All Mixed Up

My favorite season, fall. It’s chimed in every year with a new school year. This one is brand new though. College. How scary right? No not really but it does have me feeling like I’m a little bit of everywhere right now.


Starting high school this is what you plan for, work your ass off for and are preached to about on a daily basis. Let me give you a little tid bit from my first 3 days. High school is NOT going to prepare you for college at all (at least mine didn’t). Yes they tell you some things like “you do a lot of writing”. This one folks is not a lie, but when they start telling you, “oh definitely take that calc class it will really benefit you” don’t believe it!!! Unless you’re on the path that requires it, I highly suggest avoiding it at all cost. They will constantly tell you that you can’t do this or you can’t do that because it will effect you getting into college. Personally for me, I didn’t take high school serious at all and here I am typing this at Purdue. My councilor told me two years ago I wouldn’t be able to get into a state school with the way I went about school. On my cheer team I was 1 of the 2 girls who decided to advance into a college besides Ivy Tech (which is where I was told I should be). No I don’t see a problem with community college, some people there are probably a hell of a lot smarter than I am, it’s just not the right environment for me. After realizing this I told myself going into senior year that I would work my ass off to make sure I could prove everyone wrong. The funny part though is that I went to almost every class my senior year and I didn’t have to work my ass off at all. Senior year is the easy year. Take advantage of it!!

High school seniors, take this year to do your work, but more importantly use it to celebrate and have fun!! College is a blast so far especially welcome week, but now I’m a grown up who is responsible for myself. Take advantage of being a teen and getting away with almost anything and do those senior events. Go to prom with whoever YOU want, stay out late on a school night, skip that pointless class even if you have an athletic director yelling at you for it the next day. All I’m saying is please please please make sure you have the time of your life now and then get to college, buckle down and then make that time even better than you ever expected it to be.

Right now I feel overwhelmed, frustrated, happy and confused all at the same time. So many people told me going to a school so close to home would be a decision I would soon regret, but right now I can 100% say I couldn’t have chosen better. My move-in day started a little rocky with a down pour (how mid west) and multiple trips to and from my dorm because I have very bad packing skills. After settling in, my roomie who I met at random moved in and I was very hesitant over how things were going to go over. We talked a little and let me tell you, if there was anyone who is completely and totally opposite of me it is this girl. I thought oh no this year is already sucking at day 1, but things have turned up and continue to each day. I have met an endless amount of people from all over campus, which is extremely nice to have when you need to see a friendly face before 8 AM class.

Freshman orientation is not my thing. This years Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) went on without me. Okay not completely, but I wouldn’t say only attending opening ceremonies is exactly taking part of the week long event(sorry dad). The weird part about BGR is that it’s created to help you meet campus, but mostly meet people and they do that by sticking you in a group of about 15 for the whole duration. It’s actually kinda funny to me that I can say while all of those people spent their week just getting to know each other, i met at least 3X the amount of people. All it took was a friendly smile and me probably doing something stupid. A lot of people I met we actually bonded over not participating in BGR. The worst part about BGR I think is the wrist band. Yes we get name badges, but those wrist bands let me tell ya. We get these neon wrist bands we HAVE to wear all week or we basically starve. These bands draw so much attention to you and everyone knows you’re a freshman. Oh working out and a hot guy who isn’t wear a wristband looks at you then BAM see’s your wrist, game over girl you’re a FRESHMAN.

So that was a lot of detail over something not so important, but this is. I found my new home here at Purdue. I am finally taking the time to breathe and put myself together piece by piece each and everyday. Last Sunday I took a leap of faith and went to a church close to my dorm and all of a sudden things kinda clicked. I LOVED it there. I walked up to the 11AM service to be greeted by the nicest people and surprised that everyone was my age. The service was great (worship wasn’t as great without Hunter) and I met freshman girls I could actually relate to. I can honestly say I’m not sure if the church is as great as I’m making it out to be, but here I can finally be me. I’m not just a random girl who shows up, I’m not the little sister to anyone. I am Ashley and people genuinely look forward to seeing me. I cannot explain how this feeling has effected me and thats why I’m all mixed up.

