Saturday, September 28, 2013

Not Your Girl Next Door

(I would like to 
dedicate this blog 
entry to anyone 
that is fighting a
battle right now, 
hang in there.)

There's been several times when I've been out and about and some unfamiliar face walks up to me asking where they know me from. After I awkwardly smile and politely say I have no recollection of having ever met the person, nine times out of ten I get this response, 

"oh, maybe you just have that girl next door look!"

I feel like it is too easy to look at a person and make an assumption.

I feel like judging is a harsh word for it but lately I feel "misunderstood". 

Now please do not read my next comment and think I am vain, If you continue reading the next comment I beg of you, please finish reading the rest of this entry!!! 

I get told all the time I am pretty. 
I get told girls wish they were me.
I get told guys wish they could date me. 

I feel like people look at me and think I'm all put together. 
That I am the captain of a ship with easy sails.
That my life is "picture perfect."  

I do it too. 
I look at someone in envy but I was shocked when I found that people look at me that way.

Pardon my french, but here's the truth, I am a hot ass mess. 

I'd like to take the time now to clarify just what type of girl I actually am. 

First of all,

I am not your "girl next door."

I am not the type of person that agrees when someone calls me beautiful.

I fight many demons, daily. 

It is the beginning of fall now and I just finished one challenging summer. 

  • My first heartbreak.

  • Moving back home at 22.

  • Many insecurities that seem to have just popped out of no where. 

Basically feeling like kind of a loser all summer long.


"God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling."

It's funny how when life gets rough the enemy's voice becomes
 louder & louder & Louder!

However, that quote has never been more true to me.

Experiencing some serious pain this summer brought me to my strongest self and boy it's been no easy ride.

After a break up I felt rejected.

Then I started to question my friendships.

Then I started to believe I wasn't smart.

Then I started to believe I was ugly.

Then I started to believe I was fat.

(the list goes on but I don't want to bore you)

One thing after another I was giving permission of these lies to float around inside my head, slowly crippling me. 

I was being distant from friends & family. Primarily staying at home, reading self help books or watching movies. I deleted many of my social media accounts. Totally disconnected myself.

If I did leave the house it was to go to the gym. I very much lost my appetite and when I did eat I made sure it was clean food. I went and died my hair. I was completely lost. And each day went by sloooooooooooooooowly. 

Even though it took me reaching a low point before realizing this I am so grateful I finally did. 

I remembered how to pray

Not just pray but pray hard. Crying with an aching heart begging for the Lord to help me understand his doings in my life. 

Now I'd like to share with you guys this miraculous moment in my life where God's heavenly angels swooped in and carried me into the arms of pure bliss and happiness but unfortunately that is not the case. But stay tuned anyways. ;)

It took a long time, days turning into months of praying the same prayer. 

But eventually I noticed it became a little bit easier to breath.

The pain started to lessen, my energy level started to grow. My silly self was rediscovered. I have grown closer to the greatest mother ever and I have bonded with my dad at a whole new level.  I've learned that I have some pretty amazing girlfriends who are some seriously unique and special women, some of them being apart of my everyday life and some of them across the country. (Yes, I am talking about you: Lexie, Katrina, Katey, Chelsea, Rhi, & even my new friend Kymberly. All your guys wisdom and friendship means the world to me!) 

So here is my lesson learned...

nothing more. nothing less. 

Pretty simple, huh? 

At my weakest God is my strength. 
At my saddest, God is my comforter. 

I can honestly say I am finding my inner peace and happiness. I chose the word choice "finding" instead of "found" because it's still a battle at times. I still have my days where all I want to do is lie in bed and be sad but those days are becoming more far and few. 

I'll never forget this quote from the movie "The Pursuit of Happiness" with Will Smith...

"It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it."

I believe that happiness is definitely something that is attainable. But there is no way of achieving it without having a relationship with Christ. 

The unexpected is bound to happen. You're life could fall apart in front of your eyes any second but how wonderful is it that you have full control of how you chose to handle it. I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself and took matters into my own hands. I found courage, I did plenty of laughing at myself, and I'd like to think at times I was graceful! LOL 

I would never have found this strength hidden within me if God wouldn't have put me through the trails he did this summer.

And now, FINALLY, I can say thank-you! Thank-you for shifting gears in my life because I would not have on my own and I am so much happier now! I like to think of myself as a more heartfelt and tender yet strong, independent woman now!

And no one can take my happiness away from me because I do not receive my happiness from another human being anymore. I receive it from my Lord & Savior who will never forsaken me. 

Now I've given you a little, actually a pretty deep glimpse inside of me but I am okay with that. Hopefully, whoever you are taking time to read this you will think twice before looking at someone and judging or even envying their life. 

I came across this quote the other day...

"Sometime God redeems your story by surrounding you with people that need to hear your past, so that it doesn't become their future." - Jon Acuff

I posted this heartfelt blog entry in hopes that someone struggling with the same issues would come across it and be enlightened. If my blog annoyed you or you felt like it was a waste of your time then clearly you are not that person. 

Thank you for reading.

God Bless.

xo. ash 

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Ugly Truth: Facebook is Deceptive

I've been in summer school for going on three weeks now. (it sucks) One of my classes is Art Appreciation. And one thing I've learned in art appreciation is I don't really appreciate art. (it's just so boring)

However, I love learning and have found somewhat of a comparison between art and Facebook. Go ahead and call me crazy but if you keep reading what I'm rambling you just might see it too.  

This past week we have been learning about Pablo Picasso. 

Ring a bell? Let's hope so. 

Picasso is a very famous artist from the 20th century, he started the art movement called "cubism." 

I know what you're thinking, "blah, blah, blah." My thoughts exactly. 

When people think of him they think of what a deep genius he was with the creations he put down on canvas. 

