Know your strengths and play those strengths up. Everyone is here for a reason, and we are given our gifts and talents for a reason–why waste them by never sharing them?”
Blogger/ Musician/ Writer
Rachel Ann Cauilan is a writer, guitarist, music lover, journalist and blogger. She is currently studying Literary Journalism and Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Rachel has a love for uncovering and connecting with individuals whose stories mean something and runs Beauty Within, which is a testament of her life growing up, from all the people, places, things, and feelings she has known. You can watch her “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac Cover) which was done with her friend Ayana Giann Carlos, or take a look at her Youtube.
What is it that you love to do?
I love music and I love writing, but I love storytelling in general. Writing is the first medium I ever found my voice; and music was the first thing that allowed me to tangibly feel and create something that others could experience themselves.
I never had a doubt in my mind that this is what I was meant to do- to write and to play and hope that it can affect others in a positive way.
How did you get started in following your dream?
I feel as if I am still starting to follow my dreams; but who knows if and whenever that starts and stops?
I have been lucky enough to have been given opportunities to interview up-and-coming musicians throughout college and create stories that matter–in revealing the innate humanity underneath these individuals.
But at the end of the day, I am still very much creating my own name. I write about what moves me; I record and play music from those who inspire me; and I still have dreams of creating and recording my own music while writing my own stories (to ultimately be made into film).
There’s no real “start,” I feel. You just have to do it.
Did anyone know about your dream?
Friends and family had known of my interests. I never blatantly made my dreams or desires obvious–I just quietly kept in the background and produced my own content. I’ve been writing on my blog since I was 13, recorded YouTube video covers since I was 15…
I kind of always just did my own thing, hoping others would hear, listen and respond. It was all out of my own personal motivation for self-expression.
What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
A part of me feels as if my interests are all over the place, and I question, “How will I ever succeed if my interests are everywhere?” But, the good thing with any artist and creative person is that you work from project to project.
I have faith that I can plunge myself into as many artistic endeavours that I can. Luckily I am still a student, but graduating college is coming soon and I will have to navigate through post-grad struggles. I just know that I will always be writing and playing music and being creative, wherever I go. I only need myself and my life to keep on writing.
Challenges lie mainly in creative roadblocks–not feeling inspired or motivated for that one day, which turns into several days. With art, music, writing or anything else creative, you need to make it your lifestyle. Art IS your lifestyle. And for people who have always admired my writing, I never found why. It’s only because I was always writing because it felt natural to me–it was only second nature.
Find what you do and love to do and put in the work to create. People respect anyone who is chasing their “dreams” fearlessly, shamelessly and with no apologies. Put your work out there and don’t be ashamed. If you love your art enough, you’ll always be doing it, no matter what.
What have you learned in the process of following your dream?
Ever since I was a little girl, I was always afraid of “growing older” and “losing time,” losing my youth to follow and pursue my dreams. I always thought my youth was a weapon of my advantage. As you grow older, you begin to find your strengths and grow into a more “full” person.
I was always too scared to admit–yeah, I wanna be a musician! I just had faith that the work I put into anything I do will somehow do me good in the future.
There is no real “dream,” but only ideals. And I figure that if you put the work into what you do, you can live the life you “idealize.” Keep writing. Keep making music. Keep producing content. And constantly put yourself out there. When you are right in your intentions, people will respond to that.
What has changed in your life?
I’m just growing and learning, hoping that the more and more I put myself out there and make the effort to create, people can respond.
What message are you trying to share with your work?
Be true to yourself. Live honestly. Be a good person. Know your strengths and play those strengths up. Everyone is here for a reason, and we are given our gifts and talents for a reason–why waste them by never sharing them?
I have always been someone who strived to live in her own name. I know many people who become ashamed of who they are, are too shy to do the things they want to, or are unsure of how others think of them. If you feel good about yourself and the art you contribute, no one can ever say anything about them. It’s a part of you and you have courage for sharing that with the world. Whether it’s your writing, music, talent, voice… Own it.
And, above all: Do what makes you happy. This life is too short to be lived blindly or in fear of chasing what moves you. Do what makes you feel most alive! I hope that in everything that I choose to do in my life, and the way in which I respond to my life, can inspire others to do what makes them feel good. You just have to be a good person, but know how you can give yourself up to others as well.