I am new. I am different. I am becoming someone I have always wanted to be. Ashley isn’t just the cheerleader or girl who’s friends with ______. I am Ashley and I am okay with that. Lately things have been going in the direction I’ve really needed and it’s positive impact has made me realize I can accomplish so many things with supportive friends, family and most importantly God by my side. Realizing just how important it is to surround yourself with the right people is the first step I had to take, so don’t be afraid to take that jump. I am taking the step to become Ashley again. New and improved, it will be worth it and I will be worth it. I pinky promise.

 

 

 

18 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Turned 18

Turning 18 has opened my eyes into a new light. As moving out and being on my own is approaching I’m finally starting to understand adulthood and realizing a few funny things I wish I could have known sooner. 

1. Growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When we are younger all we think about is the next chapter and how we are going to do whatever we want, no one can stop us. Yes it’s true, we can do whatever we want, but that doesn’t mean we should. I told myself I was going to do everything I was finally legally able to and once I could, I didn’t. Which leads me into my next point. 

2. Doing something in the moment, doesn’t always mean it stays in the moment. I have always been the biggest fan of doing spontaneous things and not caring what could happen. This can be good, but it can also be bad. Growing up is realizing that you can now be held accountable for your actions. Karma isn’t the only thing that can get you ya know.

3. You are what you eat. The way you treat your body now is going to effect you for the rest of your life. Your body is smarter than you think. It can handle an ice cream/pizza party splurge every now and then but not every. single. night. Getting old means a slowing metabolism and all those late night Oreos are going to start catching up with you faster than an Olympian on a treadmill. Feed your body fruits and veggies because even if they don’t taste like chocolate, you’ll be thanking me later. 

4. Surrounding yourself with negativity will only make you negative. You can not can not can not expect to get anywhere or move forward in anyway with people holding you back. So many people are in our lives because we can’t bring ourselves to get rid of people who won’t let us get rid of them. The company you keep is a vision of you, choose wisely. 

5. Don’t forget to live a little. Partying every now and then won’t kill you. (unless you decide to be crazy as shit than you’re on your own.) Take some time off of studying or focusing on one thing and just let loose. You are still young, but you won’t be for long. Enjoy it. 

6. Take lots and lots of pictures. I know I’m the one that gets sooo annoyed when the girls in front of me at concerts won’t stop taking selfies but you have to get what I’m getting at. How many times do you just catch yourself scrolling thru your pictures and think “damn that was a great time” or “I wish I could relive that just one more time” I know I do alllll the time. Pictures really are with 1000383037293872920738202772 words. (bet you didn’t read that number huh?). Keep takin those selfies and videos even if someone wants to fight you at a concert okay!!!

7. Try. New. Things. This is a biggie. Try new foods. Try new music. Try new work outs. Try new clothes. Try new cities. Try new books. If someone’s suggests something and you’re hesitant, do it anyway. If someone else enjoys something or if something else just simply exists you should try it. It’s there for a reason people.

8. Start using your words. The amount of times I’ve been upset or angry with someone but they didn’t know why is endless. I keep to myself and don’t see a reason why someone can’t figure out what I’m feeling without me telling them. Writing helps feed the soul and clean thoughts but it doesn’t work as fast or as well as speaking. Take a situation by the balls and say “damn it bud I am very upset with you because __________” Stop expecting everyone to know what they did wrong because I guarantee they won’t figure it out (especially guys, am I right?) 

9. Pray. Find God or whatever you believe in and pray. We have to realize God works in mysterious ways, but so do we. So often we pray when the bad times are surrounding us, but what about the good? Thank Him for the greatness He has brought and the love He has given unconditionally. Never forget that amazing feeling because no matter how high up we are or how low, we are always deserving of His love. 

