Before moving in with my boyfriend, I had taken pride in my ability to be more independent. After going back and forth living with one relative to the other and getting tired of such dependency, I finally saved up enough money to move out and got a place of my own; in another state. 

    I always saw myself as a natural rebel. If someone told me to do something, I'd instantly cringe. Any kind of authority, whether it was from parents, friends, or teachers, made me naturally want to do my own thing. I learned quickly growing up, that those who assumed power over me, actually had none at all and it was as easy as me doing my own thing that confirmed this.

    So as I matured into my early twenties and worked on my self-development, this desire to do my own thing stuck with me; it never changed, but grew. My desire to do my own thing turned into my desire to be my own boss, my own manager, someone I could rely on at the end of the day rather than waiting on everyone else. 

    I wanted so badly to prove people wrong, but most importantly myself. Deep down I had been so insecure about my abilities that it was crushing my ambition to work towards anything bigger. I rarely received encouragement from family and constantly fought with my sister, that eventually I came to fight myself from within. So as I grew up, I realized this desire for a change bigger than myself as soon as I moved in with my boyfriend. 

Four years together

    Living with my boyfriend's family was quite a new experience for me. I had never immersed myself with anyone, not even my own family, to the point where we'd have intellectual conversations at the dinner table. Compared to my family, who were often reserved and closed off, my boyfriends family showed me the importance of connection. Being the reserved person I was though, it was really tough on me. 

    I moved in with my boyfriend shortly after we started dating; it was a quick process that made us argue so much to the point where we both were convinced we wouldn't make it. We both were insecure from previous relationships that naturally it was rubbing off on each other. As bad as it sounds, we struggled for two years before anything improved and then after that, it only got better.

    As happy as I was to have found a partner I knew I wanted to spend my life with, the lack of independence made me extremely uncomfortable. My boyfriend at the time wasn't ready to move out with me so I stayed. In time, what was only suppose to be for a few months turned into a year, and a year turned into seven. 

Working with animals!

    During the challenging times of not having a job or just feeling uncomfortable in someone elses house, I turned inward to help me get through it all. I wrote a lot, read books on self-development, watched documentaries, and even meditated more. I learned to see myself less as a victim and more as a warrior getting through the rough patches. I learned to complain less, do more, and focus on the better side of life. Most importantly, I focused on my attitude.

    In this developing phase, I turned to art to help take my mind off of everything. I had always loved art growing up but always put it down. One day in 2015, I turned to Pinterest to find inspiration and that's when I came across a mandala that inspired me to start my own channel on YouTube. My art wasn't all that great then since I didn't make time to practice, but I uploaded videos consistently because it was fulfilling. To this day, I love making art videos and hope to one day become a full-time artist.

One of my early mandalas

    I also began developing a relationship with my mother, who I never took the time to get to know since she had her own struggles and I never knew how to open up to her. She lived in Massachusetts and was struggling with alcohol after dealing with the loss of her brother. I often did my best to talk to her to cheer her up. Eventually it became a routine for us to talk to one another everyday and I discovered that we were more alike than I thought.


    Unfortunately, my mom became homeless some years later and it tore me up inside. She always kept her issues private but deep down I knew she was hurting. Since I wasn't able to help her and she often refused help, I made a commitment to talk to her at least. As we spoke daily, I learned to be in the moment with her and let go of trivial matters I couldn't change. I learned the importance of a mother's love through our conversations and the unique bond that's created when a mother and daughter bond.


    Despite the problems that hung heavy on my shoulders, I knew I had to keep moving forward; not just for me, but to make those I loved, proud. I saved up money, I learned the importance of investing from my boyfriend, and the importance of following ones passions; for me, that was art. I even learned to indulge when you're able to and to take time to pamper yourself so you can keep going; like going on a vacation or treating yourself to your favorite meal. Balance became crucial in my life and I learned to love myself through this.

In Italy

    By the start of 2020, my mother passed away. It hit me so unexpectedly and left me in a very dark place. I felt alone because I had realized later on that the best friend I had been searching for was in fact my own mother. All the years I had spent practicing everything I had learned seemed to have gone out the window in an instant and it left me hopeless. I quickly became resentful of the very nature of life because I didn't get a chance to spend a lifetime with my own mother. I had so much planned for us and it all came to a halt and there was nothing I could do about it. 

    It took some time for me to feel like I was part of life. When I was able to, I went out for walks to clear my mind, I cried often, and I slept a lot too. I read spiritual books that helped me look at death differently since reality was too harsh. I also spoke to my mom when no one was around and asked her to show me signs that she was happy. To my surprise, I saw the signs instantly, majority in my dreams, and some as I was outside. I doubted it at first, but the more I saw them, the more I came to believe that she was still with me. 

    As the signs increased, so did my energy and I  went back into making art and uploading videos. It felt wrong at first to go about my day so normally, but it came naturally. Just like that, I had grown out of someone old and into someone new. I knew I needed my own place next, I needed a change, and I needed it fast. I was done with the old ways of living so I saved up money and my boyfriend and I started to look for apartments. 

My unalome tattoo

    By February 2021, my boyfriend and I moved out. It was a stressful process but one that we needed. Both of us needed a fresh start, one that didn't have so much baggage to it. Even though the years that have led up to today have put so much stress on me that there were times where I didn't know how I'd get through it all, I'm happy I kept pushing on. If it wasn't for the wonderful support I also received from my boyfriend, it would have been so much harder. 

    So to the years that have made me who I am today, I'm ready for more. I've made a commitment to myself to never back down from life's challenges, and to face them with confidence. When I tell people I have little fears, it's true. When you face so many hardships early in life and you get through them, eventually you realize how strong you really are - and we all have this in us. I vow to keep going and I hope you do too.

Until next time. xoxo - Sarah


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