The Battle – A Poem

I slept today, until the wee hours of the afternoon.

My dreams the only comfort, these days.

A world to ease the pain of new beginnings.

It is the only place where I still know you.

Where I can still remember the lines of your face,

And that heavenly blue in your eyes.

Something I shall never again see in the light of day.

For this waking life has become my prison

My mind, a cage.

You were my only truth in a world that far from understands…our kind.

Broken, damaged and always wanting more.

Looking towards the future, with crippled hearts and shattered eyes.

Burned into my memory is the thought of you,

Tumbling backward as you look to the sky.

One last breath, one last smile

One last middle finger to the world.

And now, I sit alone with my thoughts.

Wishing so much that I could join you,

Rotting delicately beneath this bitter earth.

I miss my friend.

I miss his laughter, his wit.

That sparkle in his eyes when his passion begins to take hold.

I miss the knowing that there was someone out there who could truly understand.

I miss not feeling so isolated, so alone.

So tomorrow…

As the light from the sun creeps its way through my window,

I will refuse to wake once again.

Battling between the comfort of a dream and the torment of waking life


Book Signing – 3/3/18 Madison, WI

Super excited to be doing another book signing and this time with two amazing women, Julie Wood & Susan Young!

Book Signing

Julie Wood is an author, teacher and national presenter on youth entrepreneurship. She has presented on entrepreneurship education, youth entrepreneurship, business operations, productivity and technology at local, regional and national conferences including: National Association of Small Business Development Centers, Chamber of Commerce events, Midwest Entrepreneurship Conference, WI State Training Conference, WI Transition Improvement Grant Conference. She has been hired to teach youth entrepreneur camps for kids ages 9-15 and has trained numerous teachers in basic entrepreneurship skills and the Biz Ops Game.

Susan Young runs the speaking and training company, Susan Young International. She works with people who want to harness the power of change to improve positivity, engagement, and communication.

And well, you all know me 🙂 – Tiffany Rochelle (- Bybee)

Thank you all for your support, it means the world to me. If you are in the Madison area, I hope to see you there!

The Dysfunctional Dream

How many of you are familiar with rejection? – I am guessing everyone.

From little daily nuances in society to the beast of them all; heartbreak.

And why do they call it heartbreak? – Because it literally feels as if your heart is being ripped from your chest.

But why does it feel so physical?

“The answer is — our brains are wired to respond that way. When scientists placed people in functional MRI machines and asked them to recall a recent rejection, they discovered something amazing. The same areas of our brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. That’s why even small rejections hurt more than we think they should, because they elicit literal (albeit, emotional) pain.” – Guy Winch

Makes sense right?! Sure.

What still puzzles me though is the question of what causes one particular rejection to feel more or less earth shattering than another?

Law of attraction would answer, that the further out of alignment your thoughts are with that of well being the worse you feel about the catalyst of those feelings. So, if our thoughts determine our emotions than everything is self fulfilling…

That’s heavy and it kinda sucks in a way.  That would mean that we hold ALL responsibility for the way we feel.

But it doesn’t have to suck. It just depends on how you look at it.

Through the filters of modern society, we tend to feel helpless. We are conditioned to rely on others for validation.

Think about it.

We are brought into this world codependent & helpless and continue through life seeking the approval from those around us.

No wonder we struggle. We are, as Abraham would say, “looking for love in all the wrong places”.

The power we seek is not in the love we receive from others, but rather in the love we have for ourselves.

But how does this help to answer the question of what causes one particular rejection to feel more or less earth shattering than another?


I think Don Miguel Ruiz explains it best in the excerpt below from The Four Agreements.

“Every human has an emotional body completely covered with infected wounds…The mind is so wounded and full of poison by the process of domestication, that everyone describes the wounded mind as normal. This is considered normal, but I can tell you it is not normal.

We have a dysfunctional dream of the planet, and humans are mentally sick with a disease called fear. The symptoms of the disease are all the emotions that make humans suffer: anger, hate, sadness, envy, and betrayal. When the fear is too great, the reasoning mind begins to fail, and we call this mental illness. Psychotic behavior occurs when the mind is so frightened and the wounds so painful, that it seems better to break contact with the outside world.

If we can see our state of mind as a disease, we find there is a cure. We don’t have to suffer any longer. First we need the truth to open the emotional wounds, take the poison out, and heal the wounds completely. How do we do this? We must forgive those we feel have wronged us, not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because we love ourselves so much we don’t want to keep paying for injustice.

Forgiveness is the only way to heal.”

It sounds logical and simple enough, but I think we can all agree it’s not.

I would love to tell you that I have mastered the art of forgiveness, conquered my fears and cured my diseased mind, but that would be a big fat lie.