10. Remember to be a best friend. No matter who you decide to befriend, give it all you have. Friendships are something so sacred and something that should be held onto when you find the truest form. Don’t let yourself destroy one that deserves endless effort. Go on adventures and say yes to everything. Be the person they know they can turn to after a really bad week. Be a really really good listener or a strong shoulder to lean on. Take that 20 minute drive across town at midnight because they need to vent. Be their person and I promise they will be yours. 

11. You have to do your part. Volunteer when you can. Visit a senior citizen home and talk all afternoon. Help out at church without being asked. Walk dogs at the shelter. Get food off the top shelf for someone who’s too short. Be a decent human being. I promise it’s not too hard. 

12. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. We get out of high school where we have spent the last 4 years being preached to about the real world. The funny thing is, is that we know absolutely nothing about it when we graduate. We are expected to pick a path and follow it for the rest of our lives, but we don’t know where the path will lead because we don’t have any idea about anything!! High school is to “prepare you for adulthood”. Yeah well all I learned was how to do some math I can’t remember & write. Yes others probably got a better education from it than I seem to have gotten, but my point is that we can’t be expected to make a major life decision with little to no experience. Stop shoving all these movies and books about cultures, jobs, and “things that matter” down our throat. Take your time. Not everyone’s calling comes with a big arrow pointing to it saying “pick me”. 

13. Take time to fully enjoy things. If something amazing happens bask in it as long as you can. Let that little sliver of happiness last for days, weeks, months on end because the world is cruel and if you can find something to hold onto, do it. 

14. If you like something, wear it. Who gives a frick about someone else’s opinion on your outfit. I know I see someone wearing something I’ve never have and think, damn they rock that like I know I never could. Yes sometimes I’m like what are these people wearing, but if you are comfortable in it ROCK IT. I can not explain this any easier. It’s simple. You like it, WEAR IT. I promise you & your confidence will thank me later. 

15. Get a hobby. I never ever really had something I craved doing. Ever. I found writing and even though I’ve taken time off my blog, I never stopped leaving my thoughts on paper. Finding something you can do to de-stress or just do because you love is SO IMPORTANT. Whether it’s writing, running, making art or playing some basketball. Find your thing and do it.

16. Be a role model. Everyone is watching. Always. Little kids see you and think, I want to be just like you when I grow up, no matter what you are doing. Don’t be the person who flaunts about their drug use or how you got away with stealing. We are the next generation of adults, but the generation behind us is still watching. Think wisely. 

17. Don’t stay sad. Sadness is such a stupid, pointless feeling. Yes I understand sometimes we need to grieve or have a good cry, but don’t let it last forever. Let it out, give yourself a time period to be upset about something and then GET OVER IT. Life has a whole lot of ups and downs, you can’t let every single down get you crying. There is so much to live for like puppies, Indiana sunsets, warm weather, good food, happy friends. Take a lesson from Meredith & Christina, dance it out. You will be okay. 

18. Time is your friend, not your enemy. I always think I don’t have enough time to do anything ever so I just don’t do it. The weird thing is that time is a human creation. We give ourselves 24 hours a day. We give ourselves an end. Spend each and everyday doing better and spend more time doing the impossible than worrying about the time we have left. Don’t sit around and wait for your time to run out, life isn’t a spectator sport. Get off the bench & get in the game. 

Best Friend

What is a best friend by definition? “A persons closest friend.” How many can say that have a “best friend” by definition? I know I can. Just having that one person you know you have no matter what. The closest to you in all matters. The one you tell every little detail about your life to. They probably know you like the back of their hand. 

So many times I feel like we get comfortable. We just expect that person to be there at every waking minute no matter the situation. Yes that’s what we think, but how many times do we take this for granted. Lately I have been realizing my thank you’s have run short. I have been thinking about all the things people constantly do for me, with or without me asking. The amount of times these acts have occurred are much higher than the amount of praise I’ve given to the people who deserve it the most. 

My biggest flaw I think is that I never really get through to people just how much I appreciate what they do. Constantly I can take and I can give in return, but it will never show someone how thankful I am to have them. Letting someone know that you are grateful for them is one of the best feelings another person can feel. I know when someone tells me “hey thank you for doing that for me, it really help out” after a long day I feel a lot better about what I’ve done. I have been taking and taking without giving as much in return. Telling someone simply thank you can go so far, but it isn’t always enough. By definition I need to be the best friend too. I have to listen, solve problems and help the other in return. 

