Love Trials

When she looked at him, all of the stress, anger, and troubles of life seemed to slip away. Her day was no longer about work but about the beautiful relationship that was forming before her eyes.

When she looked at him, her life didn’t seem real. She said it didn’t seem real because it was all too good to be true. Could someone really love her in the same way that she loved them? Why hasn’t he gotten tired of her yet? What was she doing differently this time that made her so special? These questions never got any sufficient answers no matter how many times he tried to reassure her that she was amazing, beautiful, smart, worthy.

It didn’t feel real because nothing had ever felt so mutual. She was never held to a high standard. She never set a high standard for herself. She always settled for less than she deserved and, ultimately, her excuse to herself was, “This is what love is”. Like that excuse was, somehow, supposed to make it all worth her time.

When she looked at him, she saw her world morph into something new. No longer did she have to dread going home. No longer did she have to walk on eggshells around everyone. She was able to seek refuge in the comfort of his arms without fail. She was, finally, able to receive the love that she was continually giving to others.

When she looked at him, he saw her. He didn’t just look at her body; He gazed into the deepest parts of her soul and found what she kept hidden there. She hid her fears, her thoughts, her dreams and all it took was for someone to care just enough to uncover the things she left behind the walls that she built around her heart.

When she looked at him, she realized that the efforts made in past relationships were not a waste of time but, rather, trials to show her that, eventually, someone would come along to appreciate all of the things that she did for the ones she loved.

When she looked at him she saw someone who was able to fall in love with all of her pieces. He was able to fall in love with the prices that she had spent so much time creating and perfecting and would still come up short but he loved her just the same. She was never going to be perfect and her efforts may not always come off the way she expected but her attempts were always with the best intentions.

She was an indefatigable lover; she loved without borders and without fear of commitment.

When she looked at him, she was home.


Passion is hard to find and even harder to hold on to. Passion manifests itself in so many ways. It can show up in the excitement in his voice when he talks about movies. It can show in her bounciness when she sees the new line of hair products being released from her favorite brand. It often shows in the sparkle in their eyes when they see each other.

Passion speaks volumes without a single word tumbling out of the mouth. Nothing really has to be spoken to see true passion. We can find it in an open field full of wildflowers. It can be discovered all alone, behind closed doors or in the large crowd of people at a bustling event. All of these opportunities, and some people still live their entire lives in search of it but never happen to find it.

Other times, we find it but never learn how to hold tight to it or nurture it the way that it deserves. Eventually, it slips into the spaces between our fingers.

If we are lucky, in our lifetime, we can find passion and live, love, and laugh honestly and fearlessly because, to find passion, is to find happiness.

To Tell Someone

“Whatever you are feeling right now, there is a mathematical certainty that someone else is feeling that exact thing” ~Neil Hilborn

To tell someone would mean to let someone in. It would mean letting someone see my true self… all of me. To tell someone would constitute vulnerability and transparency. Neither of those sound particularly appetizing. They cause the burn of bile in the back of my throat. It is the rising heat in mid-May coming up from my torso. I believe that this is a painful thing for a lot of people to experience. To tell someone would mean that they have the ability to understand me which, in turn, would give them the power to crush me.

To tell someone would mean giving them the knife and telling them where to cut.


Letter of Recommendation: Off-Roading

Off-roading has just recently given me a renewed outlook on life. I took a trip out to the West Mesa in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. This trip was not my choice but it was a much-needed escape from my life and I am now glad to have been dragged along for the ride.

In my life, I struggle with depression and anxiety. My depression lurks at random times and it doesn’t let me forget that it is there. The only way for me to get away from it is to literally run away. I found my happy place that is secluded and, for the sake of keeping it secluded, I will not disclose the location. I didn’t realize that when my boyfriend, Matthew, asked me if I wanted to see something beautiful he was taking me on some far-off trip; I had to ask, multiple times, if he planned on dropping me off, never to be seen again.

