Tending To Life, A Gardener’s Approach

I spent Sunday morning weeding my garden. Though the garden is relatively small, it took close to two hours to fully de-weed and groom the space so my vegetable plants have their ideal room to grow. As sweat rolled down my back, I relished in the physical exertion of the work and started to think how similar Life is to a garden.

Aspects of Life — relationships, business, spirituality, personal mindset — are like a garden, ripe with potential to bloom into something spectacular. All are essential parts of a healthy livelihood.

As with a garden, though there may be prospect of future blossoms and delicious produce, the probability for weeds to also take root. Sometimes we allow those weeds into our lives, whether they be in the form of misguided advice, distrustful people, personal faults, or any other negative force. If we are not careful, those weeds may begin to overtake what once was a thriving and happy space.

For too long I mistook those weeds as indicators of something being wrong in my Life. It has taken me time to see the weeds for what they truly are though: opportunities to show how much I truly care for the beautiful parts of my life. Weeds, just like negativity in life, are going to grow. With hard work, nourishment, and a watchful eye, though, even the most weed-filled garden can be pruned.

Cheers to a more nurturing and caring lifestyle, my friends!

“Once Upon A Time” Versus Forever & Always

A Facebook post came across my Newsfeed yesterday. The original author, Abbey Elizabeth Boone, stressed how important it was to wait to find someone who appreciates you and who you can appreciate back. Her simple little blurb was picked up by Love What Matters and has been shared numerous times, cementing its purpose to thousands of readers.

I encourage you to read Abbey’s original post (at the link above). Her comparison between her past toxic relationships to her current, healthy one made me smile. Today is G’s and my second wedding anniversary. Two years ago we stood in front of our loved ones and expressed vows of unconditional love, unfaltering companionship, and endless date nights. Marriage has been the best adventure of my life so far, even if it is also the most difficult. G and I have waged through a number of wars only to come out stronger in every situation. And that is the greatest difference between my own past relationships and present one.

So here is my own little version of my “Once upon a times” compared to my “Forever and Always”:

Continue reading ““Once Upon A Time” Versus Forever & Always”

Reblog: Trauma Is Not Your Fault, But Healing Is Your Responsibility

I have two good friends who are going through different forms of trauma currently. Speaking with them over the past few weeks has brought a lot of tears, some laughs, and many memories of times I have wrestled with inner traumas myself. As has become common, I came across a blog post written by Brianna Wiest on Thought Catalog and her words touched several topics in conversations I’ve had with these two friends over the past month. (Sometimes I wonder if the Ever Listening Web has implanted my mind in order to bring these treasures to my world…)

The entire post rang true on so many different concepts, but I especially appreciated Brianna’s quote, “We are not meant to get through life unscathed. We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.” Though we go through Life hoping for things to be easy, can you imagine if every wish you ever wished or every dream you ever dreamed came to fruition? No challenges means no changes. No failings means no winnings. No tears means no lessons. There are difficulties in my past that I still regret, but they have also led me to become a stronger, wiser, and more conscientious woman — and isn’t that the goal for growing older? To me it is.


What happened to you was not your fault.

It was not something you asked for, it was not something you deserved.

What happened to you was not fair.

You were merely collateral damage on someone else’s warpath, an innocent bystander who got wrecked out of proximity.

We are all traumatized by life, some of us from egregious wrongdoings, others by unprocessed pain and sidelined emotions. No matter the source, we are all handed a play of cards, and sometimes, they are not a winning hand.

Yet what we cannot forget is that even when we are not at fault, healing in the aftermath will always fall on us — and instead of being burdened by this, we can actually learn to see it as a rare gift.

Healing is our responsibility because if it isn’t, an unfair circumstance becomes an unlived life.

Healing is our responsibility because unprocessed pain gets transferred to everyone around us, and we are not going to allow what someone else did to us to become what we do to those we love.

Healing is our responsibility because we have this one life, this single shot to do something important.

Healing is our responsibility because if we want our lives to be different, sitting and waiting for someone else to make them so will not actually change them. It will only make us dependent and bitter.

Healing is our responsibility because we have the power to heal ourselves, even if we have previously been led to believe we don’t.