I have been lacking when it comes to being a best friend to my best friend. Letting someone know you are there through it all is what matters the most. Nobody likes someone who isn’t here to stay in this world full of temporary people. It’s times to open up my ears and listen. I need to take my turn to fix my mistakes and others, but also apologize for the ones that can’t be reversed. What can we do to make others more aware of our gratitude? This has had me stumped for awhile. I don’t want to just tell someone thank you. Thank you means something, but it’s not always meaningful. What about switching it up with an “I really appreciate you” or “your the best”? I am still stuck on trying to become better, everyday I am learning.

Tell your person you care about their feelings too. Tell them you are so thankful they exist. Let them know they are loved and they are cared for. Now starting being a best friend back to your best friend. Whatever you need to say, say it. We can never overuse thank you, so make sure you use it often. Let others know you appreciate them and just how much you love having them in your life. I am so thankful for you. I am so happy you are in my here & now. 

It’s Kinda Like a Love Story

What’s the first thing to come to your head when you think of the word love? Maybe it’s a special someone you’ve been with for a while, a family member or a materialistic item. Now in your head make a list of the 5 things you love the most, okay go. 
**NO PEEKING TILL THE LIST IS DONE**
On your list I’m sure there are friends, family, maybe even a pet. It’s a list of things we all can’t live without. Now if I asked you to make as long of a list as you wanted, what is the likelihood that you would put yourself in the top 5 or even the top 10? So often with are stuck putting everything and everyone before us. Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting others before you (this is actually highly suggested), but do not forget about yourself. We all have a lot of love to give and we hand it out like candy on Halloween. Since we are constantly handing it out, sometimes we forget to leave a little for ourselves. 
Self-love is the true love that belongs at the top of the list. Constantly we are searching for something or someone to love without loving ourselves first. I know how cliche it sounds, but you have to have to have to love yourself so much before you can expect anything from anyone else. Yes your family will love you and the right friends will too. The time you need to love yourself the most is when you are realizing the wrong friends and the negativity surrounding you. Yes I know it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, but negativity should NOT outweigh the positives in your life.


Loving yourself will make you realize who doesn’t love you. For a while you will deny it, even try to make them love you, but eventually all that will come out of it is constant hurt. You will notice others putting you down when you only put them up or maybe they only call you when they need something, not just to check in on your busy life. Loving who you are and trying to become who you want to be will lead you in direction of your true values. Gaining a new view on life will start to make you question the people you surround yourself with. Letting yourself take care of you and forget about the needy friends who only take and take with no giving will refresh your mind to find something new. Sometimes it takes a major event to make us really question the love we have for ourselves. Sometimes it’s just that one person. Maybe your one is a break up or the loss of a loved one, whatever it is will make you feel like there is a space open that needs filled in your life. 
When you take a step back and evaluate the situation, maybe you feel that space so greatly because they gave you all the love you forgot to give yourself. Take this space and fill it with all the laughs, the late night food runs, the endless movie marathons and all the other things(even more) that made you love your life a little more when this person was around. Do this because you owe it to not only them, but yourself. You deserves to continue on without them and be the loving, open minded person you could be with them. The funny thing about love is that it does not have to be said or heard to be felt. Doing little things everyday to boost your likelihood of having a day you love. Maybe the little things are working out, giving yourself those motivational talks when you need empowered or just finally doing something on your own that you always did with the help of someone else. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you are independent, it means that you can love who you are and what you do with or without the love other people have to give. 
The best part of falling in love with yourself is knowing someone will never leave. You have you and that is the strongest bond you can make. Start relying on your own decision making instead of always asking others what they think you should do (trust me, this has benefited me A LOT). Each and every morning wake up and tell yourself that today will be a good day, then try your hardest to make it that way. We choose our attitudes, so make yours a good one and good things will happen. Remember to love the little things about yourself like the weird laugh you have, the freckles you swear you hate, the cute little fingers that look like they belong on a baby, or just the curves that roll through your body. They are the beauty that not only others see, but you see. Make them beautiful through your eyes and they will strengthen you in endless ways. Who knows, you could make someone start to love their own. 
No matter how much love we have for ourselves, we can always have more. Be comfortable in your own skin, it is your home. Wear the clothes you’ve always wanted to wear, it decorates your body. Remember you are a temple and there is only one You. Keep it happy, keep it healthy, keep it loving. 