Anxiety tends to be the sibling to depression and, for whatever reason, stays long after the gray haze has subsided. Anxiety keeps you constantly thinking about Murphy’s law. It will give you every possible situation in which something could go wrong. This might be worrisome before you even leave the house. You would think, from this explanation, that off-roading would be more stressful than enjoyable and, while that may be the case for some, it was not the case for me.

On this little one hour side-bar to our day, I was forced to smile, not because of Matthew but, because of the way the vehicle moved underneath us when he weaved through the shrubbery and over the bumps and grooves of the soft sand. I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that just made me want to grin from ear to ear. It was as if the tires moved independently. There was fear intertwined with excitement and, conveniently enough, I think that is how a lot of us spend our lives. Even though there is a fear of something bad happening, more times than not, it is short-lived and, once we are out there living it, it is much more exciting than fearful.

Off-roading, when someone else is driving the vehicle, is similar to how a lot of us live. We live our lives out of control and, while out in the vast expanse of dirt and repetitive hilltops, there is a moment where we can experience this overwhelming sensation of submission. We are then able to let go of the fear, anger, and stress of the everyday monotonous behavior that we have all, as adults, grown accustomed to. Experiences like these give us a way to focus solely on what is ahead of us and not what we have left behind. Looking in the mirror and seeing the dirt that the over-sized tires have kicked up into view is a freeing feeling. We can then focus on what it is that we have ahead of us and what is yet to make its way into our view, forgetting everything that is not directly related to what is going on in front of us.

When on this trip, it became clear that there was more to off-roading than I originally thought. I found, with this experience, that I learned a lot about myself in the process. I focus on a lot of things that are not necessarily conducive to the type of person that I would someday like to be. Secondly, I learned that I spend a lot of my life focusing on the past and not the life that I am working toward and building for myself. This simple experience, the aggressive movement of the car underneath me, the car tilting from one side to the other as the hard dirt makes patterns on the earth, has shown me what it is like to break away from the chains of my past failures. These new life journeys can show us what we have been missing and can make us more aware of what we are doing to our own psyche by looking back so often.

Relatively, it is nice to have a destination. Our trip climaxed at the peak of a hill amid all the other nonchalantly placed hills just like it. The clock ran past five o’clock just as the sun descended behind the horizon and, for a moment, instead of feeling fear, anger, regret for past choices, depression or anxiety, I felt content. I also found myself understanding what I thought so many people were crazy for thinking about New Mexico when I stated to Matthew, “It really is beautiful”.


10 Simple Ways to Boost your Mood

I have compiled a list of things that I have found to be effective when working to boost my own mood. Not all of these have to be done at one time and in no particular order. Find one that jumps out at you and give it a try.

1. Meditate

Meditation is a great way to boost your mood. Sitting with your legs crossed with nothing on your mind has a way of clearing any negativity from your day and can instantly boost your mood if done right. There are many different ways to meditate. Meditation doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sit with your legs crossed and your hands on your knees. Meditation can be reading a good book or listening to one of your favorite bands.

2. Find a hobby

Finding a hobby can help with keeping your mind occupied and keep negative thoughts at bay. One of my favorite hobbies that keeps my mind focused is crocheting. Having to think about every stitch as my hand moves is helpful in boosting my mood. Another good hobby for me has been archery. Archery causes me to clear my mind of everything that is not necessary for aiming at the target. Find a hobby that does the same for you.

3. Reduce stress

Reducing stress could mean a lot. It can also be quite difficult depending on your current stress level. But don’t let it discourage you. Try reducing a little at a time. If it financial stress, attempt to reduce debt. Come up with a plan and tackle your stress a little at a time. Step by step, you will see your mood start to improve because of the reduction in stress.

4. Grounding

If you have never heard of grounding before, it can seem a little intimidating, or even nonsensical, at first. Grounding is walking or standing barefoot in the grass. This will bring you closer to nature and, in doing so, releases serotonin in the brain.

5. Cut out toxicity

This is another one of those things that can be pretty intimidating when there is a lot of it to be done. Once again, tackle this a little bit at a time. If the toxicity comes from a dead-end job, maybe it is time to move on and find something more fulfilling. If it is from a relationship, there may be a conversation that needs to happen or it could just be time to call it quits. Whatever it may be, the toxicity is only going to bring down your mood.

