#LettersToNoOne

Dear Whoever Needs to Read This,

I want you to know you are not alone. No matter how alone in this world you may feel sometimes, or how much you might have convinced yourself that no one cares, you have people who care about you.

I want you to know that you will make it through this. Even through the times that you feel like you’re drowning in a never ending hole of darkness. You will see the light again, and when you do, you will appreciate the light more than you did before.

I want you to know that you will find someone who loves you one day. You might have to go through a few to find someone who really appreciates you as you are, but when you do, it will be worth the wait.

I want you to know that all the hard work will pay off. Keep pushing. Never give up on yourself. And never let anyone tell you your dreams are too big.

I want you to know that the mistakes you make, we’ve all made. Learn from them and move past them. Don’t let the past ruin your future.

And lastly, I want you to know you are perfectly perfect the way you are. All the little things that make you different, the little things that you might not like about yourself, are the things that make you, you. Please make sure you surround yourself with people that never let you forget this.

#ALetterFromMeToYou

**UnderstandUs‘s newest campaign will be launching in May. This year’s campaign is called ‘Letters To No One’. I can’t wait for you all to see it!

🙂

A

Opinions

I read a quote the other day, and it talked about the need for alone time. The need to be by one’s self to refresh, digest and formulate opinions. In our society, we are constantly influenced by those around us, even when we think we aren’t. People’s opinions are constantly filling our heads through social media forms like, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, also through news sources on television and in the news paper and then there’s also advertisements that are pushed in front of our faces all the time. Everywhere we look, people are trying to convince us to think, act, and be a certain way.

Now more than ever alone time crucial to build our own thoughts and opinions. In this society, do you think it’s possible to build our own opinions without being influenced by those around us? With our cellphones being glued to our hands and thoughts always being pushed into our heads, the thought of unbiased opinions sounds like a hard concept to grasp.

I believe that in life there is never just one way to look at something, even though sometimes our society tries to convince us otherwise. I challenge each of you to form your own opinions on things. If something doesn’t seem right or correct to you, dare to think outside of the box. Sit in silence every once in a while. Let your thoughts form on their own. Decide if  you agree or disagree with what is being taught and told to you. It’s people in this world that choose to create their own ideas. thoughts and opinions that make a difference.  Remember though, to be open to all the opinions around you as well. If you are expecting people to be willing and open to your opinions, then you must treat their’s the same.

Have a great weekend loves!

Ash

 

Happy One Year to US!

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I can’t believe that I started this small blog a year ago already.

I got the inspiration from my friend, Brittany Lauren.  She has the most wonderful fashion/lifestyle blog that you should definitely check out if you’re into that style of blogging. 

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with this blog, or where I wanted to take it, I just knew I wanted it to be real.  I wanted other twenty-somethings to know that the struggles they are going through, or the emotions they are feeling, are perfectly fine and they’re not the only ones going through them. I originally wanted to write this as an anonymous blog, because I was scared of the backlash I might get on my opinions and thoughts on certain things. Turns out either 1) people don’t care as much I thought, 2) my opinions really aren’t as crazy as I thought, or 3) not as many people read my blog as I like to convince myself do. haha

It’s funny how much peace this blog has brought me, which I never thought would happen. So many wonderful people have reached out to me, a couple doors have been opened and better yet, I might have even helped a few people. If I’ve learnt anything in my twenty-whatever years of life, people love to know they are not alone. People love to find someone or something they can relate to and even if there’s only one person who feels that way about something I’ve posted or written, at least I’ve helped that one person.

I am a work in progress, just like all of you are and none of us are alone in our thoughts or battles.

Cheers to one year, and hopefully more to come! Thank you for all who follow me on my journey or who have reached out to me. You are the ones that keep my smile bright!