Dealing with Differences 

When starting my blog I didn’t have high hopes or any expectations. I have been blessed with the many loving people who read and really enjoy/understand what it going on in my crowded mind. With this endless support there has also been negativity. 
Being who you are and loving what you do will lead to persecution. You will be ill-treated, judged and made fun of no matter if you are doing right or wrong. This is where the big decision comes in, what are you going to do? Are you going to keep doing what you love or just give up? 
Choosing to continue on is the path taken by those with true passion. We must prepare ourselves when doing what we love. First we must start by expecting it. “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” John 15:20 states. This is saying that those before you have been judged while doing the same as you are now. Do not believe they will not judge you as well. 
Building up our strength through enduring this persecution creates a different view point. We sometimes have a certain image in our heads that this is the way things are or have to be. Getting criticism puts you into a place of thinking about your actions and what people dislike about them. Enduring this will cause a positive change we might not of ever had if someone wouldn’t have told you how they felt. The hard part is letting yourself make that change and sticking to it not because someone told you to, but because it is what is best for you. 
The fun part about negativity is that it can be changed into something positive by embracing it! We must welcome in the criticism and hate by listen to what they say. Now this sounds a little weird right? We think we shouldn’t listen to what they say because you should just “do you.” Well if we want them to listen to what we say it is only fair to give it a go for them!! Negativity can have 1 of 2 outcomes, either it will make you come to a stop and change what you are doing or push you to become more of who you are and get through what you want to teach this world. Embracing what others have to say will only make your teachings more powerful and true to your original values. 

  
Keeping up on my blog has been difficult, but within the past month I have grown. Sharing my thoughts and putting what I have to say out there for the world to read has really allowed me to start becoming who I want to be. I suggest to anyone who has a passion to pursue it whole heartedly and never allow yourself to slip away no matter the amount of persecution. Letting go of bad and holding on to the good is creating the world I want to live and love in. 

The 3 E’s: Expect

                  Endure

                  Embrace

Following these will lead to satisfaction in not only you, but the ones you help in-power. Let your heart be open to all the world has to give, but let your month be open to saying everything it needs to say. “Don’t ever worry when you are being persecuted, the only time you should worry is when you’re not ever being persecuted at all.”

Don’t Tell me I Can’t 

Values and goals are what makes you, you. There are so many things I have been striving for since I was young. Now that I am becoming an adult it’s time for me to put these dreams in to action. 

Last fall I met people who I had shared values with but not dreams. What I wanted and what I dreamed sounded crazy compared to anything these people could ever imagine. They wanted to stick around our hometown, someday make their future family here just how their parents did for them and work the average 9-5, same scheduled life. I was never this girl until I met them. I thought to myself that maybe I could do it. Work in an office, a cute boutique downtown, maybe even a stay at home mom. I could be average. 
Average is not what I was born to be. I was not created to live a life of mediocracy. Settling for a life when you know you deserve something more will only end in self regret. I was created to in-power, to create a world that only I can dream. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with average or a simple life. Average shouldn’t be seen as a negative word, but as a descriptor into the life of the non adventurer. I crave different, I crave excitement and exploration. Even as a kid growing up I was always out getting into something just out of pure curiosity. I would find creeks and woods and I would just go out on a limb (literally) and adventure (although it might have led to falling in creek water and losing flip flops a time or two). The life I’ve become accustomed to is just not for everyone. 

