2018.

2018. Where has the time gone (cliche, I know)..

I am excited about this year. 2018, the year of me. That’s what I’m self-proclaiming it as.

I’m going to keep this short and simple. If I write down my intentions for this year, then I am not the only one who is holding me accountable for keeping them.

I keep saying it, but I think a lot of changes are coming for me this year. Whether that means: location, travel, love, career or anything else. I’m taking it all in with open arms.

The first thing I really want to work on is consistency, in all or most aspects of my life.  My trainer and mentor actually brought this up to me recently. He said I need to be more consistent in my training, but then I started thinking about and implying it to all aspects of my life. Yes, I really want to become more consistent with my training again, because it is a great release for me, but I also want to be more consistent in my friendships, in answering texts and emails, in keeping my living environment clean and tidy, in making and sticking to a budget.. etc. I think consistency will greatly improve my mental health along with other aspects of my life.

The next thing I want to work on is my work/life balance. I drowned myself in work this year. My bank account is grateful, but my social life and mental state are not so much. I want to be able to be happy and feel fulfilled in both aspects of my life without feeling the demand of financial pressures or the guilt of not being social enough.

Thirdly, I want to start putting myself first. I love that I love helping people, but everyone deserves to be selfish every once in a while. I want to stop letting men, employees, family members and friends walk all over me and taking advantage of me. I want to say ‘No’ more often, take more ‘me days’ and give to myself as much as I give to others.

Apologize for less. This one may sound a little weird. But I put blame on myself for absolutely everything. Break-ups= my fault. Bad days at work= my fault. Etc. Etc. Etc. Not everything is my fault, and not everything is in my control. I need to remember that I can’t control other people’s reactions, moods or feelings. Not everything is my fault.

Lastly, I want to take big steps in my career, whether that means applying for my master’s program, moving somewhere to get more experience, continuing to apply for full-time positions, whatever it takes! #adulting

I find people (including myself) often focus on the negative events that happen during the year: break-ups, accidents, deaths etc. Everyone heals and handles these things differently, but once you take a step back and take a look at the entire year as a whole, so many beautiful things also have happened. Focus on those things. Grow. Move on. Celebrate your acheivements. 2017 is only as good as you make it out to be.

Cheers loves. I hope this year brings you all everything you want and need in life.
🙂

-A

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Reflection.

I read an article the other night explaining how ‘love’ changes with every age. UGH, I KNOW GUYS. Here I go again on another rant about being broken-hearted and single and blah blah blah. BUT, that is not where I am going with this. As I read this article, unable to really connect much to it, I started to do a reflection of my year. I then rolled over and grabbed my phone, and started swiping through my pictures from this past year remembering the good and bad times.

How was my 2017?

Could I sum it up in one word?

I think the word I might choose is: chaos.

This year has been both amazing and heartbreaking for me. I won a lot of battles and had to fight quite a few as well. In 2017, I graduated and found a job I absolutely love. A job that is both fulfilling and exhausting, the way it should be in my eyes. I was surrounded by amazing people, but also got stabbed in the back by one too many of the people I thought respected me. I overcame a lot of personal battles, speaking out about my past with mental health, but I ignored the fact I still have a lot to face on that front. I stood up for myself when it came to the men I let into my life, but also found that I was still being walked all over.

Reading my last couple posts (after being made aware from a friend), I find that they do come off quite negative. The thing is, I am a very positive person if you ask the people that are around me frequently, but I do find I tend to concentrate and fixate on the negative things. I let the bad outweigh the good, no matter the severity of either side. With my job as a youth care worker, I spend the majority of my days, trying to convince the youth I work with to stay positive. To continue working on their goals and to continue pushing through their treatment and the trauma they’ve gone through in the past. After doing this consistently for 8-12 hours a day, I come home absolutely physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. These are the times I usually end up blogging. When I am all out of positive things and motivation. When I am at my lowest, and my mind is fixating on the negativity in my life, instead of the 10 smiles I put on the boys’ faces I worked with that day. This is when I take the frustration out on the people I care about, when I let my mind convince myself of negative ideologies and when instead of thinking about all the wonderful things I have going for me, I think about all the things I’m still lacking in my life.

