One of the most empowering messages of my life was actually an attempt to seduce me.

At the height of my quarterlife crisis, I was living in Shanghai, at a mouse-and-roach infested hostel, next to one of the most fetid wet markets I’ve ever smelled in my life. We’re talking offal and fish guts perennially rotting in the street outside my door. I was broke. Technically…

How myths about trauma cost me years I could’ve spent healing

When I came home from a semester in Ecuador at age 19, I was not the same person who’d gone there — and my transformation was not remotely of the confident, beautiful, smiley, fulfilling sort that all those glossy brochures from the study abroad office had promised.

The new, “improved,”…

How self-improvement and radical acceptance mindsets can keep us stuck

Some years ago, I was living in a city I loved, yet I was feeling increasingly disenchanted there. After a hefty dose of soul-searching, I saw the problem: key elements of its culture didn’t align with my values. …

No, he wasn’t negging me — but his “praise” still revealed some troubling things about his character.

Once upon a time, I was out on a second or third date with a guy we’ll call Leo. I liked his personality. We had some common interests. He seemed courteous, witty, attentive, and cute. …

These lifestyle hacks gave me enriching experiences overseas despite a very low income.

At age 28, I flew on a one-way ticket to China. I arrived without a job, just booked a few nights at a hostel, and winged it from there. By the end of about two years, I’d experienced some of the most challenging times in my life — but also…

About farts, a plague, Jesus Christ, and the stupendous divine timing of a random Jehovah’s Witness

I hadn’t smelled a fart in over a month. Let’s just start this story there. There were other things I also couldn’t smell at all, like baked potatoes or yeast. And any aroma I could smell — some herbs, fruits, flowers — was whisper-subtle in its impact. This was brand…

Maybe everyone can stop flagellating themselves for liking it now.

Every so often, I see a mea culpa pop up somewhere on the internet. It goes like this: “OMG, I can’t believe I used to love ‘You Belong With Me.’ Now that I’m older and more enlightened, I see it was SO misogynist.”

Then, after busting out the hair shirt…

I read tarot cards for pay — but I had to dispel a few myths to make peace with that.

Growing up in an Italian-American family, I often heard stories about long-ago healer ancestors whose gifts were highly sought after by their communities. “And they never took a penny for it,” my relatives would add, beaming with pride for our forebears’ generosity. …

Knowing these answers would’ve saved me from spending years in poverty… and hitting a wall.

A good side hustle does not always a good day job make.

In my mid-20s, I quit a Ph.D. program without a plan. After spending the first few years of my quarter-life crisis bouncing from gig to gig across various fields, I eventually settled on academic editing, my side hustle…

What a simple bracelet taught me about “hopeless” hopes

Seven years ago, on my first trip to Berlin, I was walking alone late one night when I spotted a window display in Berlin’s reconstructed Medieval quarter, the Nikolaiviertel, that mesmerized me. It was a poster of Miranda Kerr in a stack of Swarovski Stardust bracelets, in front of which…

Laura Rosell

Love, sex, dreams, soul, adventure, healing, feeling. I kinda experience life as magical.

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