Our Earth Angel

I haven’t written in awhile because in all seriousness I didn’t think the things I wanted to write about were really worth it.  The recent passing of a friend put a lot of things into realization. Put life into a new perspective for not only myself but for a lot of people around me.

This past week my mind has been running in over time. Trying to understand why someone so full of energy and life could be taken at such a young age. Trying to understand the stages of grieving and how people do it differently. Trying to be there for my best friend but also allow myself to grieve and find the understanding I needed.

Amanda was the most beautiful human you could have ever met. Anyone who met her knows this. She lit up every room she walked into and left every room a better place. In a short 26 years, she changed more lives than some people do in 80. I was lucky to make some unforgettable memories with her, that I will always hold close to my heart.

Her aunt explained her in the best way possible. She called her an “Earth Angel”. An Earth Angel is someone who is sent to Earth to make the world a better place.  To help others, spread kindness and to make a difference by shining light and love on everyone around them. This is exactly what she did. This is exactly what Amanda was, and unfortunately, Earth Angels don’t often live for very long. They live fast, they make the world better place and they leave, leaving a positive impact behind.

Amanda will forever be missed by many. Her smile and shining light will continue to live on through all those who met and knew her.

In Loving Memory of Amanda.

 

M.I.A.

Do you ever wish you could just disappear for a while, take a quick time-out from life?
If so, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling as of lately.

After I got back from my quick break to Toronto, I was feeling refreshed and inspired. What a beautiful city, filled with so many amazing people, cultures, works of art and more. The trip was nothing like I expected it to be, but it ended up being exactly what I needed.

Coming home, reality hit me hard. I felt disorganised, behind in school (after only missing one day), actually more uninspired, lonely, broken, hurt.. etc etc. Anxiety hit me, demons came back and all I wanted to do is hide in my sheet-less bed.

You can always tell when I’m going through a rough time because I don’t write. If I did write, maybe it would actually help, but all I want to do is hide from life, my friends, my responsibilities, just life in general.

If you saw me in real life, if you saw my facebook or my social media, you would have no idea I’m going through a hard time because society doesn’t want us to appear as weak, hurt, sad or defeated. Over this year a lot of things defeated me, beat me down and every once in a while I let these things get the best of me. I try so hard to be seen as this happy, positive ball of energy. I like when people compliment me for always having a smile on my face and always laughing. I like when people turn to me for advice or confide in me.  But sometimes, I then am left feeling I have no one to turn to because I don’t want people to see this vulnerable/weaker/sadder side of me.

In reality, every single one of us has these moments. Even celebrities, even the world’s best sports players, teachers, professors, doctors.. everyone. I should never feel ashamed of my feelings, for having to ask for help, or for taking the time to stay in bed for a couple hours if I need to. I shouldn’t have to feel guilty and none of you should either.

Life is not easy. Life is never as perfect as Instagram or social media makes it look, but every bump in the road makes you stronger. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to tell someone you’re having a bad day. Never be embarrassed about how you feel.

Great article to help understand what anxiety is like: Anxiety Is An Invalid Excuse.

-A

2016-it was only as bad as you make it.

Over and over again, 2016 has been deemed the worst year ever.  At first, I thought it was only me after suffering from another seizure, losing my licence for another 6 months and having my heart stomped on by one too many boys, but supposedly I was wrong. Over and over again, funny memes, articles, tweets, Instagrams and lengthy facebook statuses, have named 2016 overall just bad.  The more people continue to say this, the more I turn around and look at my 2016.  Was it really as bad as I think? Was it really the worst year EVER?

I wanted to start off this coming year by writing a lengthy post about my resolutions and plan to create a better me in 2017.  I wanted to have inspirational quotes, to also help inspire all you to do the same.  You know what, while doing so, not only did I find some Ashley worthy quotes, I came to the realization that 2016 wasn’t all bad and I don’t really need a full makeover.

This year I learnt a lot about myself, a whole lot in fact. I learnt that saying ‘no’ to people won’t make them hate you.  I learnt that asking for help is perfectly okay. I learnt that no matter what, the people that want to be in your life, will be, no matter how busy you both are. I grew stronger friendships with so many life changing people. I told people my story and changed many lives by doing so and I shared my feelings, saving myself and the other people a lot of time if the feelings were not reciprocated. Good things happened in 2016 and bad things happened, but I think it’s important to learn your lessons from the bad things and concentrate on building on the good things.

Going into 2017, I have a lot I want to accomplish. I want to focus on myself and my dreams, and let the rest fall into place around me.  I read a quote the other day, that I really liked:

“When you are torn between 2 choices, always pick the one that will make the best story ” 

Elephant Journal

When I travel, this is how my mind thinks, and this year I want to start living my day to day life like this as well.

I also found this video that really made me think about how much we share on social media, and I think is another thing I am going to work on in 2017.