🙂

Lastly, I just wanted to share some of my personal favourite posts from the past year and some of my most viewed ones:
M.I.A.
Time
Piece by piece..
Interview with an 11th Grader
Understand Us
Social Media or Social Suicide?
Waves
25 THINGS I’VE LEARNT IN MY 25 YEARS 🙂

-A

This is.. 26?

GUYS! Long time no talk. What is going on with me, you ask?? Well, quite a lot. Why haven’t I written? Becuase I am a doofus and left all my essays till the last minute (not surprising) so I have been grinding to get them all done.

First off. I’m 26!! Weehoo. And surprisingly I had no breakdowns, meltdowns or “I’m getting old” pity parties.  I was in Toronto for Grey Cup, surrounded by the people I love, honestly what more can I ask for? This year I am looking at my increasing age as a blessing.  I am lucky enough to be a year older. I am lucky enough to be healthy and happy and have a roof over my head and food to fill my stomach. Was 2016 my best year? Probably not. But, could it have been worse? Definitely.

I’ve been fighting off a lot of demons lately.  For some reason, Christmas is always a hard time for me.  I’m not sure if it’s cause my family doesn’t really celebrate it plus the combination of stress from finals, but whatever it is I always find myself down.  I’ve been trying to keep myself positive by listening to what my body and mind needs.  I often like to remind myself by reading old posts, to see how far I’ve come. I came across this post from 3 years ago and I thought I would share it

I celebrated the beginning of my birthday with someone I was to quick to judge and he told me something that made me view my day differently. Today made me anxious because it meant I am a year older, Im a year closer to having a real life, with real life problems, with real life decisions. I told him that I hated birthdays because it meant I was now old. He looked at me and sincerely said.. “You should celebrate your birthdays proudly, because there are many people who aren’t lucky enough to have any.”
Im 23, I’m a year older, but that doesn’t change anything about me. Is my life where I thought it would be by 23? No. Would I change anything about it? No. This year started off with an up hill battle. Being more depressed than I have ever been. Losing my license for 6 months and having to be on these insane meds. This past weekend proved to me that no matter what, life will always get better. I would not choose to be anywhere else than where I am right now. I would not choose to be surrounded with any other amazing people. Thank you to the people who stuck with me. Thank you to my new friends for the new memories. And thank you all for reminding me that life is worth living.

It’s so funny. I feel as though I could have written this on my birthday this year, and nothing would have changed. I lost my license again this year, and again I am on crazy meds. I spent last night, talking on the phone to someone who makes my heart so happy, but this person is again someone I was quick to judge at first.  This person reminded me to be thankful for all I have because some people aren’t as lucky as I am.

I am so lucky. Lucky to get an education. Lucky to have people around me that love me. Lucky to grow another year older. Every year brings new battles, but these battles don’t have to ruin the whole year, and sometimes I forget this. Every year these battles make me stronger, they become who I am. Sure this year some shitty things have happened, but if there’s anything I’ve learnt, it’s these things that shaped me into the person I am.  These battles make my smile bigger when I defeat them and these battles make me appreciate when good things and people come into my life.

-A

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby..

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Well now that I have your attention, let’s get down to the real topic.. haha just kidding, it is sex.  Sex, casual dating, hookups and everything in between.

My interest in this topic sparked when I read an article from Elephant Journal (which I will have linked below).  I don’t always agree with everything Elephant Journal writes about, but they always bring up very interesting topics.  Once I clicked on this article, more and more began to appear on the topic of dating and the hookup culture.

This topic probably sparks my interest so much cause I am literally right in the center of it all. Desperately hoping I will not be single for the rest of my life.  The issue for me is, maybe I want to be.  With all the options out there today to connect with people all over the world, are people really ever going to be completely satisfied with one person for the rest of their lives.  Obviously, being an optimist, I hope so, but if you look at all the stats nowadays, it frightens me a little bit.