What I can tell you is that I know what it is like to feel alone, helpless and out of control; to constantly be reaching for a peace that never comes. I fight with my thoughts daily and sometimes it feels as though that inner voice is not my own.

In moments of great weakness, I begin to listen to that voice, that poison, dripping slowly from my open wounds. Reminding me of how I always end up this way; disregarded and alone.

The darkness becomes warm and familiar in the face of yet another failed attempt at happiness.

Not too long ago in fact, I took a little stroll down memory lane and found myself in the darkness.

After the most recent prospect of love crashed and burned, I was left feeling hopeless. I was exhausted of letting people in and being let down, of always being the one reaching for another, when no one ever seemed to be reaching for me.

And I couldn’t understand why this one hurt so much more than the one before. Especially because it was casual, no empty promises or deep confessions of love like with the one just before.

Perhaps it was the abrupt ending or the strong foundation of trust and communication it was built on that contributed to the gravity of it all.

Alone in the dark, I replayed the memories of our time together, looking for something I did that caused him to change his mind. Was it something I said, the way I looked, how I dressed…?!

I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what was wrong with me and why everyone found it so easy to walk away. Why didn’t I matter?

After some painful soul searching and ugly crying, I found myself numb.

It was just for a moment, but it was enough of a relief to allow a wave of sanity to roll through my head.

I had just purchased another copy of Ruiz’s, The Four Agreements and in that moment the cover of the book flashed in my mind.

Flipping through it, I found the excerpt above (can you guess what inspired this post?).

I realized that these current feelings of abandonment, neglect and disappointment go back much further than this most recent rejection. And I believe now that it was the level of connection with this person that triggered the opening of old wounds. I have only had that type of connection with one other person in my life and they left too.

This was the first time, I felt like I could fully trust someone again after all that time.

With the last person I fell for, I was always on guard. I never fully let him in. When it ended, it hurt, but not like this. Not like every muscle in my body was twisted up in knots.

This time, I allowed myself to be vulnerable and got completely caught up in the excitement of the moment. It all felt easy and fun, no pressure or obligations, just pure enjoyment in being close to one another.

When everything came to a crashing halt, so did I.

But that’s how we learn right?!

“First we need the truth to open the emotional wounds, take the poison out, and heal the wounds completely.”

It’s funny  how we convince ourselves that sparing someones feelings as best you can in love and war is better than a clear cut rejection like, “I’m sorry, I just don’t feel the same way.”

Sure, the knife goes in a bit deeper, but it twists less and after all isn’t that what prolongs the torture and agony of a broken heart?

For example, years ago, a guy told me he really cared for me but that he didn’t want to do the whole relationship thing. He has had two girlfriends since then, one of which he is currently dating. I kept hanging on to the idea of us, thinking that someday the timing would be right and it would all work out.

I don’t fault him for it, it is hard to look someone in the eyes and tell them you don’t love them. It’s like leaving behind a stray dog or telling a kid their parakeet died…not a pleasant experience.

Would it have been nice to know months earlier that he just wasn’t that into me, sure, but I learned a great deal about myself in the process and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Seems like so long ago now, I remember there was a time I thought I would never get over him and now he is just someone I used to know.

When we are feeling broken, we have a tendency to cling to the smallest shred of hope that someday everything will work out…

Here is where the hard truth comes in.

In most cases, someday never comes.  Trust me.

It is best to be honest with others and yourself in times such as these.

Clinging to the past, clouds your judgement, hinders your growth, and more importantly, prevents you from moving forward.

Embrace the chaos of opening old wounds. You have to remove the poison before they can fully heal.

“How do we do this?

We must forgive those we feel have wronged us, not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because we love ourselves so much we don’t want to keep paying for injustice.

Forgiveness is the only way to heal.”


The One – A Very Short Story

It occurred to him in that moment that she might be the one. There was something undeniable in her eyes, pulling him closer with every glance. And her touch…well, it was as if there was magic in her finger tips; tender, just as her heart.

Unfortunately, it had also occurred to him that he might not be ready for a love like that. It was surely a dilemma indeed. So instead, he walked away.

For surely it was better to break her heart now, than to save it for another day. And broken it was, broken was she.

For he not only kept her from himself, he took her away from this world. The light in her eyes has dimmed and there is  no more magic to be found. The day she was disregarded was the day her world went dark.

There is no going back now.

He should have told her then, but he was a coward. Too afraid to say what needed to be said.

And now, those are the words he would give anything for her to hear.

They would have saved her.

They would have saved him.

But instead, they will forever be unspoken.



It’s not always about you…

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was though? All about you?

