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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Positivity, hope, and inspiration...

To find yourself lost is one of the most difficult ways to find yourself. To realize that you’ve veered off path for a moment can be disappointing and simply stumbling into a situation that isn’t your cup of tea can be frustrating. But to find yourself lost… well it kind of feels like standing in the room where Edward and Vivian from Pretty Woman decided to part ways. You think to yourself: “This can’t be the end. There’s so much more to the story!” Well as for me, I have found myself lost. Stuck in some strange black hole between today and tomorrow, I can’t help but wonder if there’s some sort of mandatory time I must spend in this holding cell or if I can pay an additional $9.95 for express delivery into the near future, the next step, where I need to be. If the feeling were a color, it’d be black. Not a depressed or sad or mournful black, but a solid, motionless black, where you can hear your heartbeat in your carotids and feel your skin actually cool as blood flows only to your more vital organs…

To find yourself lost is one of the most difficult ways to find yourself. I don’t believe losing yourself happens in an instant, but I’m almost certain that finding yourself lost does. Something happens or someone leaves, and your world becomes silent and still. For each person that we hold close to our hearts, we offer them a piece of our very self, and rightfully so. Sometimes, we drift away from one another and replace those pieces to make ourselves feel whole again, but sometimes we only think we’ve filled those gaps. And this is where I have found myself, lost and in pieces with unfilled gaps.

To find yourself lost is one of the most difficult ways to find yourself. I see the lives of so many people through my work and my relationships, and I am constantly reminded of the positives in my life: my Mom, not only the smartest, but the strongest woman I know; my Daddy, the wisest and most genuine man that I know; my Sister, who is also an amazing mother – not only to her children, but to everyone she cares about; my friends, even those that I don’t get to see anymore, who still reach out during my good times and my bad times; and the ones who aren’t with me physically
, but who will always be a part of me – Crystal, Grandma Mae, Uncle Don. My arms and my heart have wrapped around people in situations that most would deem unbearable, and I see these people still radiate positivity, hope, and inspiration from their cores. I pray incessantly for qualities like these because “Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that, so no matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep ya head up, and handle it.” And yes, I do recall citing Pac in my most recent past post too - just wise words being quoted. Anywho...

To find yourself lost is one of the most difficult ways to find yourself… however, finding yourself, well that is a victory of its own grandeur. My story won’t end here, and we all remember Richard Gere’s character, Edward, climbing the fire escape at her apartment to give Julia Roberts’ character, Vivian, the fairy tale that she dreamed of, her happy ending. Find yourself and stay true to the self that you find, and in the end, you’ll be left with the happiness you wanted, not the happiness that someone else wanted for you.

By the way, I’ve added Richard Gere to my Christmas list, and I’m going to be busy for the next few weeks building a fire escape here at the house…

Monday, October 19, 2009

Don't worry, be happy...

"Let me LIVE, baby... Let me live!" -Tupac Shakur

I haven’t been blogging much mainly because I’ve had trouble knowing how to put what I’ve been feeling lately into words. Don’t get me wrong, my fingers have gripped any readily available writing utensil and scribbled quick partial-thoughts during nearly every waking moment, but the things that come out in those moments are so very personal that they would make no sense to any other being (and would perhaps result in police officers on my front porch and an involuntary commitment… I joke).
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The past two months of my life have been two that I initially knew I wanted to forget, but living through them, it would be unfair if my heart and mind were able to do such a thing. And that’s okay. I have always been a pretty private person, and I realize I haven’t been specific or alluded to much, but I can tell you that I have felt embarrassment, failure, heartache, depression, self pity, and severe distrust. The first few days following the accident were extremely dark for me, but after reality had a chance to really set in, I started feeling hopeful again, knowing that there’s nothing in this world that happens completely haphazardly. Leaves and trees bloom in the spring in order to bring us gorgeous autumn foliage, feelings are hurt so that we learn who to open our hearts to, and I truly believe that we stumble upon certain people and certain experiences in order to for us to know how to live.
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I digress. My quick post was just to let those who may wonder know that I am still here! I have a lot of thoughts to share and I will be doing just that, hopefully in a more positive tone than my previous posts. I just sit back and wonder sometimes how I can be objective when it comes to my own thoughts, or if I even owe anyone an objective perspective because I don’t always know how to interpret what races through my muddled mind. I wonder sometimes: should I just take what I think and write for face value or should I try to understand where my thoughts come from and whether those roots are even valid? I can’t say… I just know that I will continue to use this “blog” as a bit of a stress reliever, because it just feels right... Promise to stay tuned!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Things fall apart...