I’m sorry to the people who have read my blog and left with a negative image of me. I am sorry to the people who think I am trying to throw pity parties for myself. I am neither a negative person nor am I trying to get people aboard my personal party of pity.

Life is a constant uphill battle for each and every one of us, and the way we each cope and deal with our struggles look different. I am 100% a very emotional person. When I am sad, every inch of my body feels it. When I am happy, I feel that happiness all the way to my soul.

With this year quickly coming to an end, and I continue to reflect on the many triumphs and challenges of this year, instead of talking and revisiting the negativity of certain situations, I am going to try and think about the lessons I learnt from each situation. Maybe I will post about these in the week(s) to come, maybe I won’t. But for those of you who have hung on strong all the way to the end of this lengthy post, I want you to remember and leave with this thought.

No one is perfect in this world, regardless of how they portray themselves on social media or in their day to day lives. Everybody has their own things going on. Everybody has their own battles to fight on a daily basis. All you can do personally is continue to treat people how you want to be treated yourselves. Try to see the world in a more positive view, concentrating on the beautiful things in life that often get overseen because negativity blinds each of us. Work hard. Be nice. And find something in every day that makes you smile and makes you happy to be alive.

-Ash

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

 

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! 🙂

Interview with an 11th Grader

**Happy Tuesday everyone. I was recently asked by one of my past students if she could interview me for her grade 11 English class.  I thought her questions were awesome and decided to share them and my responses to them with you all!
I hope you’re all having a great week!

-A

1. What are your aspirations in life? And Why?

Since I was young, my aspiration in life has always been to make a positive difference in the world. I wanted to somehow make at least one person’s life better. I honestly don’t know why this has always been my goal, I think since a young age I saw how being kind to someone made me feel so much better than being rude. I always liked when I knew I was able to make someone’s day better.

2. What is the importance of family to you?

The concept of family has always been very important to me. Unfortunately, from a young age I grew up without a close relationship with my mom, but I was lucky enough to grow up very close to my sister and dad.

3. As a child what were your goals? Have you met any from that period of time?

I think; as I have gotten older my goals have changed. When I was younger, my goals were more egocentric and short term, for example, I want to get a good grade on the next math test. Now my goals are a lot more long term and altruistic, for example, I really want to go and volunteer in Cambodia next year. I am lucky enough to have accomplished a lot of my goals I had made for myself, like dance professionally abroad and travel to certain places in the world, but now I set goals that not only benefit myself, but also benefit others.

4. Has there been any challenges in your life, that had a major impact on you? Have you overcome any? If so how?

Through high school, I suffered from high-functioning depression and self-injury, but I always had a mindset that I wasn’t allowed to asked for help or show weakness because people would view me differently. After graduating, I developed an eating disorder, which I suffered from in silence for far too long. Overcoming these things has made me an incredibly strong person. I use these past experiences as motivation to help youth understand that mental illness is not a weakness. I want to help people know that they are not alone and that it is perfectly fine to ask for help.

5. Do you set daily goals for yourself? If so what are they?

I like to set weekly goals for myself. I am a very active person, so making time to go to the gym and eating properly are very important to me. Also since my life is so crazy busy, trying to balance school, multiple jobs, and extra activities, I always try to listen to what my mind is telling me. If I start to feel overwhelmed, I will take a step back and analyze the things that I need to do first and then go from there. I no longer have a problem admitting that I sometimes need extra help, or need to take personal time for myself.

6. What helps you stay positive when you are at your worst?

I think looking back on where I have come from to where I am now, helps me stay positive and stay on track. Surrounding myself with positive people, taking personal time to recharge and asking for help when I need it, are all things that help me stay positive and healthy.

7. Is there a person who has a major influence in your life? If so, how have they impacted you?

Though I don’t have a very close relationship with my mom, she has always been a huge motivation in my life. When I was younger I remember seeing a light in her that many people see in me. Since her light no longer shines every day, I try to shine mine extra bright for her.

8. What keeps you inspired to stay positive, and motivated every day?

The people around me help me stay on track and remain positive. I know I have many younger girls that I teach and work with that look up to me and they are a constant reminder of how my positivity can inspire and help other people around me. Sometimes simply telling my story and being open about my past struggles are enough to make a difference.