Before the time of Facebook and Tinder, people met through friends, family, and proximity (meaning the area you live in), now our options to meet future partners are literally endless.  I have people from around the world that add me on social media accounts. There are ways to connect with almost any person you can possibly imagine. Tinder now has the option to swipe anywhere you want in the world and there are not only local dating sites but also worldwide ones.  With all these options out there, is anyone ever going to be 100% satisfied with just having me?

I’m not going to put the blame entirely on our culture because I know for a fact the men I usually go for are known to have a wandering eye but I’ve literally gotten to the point in my dating life, where I feel the need to state: “I am not only looking to have sex with you” on every first date I go on.  Is sex really a requirement for first dates, because that is how it feels.

Women tend to get the wrath for a lot of things in our society.  Yes, I do take a lot of women focused university classes, so I get to see and study a lot of first-hand things that happen to women in our world, so maybe that’s why I tend to notice it a lot more in my everyday life as well, but seriously.  The United States just elected a man who used the phrase “grab ’em by their pussy”, to run their country….  Please try and tell me that women and men are treated equally in today’s world. This unequal treatment translates over to dating. I feel like when it comes to casual dating and the hookup culture, women aren’t allowed to do it.  Men make the rules and women try to keep up with them. “Is it too soon to text him?” “Is it slutty, if I’m talking to more than one guy at once?” “Will he think I’m too clingy if I ask him to hang out, instead of waiting for him to ask me?”  The unwritten rules of casual dating (for women only), because it’s a game after all, right? **insert eye roll

In saying this, I am going to make a disclaimer and say that it’s not the case that men don’t also get the wrath, for example, the term: fuckboy.  This was created just for men.  I’ve also heard multiple men say that women have just started classifying all men into this category and there are men out there that aren’t like this (IF YOU ARE ONE OF THESE MEN AND YOU ARE READING THIS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.. hahah)

For me, I can’t just have sex with someone and not catch feelings for them, I don’t know if that’s a personal trait or if that’s a female trait, but sorry hookup culture, you aren’t for me. Sex is great and all, but you know what’s even better?? Sex when you care about the other person and when the only thought in your head isn’t just about your own pleasure but also of theirs.  Maybe that’s a personal choice I need to make.  To start refusing to only be used as a late night booty call, and wait for someone who is willing to share themselves with me.. Maybe I need to accept that lonely nights, will be worth finding a life long partner in the end.

I know I will be easily criticised for writing any part of this blog entry. Rule number one is people, women especially, don’t openly have public conversations about sex, especially casual sex, sex before marriage and sex with more than one partner.  And in writing this, it makes it sound like I’m breaking all of these rules. I still believe in the sacred-sy of sex, but I can not explain the difficulty of trying to start a relationship in the midst of this sex-obsessed culture.

Agree or disagree with me, please have an open mind on this topic.

-A

*Below I have linked the two articles that sparked this blog post!! High recommend reading, especially the Vanity Fair one!

Elephant Journal Article

Vanity Fair Article

25 Fun Facts About ME!

  1. I eat a banana every single morning, and if I don’t my whole day is literally thrown off.
  2. My knees are extremely hyperextended, which is why one of my favourite animals is a flamingo.
  3. I am very influenced by other people’s vibes.  If people around me are grumpy, it will most likely make me grumpy. If people are happy, I’ll be happy.
  4. I am completely a visual learning.  You can preach at me till the sun goes down, but I won’t understand it until I see it or try it for myself.
  5. I’m allergic to kiwis and melons.
  6. I am a scary movie addict. I like to watch them alone to make them scarier.
  7. If I don’t like a food, I will eat it until I do. Not sure why I just don’t like being a picky eater.
  8. I hate birthdays (my birthday). Too much attention on myself it makes me anxious haha.
  9. I wish I had the nerve to dye my hair a crazy colour, like blue, but I’m way too nervous to.
  10. I have really long eyelashes and when I was little I wanted to cut them off because they reminded me of spider legs.
  11. I’m really good at reading people, thanks to all my studying in sociology and social psychology.
  12. I like to pretend my life is like High School Musical, so I’m constantly listening to music and imagining everyone dancing routines around me hahaha
  13. I really wish I was a fashionista like some of my friends, but I just love spending my money on makeup and not clothes way too much.
  14. I hardly ever wear real bras.. sports bras and bralettes 4 lyfe.
  15. Fall is my favourite season, because touques, bunnyhugs, scarves and cuddling with cute boys are life.
  16. I care way too much about social media and I truly wish I didn’t.
  17. My best friends are my soul mates.
  18. Manners are super important to me, and I secretly judge people that don’t use them.
  19. If you’re ever on my bad side just buy me: a ginger beer, chocolate and banana 5 cent candies and you’ll be golden.
  20. I cannot sleep with another person in my bed. Good luck to my future partner.
  21. I read every single Harry Potter book in under a week. Yep. I’m cool like that.
  22. I got lost in a jungle in Panama once, trying to find an endangered red frog. Literally so extremely lost. I wasn’t even scared because being lost in a jungle makes for a pretty sweet story. PS found the red frog, and found out it was poisonous after holding it…
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  23. Dance parties are my life. In the morning, at night, mid afternoon.. as long as the music is good, I’m down for a dance party.
  24. My biggest dream has always been to own my own hostel somewhere in the world.
  25. I do not like swearing. I don’t like hearing other people swear and I barely ever swear myself.

Piece by piece..

puzzle-pieces

I was sitting in class the other day (clearly paying very good attention), and I was analysing my dating life, or for better words, the lack thereof.

Relationships and Ashley do no mix.  I have been super single for a super long time, and as much as I enjoy my independence and time to myself, I am ready to share my life with another person. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life, is that everything has its own process. Things happen when you least expect them too.

I am always so quick to blame the other person in my relationships for not working; they were too controlling, they weren’t understanding enough, they weren’t supportive of me.. blah blah blah.. The most important thing about a relationship is knowing that you not only need to find someone who is willing to give a part of themselves to you, but you also need to be willing to give up parts of yourself. And that you are willing to take half the blame if it doesn’t go as planned. You need to be willing to hear two sides to every story, you need to be willing to not always put yourself first anymore and you need to be willing admit that your way of seeing things, maybe isn’t always the best way.

Personally, I find myself in the kind of relationships where one of us is always trying to ‘fix’ the other one. I claimed myself as the ‘rebound girl’ because I always find myself chasing after boys who just broke up with someone and of course the last thing these guys want at that moment is another girlfriend, but let me tell you, have I ever tried my darnest to convince them otherwise.  Of course, in the end, I am always the one who is left feeling broken and betrayed.

I see relationships as puzzles. Each person is a puzzle with missing pieces. When you are in a relationship, you give your pieces to another person to try and make their puzzle whole. If only one person in the relationship is doing this, then in a result, only one person will end up as a whole. If you are equally contributing back and worth to giving and taking pieces of each other’s puzzles, that’s how a relationship and life with someone else is built.

I am the kind of person who loves to give pieces of my puzzle to everyone. I am constantly giving, but it’s rare that I ever find someone who is willing to give an equal amount to me. So at the end of relationships, I always find myself missing more puzzle pieces than I started with. I end up feeling resentful, hurt, broken and empty. Is that my ex-partners’ fault? No, I wouldn’t say so. I am in control of my life, and it should be my job to realise when I am giving more than I am receiving.

It’s important to realise that the point of some relationships may simply be to teach you a lesson, about yourself and about what you want in life. Despite the negative outcomes of my past relationships, I have learnt something from each of them. I think after healing from every breakup, I have learnt the most important thing of all. That you should never put the blame solely on one person; not only on yourself and not only on the other person. A relationship is two people. Two faults. Two lessons. And two hearts that are being hurt. I need to remember that even the most heartless of boys have hearts too. 🙂

-A