self-care / part 3: wandering (facing fears)

self-care series
((part three of eight))


is this what living looks like?
like there's this gaping 
wound in my chest
like salt water
washed over it and 
breathing is more like
gasping and
this can't be what living looks like. 
like the night never ends
and the stars have been
eaten alive by 
the black sky and
I’ll never know 
why the sun never seems
to rise in the places my
eyes look upon through
broken glasses.
this won’t be what living looks like.
I will sew up my shattered
spirit with twine and 
I will
be my own light.
I will
be a spark to 
ignite the sun and
defeat the
cold dark of night.

this poem has been on my mind lately as i wrestle with some fears and insecurities that have been berating me lately and making daily activities a bit more difficult.

if you're on this journey of self-care with me, hopefully taking the time to get to know yourself (part 2) has helped you find out more about what you deeply desire out of your life, and what may be holding you back.

insecurity and anxiety have held me back from living my life too many times. i know that traveling is something that makes me feel alive and strong. there were times in my life when my anxiety was so bad that i couldn't get into a car for even a short road trip, much less get on an airplane to a new city. at times i've thought that i'll never get to enjoy traveling again. but this is simply a lie.

as i've mentioned to you, anxiety and depression come and go in waves in my life. as anxiety took a step back last year, i had enough strength to book a month long trip to europe. i made the plans, and as each day got closer to my trip, i kept thinking of ways to get out of it. i was so sure that i was going to be a complete mess and hate every second of it.

i talked to my doctor about this and he prescribed me an anxiety medication to take as-needed. (this is a personal choice, but one that i recommend if you feel that your mental health is taking joy away from your life). so i had this prescription in my pocket, and even just knowing that it was there was a huge relief to me. it allowed me the strength to step onto the plane, and that trip ended up being one of the best things i've ever done in my life.

wandering can start in your mind. let your thoughts wander to places that maybe make you a little bit uncomfortable. dreams that are so large, you're afraid people would laugh if you told them. don't worry about what those people think. honestly, i believe in you. i believe that you're capable to do such incredible things. you can change the world and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

dip your toes into the water of your dreams and ambitions. realize that the water is warm and welcoming. it starts with that step, with acknowledging your hopes and recognizing your fears. the more aware you are of these two things, the further you can separate them until your fears no longer have power over you.

talk to people that you trust about these things. you'd be surprised at how many people are in the same exact boat as you. know that you're stronger than you think you are.

maybe this week, do one small thing that scares you - starting a conversation with a stranger, complimenting someone that isn't very nice to you. remind people that you love them, because maybe in that moment their fear can shrink as well.

we need each other. we're in this together, and as i fight for my joy, know that i'm fighting for yours as well.

continue living boldly, dear friend. joy and light are just on the other side of what you're scared of.



Listening to:

Sia - We Can Hurt Together


i had mentioned that during this series i would be livestreaming on vertigo each week. the app is quite new and has been having some technical issues, so i'm going to wait until a new version is released and we can hang out on there without any glitches :)


  1. I need to hear this quiet often, I think I am a wanderer but sometimes I hesitate, I'm not sure if i'm doing the right things, next time I feel that way be sure I'm gonna use this post.

    good luck wandering, Ashley. Have fun.

  2. I'm scared to talk to others because they might think they know every little thing about me, or say that I'm exaggerating, or just don't care about it.
    That's me and everything though, every time I try to plan something or have a sudden boost of motivation and spontaneity I'll do my very best to get out of it.

    Thank you Ashley, see you soon and good luck. xx

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  4. Everytime I read something from you, it makes me feel better. Thank you so much for your words.

  5. I normally shy away from reading blog posts but I am glad I took the time to read this. I am in a complicated spot in my life right now, having been out of college for almost a full year and hating my current job and city but not sure where I should move, and this post just was so calming and empowering. I, too, love to travel and while I can't travel much because of being fresh from school and not having much saved, it doesn't stop me from enjoying the dream of traveling. And maybe I can take the next step on another dream of mine and sign up for a photography class. Most of my daydreams feature a camera in my hand anyways.

  6. I want to safe the world with my drawings. because I love nature but nature isn't treated the way it should be and that makes me sad. but if people could see the world through my eyes, they would be more careful with it. it is my dream to make people aware of their environment by showing them just how pretty everything around them is (the plants the trees, the animals, birds <3, the flowers, sunsets,..). it's ridiculous because I can't draw and I'm a numbers person, not an artist, and I've never been to artschool. I'll never succeed. but I'm chasing this dream anyway because frick those negative thoughts, I'm gonna chase this dream with all the energy I have. so thank you so much for this blog <3 it was just what I needed. I did a small scary thing this week, I started a new IG account, just for my art. of course I won't get any followers (that's what my brain tells me). but you gotta start somewhere right?

    and thanks for fighting for my joy, you have no idea what those words means to me. don't give up, I'll be fighting for yours too <3

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