Over the past twenty four hours, I have come to realize that there are a few regrets in my life that will forever gnaw at my conscience. While I am not perfect, I’m not completely imperfect. I know I’m not the most attractive or most attentive or most accomplished person in this world, but I also know that I want to be the best person that I can be. I just want to be me, imperfections and all.

I used to believe in the aphorisms that tell us to “live life to the fullest, with no regrets,” but I am realizing that these expectations do not coincide with the ways that I feel. Moreso than specific situations or actions or relationships, I find myself regretting how I have made other people feel. I regret not visiting with my grandmothers longer, I regret bringing added stress to my family and the people who care deeply about me, I regret plotting revenge before listening to the other side of the story, and perhaps mostly I regret not always being true to myself. I’ve haphazardly noticed the writing on the wall and knew that the search party was on the hunt for the Ashley that everyone “understood,” only I would not and could not appreciate the subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints until now. It’s somewhat prohibitive to assert that sometimes “now” is too late, but I do admittedly feel that way. I feel stuck, like my life is at a stagnant standstill. Today has been one of the days like I love – overcast and just barely cool outside, with light rain and the hum of the evening bugs that forgot to set their alarm clocks. I can walk through the house and feel the breeze through my open windows, listen to the cicadas and katydids, and practically smell the next afternoon shower. Everything about this day says that today is a great day, except the regrets that are gnawing holes through my conscience.

I am trying to protect the glue that holds me together, because a hysterically frantic Ashley is one that my world does not need. I find strength in knowing that some things must fall apart in order for better things to fall into place and I will always be a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Without the bumps and potholes in our lives, the boundaries of our souls are never explored. The successes that we experience create who we are and the downfalls are simply strategically interwoven learning experiences. Instead of living life with no regrets, I think I will stick to trying to make every day count. My regrets will always be a part of me, but only a tiny part, and a part that I will not allow to define who I am.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. [Ecc. 3:1-8]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sneaky snakes...

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV

After much procrastination and reluctance, I finally mowed my grass yesterday. It seems that lately, the opportunities I’ve had to mow have been diffused by either the inconvenience of working night shift or by the unmerciful rainstorms that seem to transpire during my “free time.” Nonetheless, I decided to bite the bullet and spend some quality time with the Bolens 5.0 Torque push mower to keep up with my neighbors’ expectations. Result: the front yard looks very nice today (except for the heaps of cut grass that should be, but won’t be raked), however the backyard shall remain lush and overgrown until further notice. I was feeling confident and encouraged remembering how nice the front yard looked, I pulled the mower backwards past the patio area and saw it. Black, vermicular, lubricious. It’s onyx scales glistened in the evening sun as every fiber of my being came unglued. I’m sure the neighbors appreciated their newfound quiet, no longer interrupted by the noxious melody of the mower, but I’m also positive that I came out on top of that deal, finding the safety of the indoors much more favorable.

The incident just made me wonder - why did this snake have to cross my path? Was this simply luck of the summertime draw or one of those things that happens for a reason? In the Bible, God curses and punishes the serpent for deceiving Eve by forcing him onto his “belly,” thus chastising the snake with defeat and utmost humiliation for his malificent intentions. I started thinking, what “snakes” have I allowed into my life? What serpents are lurking, waiting to strike me at a weak point? Allow me to clarify, these people are not completely bad. They’re often very wise, observant, and powerful because of the mysteriously intimidating reputation they carry. I found mine and red-flagged him today, and in retrospect, he measured up to all of the forementioned characteristics. Stunning and beautiful from a distance, yet dangerous and almost feared when I let him get close to me. He found me when my confidence overshadowed my weakness, and my personal life took a temporary evanescent plunge.

The intention of this post is not to shed negative light on any specific individual, but instead to emphasize that we must always be aware of the company we keep. Furthermore, we have to be true to ourselves and what we know. I recently discovered a quote from novelist James Arthur Baldwin that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind… “Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it.” My experience caused me to leave behind the simplicity that I knew, but eliminating him from my life will lead me back to what I have known and will know about myself and my life in general. The simplicity and purity of Jesus' message is one that we must continually strive for in our hearts, and just that will prevail in our relationships, without the influence of those sneaky snakes.

PS. Daddy’s coming tomorrow to help with the lawn.