About Marisa Donnelly

Writer. Poet. Essayist. Editor.

In Another Universe: Experiencing Wonderspaces San Diego

I love contemporary art. I love the way people can capture a mood through items we so often see in the everyday, yet make them profound, real, and tangible somehow. I love the way artists convey such deep meaning through light, color, even sound. And I love the feeling I get when I walk into an exhibit and hear only silence around me, save for the intake of breath as everyone experiences what is in front of them—transfixed, almost as if transported to another universe.

That was my exact experience at Wonderspaces San Diego, a traveling art installation that shares artwork from people all around the world. Continue reading

35 Best Sports Quotes To Motivate The Hell Out Of You

As a young athlete, I wanted nothing more than to read every inspirational quote I came across. I wanted to save them, write them on note cards and tape them to the inside of my locker and bathroom mirror. I wanted to decorate my binder with them, pick the best quote about sports for the back of our team t-shirt. Finding something that defined my experience made me feel both understood, and empowered. And to know other athletes felt the same way reminded me—even on the toughest days—why I kept going.

Whether you were an athlete, raised or coached one, cheered on a sibling or friends from the stands, or attended games in your boldest and brightest spirit wear, the love of sports is within you. It’s within each of us.

You don’t have to be playing to understand the grit of dirt under your fingernails, the smell of fresh popcorn mixed with sweat, or the crazy up and down of emotions as the other team breaks away with the ball. Whether you came to this page for motivation, for nostalgia, or to reflect back on the way the game has changed your life, here are 35 of the best quotes about to remind you how the passion will never die. Continue reading

On Being A Better Feminist (And Other Good Reads)

I spent the end of last week reminding myself what it means to relax. I don’t know if you’re in that mode, it being summer and all, but I struggle, sometimes, to just rest. I love the rush. I love being busy. I love having to-do lists, obligations, responsibilities, and plans. But sometimes it’s so hard to detach from that lifestyle, to be centered in the moment and put work aside.

I think it’s even harder when my ‘work’ isn’t really work at all. I love writing, connecting, sharing my heart through social media. But this passion can make it difficult to draw a line between when I’m working, or just living in the present. And this past weekend I tried to be a bit better about that. I tried to log off, to unplug. I listened to music, didn’t even record for my favorite DJ because I wanted to watch the whole thing in the moment and not behind a screen. I didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn to write. I slept in, I talked, I sat at a coffee shop and sipped on a cold drink and pet a dog and took deep breaths. As silly as this sounds, sometimes it’s hard for me.

Do you ever feel so inundated with information, articles, blogs, lists, LIFE that you forget how to live it?

Anyways, all that is to say I didn’t get around to sharing my reading list until today, but here’s what I’ve really ruminated on over the last week. Reading together and sharing thoughts connects us culturally, globally, spiritually, academically, etc. So I hope you always feel welcomed to comment and take part in the discussion. Continue reading

Maybe It’s Not Perfection We’re Searching For After All

I read in a survey that the average American only has 15 “perfect days” per year. When I first came across these words, my eyebrows furrowed. A “perfect day”—What does that even mean? Is it the same for everyone? Different? Is it measurable? And why are there so little of these days that we’re truly experiencing? Continue reading

Finding Peace In The Chaos

“Talk to me,” I whisper. My words barely float across the center console between us, hanging in the air, soft and uncertain. The windows of my car are halfway down, the wind whipping wildly past, drowning out all sound. In the distance, the summer night is bending into sunset, blues becoming hazy oranges and purples at the edge of the mountains.

California is burning. I can feel the heat on my face, even though the raging wildfires are miles and miles away. Everything feels hot, anxious. Even my feet, pressed against the pedals, can’t sit still. Continue reading

Why Are We Always Tired? (And Other Incredibly Introspective Articles)

Hello all! I’ve decided that I’m revamping this reading list section of my blog to be of more value to the readers. Previously I was collecting articles I resonated with and simply pulling quotes I liked. Now I am digging deeper, providing my thoughts in conjunction with takeaways + quotes because as creators, our goal is to really dissect what we’re absorbing and make value of it in our own lives.

I hope you’ll join me in this journey of introspection, connection, and commentary on what really matters. And please, feel free to catch up on the other weeks and leave comments as you see fit.

Welcome + thanks for being here! Continue reading

Recognize Your Potential, And Then Wildly Pursue It

Life is all about chances, and empowering yourself—despite the obstacles that may stand in your way—to take them. Every single one. Continue reading

There Is A Promise Of Hope In Every Challenge

Look back, for a moment, on the times that shaped you the most. Was it the days you were stagnant and still? The mornings you woke and followed the same patterns, same routines? The nights you fell asleep with no real ambitions, just ready to move into a new day? To do the same thing, be the same person you were yesterday?

Or was it the times that your foundation was completely rocked? The days riddled with chaos and questions? The mornings you weren’t quite sure where to go next, what path to follow, or even who you were? The nights you lost your sense of purpose and identity, and so began wildly searching for a new place, a new home, a new road?

Was it the painful moments, the struggles, the challenges that truly brought you to the place you are now? Continue reading

Just As You Are, You Are Enough

You are enough. Enough for the beautiful things of this world. Enough for the laughter, for the love that you deserve. Enough for the blessings that will come to you, sometimes when you least expect. Enough, even in the hardest moments, because who you are is filled with the strength and resilience to overcome.

You are enough—enough power, enough love, enough spirit, enough passion, enough of everything you so often convince yourself you lack. Continue reading

Sensitivity Is Beautiful, Fragility Is Not

Sensitivity is beautiful. Caring about people, feeling things deeply, being in tune with the world and what’s happening around you, having a big heart—that’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s powerful, that’s life-altering, that’s strong.

Sometimes sensitivity is seen as weakness, but that’s far from the truth. When you’re a sensitive person, you ache when the world aches, you cry when the person next to you cries, you are passionate about everything and everyone around you, and do what you can to change negative directions to positive. You live fully, give selflessly, exist purposefully. That’s something to be admired. And the world needs to recognize it.

But there’s a difference between sensitivity and fragility.

There is a difference between being someone who cares and feels, and someone who is personally affected by everything that happens. There is a difference between someone who grieves for and with others, and someone who carries weight like a martyr, angry at the world.

There is a difference between one who empathizes, and one who sees every issue, every pain, every action or spoken word as a personal infliction on his or her own heart. Continue reading