And where’s the advice for men?

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In the last two years, I’ve immersed myself in the world of personal growth and development, and struggled through the emotional rollercoaster of an on-again-off-again toxic relationship.

I’ve read countless posts on Medium and other websites; I’ve listened to podcasts, I’ve talked to friends who appear to know better than I do how to maintain boundaries and remove negative and toxic people from their lives. I watched Matthew Hussey’s Netflix show, Single Wives. I follow him on Instagram. I listen to his wise words. …

Or are you stuck in a rut of unfulfilled dreams?

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Adulting is hard. Nobody teaches us the skills to help us achieve our goals and live a joyful life. Unless you majored in Psychology, you likely didn’t take a class where you learned how to make tough decisions, how to deal with a mid-life crisis, or how to get out of a life slump and get motivated again. We learn lessons on personal growth from family, friends, reading, or going through the experiences ourselves and picking up what life is throwing at us.

I grew up being good at some aspects of life. I was an A-student, always had a…

Become Self-Aware of Your Feelings

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My anger shows up at strange times. It bubbles up when I am mowing the yard or when I walk the dog. When my thoughts get the best of me, I feel it making its way down my arms as I paddle my kayak harder than I should. When that happens, I may run over anyone that stands in my way.

Why am I angry?

I am angry at my ex-boyfriend, the way our relationship developed, and how it ended.

I was proud of my anger. I wanted my face to show how pissed I was. I was wronged, and…

It takes work, but you can recover the love.

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All relationships go through phases. If you’re in a healthy relationship, the positive moments should outnumber the negative. But sometimes we struggle. And sometimes that struggle goes on for too long, where all you seem to remember are arguments, pain and that constant feeling the relationship may have reached its bitter end.

We feel stuck. And when we feel stuck in our love lives, our minds go into overthinking mode, and maybe a slight amount of hysteria. We ask our friends what we should do. We ask Google. We spend hours, days, trying to find our way back into the…

Our heads are often in the way of happiness

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Everybody wants to be happy, but not all of us are good at achieving it.

Nobody is purposefully blocking happiness from entering their life, but some habits and ideas we carry with ourselves prevent us from living the life we want to live.

Often we list material things we believe will make us happy: a bigger house, a higher paying job, a sports car. While all of those are nice things to have, the happiness we get from acquiring extra stuff is short-lived, and often we don’t have the power to get them.

But we do have the power to…

In case you forgot

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You deserve to be chosen.

You deserve a love you don’t have to chase. You deserve someone who won’t make you beg for their love. Someone who will prioritize you and make you feel you’re the only thing that matters.

You deserve a love that’s true. You deserve to receive the same amount of love you give to everyone else. Someone who will show up on your worst day.

You deserve to be seen. You deserve someone whose eyes light up when you walk into a room. Someone who will smile and make you smile.

You deserve to be heard…

Does this make me a terrible person?

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Sometimes, it’s hard to be happy for people who have what you wished you had. Even if most of the time we feel 99.9% happy with our lives, there are events that sting more than we’d like.

On a recent work Zoom meeting, someone asked, “Who is isolating with their significant other?”

All but three out of nineteen people in the meeting raised their hands. My hand was down. My hand is always down when there are questions about couples.

I seem to always be single. Even when I wasn’t single, it felt like I was single.

I was dating…

Know Yourself #4

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Name three works of art (music, literature, and visual art/architecture) that mean a lot to you.

If I could choose childhood memories, it would be these three.

The Parthenon

I remember sitting in class as a middle schooler learning about ancient Greece. My social studies teacher would click through slides (remember those?) in the projector showing us all the magical art that was built during that time in history.

I loved that social studies class, and I loved that teacher. Not only did he teach me about my favorite time in history, but he would talk to the class about the environment, as well as events going on in the world that parents wouldn’t talk to us about…

We can choose what stories we tell ourselves

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How many weeks have we been stuck at home? I kept track for a while, but the days are blending together and the only thing keeping me straight is my biweekly group meetings with work.

Let’s just say it has been a while.

Many thoughts have gone through my head during this time. At times I was sad because travel plans were canceled; I was upset about the inconvenience of being at home. For a while, my routine was mostly out of whack and I had too much time to think. And that can be a dangerous thing. I’ve had…

Know Yourself #2

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What do you most regret so far?

One day recently during an afternoon walk, I started thinking about how my life has unfolded and I remembered a conversation I had with my mom almost 20 years ago. She told me that one day, I would regret rooting my life in the United States.

It wasn’t until the last 2 or 3 years that I’ve started feeling the heaviness of being in this country by myself. It hasn’t been until the last month that I’ve started wondering if I should look at options to move back when my son turns 18 and starts college in four years.


Maribel Martinez

Geographer, foodie, hiker, mom; learning what life is all about. Reach me at

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