Teen Topics A view from our youth

A view from our youth

Hello, my name is Racquel Garcia. I am a local life coach and philanthropist who's passion is serving youth and family in our community.  You can find out more about me and my business on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hardbeautylife.  My website is under construction. The young lady who wrote the piece below is from Monument, Colorado.  This is her view of what it was like to live here and what it's like to leave. I met Shaelyn for the fist time when I was in rehab with her father, over 9 years ago.  I heard her read a letter to him out loud and I knew that if I didn't find sobriety, my daughter would one day read me a similar letter. I stayed sober, her father did not.  Skip ahead 6 years when she reached out to me for help. I was gifted to know Shae when she came to live with my family temporarily during her 8th grade year. Since then her and her mother have moved away.  Shaelyn now lives in Indiana and is one of our #HardBeautyHope Mentors, advisers and future coaches.  I pray her writing blesses you, like it does us.  Please share with the young people in your life, especially if they are local.

A view from our Youth

Written by Shaelyn Elizabeth (Instagram: @shae_shares)

I’m going to do my best to leave this completely unfiltered. This is going to be like my usual Monday night, which is fitting considering it is Monday afternoon as I write this.

Let me set the picture for you; we are sitting on the couch and chairs in my four-season room. My dog is snoring peacefully in his bed, and my cat is slow-blinking you, daring you to try and pet him.

The big analog clock reads just past ten o’clock. The “Sad hours”. We talk about things we normally keep at surface level, but we’re diving into it head-first.

I’m going to talk to you like I do my best friends: raw and honest. No beating around the bush, no sugarcoating. I’m going to be brutally honest, and if that isn’t for you, go ahead and click off now.

But I would like to challenge you to stay.

For this, you’re going to see(well, read) a side of me that only my closest friends get of me. Opening up isn’t that hard for me, if you ask me a personal question? I’ll give you a surface level answer.

That’s how we (most of us) were raised, right? Not impersonal, but nothing too personal. On the outside, it seems like everything is perfect, that we have it all–well all of the good. None of the bad.

Despite the chaos roaring inside, there’s no reaction on the outside. I never realized this until I moved away.

It’s been a year and a half, and I still have a difficult time allowing that wall down. More times than not, if I’m having a bad day, only three people are going to know the truth. Not because I tell them, but because they know me.

Recently, someone told me something that changed how hard I am on myself, completely.

Someone who allows themselves to feel and process their emotions–regardless of what they are, has the emotional capacity of a bathtub. So, a stressor happens, and some water fills the tub. Another stressor, more water. They deal with it, the water drains.

They could carry multiple stressors, and not overflow.

Now, someone who either has trauma, or doesn’t allow themselves to process whatever is going on or what they’re feeling? They’re like a sink with a clog.

There’s a stressor, so water rises. Another, more water. Then another and another. Suddenly the sink overflows. That empties it some.

Even with a break, thanks to that clog, the water is going to lower slower than average. So it’s easy to overflow with just one stressor.

The water is our emotions.

It’s okay, to not be okay.

By that, I don’t mean those cranky or irritable “bad days”. I’m talking about allowing yourself to feel that greif, sadness, hurt, embarrassment, stress, etc.

Dig deeper into that emotion. What’s the exact emotion you’re feeling? Now, sit in that. Process that. Because guess what? That’s not only healthy, it’s normal!

Anger, is a fleeting emotion, it isn’t something that sticks around. So, if you’re feeling angry, there’s something under that. That’s okay.

I have so many things I want to write about- too much.

When I first moved here, I was convinced that I stuck out like someone out of a movie, and that I would never fit in. A girl from Colorado, living in a farm town in Indiana? There’s no way that’ll work out!

It’s almost two years later, and I can’t even begin to describe the love I have for this place and the people I’ve met. But, that’s for another day. I’ll leave it with this: we belong anywhere we want to, we receive what we give. So give love and kindness, and watch the way your world changes. 

Moving away and getting a fresh start hasn’t been easy– to me, nothing that’s truly worth it ever is.

I see it in my best friends; one finally leaving behind a boy who ain’t worth her time– while another one found one who is worth her time, years ago and has finally created her first stable home with him.

One who is finally discovering what they want out of life– because they were taught that life isn’t about what you want, but just getting by.

One who has struggled their entire life to find who they are because their entire life has been built of addiction and abuse. They lived in it so long, they thought it was all they had to define them.

Funnily enough– then there’s me, who’s dealt with a little bit of all of the above in one way or another. 

I have more life experience than I care to admit, but I can now use those experiences to help others.

Because of that, all my friends call me Mama Shae, some even refer to me as Mountain Mama.

I’m the mom friend in every sense of the word. Our childhoods define us. I know that these things I talk about aren’t going to applicable to all of you– it’s going to fit most of us. Yes, us. You’re not alone. 

We were raised to put others frets and issues before our own, because that’s what made it easier to deal with it all. Even if that statement isn’t true, it’s what we did or do to survive and get by. For me, I didn’t realize that you’re supposed to put yourself first in order to help others the way they need until I was nearly 18 years old.

That wasn’t the norm for me, it was something that was honestly criminalized in my mind. Back home, it was selfish if you dealt with your own issues.

Now, this is not me saying “this is what Monument did wrong and this is the only place that does it.” That’s far from what I’m saying, and far from the truth.

However, I am saying that Monument is a not-so-small town, living like it’s a small town. I know it’s nice to think that Monument is small and cozy–but trust me when I say this: it’s not. Especially not anymore.

It was at one point, so many years ago. But it grew, and now it’s your turn to grow.

We are the future. I know, everyone says it.

But it’s true, really think about it. The future, the lives of our children and the generations to come, is on us.

It’s our responsibility to change things, to make our lives and the lives to come different, better, freer. 

That’s a lot of weight on our shoulders, but it is so simple. It starts with the small changes.

It starts with us.

So, take care of yourself, help yourself, and reach out to others. 

If you are interested in finding out more about HardBeauty Coaching and how it can transform the way you live, love and parent simply send an email to racquel@hardbeauty.life. I would be happy to meet with you at no charge. We can meet virtually, by phone or in person. The beauty of coaching is that it either fits or it doesn’t.  No pressure whatsoever. You can also follow me on Facebook @Hardbeautylife and @thevelevethammercoach on Instagram.


  1. I’m so in love with this and everything you have ever had to say mama Shae. You’re so inspiring and brave for sharing. Thanks for blessing my life for the last four and a half years?


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