inspiration: hide & seek / part 1

Leave a comment: 11 comments



i have to be honest with you guys.

this week has been a bit of a dark one for me. 

sometimes i wonder if i'm slowly melting into madness, wax from a burning candle dissolving into the air. 

yesterday i really thought i was going to snap from the weight of gravity. 

the night before, i dreamt that i was leaving. everyone was leaving. we were in a crowded train station walking when suddenly we were lifted off the ground. the lights slowly dimmed and i woke up in a new place as if after anesthesia. 

i didn't recognize anyone and i had nothing with me. i started walking and was lifted again, and again i landed someplace new. 

this kept happening and i knew it was happening to everyone simultaneously. i knew we were all starting over. like the sky reached down and plucked us out of our bad relationships and miserable jobs and said "here, let's try again."

it was freedom.

i woke up with a pit in my stomach, realizing that my reality roots me into the earth and maybe i don't like where i'm planted. and it feels like i have no say in this and that's when the fear blows cold on my neck and i'm chilled inside and out. and then it's a fever sweat and the thoughts are moving so quickly that i can't hold onto them and i swear i'm drowning.

i want to dig into the earth so deep that i can hide there; one with where i came from. 

but i don't.

i keep walking.

and unlike my dream, i don't lift off the ground, i'm not transplanted, but i'm moving. 

it's easy to feel like you're not in control. but then you lift your left leg, and then your right, and you realize that your feet aren't actually shackled to the ground. 

and this is only the beginning.

you take these realizations and you water them like a spring rose, breathing life into it, watching it slowly bloom in front of you and it becomes something that your hands built. 

sometimes it hurts to create, like you're giving a piece of yourself to the seed that you planted, and all you want is to smell the fresh rose. but what you don't see are the roots growing under the soil. 

it's easy to feel like you're not in control. like inspiration, or a desire for growth and change, is hiding around the corner and it's just out of reach. but then you take one step, and then another.

and this is only the beginning.

xo,
Ashley


listening to:

let's talk about talking about the things that hurt

Leave a comment: 12 comments


It can feel like morning and evening come around without the sun ever coming up. It can feel like the knot in your stomach is climbing up to your throat and clamping down. Like the words could never come tumbling out of your mouth as a healing waterfall, baptizing you with your confession. 

Maybe you don’t know why or how this dark cloud has swallowed you, but all you know is that it hurts. Everything hurts.

So we can start there. 


Maybe the grey clouds are relentless as the days and weeks drag by, both in slow motion, and spinning so fast it makes you dizzy. You feel like you’re losing grip. 

If this is you, say it aloud with me: “It hurts.”

Can you hear it? The echoes of voices around the world whispering this into the air with you. How the heat of our breath can warm your chilled bones. 

So we can continue from here.


Now that you know that this hurt is not yours alone to carry, you can find a trusted friend, a close family member, a safe person, and say it aloud to them. “It hurts.”

Remind them that it’s not their fault. Remind yourself that it’s not your fault. 

Know that depression affects nearly 7% of America’s adult population. Know deep down in your soul that you are not alone. Let that spill into your spirit like a sparkling summer brook. 

We all hurt in our own ways, and we all need each other’s help. There is so much joy left to be felt. So much more sunshine to kiss your skin, cool breezes to breathe life into you. 

It’s never easy to ask for help. But once you do, there is freedom ahead. 

So we can heal from here.


Begin this process by educating yourself on what you may be experiencing. This can put words to the misfit puzzle pieces you’re feeling inside of you. It can give you tools to express yourself when you’re reaching out to a loved one. 

There is an abundance of information you can find here: https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression

There are communities out there that were created by hurting people, for hurting people: https://twloha.com/

Remember that it’s not your fault.

Remember that there is healing waiting for you, all you have to do is reach out your hand. 



I do have so much more that I'd like to talk about with you here. I realize how difficult it is, and this subject deserves a lot of conversations. Just hang in there with me. We'll conquer this thing together.

xo,

Ashley


Listening to:


catching a sparkle

Leave a comment: 16 comments

hello, loved one.

i decided to make a cute little post for your monday (or i suppose whichever day your fingers lead you to this page.)  

you lovely creatures let me know some things you wanted to talk about in this space of the internet, this precise moment in time while our feet are still rooted into the earth as it spins wildly through the galaxy as a tiny speck in the universe. 

okay, that was a little much, but i just write the weird things that come into my weird brain. 

one of the things you all mentioned more than once was talking about the little things that make us happy; small things throughout a bad day that turn it toward the light, making it a little better. 

i love this because these little things often breeze by us unnoticed, and the weight of the difficult things ends up crushing them. but if we're more aware of these little things, we can let them into our hearts to fight off negativity & darkness. 


so  here are a few of my favorite things:

> when the clouds part in the perfect way so that sun rays wisp out in straight lines, almost as if they're reaching out to you. there's something so magical about the golden beams fighting through the heavy clouds, and it reminds me of the vastness of the universe and i am grateful. 

