this is for you

maybe this is the first time you've found yourself at this emotional, moody, beauty-seeking side of the internet. or maybe you stop by once in awhile to see if something sticks, if some of the words i type out resonate enough to fill in some of the empty spaces within you. maybe you've read these post before and think, 'this is nice for someone, but not for me.' 

but if we're being truly honest, words are always for you. either you reject them or you accept them as truth in your own life, but either way, examining art shapes you like a whittler slowly shaves away at the wood to create the softest curves.

this precious message i received recently may resonate with how you may feel when someone opens up to you. like you can't quite relate, but maybe...there's a piece of you buried that needs to be dug up, to be dealt with, so it can fully heal. 

here is a lovely response i received to last week's post:

"I am about to graduate from college and I feel woefully unprepared for the real world and the vast waves of emotion and reality checks that come with it. And yet I must admit, when I first read your recent blog post it's weird, I actually told myself, 'I don't need to hear this. I'm not depressed. I'm not anxious.' And I know that sounds harsh, but it was my first reaction to reading your beautiful, vulnerable words. And I reacted that way because I, unlike you, am not a professional feeler. I am a professional un-feeler, if that exists. I struggle with emotions. I love people and I love life, and I love deeply; but it is very difficult sometimes for me to acknowledge and work through those feelings. It wasn't until the very end of your post upon reading the quote below that I realized God led me to your blog tonight. 

'Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.'
- Unknown

I've heard that quote before, but for some reason reading it in this context, in this moment, made it mean something different. When I first started college, I was in the middle of an unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationship that I thought was love. Once I finally had the courage to end it and set myself free, I thought I could move on with my life and start fresh, unscathed. But I was wrong. I had been hurt, but rather than acknowledge that I was hurting, I began to cover up that pain in my heart with a shield of apathy and hardness. I refused to allow myself to feel, even for my family and friends. I became closed off. I, like Alice as you mentioned, began spiraling out of control in my own twisted version of wonderland, all because I refused to deal with the incredibly painful emotions I was feeling. 

I actually called it a box. I am a creative writer as well, and during this time I began to write a lot of poetry. I wrote one poem entitled the box about the exact method I would use to emotionally detach myself from reality whenever things felt too painful to endure. During that time, I lost myself even more than I had when I was in the midst of that difficult relationship. And although things have gotten better since then, if I'm honest with myself, I still haven't really dealt with some of the deeply rooted pain that still rests in my heart. And I'd put it out of my mind until I found your blog tonight. 

So thank you, Ashley, for having the courage that I have lacked for so long to not only acknowledge your emotions, but also to embrace them and to share them vulnerably and unselfishly with others. I may still be broken from this past relationship, but your words reminded me that in time and in faith, those wounds will heal and become less of me than they are now. Your words also gave me hope for the real, honest, true love that I long to experience in a future relationship, whenever that comes along."

and this sweet soul went on to encourage me to stay strong, to dig deep into my spiritual self and that hope is always just on the other side of prayer.

so maybe you don't deal with a mental illness or maybe you don't consider yourself an artist. maybe you're not spiritual or maybe you go the long-way in attempts to escape emotion. you run, you hide from your past. but your past, my love, is you. it is a thread in the tapestry that is beautiful You.

so, dear one, this blog is for you. it's for you because it's a piece of me that i'm handing over with shaky hands; this fragile piece of me i'm trusting you to keep safe. it's for you because we're all mosaics of one another, small pieces of everyone we meet come together to make you whole. it's for you because i'm for you. and you're for me. 


Listening to:


  1. i, myself, have always tried to hide my emotions. my momma raised me to be tough, so as any well-behaved child would, i listened. i took those words to a whole other meaning though. now, years after i received this advice, i find it hard to display my feelings to anyone other than myself. at night, when i am alone, i write about every emotion that i had to tuck away into the back of my mind because i have felt that it is wrong or shameful to speak of. i am an extremely anxiety prone person, but like i said, i hide it.

    your blogs make me want to express myself to those who are close to me. you've made me realized that being a deeply feeling person is not something to be ashamed of, it's something that everyone faces and we should find pride in our emotions. so i would like to thank you. you really have opened my eyes to a lot of things.

  2. every single blog post you make hits me harder every time. thank you, Ashley for everything. your words mean so much more than you could ever know.

  3. i loved every word of this Ashley. i felt like you did really write this for me. while i adore each and every post on this blog i can't find that i completely relate to them as i have never had to deal with depression or anxiety before. however, your words at the end really got to me. "so maybe you don't deal with a mental illness or consider yourself an artist" what you said right here is what i repeat to myself everyday because i don't. but i still struggle with feelings and i know that's okay. i will protect the fragile piece of yourself that you have given me with my life and soul. won't you do the same for me love?

  4. As always, thank you. Hope is all I feel I can hold onto at this moment, that fragile shred of hope that seems to be there and the next moment leaves me floundering in empty space as I try to remember what it felt like to grasp hold.

    Your words often provide that hope. Hope in what is real, hope in what will be, hope in salvation, and hope that when we as humans fail, God never does. You responded to me in email once, a letter I have starred and saved, one I look back on every so often and it encourages me.

    I am floundering right now. I am struggling with a difficult job, one that has sapped my energy, my joy, and even begun to take a toll on my hearing. The children I work with are our next generation adn I often feel as though I am failing them and myself.