Healing is our responsibility because we are uncomfortable, and discomfort almost always signals a place in life in which we are slated to rise up and transform.

Healing is our responsibility because every great person you deeply admire began with every odd against them, and learned their inner power was no match for the worst of what life could offer.

Healing is our responsibility because “healing” is actually not returning to how and who we were before, it is becoming someone we have never been — someone stronger, someone wiser, someone kinder.

When we heal, we step into the people we have always wanted to be. We are not only able to metabolize the pain, we are able to affect real change in our lives, in our families, and in our communities. We are able to pursue our dreams more freely. We are able to handle whatever life throws at us, because we are self-efficient and assured. We are more willing to dare, risk, and dream of broader horizons, ones we never thought we’d reach.

The thing is that when someone else does something wrong and it affects us, we often sit around waiting for them to take the pain away, as though they could come along and undo what has been done.

We fail to realize that in that hurt are the most important lessons of our lives, the fertile breeding ground upon which we can start to build everything we really want.

We are not meant to get through life unscathed.

We are not meant to get to the finish line unscarred, clean and bored.

Life hurts us all in different ways, but it is how we respond — and who we become — that determines whether a trauma becomes a tragedy, or the beginning of the story of how the victim became the hero.

Written by Brianna Wiest and updated November 3, 2019. Find the original post here.


I have two big regrets in my life. The first is not attending my alma mater straight from the beginning of my collegiate career, and thus losing a full-ride scholarship. The second is writing a blog post about one of my past relationships in a rage of emotions. Though I do not regret what I wrote, I regret allowing hate and hurt control my actions and ultimately casting a shadow on my character. I do not regret writing the post, but I regret publishing it.

With this in mind, I also believe healing must occur when we are at fault. Healing must happen to forgive one’s own actions, learn from one’s faults, and move forward with more care and kindness. Sometimes we lose control of our emotions, but it is our responsibility to clean up after the wreckage and assist with healing those who may have gotten in our way.

Both the victim and the warlord need healing to better the world.

All the best, my friends,

Revisit: Losing Moments

With Life continuing to push forward with a rapid fierceness, I wanted to be sure you all knew I am still here. It seems like only yesterday I was busily preparing for Pink Tie Ball and then I looked at the calendar and that was a month and a half ago! Ohmigoodness…

I met for an ice cream date with my “adopted little sister” last week. During our discussion, she mentioned she has been turning to my more-relationship-focused, archived blog posts for inspiration during a trying time of her life. This girl is strong, intelligent, compassionate, and an amazing writer who has begun her own blog. Coming from someone I see as a future Pulitzer Prize winner herself, I was humbled.

And a bit curious.

It has been awhile since I looked over my past posts. I have been blogging since February 2014 and there have been a lot of rants, cries of grief, and ponderings to pass throughout those five years. Though there were a few instances that made me cringe or shake my head in frustration, the walk down memory lane has been refreshing. I have experienced many things over time, and I like to think I’ve learned a bit from those experiences.

In October 2014 I was still floundering to figure out my career path and attempting to move past what I thought was my “rock bottom” — my first breakup. Little did I know there was further to fall. Over the years I have gone on many other dates and felt more heartache. But rock bottom did not come until the loss of other important people in my life — specifically the death of my mentor and the end of my closest friendship. Yet there were also the mountainous highs since 2014: meeting G, grooming my tribe, establishing my reputation in my community, among many others.

As I continue to move through 2019 with Intention, I’d like to share this post from October 2014 on the perception of losing time and how one’s way of approaching Life molds your experience through the years:

“Be present. Be kind. Be knowledgeable. Make love. Make tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth and a quick wit. Run. Make art. Write. Create. Swim in the ocean. Dance in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know your worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow. Laugh. Live.”

These are all things I want to do in my life. In little over a week I will be a whole year older. I cannot believe how quickly my life has gone by! It seems that time seems to speed up the older and busier I become. I need this to stop! I want to enjoy the few years I have, I want to see the world, I want to experience all life has to offer! But it seems the older I get the less chances I have…

Now I know time is actually moving at the same rate it was during my childhood. I remember many a lazy summer day that seemed to stretch on to infinity. So what seems to have changed is my perception of time.