Perhaps, but when you really stop to think about it, maybe not…

I made a declaration to myself this year that I would try my hardest to break out of this funky feeling I have been experiencing over the last few months.

The theme of my life during that time was one of overwhelming defeat. Most of which I brought on myself through negative thinking and over extending in order to please others.

Something that sounds like a good quality to have, but it can back fire very quickly!

It got to the point where I put my own needs aside to focus on the needs of others so much that I began to fall back into old patterns of self defeating behavior that inevitably led to a spout of depression deeper than anything I have felt in close to 10 years.

And the worst thing about it, was that there was no one to blame. No love gone wrong, no friendship lost or the passing of a loved one.

Sure, it felt like a part of me died inside and maybe it did, but if so, it was all my own doing and may have been the best thing for me.

It is hard to explain why, but I’ll try.

When I get into slumps like these, there will be a day or in many cases several days, where I crawl inside myself, shut out the rest of the world and swim in the abyss of thoughts swirling around in my head.

I completely detach from everything and everyone.

It sounds a bit unhealthy, but I have found it to be the only path to overcoming it.

The more I talk about what is bothering me, the more it seems to bother me. And the more it bothers me, the more I shut down. Until a day comes when I literally feel nothing at all.

And I mean that in all of its intensity.

It is as if I am in the audience of my own life.

I become resigned to the idea that all of this is meaningless.

There is so much beauty in the world, but yet so much pain and tragedy that reaching for appreciation becomes a mournful task.

After all, none of us know what’s next. We tell ourselves that these struggles, these constant battles with life to keep moving forward will all mean something in the end, but we will never know until we reach that end.

Dark, I know, but that is where I go and where I stay until something switches inside of me for reasons I will never know.

It is usually a process, like the shedding of ones skin or emerging from a cocoon.

Suddenly, I shine a little brighter.

And inspiration to creatively express myself returns. Which is when I compose some of my best posts.

All the time spent inside my mind, pours onto the page with little to no effort from me. I will be working on a project or driving somewhere and an idea will come out of nowhere!

It could be a word, a phrase or my favorite, some off the wall theory that I am convinced is the answer to one of life’s many oddities!

In most cases, during the beginning of my emergence back to reality, it’s poetry.

And for me, a poem is just a passing emotion.

The words just flow to me and I capture them.

Seems fitting I’d shed those first in order to make room for the big revelations.

Although there is a caveat to this resulting overflow of inspiration.

And I am sure it is something that is very frustrating  to a lot of writers who have their writing linked to their personal social media platforms.

At a certain point you begin to feel as though you lose the ability to freely express yourself, because people tend to read into things way too much and that can pose a whole new set of issues.

It can be very hindering to your writing when every time you sit down to write a post, you worry about how it will be received by those who are closest to you. There is no free expression there.

And why do I worry about this so much?

Because I am very good at over thinking things! Haha!

No but seriously…I have to remind myself daily that it’s not always about me!

And I know I am not the only one with this problem (or numerous others we may have in common). Which is the whole reason I share my thoughts.

I know what it’s like to feel alone.

“Every living creature on this earth dies alone…

 Does that scare you?

 I don’t want to be alone.”

Donnie Darko (2001)

As emotional beings, I think we all have a tendency to internalize and worry about things that are completely unnecessary and unjustified.

It can be extremely challenging not to take things personally and the more you care about someone, the more personal their behavior becomes.

However, in all reality it may have absolutely nothing to do with you. And although it is important to express to them how you are feeling, it is also important to keep in mind how they may be feeling.

It will help you with the difficult task of expressing how you feel, while being supportive and non-defensive.

An art I have not yet mastered, but I do my best…and it is never via my blog.

Hardly anything I write is directed towards someone or meant to rely some hidden message to those that have wronged me.

Of ‘course, my words may stem from an internal struggle, but by the time they hit the page, that is in the past.

I don’t play the passive aggressive game folks…if I am upset with you about something, you will hear about it! And I can assure you of that!

If you are close to me that means I value and respect you.

And I wouldn’t write some passive aggressive post about it, hoping you figure out it’s about you.

It should be pretty well known that when I have something to get off my chest, there is not much that will stop me from spewing it out (whether you like it or not!). It may take me a moment to compose my thoughts, but once they are composed, they must be released.  It’s self preservation.

I know that if I don’t say what I need to say (good or bad) it will eat away at me, because I will not be able to move forward without knowing the result of words unspoken.

Anyone of us could be taken from this world at any given time, so why wait?

How many people in your life have passed before you were able to tell them how much they meant to you?

For me there are just a few and I think about them all the time.

I don’t have a lot of regrets.

There was a time I would have said I had no regrets, but that’s not true.

There will always be…just a few.