Relationships

  • “Thank God for all I’ve missed, cause it led me here to this.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When I first got the news that coronavirus would be sending me home from college, I was devastated.

    Let me set the scene for you: I was in an Uber on the way back from Lululemon picking up Janna’s birthday gift. The second I stepped into the Uber I received an email. My stomach dropped, knowing the rumors from the last week about being sent home due to coronavirus. The email read in bold “classes will operate fully online for the remainder of the semester.” I immediately began to tear up in the back of the Uber (overdramatic…I know).

    Questions flooded my head immediately: How would I be able to go without seeing my friends for five months? Would I really be missing the end of my freshman year dorm experience? … but the question that was looming in the back of my mind that truthfully made me tear up was … “how could I keep the boy I’m interested in, interested in me if I wasn’t hanging out with him a few times a week?”

    When I returned to campus, I sat at my desk and sobbed. Looking back, I wasn’t actually that upset about online courses. I was more upset that I would no longer be able to keep the attention of a boy I thought liked me, because I knew he would not be willing to put in the effort to talk during the five months apart (which was a MAJOR red flag). In other words, I was LOWERING MY STANDARDS FOR SOMEONE NOT WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME FOR ME (little did I know, getting sent home would bring me the greatest blessing).

    The first couple weeks of quarantine were tough. I spent a lot of the time stuck in my own head. I thought about how life was just a few weeks prior and how all I wanted was to have it back. And what I expected to happen with my on campus relationship, happened. I was left wondering if I was being used the last few months because now that we weren’t in each other’s presence, I barely got a text back anymore.

    That is when I decided it was time to focus on myself. I spent the rest of March starting a workout routine, getting closer with God and being happy with myself.

    Now, I never believed the saying that you’d find your person when you stop looking for them, but it couldn’t have been more accurate for me. Prior to coronacation, I had met a sweet engineering boy who was visiting friends at UST but I didn’t originally want anything more than friends with him (I was too wrapped up in needing validation from the male I was talking to at the time). Quarantine gave me the opportunity to evaluate what I really wanted in a relationship (a HEALTHY bond with someone who felt like home) and who I wanted that relationship with. And I no longer just wanted a healthy relationship with anyone… I wanted it with the boy who treated me like his everything.

    Suddenly, the sweet boy I met briefly at a party, Jack, became someone I was facetiming every single night. He became the boy I talked to my family about. He was someone I felt comfortable talking to for hours and never running out of things to say. He became the boy who tucked me in via facetime and didn’t hang up until he knew I was asleep. Jack made his intentions with me clear right from the beginning – there was no confusion or playing around with my heart – it just felt right.

    Jack and I had both been in complete lockdown of everyone besides our family, so we decided it was safe for us to go out on a date! Our first date, a couple hour hike and hammocking together, turned into days at the lake, all day movie marathons, night swims, watching fireflies, meeting each other’s families and falling in love.

    The other day, on the ride home from Jack’s place, the song “This” by Darius Rucker came on the radio. When I heard the lyrics, I knew exactly why I was hearing the song at this moment.

    I didn’t understand it way back when
    But sittin’ here right now
    It all makes perfect sense

    Every stoplight I didn’t make
    Every chance I did or I didn’t take
    All the nights I went too far
    All the girls that broke my heart
    All the doors that I had to close
    All the things I knew but I didn’t know
    Thank God for all I missed
    ‘Cause it led me here to this
    .”

    Had I not been sent home from covid, I may never have ended up with my favorite person in the world (which is why it occurred this way).

    So now, let me set the scene for you: I’m sitting in my bed at midnight in Jack’s sweatshirt that he let me borrow to protect me from the mosquitos on the way out to my car. I send a goodnight text and hug my pillow knowing that I want to make Jack the happiest man in the world, fully knowing he makes me the happiest girl.