I read an interesting article the other day that discussed why time seems to slip blindly by as we go through our days. In the article, research stated that time is processed in three-second increments. In a way, the human brain warps time as our brains receive more or less input than usual. This is why time slows down during a car crash and a person can lose an entire day watching Netflix.

The point of the study was to influence people to do more, or rather notice more. Focusing one’s attention on the here and now is shown to help our brains store more information and alter our perspectives of how fast time is passing. Being mindful to focus on such things can actually slow down our brain’s perception of time. In the same way, mindlessly being distracted can create a feeling that we’re losing whole hours. The final suggestion of the article was to not go through daily routines on autopilot, but rather create clear goals or events throughout the day to notify your brain of time passing.

I’m not quite ready for my life to fly by. I want to enjoy every moment of every day I am alive. I mean, God’s given me so much, why would I not want to make the time to appreciate it all?! I want to notice the small kind gestures those around me make, I want to see the exchanging of conversation and movement between all aspects of the world, and I want to actively perform my life and prove my time to be valuable with all those whom I associate.

Just as the quote said at the beginning, I want to be present in every circumstance. I want to experience every minute of my life. I simply want to enjoy my life and everything happening within it.


With you and for you always,

Reblog: It Takes Losing What You Were Settling For To Remember What You Deserve

I think it’s a natural occurrence to look back on your life and marvel at the changes over the years. Though there may be some changes you would like to reroute to their original path, most changes have probably been for the better. It is normal to want to strive to be better and do better and become better in all areas of your life. Some may argue that is the very concept of humanity — to grow into our own perspective of better with every passing year.

With that in mind, I was perusing one of my favorite sites to pass the time and came across an article by Raina Naim who discusses how loss can change us for the better. If you’re someone who has been following my blog over the years, this is one of my key beliefs also. I am a firm believer that when you lose something it is only because something better is about to take it’s place. I know of a few friends out there who need to hear this message, and Raina says it beautifully…


It takes loss to make us realize what we deserve.

It takes heartbreak to make us realize the kind of love we want.

And it takes falling in love with the wrong person to make us realize who’s really right for us.

It takes losing what we had to realize that it wasn’t what we really wanted or needed. It takes losing things to realize that we can do better. We’re destined for greater things. We’re meant to be with better people. We don’t deserve pain. We don’t deserve to suffer. We don’t deserve to settle.

Many things in life make us settle for things we don’t deserve. Maybe it’s loneliness, maybe it’s a lack of self-love, maybe it’s peer pressure, maybe it’s family traditions. It can be a lot of things we’re unaware of doing but we’re just conditioned to be a certain way or do certain things that we frankly don’t know why we’re doing it or who we’re trying to please.

Which is why losing things is the best wake-up call. It’s the beginning of you transforming your life. It’s the beginning of your self-awareness and your soul-searching journey to unlearn everything you’ve ever been told and listen to your own voice.

It takes losing people to find yourself.

We sometimes eat lies when our hearts are hungry. We believe that mediocre things are the best. We hold on to people who don’t respect us. We tell ourselves the lies we want to hear as we bury the truth because we just don’t want to live that kind of reality. We don’t want to wait another month or another year. We don’t want to start over. We focus so much on what we want that we end up forgetting what we deserve.

We sometimes spend our lives fighting for people who only hurt us and disappoint us. We fight for people who don’t fight for us. We fight for people who break our hearts because we think we’ll never find that feeling again or this chemistry or this vibe again. But it’s only when you fight just as hard to let go that you realize you deserve more. You deserve better. You deserve someone who doesn’t break your heart and call it love.

It took me a few years to get over certain losses in my life but when I look back now, I realize that every loss brought me closer to finding myself. Every loss taught me what I truly deserved. Every loss reminded me that there’s something greater to be gained.

Written by Rania Naim on February 8, 2019. Find the original post here.


There is nothing better than losing some and gaining more, friends. Looking back, my life has been full of little losses than have resulted in my greatest blessings. Even the “big” losses grew bigger than have imagined! I would not trade any of my past tears, grief, or heartache for happy moments because they’ve brought me to where I am right now… and that’s a pretty amazing life to live now.

All the best,