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

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

Get to know me!

A little about me:
I am a 25-year-old, energetic, adventure lover.  I have been in school for far longer than I would like to admit, but will finally be graduating in 2017 with a major in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. Sociology is quite fascinating and not just an easy elective like people like to think. Studying it has really opened my eyes to why the world works the way it does. I consider myself an introverted extrovert, which I think would surprise a lot of people because most people know me as the girl with the big white teeth and the obnoxious laugh. I am a dance teacher, a member of the Rider Cheer Team and the co-coach of the U of R Dance Team.

Few things people don’t know about me:
-I will be applying to do an after degree in education.  It took me way too long to figure out that teaching and children were what I am passionate about, but I’m happy I got here!
-I am in recovery from an eating disorder.  I say in recovery instead of recovered because it is something I will probably struggle with for the rest of my life.  Unlike other mental illnesses like alcoholism or a drug addiction where the substance that is causing the issue can be eliminated from the person’s life, food cannot be.  I don’t like to talk about this, because I like the positive view that people have of me, and I never want something like this to distort that, but at the same time, I think it is important for me too because I want to be a role model.  I want people to understand that mental illness doesn’t mean you are broken, or unloveable or imperfect, it makes you a survivor, it makes you stronger and it makes you perfectly imperfect.
-I hope to one day write a book about my struggles in hope you inspire and encourage people to push through their struggles, and to know that anything they’re going through will only make them stronger in the end.

Thoughts on society’s concept of beauty:
I think society has created this unreachable concept of beauty, but I think our generation is doing a good job of changing it.  There are so many amazing people out there now a day, standing up against this mould that has been created.  I think beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colours, ages, genders, races etc.  I think everyone is beautiful in their own way and it’s just sad that society can’t acknowledge this.  I think it’s so so so important to love yourself first, because if you love yourself, then there’s no way you’ll ever let society tell you you’re not good enough.

Most valuable lesson I’ve learnt so far:
I think the most important lesson I’ve learnt is to love yourself first. I spent way too many years trying to be someone I wasn’t, trying to be the person I thought I had to be to make people like me, but in reality if those people didn’t like me for who I truly was, then those people didn’t deserve to be part of my life anyway. I would love to get the years and the sleepless nights back of wishing I was someone else, and that I had a different life, because now that I’m finally happy with myself and with my life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Advice for others:
Never ever ever ever ever let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or make you feel like you need to change. Each and every one of us is unique for a reason and each of us deserves to be surrounded by people who will accept and cherish this about us.

🙂

-Ash

25 THINGS I’VE LEARNT IN MY 25 YEARS :)

1) You need to love yourself first.  Fall utterly and undyingly in love with your imperfections and your little twerks. Finally realize that all the things you used to hate about yourself are the things that make you you and are the things that your future partner will (should**) love most about you.

2) Sleep. You need it. I don’t care how much your late teens and early 20s tricked you into thinking you can survive off minimal sleep because you really can’t. Your body and sanity will thank you for those nightly 8 hours.
LIFE HACK: naps will become your best friend.

3) Get it right, get it tight. Seriously, though. Get in shape. Take care of your body. Give it the fuel and exercise it needs because believe me, it only gets harder as you get older, so get in shape while you can and make it a habit and a priority.

4) Spend money where you need to, and save where you can.  I’ve learnt this one the hard way.  Invest in a good mattress, in good shoes and other staple items.  Think twice about spending the extra money on luxury items.

5) Spend as much time with your grandparents as you can. Sure they’re goofy and might smell a little funny but believe me, you’ll be thankful later on. I regret every day the time I could have spent with my grandparents that I didn’t.

6) SUNSCREEN. Sure a tan is fabulous, but wrinkles aren’t. Also on that same note, PLEASE skip the tanning beds.

7) Take care of your skin. Moisturize. You’re skin will be with you forever.

8) Understand now that the friends you have, you might not have forever. It’s a sad but true reality of growing up. Some people grow together, some grow away from each other. That’s life loves.

9) Find an outlet. Something that you do just for yourself. It can be indulging in reality TV, drawing, running, anything really. Just find some way to relief your stress and tension.

10) STOP texting and driving. I’m 100% positive that the person you’re texting or the Instagram posts your creeping can wait and if they can’t, please pull over.

11) Never try to change yourself for anyone. No one is worth the stress of not feeling good enough.

12) Put down that darn phone. Live and enjoy life events without ruining the moment by taking a picture.

13) Learn how to say ‘NO’. This is important.

14) Remember that the opinions of other people say more about them, than they do about you.

15) Taking mental health days are totally okay, don’t be embarrassed to do this.

16) Forgive yourself. Something that is a lot easier said than done. But everyone makes mistakes. We’re all only human.

17) STOP talking poorly about other people. Stop commenting negatively about people’s appearance, stop judging people on their lives, just stop. It doesn’t benefit you at all, it just makes you look shady.

18) Don’t spend your time on someone that wouldn’t spend their time on you. This counts towards relationships, friends, coworkers etc. You’ll just end up with regret.

19) Travel! 🙂 You all knew this one was coming. And by travel, I mean out of your comfort zone, not just to resort in Mexico. Go backpacking, meet new people, realize what it’s like to not have 24/7 Wifi and clean water. You’ll come home appreciating everything you have even more.

20) Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Manners never go out of style.

21) Spend time with your parents. Tell them thank you for everything they do. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them.

22) If you have something to say, say it. Let those feelings flow. Tell the people you love that you love them. Tell that stranger they look nice because I guarantee it’ll make their day. If you like someone, tell them. If something’s bothering you, say it. BUT remember #17.

23) Age is only a number. I have to tell myself this a lot. You’re never ‘too old’ to do something, to love someone, to start new. I mean 25 is the new 19 right?

24) If you ever find yourself doing something you don’t love, STOP. Change. Don’t waste yourself doing something you dread doing every day. No one deserves that.

25) YOLO.

hahaha Just kidding. My last lesson I’ve learnt is to be thankful. I don’t care how bad your day is, you can always find one thing to be thankful for.

🙂