3 Things to Keep Private

The last thing I want to share is some positive things that happened in the world in 2016. We live in a society that concentrates on negativity. Our newspapers and news stations are filled with tragedies, deaths, disasters etc. and people often forget that good things happen every day and good people still exist.

Dear world, I wasn’t all bad. Signed, 2016 (Thank you to my friend Kyle for sharing this!)

I hope you all find happiness, love and adventure in your 2017s and you are able to look back on this past year and remember the good things that happened and learn from the bad things.
So much love and positive vibes to you all!

🙂

Ash

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**really cool idea to help you concentrate on the positive things that happen in your life throughout the year! 🙂

Time

The concept of time is such a crazy thing. A thing that so many people over think and over analyze. I was out with a group of friends last night and we started talking about how fast time starts to pass by the older you get.  One of my friends explained it really well.  He said when we’re first born, that first year of our life is our entire life.  The next year of our life, is literally half our life. Then the third year of our life is a third of our life, then a quarter, then a fifth.. etc etc. The older we get the less a year is in comparison to our entire life.  I never really thought of it like that before, but it makes sense when you put it like that.

I think the most important thing about time is how you choose to spend it and the people you choose to spend it with. Never ever waste your precious time on someone who wouldn’t be willing to spend their time on you or waste your time doing something you don’t love. This past year I learnt something very important.  If you spend your time making other people happy, and putting your time and effort into things that will leave an impact after your time passes, those are the things worth spending your time on. Time doing things that help others, is never time wasted.

“Time is something that cannot be bought, it cannot be wagered with God and it is not an endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.” -Craig Sager

Though the concept of time, is way larger than any of us, it is all our own personal choices how we spend it. With 2016 coming to an end, and 2017 starting, I for one, am vouching to no longer waste my time on things that do not help me grow, smile or leave me feeling full. My goal in life has always been to leave some kind of impact on our world, and it is time I start working towards that goal.

This past week, the world lost another beautiful soul, Craig Sager. I had heard his name before, but I wasn’t really aware of the impact he made until I watched the video below. This is the kind of person I aspire to be.  Happy, positive, inspirational and life changing.

Craig Sager Tribute By NBAonTNT

Happy Holidays loves!

-Ash

Seizures 101

So Ashley, what is it actually like to have a seizure?

Oh, let me tell you.

I would just like to start with a question for you all.  Why is it when people find out I have seizures, the first thing they say is “I’m sorry”.  Like what are you sorry for exactly? haha Please don’t tell me you’re sorry, or you feel bad for me. There are far worse things in life than having seizures (especially mine).

To start off I’ll explain the kind of seizures I have.  I am not epileptic.  Usually, one of the first questions people will ask me. As of right now, there’s no reason doctors can find, why I am having the occasional seizure.  They think the triggers are: lack of sleep, stress, not eating properly and too much caffeine (so basically any university students life). I have tonic-clonic (or grand mal) seizures, which, unfortunately, in my opinion, are the worst ones to have. I like to call them the “Ashley Twerk”.  I lose consciousness, bite my tongue and cheeks and shake. They usually last (for me) 30 seconds to a minute, though tonic-clonic seizures can last up to 3 minutes. Another thing with my seizures is I only get them when I’m sleeping and I’ve only had a total of three over six years. One was in a hostel in Mexico, one was on an airplane to Toronto and one was at my house.

After my seizures, I feel confused, insanely exhausted (both mentally and physically), my body is extremely sore from being tensed and my tongue is sometimes numb and bruised from biting it. 2/3 times I didn’t know I had a seizure, people around me had to tell me.  During most seizures, I don’t feel, think or dream anything, but the one on the airplane I had, I dreamt the airplane propellers were chasing me and I was trying to dodge them, which is why I was shaking.. weird, I know.

The worst part about seizures isn’t even the losing your license part, which you do every single time you have one (first seizure is 3 months no license, then every time after that it’s 6 months), it’s the medication you have to go on.  There is no medication yet that fixes seizures, only medications that prevent them.  BASICALLY, in my opinion, finding a medication for your seizures is a trial and error process until you find one that you are able to withstand the side effects the best.

All the medications I’ve been on, I’ve completely hated (if we’re being honest here).
1) The first one I was on was Lamotrigine.  This one affected my speech the most. I constantly slurred my words and couldn’t remember certain words when I was talking. This medication also changed my vision 100%.  Both of these side affects my neurologist did not tell me about.  I was on this medication for about three years I believe, but then stopped taking it and had another seizure. *eye roll

2) The second medication is the one I’m currently on. It is Keppra.  It is the bane of my existence BUT it is one of the newest ones out (which supposedly means it’s supposed to be good).  With this one, I have found that, thankfully, hasn’t affected my speech (thank goodness) but it affects my short term memory.  So I am constantly losing my keys, wallet and phone everywhere I go cause I can never remember where I put them.  This one also affects my mood, giving me extreme highs and lows and bad anxiety.  Lack of energy is another side effect I have felt from both this medication and my first one.

There are far worse things in life, I know.

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.