Some Friendships are Never Really Lost

I’ve come to learn over the years, that some people come into your life and stick around forever, while others are there for a specific part of your life but may fade with time.

It’s kind of a sad thought that some people you meet may not stay. There have been some people who I became so close with, the tell-each-other-everything kind of friendships, but time and sometimes distance made the connections fade.

So is it possible to get them back?

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In some cases I think most definitely yes!

My best friend from when I was in dance and I were so very close when we saw each other frequently. We did everything together and told each other everything. Then I went away to college, but our friendship didn’t faulter. She ended up at the same school as me the year after, but oddly enough we saw each other less. I honestly thought I had lost my best friend and knew a lot of it was my fault because I had a whole different life at school. And how do you mix your old life with your new life? Will things ever be the same?

Well of course they won’t. We both changed, got different groups of friends and had our own, extremely busy lives.

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But I’m more than happy to say that we are still great friends! Every time we see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all. So our friendship wasn’t really lost, it just changed.

Do I wish things were the way they were in high school, sometimes yes. But the fact that we grew up and our friendship grew with it is something I hold onto. I still have her in my life, and if we survived huge life changes and moves (for both of us), then I’m pretty sure we can survive anything.

But I haven’t been this lucky with all of my friendships. I had another best friend in high school that I was always with. We were literally attached at the hip. We both ended up going to different colleges, but still maintained our friendship, and I feel like it got stronger. But towards the end, we were both making decisions that the other didn’t really like. I won’t go into the details, but at one point both of us just stopped talking to each other. I tried reaching out to her once, but it just wasn’t the same.

So it had me thinking. Was she a forever-friend, or one who was there to help me through a certain part in my life? Had we outgrown each other?

And maybe that was supposed to teach me a lesson about how I was handling my friendships.

Since then I’ve put in extra effort to check in with old friends, and let them know I still care. So I guess my message of this messy post is to cherish your friendships, because if you stop doing the work to keep them in your life, they may fade away and you may not be able to get them back!

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And to all of my friends that have stuck around, I love you all so so much and look forward to many more years of friendship! ❤

Until Next Time,

Ashley

P.S. This post goes out to my longtime best friend Niki! I’m so glad we’ve stayed friends over the years, and I truly cherish your friendship!

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The Beauty of a Good Night’s Sleep

I was reading and article on CNN this morning by Sandee LaMotte about how getting a good night’s sleep is all in your head, and they has some staggering statistics.

The article says, “according to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 50-70 million American adults have a sleep or wakefulness disorder that can affect their lives in serious ways.”

50-70 MILLION! That’s insane!

I’ve struggled for a long time, and even more now that I work an odd shift, to make sure that I get enough sleep at night.

I either can’t fall asleep because my mind is racing and won’t be quiet, I’m too warm, I fall asleep but wake up multiple times throughout the night, or plain and simple, I go to bed too late.

I don’t know if that exactly means that I have insomnia (that’s what the article mostly talks about), but I know that I have some sort of issue. And I love to sleep!

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

You really can’t beat the feeling of waking up without an alarm clock, right when your body says you have gotten enough sleep. You feel refreshed and ready to tackle your day.

But lately I’ve woken up feeling just as tired as when I fell asleep, feeling sluggish and like I’m not going to be able to make it to the shower to start my day.

I used to only have to set one alarm when I was in middle and high school, and I’d generally wake up right before it went off.

I was also one who couldn’t ever really sleep in. My body would say “Time to get up, Lazy” promptly around 8:00 am, no matter what time I fell asleep. And I’d be fine for the rest of the day.

As of about two months ago, I now have to set at least 4-5 alarms, and usually sleep through 2 of them, and I don’t actually drag myself out of bed until close to 11:00 am.

Now some of you will remind me that I work until 11:00 pm, and usually don’t go to bed until 2:00 am, which is true.

But even then, I don’t feel like I’ve ever gotten enough sleep. I’ve tried forcing myself to go to bed earlier each night, but it never works. And I’ve resorted to taking Melatonin (a sleep aid) to help me fall asleep.

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

The CNN article cites that may not be the best idea either. So to my actual point of this post now. Here are some of the tips the article gave to help you get a better night’s sleep. I hope they will work on me, and maybe help you feel more refreshed and ready for the day when you wake up in the morning. Here (CNN “A better night’s sleep is all in your head”) is the link to the article itself, so I’m just going to paraphrase the tips.

1. Instead of using sleep aids, like Melatonin, trying Cognitive behavior therapy, which essentially means to retrain your sleep patterns.

2. Along with that, they talk about getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with good ones. Some examples of bad ones would be sleeping with the TV on or playing with your phone before you go to sleep. Some good habits include getting regular excercise (something I need to get back into the habit of).

When I was in dance, and staying active 6-7 times a week, I would come home exhausted and fall right into bed. But I would wake up feeling so great!

3.  They also discuss making your room conducive to good sleep, like keeping your room dark and at a good temperature. It also talks about what to do if you still can’t fall asleep. It says that you should “get up if you’ve not fallen asleep within 20 minutes, and only go back to bed when you are sleepy.” I never would have thought about that. I usually just try to force myself to sleep.

Those were just of few of the tips they cite in the article, but if you want to know more, just click on the link above.

Until next time,

Ashley

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Summer Breeze = New Outlook

Happy Hump Day Everyone!

I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to get rid of some of the negativity I’ve been carrying with me. Looking back on some of my recent posts I realized that I’ve been holding on to so many bad things, and let myself get caught up with fear and confusion.

Sure I still have those fears, and I feel like this is going to be the most confusing time in my life because I am finally on my own, but there are some things in my control that I can change to make dealing with that a lot easier, and in turn make me a lot happier.

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1. I really need to start taking better care of myself. I’ve been a bigger girl for as long as I can remember, and even when I was my most active I still couldn’t lose weight. Nutrition and most importantly portion size has been my biggest issue with my weight. Now I’m not telling you that I have a certain goal weight or that I need to lose so many pounds before such ans such event. My ultimate goal is to be healthy and feel a little better in my own skin. I’m happy with who I am, but I do have insecurities. So I figure if I started being healthier, I’d start feeling better, even if that means that I don’t end up really thin.

2. I need to stop letting people push me around, and more importantly, I need to quit being so afraid to assert myself and ask for help. I have a position of authority at work, and I’m used to just doing things by myself because I know they need to get done. But we are a team, and I need to allow myself to let people help me. And this is just as true outside of my professional life. I’ve always let people walk all over me and push me around, and I’ve gotten better with it over the years but you can always keep improving.

3. I need to let myself be happy. I need to quit focusing on the negative things in life, and focus on what I do have and who I have in my life. I’ve been privileged with a lot of great friends (and I know I’ve said this before but it’s so true), and I’m still very close with my family.

4.I need to start listening to myself. I know that sounds strange so let me explain. I’m constantly asking for people’s opinions and asking others what I should do. Now that’s not a bad thing to ask for advice, to a point. When it becomes a crutch and you can’t seem to make a decision on your own, then it’s time to stop. I need to really start trusting my instincts and going with my gut. I can still ask for help and guidance, but I think I need to see if I can figure it out on my own before I start bringing other people into the mix.

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So with it finally starting to feel like summer, I’ve decided to make these summer resolutions. I’m not saying it isn’t going to be hard, and some days I’m just going to have bad days, but it’s a start.

I hope this post has helped you in someway, and hope that you are allowing yourself to be as happy as you can be. Because you deserve to love your life!

Until Next Time, with warm thoughts on this summer day!

Ashley

 

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Audrey Hepburn is my Spirit Animal!

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am OBSESSED with Audrey Hepburn. Ever since I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the first time in high school, she has been one of my favorite actresses of all time. She is classy without having to be trashy. But it’s not just her films that I love, she seemed like a genuinely humble and kind person while she was alive.

Her humanitarian work inspires me to go out and help the world! And whenever I am feeling down, or need a boost of confidence, there is always a couple quotes I can find by her that change my mood and make me feel better.

So in celebration of this Friday, I leave you with some of my favorite Audrey Hepburn quotes to get you through you day. Enjoy 🙂

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How Do You Know?

Now before I get into what I’m about to say, I need to let whoever is out there reading this that this post might bring you down, and it might just sound like a whiny 20 something who doesn’t know how good she has it.

But I started this blog so that I could have an outlet to express how I’m feeling and be real, not to be famous or have millions of views. I thought if I was real and didn’t sugarcoat my feelings, I could help someone else who is going through similar things. So this might get a little sad and whiny, but bear with me.

The past couple weeks, I’ve had some things weighing on my mind. With my sister moved into her new home, the summer starting, and all of my friends doing great things with their lives, I’ve began to wonder about mine.

I know I’ve had a good life and have been lucky to have the opportunities that I’ve had, but recently I’ve been questioning myself and my choices.

How do you really know if you are happy?

Now I don’t want people to be worried (especially you mom because I know this is probably going to worry you), but I don’t know if I’m happy anymore.

This doesn’t have to do with one specific thing, it’s an amalgamation of a lot of pieces of my life that don’t seem to be fitting together the way I had hoped they would.

Ever since I was litte, I’ve had a vision for what my life would look like when I got older. I would be surrounded by amazing friends that care about me, I would stay close with my family and always be able to make people smile.

But that was it… I never envisioned what my career might be, who I’d marry, what my eventual kids might look like, or where I would live. Those aspects of my life were never clear to me.

So how do I know if I’m really happy with where my life is going?

I’ve achieved my vision for the most part. I have an amazing group of friends from different times in my life, and I am so happy that we’ve all stayed close. I am still very close with my family even though we are all separated at the moment. And I believe that I can help people when they are down.

So it that regard, maybe I am happy.

But the other stuff… those are the things I am beginning to question. I really do enjoy my job and the people there. And I am happy being single after a relationship that left me sort of empty.. but how do you know when you are truly happy with your life?

Now I know what many would say if I expressed this to them. “You’re 23 years old, You’re just starting to figure out who you are and what you want to be.” I know that because that’s what my head tells me.

But my heart is a little confused.

I went to a friends house-warming party this past weekend, and I saw what my friends had and how happy they all seem to be. And I felt a little out-of-place. Granted, a lot of my friends are 2-3 years older than me, and they’ve been through hard times in their lives where they questioned all of their choices too.

So who am I to be wallowing in self-pity right?

But I can’t seem to figure out if I am happy with the choices I’ve made. I know I’m a little fish in a big pond, and I have to do the work to be better. And I’m figuring this thing called life out one step at a time, but I believe there is a time in everybody’s life where they wonder “Am I doing the right thing?”

And maybe one day soon I’ll have that answer, but right now I just don’t know.

But how do you really know…?

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Dear Mom and Dad

I meant to do a post like this on Mother’s Day, but I’ve been incredibly stressed out these past two-three weeks.

But better late than never right?

In the couple of months that I’ve lived on my own, and officially moved out of my parents house, I’ve been thinking about the things they’ve taught me and how much I really do use those lessons. And I feel like a lot of young adults can relate. We all knew that what our parents taught us would eventually make sense in our adult lives.

And I know every kid probably says this at one point or another, but I really hit the genetic jackpot when it came parents.

My parents are the perfect balance of best friends, and parental authorities. I’ve always felt that I can come to them with any problem, big or small. Sometimes it takes me time to actually come to them, but I always know that I can.

My sister and I had a conversation a couple of years ago, after I picked her up from school for the weekend, about how lucky we were to have the parents that we did. And it really is true.

The four of us are so incredibly close, that some people think its strange. But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way!

My crazy family!

My crazy family!

So mom and dad, here’s to you!

Mom– You’ve always been there when I’m down and need advice or to just cry. You’ve taught me not to be afraid of trying new things, and that I can make my dreams a reality while still being practical. You’ve shown me that to love yourself, you can’t focus on what’s in the mirror staring back at you, but what is in your heart and soul. You are one of the most beautiful, loving people I know, even if you don’t always realize it.

Dad– You always told me to do what I love and shoot for the stars! You’ve taught me to dive into life, knowing that somethings might not work out the way I expect, but that it’s ok. You always managed to make me laugh when things got rough. You are the rational voice in my head, telling me to question things, and never settle for less than I deserve.

Both of you have shown me what real love looks like, just by seeing the way you two love each other and Amber and I. You’ve both taught me how to care for people, and that by saying hello to someone can brighten their day. You’ve both shown me that, as cliché as it sounds, you truly can’t judge a book by its cover. Some people look and act like one type of person, but when you truly get to know them you really see who they are inside.

So thank you mom and dad for helping mold the person that I am today, and for always encouraging me that who I am is always good enough!

I love you both!

Until Next Time,

Ashley

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Why Am I So Afraid?

My whole life, I’ve been told that fear can be a driving force to help you reach your dreams, if you use it correctly.

Now I’m not saying that I don’t agree with that, because harnessing my fear and using it to push myself has helped me become the person that I am.

But what happens when that fear stops you?

*Photo courtesy of Google Images*

*Photo courtesy of Google Images*

As many of my friends prepare for graduation from college this weekend, I started thinking about my college (and high school) experiences. I started thinking about all of the people I had met, the things I had experienced, and things that I was too afraid to do.

I realized that in high school and college I had always been afraid to try things that would require me to put myself out in the open for the world to judge.

In high school, I was always a dancer, but I really wanted to sing and act too! I had done so in a few small things when I was in middle school, but high school was different. It wasn’t until my senior year that I finally say ‘why not” and tried out for my school’s fall play. That was the only theater production I had planned on trying out for!

Turned out that I wasn’t a terrible actor, and after the fall play, our director told me I should continue trying out for school productions. So I did..

That year I participated in the One Act group (which competed statewide), I was in the spring musical, and I acted in a murder mystery dinner fundraiser.

I loved it!! And I kept telling myself “why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Fast forward to college… It was my junior year and my best friend Jenna took me to a meeting for our school’s student run tv station. I had just changed my major for the third time to broadcast, and wanted to get some experience in.

We had anchor auditions, but I told myself that I just wanted to work behind the scenes… but in reality I was just too afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough to be on air.

Jenna made me try out with her anyways, because she knew I had been on stage most of my life with dance, and I had experience with musical theater.

I ended up anchoring for the entertainment segment every now and then, too afraid to say I wanted one of the lead anchor roles.

I ended up really enjoying it, and was even one of the main anchors in my News Team class!

“But why hadn’t I tried this earlier?”, I told myself.

Fear.. plain and simple!

Fear can be a great driving force when used correctly, but it can also be an immoveable road block, put there to keep you from experiencing life.

My sister and dad would always tell me that I was brave, that I would just jump right into things, without fear. But I don’t think they ever understood how deathly afraid I was.

I realize now that I missed out on a lot of potentially wonderful experiences because I let my fear get the best of me.

And I’m starting to let that happen with my job. I am in a position of authority, but sometimes I am so afraid of being hated that I allow people to walk all over me! And I didn’t realize that until a co-worker and friend told me “Ashley you are too nice!”

I am too nice sometimes, and that’s fear taking over.

But I cannot keep allowing myself to be guided by fear! And you shouldn’t either, because you may be missing out on something truly amazing and you don’t even know it yet.

Fear of the unknown is a common human fear, but you can’t let that be the reason you don’t try something new! You might be really great at it, or it might be horrible, but at least you won’t look back on your life 5-10 years from now and regret not trying!

So I leave you today with this thought: Why are you so afraid.. to take that job… talk to that person you like… try something new?

Until Next Time– Be well!

Ashley

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