    I am in college, finishing up a class that I feel I should be better prepared for, and yet I'm not. I wish school were over right now, I sometimes wish I had never started. It takes away so much time, time for family and friends, time for myself, time to spend with my children.

    I feel like a terrible mother sometimes. Like I am not good enough or godly enough, I feel as though teaching my children about love and compassion, sharing my own missteps that I have made along the way will somehow ruin them.

    I struggle in trying to be present for my sister. My sister whom I love so much, my sister who I took to several concerts this year, my sister who is my best friend. She is severely ill, her mind tortures her daily. Her depression eats away at her every chance it can, her mania makes her want to take action. I am afraid that one day I will wake up alive, and she wont. I don't know what I would do without her. My family, though supportive and understanding, also feels lost. I don't know who to tell without getting a pitiful sympathetic "I'm sorry" or some helpful suggestion. I fear that by speaking it aloud, it will cause more trouble than it will help me. But still I struggle and I hurt. I hurt for her, I ache to take her pain away. I want her to see inwardly what we see outwardly, I wish she could see her the way God sees her.

    But I have hope, small though it may be. Your words, constant weekly reminders. You here, Jesse on twitter, sharing bits of precious hope to others who feel as though they have lost it. And I hold on. It's 1:31 AM where I am, I suppose that makes me a late night feeler as I wipe away the unbidden tears that are falling down my cheeks. I write to say thank you. Thank you for your words, for your actions, for your prayers. Thank you for putting yourself out there so others can see and know that they are not alone. Thank you for sharing your hope with me.

  5. I wanted to say that your words are like poetry and thank you for being brave enough to share a piece of yourself with us. You make me feel braver by doing this and the fact that you can make people feel brave and beautiful and happy and hopeful is a truly amazing. You deserve all of life's wonderful things, keep being you and doing what you do.
    Thank you :)

  6. I come by here every week because your blog feels just like rays of sunshine shining through a bunch of clouds. and every week I read something I take with me, something to help me. for way too long I hid away my emotions, while I was suffering from a very heavy depression. the depression has gone, sewing all the cuts and healing the bruises is taking me a long time. but especially this last year I discovered that art can help me do so. art is helping me uncover the emotions I have hidden away, not to be depressed again but to give them a proper place this time. your blog touches me everytime I come back here, it makes me feel, without hurting me and I'm so thankful. I'm building myself up, I'm always searching for useful pieces that I can add, so thank you for giving something of yourself through your words and your blog.

  7. I can understand what they said, it would have been me, probably, a few years ago and I honestly needed a guide, someone who could show me there was a whole new world for me to discover, just a little push.
    I think you're guiding a lot of people and hopefully we can guide you to another paths aswell, that's what I love the most about humanity, we need each other to live and to grow and that's pretty much magical; if you think about it, we all take a little piece of the ones around us and make it ours, so it's always nice to find lovely people to learn from and I feel this place you've created is a virtual mine of beautiful souls.

  8. On some level I feel like we can all relate to this. I myself am a deep feeler however for a long time I hid my tumultuous emotions because as a young girl I thought that emotions were feminine and in my eyes to be feminine was to be weak and to be weak was to be undesirable. I thought if I could just be tough like the boys then they would like me. All I really did was distance myself from everyone and make it nearly impossible to make friends. Thankfully as I got older I got some healing in that area and have changed my thinking processes to allow myself to embrace my emotions.

    Thank you, Ashley. I'm so grateful to God that you are a part of my life, even if it is a small part. You are an incredible woman and such an inspiration to me. As a fellow writer, I'm not often at a loss for words, but I always come away from your posts with the most profound sense of belonging I can hardly come up with the right words to accurately portray what I'm feeling. My heart is too full. I feel like you're my friend. And you may never know how difficult that is for me to say. Like I said, I've always had trouble making friends. I was always the outcast. Always picked last... and all the other cliches. Until about four years ago, there I found a few friends and life was good in that respect for a while. They still didn't really understand me, but they thought I was funny and they liked to have me around. Until recently, that is. Now they are gone. And they left without saying goodbye. But with time and lots of prayer and writing I know that I'll get through this painful season of my life, and this blog is making it so much more bearable. And not to put too much pressure on you, but you and Jesse are two of the few people in the world that I feel like I really click with. I feel like within this community of deep feelers, I have finally found my tribe, my people. And that means everything to me. I love you so much and I wish you every happiness in the world. <33333333

  9. While I am definitely a deep feeler on the inside I tend to hide my emotions from others. Your blog posts always inspire me to put myself out there more. I started with sharing some of my emotions with my internet friends since that seemed less scary, it seems less real when you can't see someones face. The last time I was home I attempted to open up a little to my mom. I mentioned after a doctors appointment that I had planned on talking to my doctor about possibly having social anxiety but got to nervous. Me and my mom talked about this for a little bit because she knew I got anxious when talking in front of groups of people but didn't realize I struggled with one on one conversations too. After about ten minutes I got uncomfortable and changed the subject but I was happy I got to the point where I could bring it up. I'm slowly making small steps and you are one of the people who are inspiring me to take those steps, so thank you. Thank you for sharing your emotion with all of us. Thank you for being there.

  10. Hi I am Amanda Yarbrough and I am a big fan of Twenty One Pilots and my mom is currently nine months pregnant and i was wondering if there was a way i could ask Josh Dun to do a drop by to surprise my mother. My mom would love that and i would really appreciate it.

  11. thank you sososo much for this

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