Happy New Year to all!!  Yes, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged and I am not happy about that.  However, I was trying to work through some things that were best not aired online, ya feel me?  I know our generation is all out in the open about everything, and while I don’t look down on people who take that road, I choose to be a bit more discriminating with what I share with everyone.  I was not always like this but life teaches you a few things.  Circumstances have taught a few things that have brought me to this place – 1) people will ALWAYS read a bit more into what you’re saying (it’s natural, I suppose), 2) everyone who is reading is not wishing you well, 3) airing everything publicly is not the healthiest route and sometimes exposes needs/issues that not everyone can handle.  And as a future mental health practitioner, I will always advocate for avenues which enable mental health (i.e. counseling or therapy).

Anyway, since my last blog, there have been a few things that have happened.  I survived my hardest semester of grad school with most of my mind still in check.  I learned that I will be an aunt to a baby boy or girl that is due somewhere around my 27th birthday.  I, the person who can be completely comfortable with the familiar, stepped out and pursued a different position at the school I work at and was granted that opportunity.  I beamed with pride watching my six year old godson perform at his semi-annual piano recital and listened to him speak in at least three languages (English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese).  I participated in a photo shoot (BIG deal for me personally), which blessed my entire life.  I completed what has now become a yearly tradition of attending a Dallas Cowboys game with my my dear friend/soror and her mother.  I spent NYE in church crying and resolving to not end 2013 bitter.  In other words, I have lived.  And while most of what I highlighted has been positive, I did much personal lamenting for the past few months.  That is not a bad thing.

I had a “conversation” with someone on Saturday night which highlighted something about me that I have yet to shake – i am a safe, safe person.  I enjoy safety, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it has been a crutch for me.  I’ve lived much of my life making safe and risk averse decisions – decisions that I knew would make my parents happy, my family happy, my friends happy, whomever happy.  I have thrived off of knowing that people would be pleased with my decisions, even if I am not pleased.  I’m just being honest.  There have been things that I have wanted to do that I haven’t done simply because I’ve known that they may not be as acceptable.  Before you judge me, look at what your decisions show.  I just happen to be safe but some of us make decisions just to go against what others expect.  Either way, you’ve bound yourself to what others think.

I spent a lot of time last year stressing about decisions that I knew had to be made.  Perhaps that is why I have never been good with making decisions and why I shrink back from being the decision maker in many circumstances.  I felt (maybe too much) the pressure of pleasing one set of folks versus pissing the other set of folks off.  The folks who didn’t agree with my decisions – well, they did what they felt they needed to do.  The folks who were satisfied are okay as expected.  But what hit me this week is that no matter what I do, someone will not be satisfied or feel shorted.  Even more important than that, EYE will always be shorted if I am forever living for everyone else.  While you can know that with your mind and always be told that (often by the people who will hold those decisions against you…smh), it is something when the message resonates within your heart.

So I’ve decided that this is the year that I start to live my life and make my decisions, sans the community I have always leaned on to counsel me (read: make the decision for me).  I will stretch myself to take risks that I haven’t before so that I can make my life count to me.  It’s a sad feeling when everyone can tell you that you’ve “got it going on” and you feel none of that.  This is the beginning of something beautiful and I covet your prayers.  Moves have already started.  I’m ready.

Oh, YES – Happy Birthday, Ms. Zora Neale Hurtson.  Their Eyes Were Watching God was my favorite part of 10th grade.

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14 Comments

  1. Great blog Ashley! I’m sitting here at my desk in thought after reading it, just thinking to myself this is exactly how I feel. I applaud you for the steps you are taking ‘to go confidently in the direction of your dreams’ (Henry David Thoreau).

  2. The risks we take in life are always secondary to the amount of strength and courage we’ve gained through our years on earth. The biggest risk we take is learning how to live our lives for OURSELVES, and seeing what others see in us, in our own time. In humility, we gain a greater knowledge of patience being a three-sided virtue. When we are patient with ourselves, we become more patient with others….. which enables us to be more patient with our Higher Power….. knowing he will guide our footsteps in the right direction of confidence, beauty, prosperity, peace and tranquility. Nothing beats a failure but a try, and this blog right here shows you’re not afraid of the challenge of letting go of the need to be perfect for others and just live for AB.

    You better work it sister!!! Def a proud friend moment!

  3. It makes me proud to see that you are growing into your own. You owe nothing; however, you are required to do two things, put God first, and be TRUE to yourself!

    Big LOVE for you!💗💗💗

  4. Ashley, this was beautifully written. I feel like I could have written this because you were telling my story. Good for you for deciding to listen to your own voice first. That’s something that I am also working on and it feels great! I wish you all the best.

  5. You’re a wise woman Ashley, and discerning of your own heart. Praise God! I will indeed pray that your decision be made in the desire to please the Lord and the FREEDOM that He is already pleased (Rom. 8… yeah all of it).

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