My Story is me.

Everyone has a story and your story is whatever you want to make it. Your story is what is important to you. It’s different situations and different circumstances. It’s battles that have been won and lost.  Your story is you.  My question is: is it important to tell your story?

I read in a book that by telling your story you are creating yourself.  Some people can’t feel like they’ve lived without telling their story.

This topic for me sparked when I was asked in one of my last ever university classes, what brought me to study sociology.  Luckily, I was very last, so I had lots of time to think about my story or alter what I was going to say depending on what other people were saying. By the time it got to me, my story had changed a lot then how I would have told it if I was first. Surprisingly, my story got longer and more in-depth as I listened to others people’s stories.

In my story, I talked a lot about being lost, not knowing what I wanted to do in my life, and stumbling upon studying sociology out of desperation.  I still stand true to this.  If sociology has done anything for me, it has taught me about life and about people. I analyze situations more and understand how and why people act or react in the ways they do. I understand pop culture and climate change, social structures and how each individual is shaped through experiences. I also have a better understanding of why people are the way they are and with this knowledge, I have been able to grow and excel in many different jobs and relationships.

I see a lot of people on social media criticizing others that talk about their past experiences or issues. People will often say they’re doing it for attention or the want for pity and even as I grow and share more about myself, I often feel that people think this about me. BUT, I have finally come to the point in my life that I no longer care what people think.  There will forever be people that are going to talk negatively about you, even if you’re the nicest person in the world. People love talking. People get jealous. People like to criticize anything out of the norm. And people hate change. That’s life.

I think transparency is extremely important for me. I used to say I thought it was important for everyone, but I remembered that not everyone wants to share their stories. For me, I think sharing my struggles, triumphs, losses, victories and everything in between in an important part of who I am. I like connecting with people in this way. I like being able to say: “Me too, I was there, I went through that too, I’ve also felt that”.. etc. I focus so much on this openness and find it to be important because as I was growing up, I felt multiple times like I was the only one. I felt alone with my thoughts and feelings and didn’t have anyone to connect to. I remember the first time I met someone who suffered through similar events as me and the extreme sense of comfort, understanding and release of emotion it gave me. I finally felt like I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t wrong in having the thoughts I did or doing the things I did in the past. If just one person stumbles upon this blog and feels that, then I feel like I’ve done something right.

If you are reading this, I want to remember a few things. You deserve to be happy. Don’t stop until you wake up each day and are excited to live your life. Your past doesn’t define you. Learn from it, and continue to grow and move on. You are not alone, no matter what the voice in your head tells you. People love and care about you, you are here for a reason, please go out and find that reason!

Lots of love and positive thoughts!
Ash

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#HowToLoveMe

I love searching through Instagram. Yes, I am one of those people who search through the discovery page, lusting over fashion, tattoos, travel photos and beautiful people. The other day I stumbled upon Shan Boodram’s Instagram account and boy am I happy I did. Not only is she a physically beautiful human being, but she is the kind of woman that just through scrolling her feed, you can tell she’s a world changer. I could literally ramble about her for ages but that is not the reason for this post. The reason for this post is an initiative that she started called: How to Love Me.

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The initiative is exactly what it sounds like. It is instructions for the person you love (or one day will love), on how to love you. In Shan’s YouTube video that I linked above, she explains that so many people in relationships are put in situations that they are not designed to thrive in. Instead of figuring out how to love a person in a way they need to be loved, we get mad because they are not reacting the “proper” way to the love we are giving them. Shan proposes an idea of what if we give people the recipe on how to love us and help us thrive in that love. The instructions for people who want to understand us, before attempting to love us.

I thought this was an amazing and beautiful idea and in doing this initiative, I might not only possibly help someone love me one day, but I’ll also learn how to accept that love and prosper in it. So here is a list of the most important things I need to feel loved.

  • showing you care about what I care about
  • giving me my personal space when I need it
  • physical touch
  • making me a priority
  • respecting my time
  • HONESTY-LOYALTY
  • express your feelings
  • laugh with me
  • challenge me
  • support my passions, but also have your own
  • grow with me
  • help me through my bad days
  • kindness

If you guys have a second, I challenge you to take this initiative and share it with your partner. If you’re like me and you don’t have one, who cares! Do it anyway! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Also, check out Shan on her social media! This girl is life changing!!

🙂
Ash

What it’s Like to Love Someone Who’s Killing Themselves

I fought off writing this for a long time for a couple reasons. I never felt like it was my story to tell. I also felt like it was super sad and depressing to talk about.

But I’ve realized that anything in my life that has shaped me is part of my story and I know I’m not the only one in this situation so maybe writing this post will help me connect with other people.

Loving someone who is killing themselves through the means of an addiction is the most painful thing I will probably ever have to live through. I used to blame myself, always questioning if there were things I could have done or said that would help this person from the destiny they continue to choose for themselves. I wondered if it was my actions that turned them to drink themselves into their unconscious state day after day.

“Maybe if I was smarter, more well behaved, had bigger achievements.. etc. etc.,” were questions I asked myself every day.

Every glimmer of hope I saw, I would hold onto, hoping that one day they would wake up and choose life over their addiction. That they would choose family over an intoxicated haze. And again and again, every piece of hope would be ripped from my fingers.

People will tell you to just keep loving them to the best of your ability. Just keep praying for them. Just keep holding onto to hope that one day it’ll be different. But what they don’t see is the relapses where hope is torn from your hands over and over again.

People don’t talk about the missed birthdays, Christmases and other holidays. They don’t talk about the awkward conversations when people ask where they are, why they look so ill or how they got all those bruises all over their bodies.