> the perfect cup of coffee. cliche maybe, but as of late i've cut way back on my coffee drinking, so when i do, i want it to warm me from head to toe. this often occurs when i make it to starbucks and order a sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk. it's a spiritual experience. 



> this song: The 1975 - Robbers
so maybe you have your own song. and i honestly don't know what it is about this one, but it just eases so gently into me, whether i'm driving with the windows down or dancing alone at my house. it just makes me feel all of the things i want to feel and my spirit is aligned. 

> a text from an old friend. i say text because honestly, phone calls overwhelm me and i typically send them to voicemail until i'm ready to call them back. but a little text saying they're thinking of me is such a special gift and makes my existence feel, for a moment, validated. be that old friend. send out a text. you never know what kind of day they're having and how you could turn it around. 

> animals. any kind, any place. a silly photo of a friend's dog or passing a deer on a drive. there used to be a family down the street from me that had pet chickens and goats. whenever i was feeling down, i would walk over there and feed them grass and bask in their innocence. animals bring me so much joy. 


these are just a few of the things that, for me, briefly lighten the burden of living. 

all of the photos on this post are older ones, but they make me feel good about myself, and that is a rare & precious feeling. 

sometimes it's a fight to make it through the day. but when we catch a sparkle in the water, the sun reflecting off it and dancing like glitter, it can feel like a kiss on the cheek. 

i would love to hear some of the little things that make you feel this way. let's talk about it in the comments? 

xo,
Ashley 

Listening to:


(this is another one that makes me feel the good feelings)

a voice in the night

Leave a comment: 7 comments


It’s been just over a month since I starting posting on this blog. Maybe you’ve followed along since then or maybe you’re here visiting for the first time. 

Either way, thank you. 

It feels like there’s been this empty space that we’re all slowly filling with flowers and light and it’s transforming. 

The process of this metamorphosis is not an easy one. 

The truth is, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve never been crazy about the idea of starting a blog, but over time, it was almost as though I didn’t have a choice. 



The empty space I mentioned was slowly breaking my heart, the darkness inviting me in and it began to consume me. I felt suffocated, silenced, and I knew there were words I needed to say, people that I needed to speak for & with. 

I want to call out into these empty spaces and keep the quiet from killing you. 

I want to do this together. 



I’ve asked this before, but as time goes on, I’m wondering if the answers have changed:

What kinds of things do you want to talk about? What interests you?

What kind of posts make you feel warm on the cold nights? I want this to be a safe place to talk about hard things & lovely little things where we keep each other sharp and inspired. I welcome conversations in the comments. Encouraging words and virtual kisses on the forehead saying that you’re going to be just fine. 

It’s so easy to lose focus, even the slightest shift in your gaze can delay your dreams from becoming a reality. I want this to be a place that you can come to and realign. 

Find your vision and don’t ever stop running toward it. 

Let’s do this together.



xo,
Ashley



Listening to:

clothing / a creative outlet

Leave a comment: 5 comments



hello, starshine.

i hope your day has treated you gently.

if it's okay, i'd love to talk just a little bit about a hobby of mine.

ever since i was little i would play 'dress up' with friends, which essentially just meant we would try on my mom's clothes and talk in funny accents. kids are strange creatures.

i'm very aesthetically driven. i always need things around me to be tidy and soft and lovely to look at. i would always clean my friends' rooms when i was a kid. when i say kids are strange creatures, i really just mean i'm a strange creature.



my  first experience with blogging was actually a fashion blog years ago. i find fashion to be a major creative outlet for me and i have so much fun putting things together in new & different ways.

part of this creative element for me is practiced by thrift-shopping.

people often ask me how i'm able to afford to travel so often, and an aspect of this is the fact that at least 90% of my wardrobe was purchased second-hand. whether it was at a vintage shop, consignment, or thrift store. i love wandering through these funky shops looking for a diamond in the rough. it's actually one of my favorite hobbies, and i have found some incredibly unique and fun little gems, for usually under $5.

sometimes i'll buy a piece and only wear it once, but that's perfectly fine because i bought it for $1. it's so much fun.



if  you haven't spent much time thrifting, i would highly recommend it. it takes a creative spark to look at a crazy vintage top and think of things you can pair it with to create an overall cohesive look that really represents who you are.

each piece of this outfit was all bought second-hand, save for the shoes which i bought at DFW for under $10.

some days, when i'm feeling lost or uninspired, putting together an outfit that makes me feel confident and unique can be just the thing to make me feel myself again.




it  hasn't always been easy for me to express myself this way. there was a time when i only wore old t-shirts and jeans, and i told people this was because i just wanted to blend in with the crowd. i didn't want to draw attention to myself in any way, in fear that people would misunderstand me or judge me.

but this just made me feel more stifled and isolated. i was eventually able to push through the fear and insecurity to slowly start branching out and trying new things. i started trying to make a statement with what i wore, to let my clothes speak for me. taking the risk has only given me more confidence and security in myself.