    The girl crying in an Uber months ago would’ve never pictured my life like it is right now. I may not have understood it then, “but sittin’ here right now, it all makes perfect sense.” I “thank God for all I missed,” because He “led me here to this” beautiful love. Now, sometimes things don’t make sense to us right away, but remember that every single moment happens for a reason. And Jack, I got sent home so we could fall in love, and I am holding you to that promise you made to never break my heart.

    With Love (mostly to Jack though), Marin

  • What He Does: On Raising your Standards

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Rachel Wammack’s music. While not one of the most well known country musicians, I truly believe she deserves a lot more hype! When she released her new song on August 14th, I listened to it ASAP. The lyrics were my absolute favorite – she totally hit the point that you should never lower your standards in a relationship. The reason I love Rachel’s music so much is because she is so honest to her life in her song lyrics and speaks her truth. This really comes out in the second verse.

    “What other guys do had me pretty much believing

    Settling was standard

    ‘Til God gave me a man that sees

    All the love that I give

    All the love that I’m worth…”

    “What He Does” by Rachel Wammack

    I often hear a lot of girls say that “all men are trash” (guilty that I used to do this). I believe this song is a great song because it acknowledges that there are men that will treat you the right way, even if many other guys haven’t before. You should not settle for a guy who treats you “good enough” when there is a guy who would treat you like his whole world. Don’t settle for the boy who texts you after midnight, date the man who calls you “beautiful….baby,…just because.”

    Now, girls, this goes the other way too. You need to be reciprocating healthy relationship behavior. You need to spoil him too. You need to give him all the love that he is worth too. Relationships go both ways and both sides need to be giving it their all for it to be a strong, healthy relationship.

    With Love, Marin

  • It’s Always What You Didn’t See Coming

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Growing up, I was always told that “you’ll find love when you stop looking for it.” Now, I would always pray to God for my person and tell Him I wasn’t looking anymore so that He would send me that person. I think every one of us has done this at some point, fully knowing that we are hoping God won’t notice we were 100% still searching. While we all do this at some point, He truly knows all. I find it so silly that we do this knowing that God already has a direct plan for us and we will receive on His terms and when He sees fit for us.

    I was guilty of praying that I loved myself and I was ready for a deep relationship, time and time again. In the months prior to quarantine, I had lost my connection and patience with the Lord almost completely. I started believing that I could go find my person without His help and ignore every red flag He was sending me that I needed to be patient and it was not my time quite yet. When March 17th hit and I was moving my entire life out of college and back to my childhood bedroom, I realized that while I had progressed in some ways at college, building an outer layer of confidence and self love, I was anxious and untrusting of Him on the inside.

    I was prepared to go through the five months of quarantine, before heading back to college, by myself. I was prepared to be working, blogging, reading the Bible and exercising – things that I believed would help better prepare my confidence and self love for a fulfilling relationship. I quickly learned to love the time I had by myself and who I was as a person.

    And I guess whoever told me that when I “stop looking for love, I’ll find it,” was right. Because this time, my relationship was just so unexpected. However, I don’t know if the cause of finding love is that you stop looking for it. I believe that God’s timing is so good and so above what we expected, that it’ll make any season of your life just that much better.

    I didn’t expect for a brief encounter to turn into nightly FaceTime calls that turned into 1am drive homes from each other’s houses. I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for myself. And that’s when I met Jack.

    To you, this picture may just be a picture

    Just a prarie with some flowers

    Just a blue skyline

    Just some trees trailing off in the background.

    But to me, this photo is a moment

    It’s Joe Pyeweed and Monarcha Birds

    It’s hiking on trails and ducking under barbed wire

    It’s firefly watching and tasting sweet honey off a shared spoon.

    To you, this photo is a picture.

    To me, it’s what I prayed for years to recieve.

    And it’s in moments like this, that I wish I could stop time to hold onto them for just a little longer, before making even more moments I want to freeze in time. Because God chose this to be the time I received what I had prayed for years for, because He knew when the right time was. One of the greatest joys in life is when you receive something you’ve been praying for, and watch God elevate your prayers to a level you never even imagined was possible.

    With Love, Marin

  • 5 Things You Should Expect in a Relationship

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When it comes to relationships, it can often be reflected that women “expect too much.” This usually includes actual date nights, picking you up at the door, bringing you surprise gifts, posting you on social media, communicating with you in a timely manner etc. Okay, now reread all of the things I just listed. ALL OF THOSE ARE SO SIMPLE AND YOU ARE NOT EXPECTING TOO MUCH!! When it comes to a healthy, happy relationship, it is crucial that both you and your partners treat each other in this way.

    Below I have listed 5 key things you should expect from any healthy relationship and ways you can carry these characteristics out.

    Respect

    Respect is essential for a relationship to remain healthy and happy. This is especially true when it comes to arguments – even when the argument gets heated you should NEVER start using name calling or disrespect towards your partner. This is one sure way to cause anxiety and second thoughts about your partner. It’ll cause them to wonder if you truly mean those things and were too afraid to say them.

    Some ways to show respect are: defining what you want in the relationship early, communicating what is working in the relationship, only using positive words with your partner and explain your feelings without getting upset.

    Time

    If your partner is not willing to give time to getting to know each other, dating, and communicating with you in the short term, it will definitely not occur in the long run. Time is something you should expect in a relationship. These time boundaries can be different for every couple and based on the duration of the relationship.

    Some ways to give time to your partner: Weekly or monthly date nights, checking up on them in text

    Generosity

    Generosity comes in many different forms: mental, emotional, financial and material support. Supporting one another in a relationship is a sure way to create an intimate bond. This is because when your partner (healthy relationship) is aware that you care about them when they are in need, they will reciprocate for you when you need the support.

    Some ways to show generosity: Asking how your partner is, bringing home a surprise gift, understanding how your partner deals with stress

    Communication

    Okay, communication is the NUMBER ONE NECESSITY in a relationship. Without communication, you have no relationship. Communication needs to begin at the very first date. If your partner seems to constantly be flaky over text message at the beginning of the relationship, imagine how they would be in marriage? Exactly.

    Some ways to ensure you are communicating: Did you let them know your availability? Do they know what you want out of this relationship? Do you know what they want? Do you express your feelings with each other?

    Affection

    Affection is a way to spice up a relationship. When the relationship is new, affection tends to be very easy. However, as you spend more and more time together, it is crucial to keep the spark by being affectionate with one another. Affection typically builds both intimacy and trust in your partner.

    Some ways to show affection: Physical affection, posting your partner on social media, complimenting your partner.

    BABY YOU ARE GOLD, SOLID GOLD!! Don’t let anyone treat you like anything else. You deserve a healthy relationship like this (and more).

    With Love, Marin

  • On My Side of the Fence

    When I was listening to every Dan and Shay song in preparation for their concert (before Corona postponed it) I fell in love with the song “My Side of the Fence.” (Y’all I swear it is 1000x better than “Speechless”) Listening to the lyrics, I envisioned the kind of love I wanted. I even told myself that I would wait for that kind of love and not accept anything less. However, at that same time, I was very distant from God and fulfilling Christ’s word, as well as being filled with anxiety and negative self image. I knew that I would not be able to find that kind of love until I began to work on correcting those things.

    Attending St. Thomas, and taking theology class last fall semester, I began to get closer to the Lord than I had been in an incredibly long time. That’s when I realized that that there was a reason why I had ended up at this smaller, catholic college and not a large public one. In high school I had made it clear that I didn’t have time to learn religion on top of all my school work, because school was my top priority over Him. While that was not a good excuse, now God was making a point to me that since religion was now part of my school work, I had an opportunity to learn and grow in my faith, while also focusing on my schoolwork.

    Following this class, I made a promise to myself in the new year to grow in my faith. For me, this looked like putting my anxiety on Him instead of bearing all the weight myself. When I felt like things were hard to handle, I took out my bible and read a chapter (or two or three), put on some worship music and, most importantly, prayed.

    Now, I had been praying for years, but not like I was this year. Before, I had prayed in a way that was more like a mutual deal than actual trust. I prayed that “I would do X if God would do Y.” However, I realized that God wasn’t a genie to grant my wishes and by praying in this way, I wasn’t truly trusting Him. So I learned to pray in a different way. I began to pray for what I had and for what I knew I was one day going to have through trusting His process.

    I am not going to act like this change was easy for me. As soon as I returned to college from January-term, I began to accept life without the Lord again. I was okay chasing boys instead of them chasing me. I was okay with not praying. I was okay with living with anxious thoughts. But when I was losing sight of Him, a new door had opened. I was removed from college. I was removed from every distraction taking me away from Him.

    And when I gave the time to Him, suddenly it seemed like things became a lot less heavy on my soul . I felt my anxiety lifted and a lot more at peace with the person I am. I began to set goals for myself and manifest them into existence through prayer and ultimate trust in what God had planned for me. I saw growth in my self confidence, my mental health was more at ease, I found myself only accepting of proper male behavior towards me and my side hustle was taking off.

    When I began to start getting rid of what God would not approve of, I found something (someone) that fit into my new mentality. It seemed so strange that it took a pandemic for me to manifest the “My Side of the Fence” type of love that I new I wanted to give to someone else, and also have in return. Over quarantine, my current boyfriend (I’ll introduce him to y’all super soon we just need to have a photoshoot together) treated me like no one else ever had.

    He face-timed me on the daily, kept his promises on contacting me, didn’t constantly ask “what’s up” but instead found deeper conversation, he made his intentions with me clear, and most importantly, he treated me like a man of God would. And yet, for a while, I still found it hard to leave the person who wasn’t treating me like that, behind.

    During that time, I opened up a book I had bought many months before and hadn’t gotten around to reading, “A Love Letter Life.” One quote stuck out to me, almost like I was meant to read it.

    “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”

    Jeremy Roloff, A Love Letter Life

    It had got to the point where staying in the confusing relationship I was in was causing me greater pain than it would be to move on. So I did what the quote told me to and made a change. I’m so incredibly grateful I did because I found that “My Side of the Fence” kind of love because I was no longer accepting less than that…

    Back in November I wrote a blog post on what I’d say when I found my person: “I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.”

    I have some updates to that statement…

    Yes, I am a whole on my own, but life is a lot more fun with you in it. I was wrong, you’re not simply “an” addition. You’re THE addition that I never want to lose. You weren’t, and still aren’t, afraid to chase me. Both my and your confidence, intelligence and self love blend so well together. You are deserving of me. And I am deserving of you (y’all for me to say this is crazy I never think I deserve something this incredibly good). And I may not have known at first when I met you that you were my person, but I wholeheartedly do now. And…

    You’re the rain on the roof in the summer

    You’re the leaves in the fall changing color

    You’re the whisper I hear in the thunder

    On my side of the fence

    You’re the reason my heart’s beating faster

    You’re the tears falling down from the laughter

    You’re the only one I’m after

    I pray you also find this kind of love.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 7

    Hey, pretty girl!!

    Sam Hunt’s new album is my absolute favorite thing ever (and it was perfect timing with quarantine)! One of my favorite, and most relatable, songs from the album was track #11: Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90’s.

    This song has such a good message in regards to modern relationships and their direct connection to technology. It seems like it’s hard to escape your own self doubt when technology is constantly connecting you to another person. It can make starting, keeping and ending relationships a million more times difficult than “the 90’s.”

    In current times, we worry about getting left on read by our crush. We worry about that not getting that ft call. We worry about checking snap maps to see if they are actually where they said they were. We worry about stalking their Instagram seeing if they like their ex’s recent picture…and the list goes on.

    This seems to have escalated with the addition of social distancing. Relationships that were already confusing enough have an extra added level with complete physical separation from the other person. And the fact of the matter is, we are “a product of our generation.” While we can be so much more connected to our significant other than the 90’s, that might not be a good thing. We aren’t meant to dive into things too quick and when technology gives us access to view another person’s highlight reel on social media, telling us where they are and what they’re up to, it can make us feel more insecure about why they are allotting their time like they are.

    While it seems to be almost impossible to stay out of our own heads right now, here are some tips when it comes to relationships mixing with technology.

    • Set certain times to talk – text convos are meant to die out after an hour or two but it’ll be so much better to converse without someone lacking in response because it isn’t a convenient time for them.
    • Say what you mean – don’t send mixed signals or play hard to get, especially right now. You can end up hurting someone’s feelings or driving them further away.
    • Avoid checking location – this doesn’t apply as much right now. However, if you have to check someone’s location, there is probably a bigger trust issue that needs to be addressed.
    • Give yourself a reality check – why are your thoughts so consumed by the situation? If you can pinpoint what’s bothering you, it might help you to address the overall problem.

    With Love, Marin

  • Love Me Like a Girl

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Kelsea Ballerini’s new album, “Kelsea,” came out yesterday. As someone who’s been waiting for this album for months, I was incredibly excited that it came out during quarantine. It was definitely something to look forward to.

    While all the songs in this album are deep and relatable beyond belief, one song resonated with me during this time. Losing all my close girl friends this week was so very hard. Especially with the current women’s empowerment on Instagram, I believed this song was one to bring to everyone’s attention.

    After hearing the song “Love me Like a Girl,” I realized why it was so hard to leave my friends. Girls tend to form an incredibly deep bond with one another. While we all appreciate the males in our lives, sometimes we wish they would just be a little more like our gal pals 😉

    I copied the lyrics below and left my own thoughts on Kelsea’s words below them. The audio of this song is linked on the song title, as well.

    Love me Like a Girl Kelsea Ballerini

    Sometimes I don’t like what’s in the mirror
    Uncomfortable standin’ in my skin
    Yeah, sometimes I feel a little broken
    Doesn’t mean I need to be put together again

    So, when I’m cryin’
    Baby let me cry
    Don’t fix it
    Don’t try to make it right

    I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah, I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl

    I know, you don’t mean to be insensitive
    And I know, you’re never tryin’ to brush me off
    The truth is me and you, we’re wired different
    So it makes sense sometimes we get crossed

    So when I’m cryin’
    Baby pour some red
    When you want to kiss it better
    Listen instead

    I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah, I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl

    I love the way you make me feel like I’m safely
    In the palm of your hand
    And I love the way you hold me, in the dark, babe
    Yeah, just like a man

    But I wish you could love me like a girl
    I wish you could love me like a girl
    Cause my friends, they don’t hurt me, baby, not like you
    Yeah I wish you could know me, baby, like they do
    I wish you could get inside my head
    Baby, maybe then you’d understand
    Why I wish you could love me like a girl

    We’ve all had those moments where we just hate how we look. It can be so frustrating to just look in the mirror and pick apart every small detail of yourself. Girl friends understand that. Even when you’re frustrated crying because your hair won’t function, they don’t downplay the situation. We are all wired to comfort each other and understand these insecurities.

    It can be hard for guys sometimes to understand this type of insecurity because they are just “wired different” than us. So if your man doesn’t get why you’re upset, don’t blame him. He can’t “get inside [your] head” and he doesn’t “mean to be instead.” It’s just something that us girls grasp, and sometimes we just wish our men would understand.

    Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate our men. One thing our girl friends can’t do for us is give us that “in the palm of your hand” sort of feeling. So guys, try to love us like our friends do. Watch how they treat us. And that starts with “listen[ing] instead.” Let us cry when we need to. But don’t stop giving us that manly love either, we appreciate that too.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 4

    Hey, pretty girl!

    Important quote for y’all:

    “You’ll eventually reach a point in your life where you start to realize your own worth and you’ll find that you won’t take shit from anyone anymore because you’re strong enough to know that you straight-up deserve better.”

    That I do. You do too. We all deserve the best of the best. Don’t settle for less.

    I wrote this in my “Motivation for Your Monday: Episode 2” but I think it’s important to be repeated (with modifications in italics). Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person treat me how I’m absolutely not supposed to be treated. I deserve the world.

    Now guys, here’s a little one for you. Say it with me: I will treat women with respect. I will not utilize, manipulate or lie for my own benefit. I will treat women the way I would want my future daughter to be treated. I will act like a man, and not a boy, because this is 2020 and I live in a progressive society where women are not objects to be played with.

    So here’s to knowing what you deserve. Girl, you deserve the world. You deserve the upmost respect from any man in your life. If he doesn’t respect you, then he does not deserve you. Most importantly, don’t “let it slide.” Lying, cheating, manipulating or using you is INEXCUSABLE. There is zero way to come back from that!! There are a million guys who would and WILL treat you how you deserve. Don’t waste time on the ones who don’t.

    With Love, Marin

  • Gifts to get your S.O. for Valentine’s Day

    Hey, pretty girl! (and guys tuning in trying to figure out what they should buy)

    For Her

    1. Barefoot Dreams Blanket
    2. Scrunchie Apple Watch Band
    3. Heart Initial Necklace
    4. Starbucks Reusable Cup
    5. Rose that lasts for a Year
    6. Heart Shaped Sunglasses (Use my link for referral)
    7. Pearl Headband
    8. Jewelry Box
    9. Pink Handbag
    10. Anything cute & cheesy (chocolates, flowers, stuffed animal…)

    For Him

    1. Custom Leather Airpods Case
    2. Temp Control Smart Mug
    3. Wool Running Shoes
    4. Winc Subscription
    5. Something cute & cheesy (guys like to be spoiled sometimes too)

    With Love, Marin

  • Nothing Good Gets Away

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was scrolling through Pinterest tonight and saw a quote that completely resonated with me.

    “If it is right, it happens. The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

    Upon seeing this, I knew I wanted to write a blog post covering this topic. While it’s a little too late for a Motivation for your Monday post, it looks like this can be a Thoughts for Tuesday post.

    The first thing that comes to your mind when you see this post is probably the thing you’re currently rushing in your life right now. Is it a relationship with someone you’ve liked for a while? Is it an opportunity in your activity/sport/job? Is it reaching a personal goal you set for yourself?

    No matter what thing your brain is worried about, it is important to establish patience. I’ve been one to always wish and pray for things to come to me quicker, making deals with God and wanting things to come sooner to be than in His plan.

    However, upon recently listening to a sermon, I learned something important that I felt tied really well with this quote. In a podcast from Berean Baptist Church, given by Tony Manning, this quote resonated with me …

    God has a plan that provides the backdrop for our lives. He is in control.

    If God is in control, what is the point in hurrying things? Every single moment of your life has a purpose. If we try to rush the learning moments God has given us, the “good” thing will not feel as special. Instead of spending time focusing on things we don’t have YET, focus on the moment you are in and the purpose it is serving.

    I make it sound so simple – just be patient. But, I understand, it’s not that easy. However, when we beg God for the things we want, it is evidence that we aren’t quite ready for whatever that thing is yet. In time, however, we will be ready.

    It’s easy to be anxious about receiving the things you want, especially when you feel like it should be your turn to receive. But what if we cut that anxiety part out of the picture? Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if we just lived our lives praying for what we have, preparing for what we are to receive?

    And that is where this Pinterest quote comes in. Don’t worry about rushing things. If you are meant to receive the thing you want, you will.

    With Love, Marin

  • “Love somebody who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When I asked what y’all wanted to see more of in 2020, I got quite a few responses of “relationship advice.” The other day when I was doing my makeup, a Runaway Jane song came on my phone. This country group is known for their female empowerment songs but this one – “Lipstick” – really spoke to me.

    So often women are told that love is “supposed to hurt sometimes.” But love shouldn’t hurt. And the analogy of how a man affects your makeup is a really good way to put this.

    If he ruins your mascara – drop him. But if he ruins your lipstick …. now that’s just him doing his job.

    I think it’s time to change the phrase that love hurts sometimes. Love isn’t easy, by any means, but if it hurts then it isn’t the right love. And your person will “fall right outta the blue,” because “he’s out there looking for you.”

    With Love, Marin

  • “He’s Chasin’ Me”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    My favorite pastime is pulling up the Apple Music top country playlist and hitting shuffle. Using this method, I have found my all time favorite songs and artists that I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.

    During one of my music searching sessions this week I came across a song by an artist I hadn’t heard of before – “Chasin’ Me” by Caroline Jones. Upon hearing the lyrics of this song, I was immersed in the accuracy and relatability of the lyrics.

    I am a strong believer that if someone wants a relationship with you, they will make a conscious effort to get close to you. They will not give up (no matter how many times you left them on read..whoops, my bad…but I like you now so take a hint).

    It seems impossible or unrealistic at times to believe there is someone out there perfect for you AND willing to give you the love you deserve. This leads a lot of people to just settle.

    “They will change eventually.” “I wish they were just a little more like me.” “It drives me crazy when they do (insert something).” “They don’t give me the attention I want, but it’s good enough.”

    All of the above comments are signs that you are not in the right relationship. If you don’t feel like your partner is 100% your person, then don’t hold onto them. There will be someone more right and more deserving of your love.

    Make your person chase you. But, more importantly, chase him too.

    “But now I’m the one who’s losin’ my cool. And butterflies make me feel like a fool. I’ve always been the one in control. But that boy just does something to my soul.

    He’s chasin’ me.”

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday: Episode 4

    Hey, pretty girl!

    I was struggling to think of topic for this Monday. Typically, I jump on a concept that is currently nagging at my mind, but I honestly could not find something… UNTIL I was messaging my college friends while hanging with my high school ones.

    In that moment, I realized how incredibly blessed I am to have two great friend groups full of people who love and support me. Six years ago, I definitely would not have thought this would be my reality. Middle school, for me, was a time where I had truly felt like I didn’t fit in. Now here I was, surrounded by people accepting of who I’ve become.

    Friends are second family. Having great friends is truly something that is a blessing to be grateful for. However, having great friends who support you no matter what, are ever better.

    This got me thinking… what if we were all each other’s friends? What if we all treated each other with the kindness and respect that we give to our friends?

    Conclusion : this world would be a lot less cruel, dark and hateful.

    Now, you’re going to say to me, “but what about the people who I CANNOT be friends with.” I challenge yourself to understand why they behave the way that makes you unable to be their friend.

    Situation #1 : The toxic friend who causes detriment to your mental health.

    Situation #2 : The friend who is not being a friend for reasons that you may be unaware of.

    Obviously, these are not the only two scenarios when it comes to friends. However, it is important to acknowledge the distinction between these two friend behaviors. In the case of the second, we must understand to be empathetic of those around us.

    Keep the following quote in mind when determining between the two situations :

    And I’ll leave you with this – let’s be friends. Reach out to me and I’ll be here. It’s our job to be each other’s support, regardless of how well you know each other now. There is always the potential to GET TO KNOW each other.

    With Love, Marin

  • Motivation for your Monday : Episode 2

    Hey, pretty girl!

    For this episode of Motivation for your Monday, I want to focus on the idea of self worth and acceptance of yourself while single.

    First things first, you are not defined by your relationship status. You are not defined by how many people hit on you. You are not defined by how many boyfriends you’ve had. My point? you are not defined by ANOTHER PERSON.

    Our society teaches us that we need another person to “complete us.” But the truth is, you’re not a half waiting to become whole. You have always been a whole. Another person will never truly make you feel complete; only true acceptance of yourself can make you feel that way.

    I understand it isn’t that simple. We won’t just wake up one day and feel complete. And it’s not easy to see the best in ourselves, especially when we are constantly comparing our lives to those around us. Acceptance and forgiving others for their flaws is easy to do, so why is it so hard to do for ourselves?

