Throwback Thursday

by - 7/12/2018

In my blogging archives, I have a handful of posts that I wrote but never published. I've decided to share a random one today, that I wrote back in 2012! It's kind of generalized, but I can almost remember physically writing this post, and just feeeeeeeeeeling what all these changes meant to me at the time. Especially my grandparents moving out of the house they'd lived in my whole life - that felt like my entire childhood was ending. I think I chose the Harry Potter picture because it felt like the only constant in my life. :) 

I actually wrote a lot of posts like this back then, writing out my feelings a little bit but then spending the rest of the time trying to cheer myself, or amp up for something tough I was facing; convincing myself I was going to be a-okay. It's kind of amazing how much that helped me, and that's one of the reasons I love this little blog so much. It was a form of therapy! I know there is incredible power in words, even if they're your own. This space is just further proof that getting my thoughts out of my head has always helped me sort them out.

I've since learned (though I'm still not the best at handling it) that things are going to change a lot, all the time! And that's good, and okay, and it helps me learn and grow. That's what I keep telling myself about Jim going back to school, anyway. ;) Reading over this, I wish I could go back and give 21-year-old me a hug, because that next year was one of THE hardest of my life, and it was almost like I could sense it coming. But then right after all that hard stuff I met Jim, which was obviously the best thing to have happened to me yet! Talk about a refiner's fire, poor little dramatic, young, Ashley. It's honestly fascinating to me to read this back and remember it so clearly, but see how very different I am now. I mean, my grandparents live in a condo now and everything is just fine. ;) Life is kind of crazy that way! 

So now, without further ado... step back in time to a little post written by a younger me...
via
(yes. I used a HP picture. Don't even act surprised.)
Sometimes I wonder how it's even possible that I'm almost 22 years old, nearing the end of my college career, and facing all kinds of big, overwhelming decisions. I swear it was just yesterday that I was a little girl, spending all my days with a heart full of imagination and not a care in the world.

Now, it's deadlines. Due dates. Job hunting. Apartment hunting. Grandparents moving out of the home they've lived in my whole life. Sister and cousins on missions. Friends married and pregnant.  Best friend in the whole wide world moving to Arizona. Life as I once knew it is now completely different. So many changes.

For a while all these things made me feel really alone.
That is, until I remembered that this time of life isn't all bad.
Not even close!

I have so many things going for me: incredible relationships with my family that thrive even though I'm not around them very much these days. Amazing friendships, both old and new. An education that I'm actually really proud of. A great job that is full of people that are way too kind to me. So many opportunities

When I was a kid, it was pretty simple to just be happy. Now, I feel like I have to consciously choose happiness everyday. It's easy to feel trapped by all the things I have to do all the time, but that's just part of real life and growing up. And you know what? Growing up is a wonderful thing! It's hard. I doubt myself. And I am often a mess. But I am learning so much about myself and what I'm capable of. It's all making me stronger.

So, I say - bring on the stress, bring on the crazy, bring on the changes. Cause there are so many beautiful things coming along with it.

Happy Thursday. 

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