You have to watch people judge your family, wondering why we’re not trying to help them more, and not knowing we’re helping them the best we can.

They don’t know what it’s like to have the person you love one day and an addiction stricken monster the next. They don’t know what it’s like to blame yourself into a depression. To compare yourself and wonder if you’ll ever end up drowning in addiction too.

Loving someone who is killing themselves hurts, it hurts every single day. It leaves your heart feeling empty and hopeless. And you live for the sober days, the sober conversations, the sober hugs and “I love you”s. Because even on the most hopeless days, hope is all you really have to hold on to, and hope is what we continue to do.

The Other Woman

I have been wanting to write this post for foreverrrrr.

But first I had to decide how I wanted people to portray it. Did I want to make people laugh, and take on a funny view to this term? Did I want to make people feel pity for the girls who are tagged as the “the side chick”, or did I want to throw it all down, the raw, real and naked truth?

Obviously, funny is always the easiest route, the second I would say is the pity route, then the hardest is when you lay down the truth. Truth is always the hardest because when people disagree with it, it hurts your writing ego a little bit. haha

Well, here we are. Ok ok I know, “Ashley, get to the point”. I’m heading there I promise. But first, a little back story.

So, what is a “side chick” or the “other woman”. Well, readers, this is what the trustful Urban Dictionary had to tell me:

the other woman; also known as the mistress; a female that is neither a male’s wife or girlfriend who has relations with the male while he is in another relationship

In society, the side chick is glamorized. She the more attractive woman, that’s better in bed and is always dressed to the 9s. She knows about the wife or girl friend but doesn’t care because inside she knows she’s better, hotter, sexier, etc.

But in real life, the side chick thinks she’s the only girl. She’s the one that gets the hate, even though it’s the husband or boyfriend that are making the wrong choices.

The side chick gets the “Are you awake?” at 3am text messages, whereas the partner gets the “Good morning beautiful” texts. The side chick gets the “You’re hot” DMs, whereas the partner gets the “I’m so happy I met you” comments on pictures. The side chick gets the creepy smirks across the bar, whereas the partner gets paraded around and shown off. Ok ok, I’m getting side tracked and jumping on the pity party train. Let’s take a new approach.

To the side chicks out there. You are better than him. You deserve to be shown off, to be loved and to be the only girl in someone’s life. Don’t let him convince you otherwise. Don’t let him tell you, you are his only one. Believe your gut feeling, because it is usually right.

To the wife/girlfriend/partner. Don’t let out all the blame on these girls that your man is fooling. Don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t hate them. They deserve the exact same thing you deserve. To be respected by a man and not played by a boy. Remember they might not know you exist, and that is not their fault. Remember to take a step back, and realize the blame should be dealt out accordingly.

To the man, or should I say boy. Who makes you think you’re so much better than those around you? Why do you think it’s fair to play with people’s hearts the way you have or waste people’s time the way you did? Think about the way you make these women feel like objects instead of human beings. These girls you are messing around with would give you the world, and you can’t even give them the respect they deserve.

I have been the side chick, the other woman and it has taught me a lot. Not only has it made me feel hurt and extremely guilty, but it was taught me about what I want and deserve in this crazy world of love. I want someone to care that I’m obsessed with the colour blue and sharks. I want them to remember my birthday without me having to remind them and to remember I’m allergic to kiwis. I want someone to call me just because I crossed their mind. I want them to be proud of me and want to introduce me to their friends. And most importantly I want to be respected and valued the way I respect and value the people who are important to me in my life.

Playing with people’s hearts or time is no joke, my friends. A person’s heart is the most beautiful thing about them. The way they smile while doing the things they love, with the people they love. And time should never be taken advantage of because it is something so valuable and limited.

Love others the way you want to be loved and treat people the way you want them to remember you.

-A

Critiquing the Critiquers

Every single thing that happens in your life, shapes the person you are. Every person that comes into your life, every person that leaves your life and all the people and experiences in between.
I am not going to lie. I am the kind of person who over thinks and over analyzes every. single. situation. If a person looks at me the wrong way, my mind tells me they don’t like me. If someone doesn’t give me the check of approval, I must have done something wrong. As simple as someone not answering a text message, makes my mind work in over drive.
In saying this, every person that comes into my life and for some reason leaves, I take that onto myself and I take it very personally. Lost friendships, past relationships, I carry those things with me, often for far too long. I am not the kind of person that can easily forget things. I still over think experiences from elementary school. Like what?! Who does that?
While on Tumblr last night I reposted this quote that said:

“If someone treats you badly recognize that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people do not go around destroying other people.”

I immediately thought of a list of people I could send that too. All the people that made me focus on my flaws as negative things instead of beautiful things, all the people who have tried to change me along my path of life and to anyone who ever made me doubt myself or doubt my dreams.
After reposting this quote, I saw this one:

“It was a privilege to love you, and it was a privilege to let you go. Both helped shape me into the person I have become.”

I realized that the people in my past, though they may have hurt me, or broken my heart, they shaped me into the person I am. My chubby cheeks that one person may have criticized once, is something that another person loves about me. I am stronger because of the people and experiences of my past. They didn’t hold me down, or damper my worth. They lifted me up and made me realize how thankful I am for my flaws that make me different than the person next to me.
I think when you come to this realization, is when you can finally be happy. People will never stop criticizing you throughout your life, but we are all capable of moving past these criticisms and loving yourselves as we are. Make sure to surround yourself with people who view your flaws as beauty and lift you up when the criticisms from the world become too much for you to carry alone.

ox
Ash