6. Listen to happy music

We all have the terrible habit of listening to sad music when we are sad to, for whatever reason, make ourselves more sad. Stop it! Put on some upbeat music, crank it up loud, and jam out. This is something that has helped me boost my mood on countless occasions.

7. Give yourself time to recharge

I cannot express how important this one is, especially if you have a very hectic and people-oriented schedule. The more time you spend with the people around you, the more time you are going to need to recharge. This means, meditating, taking advantage of that new found hobby, relaxing for a weekend instead of going out. You cannot boost your mood if you are constantly focused on everyone else.

8. Set goals

Goal setting is a big factor in just keeping yourself accountable to your own mind, body, and soul. Pay attention to what these parts of yourself are trying to tell you. If you are unhappy, set goals to find time to adjust habits to boost your mood. If your body is unhealthy, set health goals. If your soul is drained, set goals for “me time”, which leads me into my next point:

9. Set aside “Me Time”

Setting aside “me time” is related to giving yourself time to recharge but it is more focused on your body than your mind. If you look good, you feel good. Get out, get a haircut, get your nails done, buy a new outfit.

10. Exercise

Exercising has been proven to boost your mood. There are a number of studies that have been done showing that exercise can help improve your mood and reduce anxiety. It is important to take care of your body so that you can, in turn, take care of your mind.

These things may seem difficult at first, but when you start implementing them into your everyday life and get into a routine, they become second nature. Boosting your mood and getting out of a slump that life, society, your relationships, your health, etc. have put you in can be an immense challenge but once you start to adjust one thing, the others will start to fall into place. Keep working at it!

A Christmas Miracle

Jeremy and Shaina Laughlin’s Little Christmas Miracle

Sometimes we pray. Sometimes we throw our hands up to the sky and relinquish control. Sometimes we ask for help and people respond with love, admiration, and kindness. 

I think all of us, at some point during the holidays, have had a time of hardship and needed a little bit of help to get through. 

Asking for help can be hard but this wonderful family has been able to do just that. Please read up on their cause, donate if you can and share this to get their story out. They need all the help they can get.

Thank you so much to all of you, my lovely readers. You are all beautiful. 

Jeremy and Shaina Laughlin’s Little Christmas Miracle

5 Mental Health Benefits of Green Tea

1. Enhance Memory

Green tea has been proven to increase connectivity in the regions of the brain that are associated with memory. This study was conducted in 2014 at the University of Basel. Green Tea extract was given to a group of healthy individuals. After one dose per week for four weeks, it was found that green tea had helped to improve the memory of healthy people. 

2. Increase Mental Focus

Although Green tea has half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, it still help with your focus and awareness throughout the day. Being able to focus on your work is just as important as remembering the task that you’re supposed to be working on. Aside from Caffeine, an amino acid found in green tea, L-theanine, may help those with anxiety and attention deficits focus on their daily tasks. You’ll have to take the L-theanine in a supplement if you want to reap this benefit as there isn’t enough in a cup of green tea for it to make much of a difference. 

3. Combat Depression

Green tea may help lessen depressive symptoms. A study conducted by Public health nutrition in 2014 shows that individuals who drank 4 or more cups of green tea in a day were 51% less likely to show symptoms of depression. It is also known that just drinking one cup can temporary boost your mood. If you spend all day drinking green tea, why wouldn’t you start to feel happier?

4. Reduce stress

Green tea has been shown to reduce stress up to 20%. In people suffering from psychological distress the saw improvement by drinking 5 cups of green tea per day. Reducing stress can improve a lot of other physical ailments as well. Skin irritations, muscle fatigue, delayed motor function, and inflammation can all be results of living your life stressed out. 

5. Calm and Soothe

Green tea gives a great calming affect without making you drowsy. I have found that green tea is especially helpful when meditating. Drink one to two cups of green tea before meditating to help soothe the mind. This natural process will have you reaching a calmer state in no time. 

Your happiness is dependent on you and there are things that you can do for yourself to help your body along in the process.