But let's take a closer look:

This painting is called, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" meaning the young ladies of Avignon, originally called, "The Brothel of Avignon."

At first glance this art piece kind of looks like five beautiful women in their most natural and vulnerable state with their curves and porcelain skin. At least those were the pure thoughts that entered my head at first sight. 

The piece is actually of five prostitutes that were apart of a brothel. You see, Picasso was a bit of a womanizer. He was  fasinated by prostitutes and did lots of paintings of females in the nude. That was his passion. 

Am I judging him? No. 
Would I agree if someone called him a pig? Maybe.

Okay enough with the boring art history lesson! How does all this tie into Facebook? Well, just like Picasso's painting, I looked at it and saw one picture then learned that I was completely wrong. Just like scrolling through your newsfeed.

Sometimes you look at people's Facebook accounts and think to yourself, "wow, they really have it all."

Oh you don't?

Well, I don't believe it's just me! 

Yesterday at lunch after something quite close to a break down I told my parents, "It just seems like all my friends have it all together except for me." (now reading my own words I believe I sound quite silly) But I really feel that way sometimes. 

Facebook is kind of like a battle field of bragging and the ammo being used is people throwing stuff in each others faces. 


Look at my awesome vacation.
Look how pretty I am.
Look how big my muscles are.
Look how skinny I am.
Look at this delicious meal.
Look at how happy me & my gf/bf are together.
Look at how awesome my grades are.
Look at my new puppy.
Look at all my cool toys, clothes, cars, etc. 
Look at my wedding or engagement & my sparkly ring. 
Look at how perfect my kids are.
Look at how great my pregnancy is coming along. 
Look at all the money I made in tips last night.
Here's a pic of all your good friends hanging out without you.
Here's a pic of your ex with their new girlfriend.
Here's a pic of someone you once loved whose a stranger now.

HEY I DO IT TOO! It's somewhat of a trend right?

But doesn't it suck, the moment you look at what someone else has and realize what you're missing?

I have some friends that have deleted their Facebook accounts because looking at it just made them feel sad and discontent.
(If you deleted your or don't have a Facebook, take a moment & pat yourself on the back. I applaud you!)

But honestly, it makes me feel the same way sometimes.

Even myself, I have deactivated my Facebook because I get sick of the nonsense but eventually wind up back on it to talk to a distant friend or my curiosity gets the best of me. 

But the moment a person (and yes us girls are famous for it) post a sad or sappy post/quote/status ALL OF A SUDDEN they're dumb or annoying or depressed or they're bringing you down so... delete! 

But shouldn't we praise the brave souls that publicly announce, "Hey Guys, I am human, I'm at a crossroads and I don't have my sh*t together!!!"

I know that sometimes I wish I saw more of that so I could press "like" and say, "Amen sister!" 


Let us dust off that old dictionary of ours and look up the definition of "deception"...

: giving an appearance or impression different from the true one;

Much like Picasso's painting, (to me) it was misleading. 

Do you ever see people post an ugly picture of themselves on Facebook with the caption, "Hey, I'm having a really bad day, I'm bloated and my face is broken out and here's a picture to prove it." 

LOL!(just envisioning that kind of made me laugh)

If you answered, no, then ding-ding-ding, we have a winner!

But It's true. People don't generally post on Facebook about how bad their lives suck and what they're insecure about. 

This is why Facebook is deceptive!

Yeah, it may look like that gorgeous girl and her "oh so charming" boyfriend have it all in their perfect world but who knows? Maybe she's waiting for an engagement that's never going to happen. Or maybe he's just sitting in a relationship he doesn't know how to get out of. 

Or maybe you've found your prince charming and your happily ever after but he's over seas serving our country and his sacrifices leave you lonely, missing him for months or years at a time. 

Or maybe your a single mom raising a child a little sooner than you expected wishing you had a man in your life to stand by your side and help.

Or maybe you're jealous because you're 25 and married and you can't get pregnant yet all these teenagers keep popping out babies. 

Or maybe you don't have the money for college and your jealous of the one who can.

Or maybe you're the one in college who can't figure your major or future career and your jealous of the one who knew exactly what they wanted to do the day they graduated high school.

Or maybe your upset because you can't find a job in this economy yet, so & so over there is working three. 

Or maybe you're the one working three jobs and you wish you could just sit at home and relax for a moment or two.

Or maybe you're jealous of the rich kid whose parents gives them anything and everything their little heart desires when really they're lacking a relationship with both of their parents and that's all they really want.

I could go on and on with scenarios I've noticed over time of people who look like everything is going perfect for them but they are fighting their own battles. The point is not everything is picture perfect. Life on Facebook may look like "Pleasantville" to the eye but you never know what lies underneath. 

Like for example:

I get compliments on how pretty and classy I am.

(you might say to yourself, she must agree if she's writing about it!)


I get complimented on how pretty my skin is but in high school I fought really bad acne. (*thank-you mom for driving me at age 16 to every dermatologist in town*)

I have my insecurities and I fight my own battles. Sometimes I feel pretty & ladylike and sometimes I just feel ugly & weird.

oh, you want proof?

here are two pictures of me.

1) all dolled up. lots of make-up, curled hair, good lighting.

2) reality. 

hahahahahaha, see?!

I'm not all that pretty & classy, friends. And if you know me really well... you know first hand just how weird I am. But I am learning to embrace it because that's how God made me. 

Well, even though I have to tell myself this constantly, not everyone is as put together or perfect as they seem, you including!

and hey guess what? THAT'S OKAY! 

Coming from a Communications and Psychology student like myself, this was just an observation I made. 

Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree.

I'll leave it at that. 

even though it's been over a year since my last post, I am going to try and start blogging more.

xo. ashlee