Monday, November 12, 2012

Old friends. New things. Six years? ((a quick self reflection))

The reason people tend to give up so fast 
is they tend to look at how far they have to go
instead of how far they have gotten.

This week, one of my friends from UCSC came to visit me. Her name is Siena, and I met her through my roommate Juliana (I call her Julie). Since Siena has been here, I've been thinking a lot about where I'm in in my life. It is weird to think that I attended UCSC almost six years ago. So much has changed in my life, and I feel as if my experience at Santa Cruz was just the beginning in helping shape the person I am today. 

I had never been far away from friends, family, or Missouri for an extended period of time by myself. I will admit, I was a little nervous. After a semester, I decided to go back home, get married, and enroll at MU. Not long after, I got pregnant with Allen. It seemed like in a span of just a year my life completely changed. The timeline of the past six years goes something like this:

  • UCSC
  • Married Daniel
  • MU
  • Baby Allen
  • Moved to NC
  • Deployments, deployments!
  • Baby Mason
  • Moved to KC
  • Moved to NY
Whew! Did all of that just happen? I seriously ask myself every day where the times goes. Where? I don't know! Life moves so f a s t

I never thought that my life would be where it is today. I thought I would go to school in California, major in something in the medical field, and never have kids. I have to confess, all of those things weren't what I wanted, but I thought they were expected of me. My entire life, I've let the opinions of other influence my decisions. I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't want to go to school in California. I didn't want to become a doctor. And, to be honest, I wanted...yes wanted (please note past tense)...five kids. Sometime in October of my freshman year at Santa Cruz, I decided that I was tired of doing what I thought others wanted me to do. I decided to make my own choices. I decided to get engaged, get married, have a baby, and figure everything else out as life progressed. I'm thankful for all my experiences. I might not have graduated college yet, like most of my friends. Nor do I have a career. But you know what I do have? A family. I have a handsome husband, two beautiful kids, and the ability to be a stay-at-home mom. The life that each of us is given is unique to each individual. I love the saying that goes "only you are strong enough for the life you live". I know in every situation, I have had the ability to make my own choices. For the longest time, I chose to be too critical of myself. I chose to let others' opinions influence my choices, and I chose to be unhappy. I'm no longer going to make the choice to let others bring me down. I know I'm a smart, beautiful, and stronger than I even give own self credit for sometimes. I'm tired of being friends or associating with people that "bring me down". Even in high school, I allowed others to make me feel inferior or not worthy of being happy doing things I loved. I'm not resentful to those people, in fact, I'm really thankful I've had some challenging people in my life. One of my favorite quotes: 

"To those of you who have pushed me, thank you- without you I wouldn't have fallen. To those of you who laughed at me, thank you- without you I wouldn't have cried. To those of you who just couldn't love me, thank you- without you I wouldn't have known real love. To those of you who hurt my feelings, thank you- without you I wouldn't have felt them. To those of you who left me lonely, thank you- without you I wouldn't have discovered myself, but it is to those of you who thought i couldn't do it-- it is to you i thank the most because, without you I wouldn't have tried..."-Anonymous 

It has taken me a long time to get to a place in my life where I'm happy with myself. I no longer feel guilty for not being the person that other people thought I should be. Nor, do I look in the mirror and resent the way I look. I respect other peoples' opinions, but sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut. After all, you don't know the impact your words might have on someone else. I would like to think I'm a very understanding person, but I will no longer  put up with people that I feel bring me down. Your snide comments, your judgment that you pass on me, and your ability to make feel inferior will continue no more

Watch out, I actually think I have a pretty good idea of who I am. Uh oh, prepare for a more confident and unfiltered Ashley. Don't worry, you probably won't like me. That is okay, because there are a few people I actually like. 

Have a nice day. 


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