  
Distancing myself from these people has drawn me back to my dream. New York is my dream. New cultures, new people, new cities, new love; that is my dream. I want to live each and everyday not as my last, but as my best. I want to strive to be better than anyone has ever expected me to be. 
Coming from a mid-sized city in Indiana, a whole lot is not expected of me. Greatness is not expected. Making a difference in the world is not expected. Anything above average is not expected. My parents since day one wanted what all the other parents wanted. They hoped I’d become a happy kid with a college degree working a random townie job (local university, office job, maybe even a townie typical factory job) or doing whatever else this place has to offer. Don’t get me wrong my parents 100% support my dreams. What I’m not too positive on is how much they believe that I believe they will ever happen. I am here to tell you that I WILL make my crazy thoughts come to life. Whatever you give me, I will make something of it and I can promise you that. I promise I will make something of myself. 
Being told “do you really think you’ll make a life for yourself that way?” or “are you sure that’s really what you want to do?” is the hardest part of dreaming. Sometimes I think about the times I’ve told people in the past about all I inspire to be and these are the “back handed” responses I’ve gotten. These responses are the hardest to give a comeback on (mostly because I’m in shock that someone could be so inconsiderate). Knowing that a person you care about and trust enough could say something as heartless as that is where I get stumped. So many times people will make it all about the money. “But you might not make it with that pay” How many times do you hear a child say, “when I grow up I want to be a ________ because of all the money.” It’s not often unless this is the way they are raised from the beginning (huge mistake parents). What I am trying to get at through is that it is not about the money!! It is about the calling. What you feel in your soul and your heart that makes you say “this is what I need to do.” 
WE ARE ALL DREAMERS!! No we do not have all the same dreams, no we are all not the same person and no we do all not have the same ideas of success. This doesn’t mean that my dreams and love of fashion will not get me as far as your “exciting” and “intelligent” engineering degree. What will get me far is my will and my passion to be all I can be. Stop living logically and start living the way you love. 
I have wondered and I was lost, but now I am found. It is my time to create something everyone only dreams of. My goals are set high and though it’s going to be a long and scary path, I will push through. l will have “a great big, beautiful tomorrow.”

Temporary 

This past week I had a fake tattoo. I had picked it at random and never thought anything of it. No one really noticed it, sometimes I even forgot it was there. Except when I saw it at a quick glance it made me smile. 
  This fake tattoo reminded me a lot about the people in our lives; temporary. These days it seems like people are coming and going every few months, except for a select few who have for some reason chosen to stay. 

What I am trying to get at is that just for a second I had something and then I didn’t. Whether it was a tattoo, a friend or a family member, they all have something in common. They are missed and sometimes I really wish I had them back, but God has something else in mind (better, I’m sure of it). I know I must sound crazy. I picked something random and had it for so little time, but I still miss it. Well if you think about it, isn’t that how everything happens? 
Friends are picked at random. We don’t have a list of people we say we are friends with or want to be friends with only (at least I don’t & you shouldn’t). We meet a person at RANDOM then we find the courage to step out of a comfort zone and say hi. BAM you’re my friend. 
Let’s look at life as a boat. My boat is full of friends and family, even materialistic items. Life makes pit stops which are all the different chapters of your life. Sometimes at these stops or changes in life, people leave but people also come. The amount you gain may not be the same as you lost, but you become lighter as if something was holding you back before. That something was a toxic friendship that maybe you just had because you saw that person 5 days a week for years on end at school. Maybe it was the death of a family member that meant the world to you. They are off your boat, but they aren’t off your mind. 
The people on your boat make you the person you are destined to be. Whether it was a boyfriend who you swear you could’ve been better off without, a silly girl in your class who did nothing but annoy you all semester or your grandmother who meant the whole world to you. They all become apart of you and make you, you. 
Yes, people come and go. Yes, this is hard. Yes, it gets easier till the next person leaves. No, the loss of one person will not end you. Your boat has miles and miles of seas to sail, along those miles you will grow and gain new passengers. The passengers meant to stay will stay, but remember we often have to lighten our load if we want to keep sailing.