    Well, it could be because we know ourselves better than anyone in the world does. We expect so much for ourselves and hold a level of perfection that is simply unattainable.

    “I want to get married by 25.” “I need kids before age 30.” “I cannot be alone for the holiday season.”

    It never hurts to have a plan, but in the same respect, our lives aren’t supposed to follow a plan. If everything followed our plan, life would be pretty boring. Imagine it like this – you follow a very strict diet and never spontaneously deviate from it – boring, right? Same idea. Let life be like that chocolate bar you ate for lunch.

    Back to the point….. I told myself that if I started a blog, I’d always be honest. And honestly, I wish I would follow my own advice. The truth is, no matter how pretty someone’s Instagram page is, they have insecurities too. My insecurity stems from difficulty accepting myself while single.

    I’m about to get really vulnerable y’all so hold onto your hats. I am insecure about the relationships I’ve had with men. Or rather, the lack of them. It can be self defeating to feel like you’re never the girl a guy wants to date. I constantly have felt that because I am not afraid to be myself, I scare every boy away from me. And that, my friends, is my insecurity. I can tell myself over and over again that “men do not determine my happiness,” but I struggle to believe it. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet and be my Hallmark movie ending instead of being okay on my own.

    And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only one who is constantly searching for the person who’s supposed to jump into my life and change everything – waiting for my “other half.” But I’ve made a mindset change tonight. I’m not going to wait around and you shouldn’t either.

    Say it with me : I’m okay on my own. I’m strong. I’m confident. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I KNOW my self worth and I won’t let another person’s opinion take that from me. Anyone who passes on me is NOT worth my time (subtweet).

    I challenge you to find your self worth. Find the place where you thrive best and give it everything you have. Your future partner will admire your passion, not be intimidated by your self acceptance.

    Remember : The only person who deserves you, is the person who thinks they don’t. Never settle for less.

    Now, to the girl who is lost when it comes to love : blare Born to Fly by Sara Evans a couple times. I promise it’ll hit you on a whole different level.

    And to whoever my person is : I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.

    With Love, Marin

  • “The Night Before, Life Goes On.”

    Hey, pretty girl!

    When Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” comes on your radio 5 times in the last three months, it’s the world telling you a little something. Y2Kountry, thank you for helping me realize my current state of sadness that high school is really over – just like that. 

    I am writing this blog post for anyone who’s struggling to move on to the next big step in their life. Especially those of you moving into college really soon…like me…tomorrow (ahh). 

    High school is only four years long. Each class, day, and week passes slowly, but each year goes by so fast. I felt like I wished those four years away. I wanted to grow up, go to college, and move on. And once I walked across the stage, all I wanted was to relive the four years all over again. Yet, what we all need to realize is that those will not be the “best years of our lives.” There will be so many more great, and better, years. 

    It can be a scary concept to grasp. People we’ve known for thirteen years could suddenly turn into people we will never see again after graduation. Some of us are naturally ready to move on. But, if you’re like me, you’ll spend too many late nights breaking into tears over the idea of it. 

    It’s taken time, but what I’ve come to terms with is that you cannot start a new chapter without ending the last one. High school may be over, but there are so many more chapters to be written in my life. Instead of being sad over what has happened, I decided to be grateful for the many memories and stories I will be able to cherish for my entire life. 

    But, when your friends leave for college, cry. When you get dropped off at college, cry. When you miss high school three years down the road, cry. But make those tears about the happy moments you’ve shared, not what you’re losing. 

    For those of you still in high school…

    • Be yourself
    • Have fun as often as you can
    • Study like crazy
    • Go after what you want
    • Slow down, it goes fast

    Songs to get you in the feels for move-in day

    • Trace Adkins – “You’re Gonna Miss This”
    • Carrie Underwood – “The Night Before (Life Goes On)
    • Hailey Whitters – “The Days”
    • Carrie Underwood – “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”
    • Kenny Chesney – “Don’t Blink”

    With Love, Marin