'fashion' may seem like a rather shallow thing to be passionate about, but to me, it's a form of creating something out of nothing, which i believe to be a necessary and beautiful part about life as a human person.

if clothes or fashion are not something you're interested in even a little bit, that is perfectly fine and normal. if you're able to find ways to express yourself that make you feel alive and genuine, hold onto those things. fight for them, even if people don't quite understand it. do it for yourself as an act of self-love and you'll blossom like a sunflower.




keep shining.

xo,
Ashley

listening to:

ODESZA- It's Only (feat. Zyra)

conquering insecurity

Leave a comment: 5 comments


I’m sitting here with this blank page in front of me and the cursor is blinking in time with my heartbeat. It’s ticking away the seconds as I debate whether or not to write about this topic, whether or not to write at all.

The thing is, I feel quite vulnerable as I go about talking about vulnerability.

If you’ve read any of my posts so far, it may seem like I have no trouble at all opening up to the dark abyss that is the seemingly endless reach of the internet. It may seem like I am talking about anxiety in the past tense as though it is something I’ve gotten a handle of. 


If you’re still reading this post so far, that image of me is about to take a new form in your mind. Because the truth is, I’m still working on it. It’s not easy for me to share these things with you. There’s still so, so much more dwelling in my depths, pain & darkness, always an echo in my mind, a faint whisper in the background of every sound I hear.

What I wish for is to take the wreckage in my life and put it together in such a way that it becomes something useful, something lovely to look at that brings us all together with its pulse of vibrant life.


What I’m wanting to do as I sit watching this taunting black cursor blinking on the white page in front me is let you in on a secret that I’ve tried to hide most of my life.

The secret is that I’m terrified.

I can honestly say that I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t constantly concerned about what people thought of me. When I trudge back through the murky memories of my childhood, I think back on some of my first friendships. I made friends with some older kids in my neighborhood. We played dolls & dress up, pretending we were princesses, waiting to be rescued by our prince.

I was always playing make-believe, creating a world where I was as lovely as I believed I could never be. And if you’re a deep-feeler like me, you maybe still create these worlds in your mind. I spend so much time daydreaming of a life where my soul is at peace, where I’m one with the way I want to be and the way that I truly am. 


What I'm fighting for is a form of radical honesty that allows you to become more honest with yourself, even if only for a moment. My heart is to help you feel free to be yourself, to be a hand reaching out into this dark abyss, drawing you toward the light.

If I’m being truly honest, I am incredibly insecure. It can be so overwhelming at times that I decide not to go to the party, not to say hello to an old friend I see at the supermarket. These things may seem minor, but I never know what could have been had I not been too afraid. 

If I'm being truly honest, when I look in the mirror, I feel shame and pain. I dissect my parts like a butcher, some more valuable than others, some should be thrown away. I look at all the things I wish were different instead of the beautiful things that already are. But if everyone is truly honest, we'd realize the secret that social media and Hollywood and advertising are trying so desperately to hide.

The secret is that we're all terrified. 

Let this wash over you for a moment. And while you're cleansing, let's get to the brutal honesty: insecurity is actually a form of selfishness. We can be overcome with the fear of what people think of us, or we could take that energy and turn it into being light for others. 

So as we try to understand that everyone is insecure and everyone needs love, we can get to the root of destroying insecurity for good:

The strongest weapon against fear is love.

It’s a weapon that is always available & never runs out. It’s a smile to a stranger, a shoulder to cry on, an encouraging word. Even these small acts of love take you outside of yourself long enough to make a difference in someone else’s life and forget about the things that hurt. And the joy you give them will give your life depth & meaning and eventually, the insecurities will fade and your value will be realized.


What I want you to know is that you are precious gold. There is a warmth that only you can give, and the world is desperate for it. Please never forget this. 


xo,
Ashley


Listening to:

the creative burden

Leave a comment: 7 comments


there's this ache. this longing. a hollowness within ourselves that hurts like hunger when you haven't eaten in days and the smell of fresh bread taunts you. 

it feels sometimes like there's something inside burrowing deeper and deeper, clawing its way through your core. you think you must be crazy. you must be just tired or lonely or you ate something strange. 

maybe it's lack of sleep. or maybe it's the weight of wonder left behind from childhood, a lingering sense of curiosity, constantly questioning what could be. 


you were created to create. it's survival in its simplest form. we are given tools and to not use them is to not live. 

when you're young everything seems possible. and then years pile on you like bricks burying you. fear can take the form of a nine to five. the tools you were given gather cobwebs and dust until they're nearly unusable.


the hollowness fills with smoke and somehow you're empty and filled the brim at the same time. you have to bleed the infection out. 

relieving this burden isn't always paint brushes on canvas or fingers on piano keys. it's not always ink on paper, it's not always hands molding clay. sometimes it's cupcakes and sometimes it's tomatoes growing out of watered earth. it's a giggling baby, cupboards made from cedar trees, the perfect pasta primavera.



there's this ache. and we have the tools to cure it right in front of us. pick them up. create something out of nothing & your purpose will unfold like a flower in front of you. 

like clouds fill only to fall apart, we need to bleed in order to nourish new life.

you are here to hurt and you are here to help. here is the sign you've been waiting for.

now go.



xo,
Ashley



Listening to:


 

ashley dun © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger