Hi, hi, HI THERE! Long time, no write. I’m stumbling, humbly, back into your feeds with my infinite words of wisdom… or possibly just random thoughts. I guess it’s up to you- take from it what you will or take away absolutely nothing at all. No pressure either way.
I’ve missed writing, but I have struggled to know what to write. To be honest, adult life is kind of boring, planning a wedding is kind of boring, caring for an ailing dog is kind of boring. Don’t get me wrong, boring is good. It means everyone is healthy, and relatively happy, and functioning.. and we are! Even Lucy! Boring is good, but it doesn’t really inspire blog writing.
It does, however, inspire reflection. I don’t know if it’s the pending life changes, like I don’t know.. freaking MARRIAGE.. or what, but I have been spending a lot of time in my head, just kind of ruminating.
I’ve been thinking about younger Ashley, the person I used to be and how, specifically, I got here to this exact moment – 3 months out of marrying my best friend, surrounded by an entire herd of dogs, in Nebraska of all places. It hasn’t been a cake walk. There have been hard times, but there have been innumerable good times. There have been memories -some fantastic, some.. less than fantastic. There have been regrets, there have been choices, and there have probably been some mistakes. But there has also been joy, and immeasurable fun, and incredible growth. I’ve been blessed, and truly, I don’t think that I would go back and change a single thing. It really is like that Rascal Flatts’ song, all of these moments have lead me directly to this spot, today. I like this spot. I’m proud of this spot.
But that’s not to say that I don’t wish I could tell my younger, more naive, sometimes too trusting and hopeful, version of myself, a little about life.
If I could go back, and talk to that girl, I would tell her that she has value… and it’s not monetary. I would tell her that her friends that love her, will love her for who she is and what she stands for, not for what she can provide. I would tell her that there is a difference between having a giving heart and letting yourself be walked on… and to stop being a doormat. I would tell her that she has more to offer than things… important stuff like love, and support, and companionship. Her friendship will be enough for the right people.
I would tell her that there is more to life than good grades and accolades. I would tell her that one day, her score in biology or her score on the LSAT really isn’t going to matter, but the type of person that she is, and has been, will always be important. No one remembers who got the top score in the intro to chemistry, but everyone remembers the person that was their friend when no one else was, that helped without being asked, and that who was true, to themselves and to others. I would tell her that it’s much more important to be a good daughter, a good granddaughter, and the cousin that is there for anything and everything. It’s more important to be the friend that loves wholly, supports endlessly, and can be counted on. Sometime, like in your late twenties, you won’t have the student “role” to fall back on. It will ONLY matter what kind of person you are and were. Make sure you’re proud of that person.
I would tell her to start practicing saying no now, because if she doesn’t, she’ll be 28 and struggle with boundaries. (😅) I would promise her that anyone that is worth having will respect those boundaries, and anyone who doesn’t, isn’t worth having. I would look her in her big, brown eyes and remind her of this often, especially when she’s convinced I’m lying. I would tell her that no person is worth violating those boundaries. I would reiterate that there is no love shared, no trust gained, and no relationship cultivated, when you’re uncomfortable and pretending to be someone you’re not. Respect your boundaries now, so when you’re 28, you know how to tell your friends, your coworkers and your family, no. No, with no explanation. No, with no excuse. Just no, it doesn’t serve me and that is okay. Then, I would stare her down and BEG her to take this advice, because future Ashley really needs her to become sound in this practice. Future Ashley would beg younger Ashley to do the work, so she doesn’t have to.
I would remind her to not take everything so seriously and that not everyone will want to play house at age 19. It’s not a personal attack. Some relationships are meant to last and some aren’t. The right one will always find its way and it won’t need to be forced. Hell, you may even yell at him for blocking your view at a concert 🤷🏻♀️. Crazy things will happen, and it will feel like your heart is breaking, and you will be disappointed and you will be let down, but you will always pick yourself back up. I would remind her that it is always worth it to pick herself back up. I would emphasize that her knight in shining armor is waiting and every step on this winding journey will eventually make sense. I’d advise her to take those relationships, and friendships, and experiences, and use them to make herself better. Every instance, every heart break, will shape her into the person she are meant to be. Embrace the journey, love wholeheartedly and unabashedly, and be excited to see the person, and friend, and partner that you will become.
I would tell her to be authentic, to herself and to others. I would tell her to feel pretty, to smile big, and to eat the damn carbs. I would tell her to hug her family tight, hug her dogs tight, and hug her horse even tighter, because there will be a day that those hugs aren’t there waiting for her. I would tell her to take the jump, to trust herself, to believe in herself, and to be confident, always. I would encourage her to watch her mouth and to speak kindly to herself and others. I would remind her to manifest goodness and to always see the goodness in others.
I would tell her to love herself and remind her that she has a good heart. I would tell her that these hard moments and these tough experiences will inevitably shape her into the person she becomes. I would tell her to be brave, to be strong, and to embrace the challenge. I would warn her that the time goes by, regardless of her attitude and her mood. So, I would tell her.. to just enjoy the time. And I would promise her that she turns out to be a pretty cool person. At least, I like her. 🤷🏻♀️
Oh and I would tell her to suck it up and eat cream cheese like an adult.. it’s going to change bagels forever.
What would you tell your younger self, if you could?
Sunny daze ahead, my sweet friends. Love yourself, old and new. 🌞