A Letter to January

Dear January,

Let me start by asking you how you’ve been because I’ve noticed that you haven’t been acting like your old self. I used to look forward to spending time with you, you were everything I could ever want- endless amounts of hope and motivation. You see, January, I’m just like you. We used to live in harmony back when you were my universe and I had more dreams than the stars in the galaxy.

You just have something truly magical about you. You’re overflowing with positivity and ambition that you can’t help but sprinkle it around like fairy dust. I guess I must have become addicted to the positivity that I knew you could inject me with. I grew accustomed to the buzz of hope that everything was possible, that every single thing I could ever dream of was attainable. But as time has slowly gone by in the past few years, I feel each star slowly fade away. I suppose I was just hoping that you would somehow be able to reignite that spark of hope that was once burning so bright.

I’m just confused, January. I thought we were on the same page. I won’t lie to you, for a week I felt betrayed. You noticed my vulnerability and you kicked me when I was down. I never thought that you would be the storm in comparison to the last few months which had been completely blissful. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I feel like you’ve always been a huge let down to many. I just hoped I would never be one of them. You see, you encourage such high expectations that new beginnings will always work out but little often than not, life still feels the exact same. But you always treated me differently, we shared the same outlook on the world.  Although it may not seem like you have a great impression on me as the clock strikes midnight, I promise you that deep down you’ve always made me feel most alive and most like myself.

But although you may not have been exactly what I had hoped for this year, there’s one thing that never changes, January, and it’s the hope that it will only get better. Yes, I may not be exactly where I want to be or I may not be spending my days the way I want to, but I’m further than where I was and I’m always moving forward. This time happier than before and not alone. We’re taking on the world together, one step at a time.

Always, Ashlea.

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A Letter to September

Dear September,

I have to confess something. I have been mistaking you with August for the whole 30 days, I don’t even know how. I think it’s because you usually make such a dominant entrance that everybody can’t help but to acknowledge you. The change you bring to so many lives is undeniable, some people may even think of you as January’s twin. There are some students who dread meeting you, some who are excited and there are parents who are relieved to have routine and structure back into their lives. I, on the other hand, don’t fit into one of those categories. Although, I am no longer in education, I feel like I have finished the academic year, graduated with the grades to prove it and yet somehow I’m still there when I know I should be moving on.

You see, September, you’ve just left me feeling really confused (which isn’t unusual). If I know that I’m wandering down a dead end road, then why am I still walking? I suppose I’m just a little disappointed because I was really hoping that you would completely change an aspect of my life. I felt so ready to take the world by storm and to put myself out there and  progress. It doesn’t make sense to me why you’ve made me stay in the same place when I’m capable of so much more. I hope when we next meet, it’ll all make sense and that you are leading me to a diversion which will eventually take me to where I want to be.

However, it would be wrong of me to say that you have left my life untouched. After months, if not years, of loneliness and isolation and a couple of failed attempts at socialising, I finally found a group of people I fit in with. They are as warm and welcoming as an open fireplace on a cold winters night. You know what they say, third time lucky! So although my anxiety may have escalated in the beginning, and may continue to, I know that it is totally worth it and I should have nothing to fear. Here’s to me hoping that life will only get better from here.

Always, Ashlea

 

Update: Perfection is an illusion

Hi there,

I’m Ashlea and I’m a perfectionist. When I first started this blog I was only inclined to post masterpieces, I simply wouldn’t settle for anything less. As great as being a perfectionist may seem, it has its flaws. I am my own worst critic. The pressure I put on myself to only publish the best and to dismiss everything in between has been holding me back tremendously.  I think that not only myself, but my blog plan and its layout desired perfectionism. I am a writer. Writers don’t need everything they write to be perfect, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s best to just write without thinking and not worry about who’s going to see it. It’s okay to crumple up the piece of paper afterwards, or to store it away and forget about it. That’s where growth begins. How do you improve if everything you do immaculate? This whole writing a blog thing, is a shot in the dark for anyone to ever see it. But I don’t write in the hopes of people reading it, I write for myself. And if by some miracle others come across what I have written and enjoy it or connect to it in any way, then I’ll be delighted.

The whole reason I started this blog was to document my thoughts; those deep, intricate, untainted thoughts that run through this young mind of mine. Ultimately, this blog is an insight in to Ashlea’s brain, in all its glory and confusion! I’ve said this before, but life is ever-changing, as are we. Whatever may be going on in my life and my mind will never occur again. The rest of my life is something I have to figure out, and what better way to do so than to write every step of the way?

So I came to a conclusion. If my blog was limiting my writing (sounds so ironic) then that is what had to change. So as you may already have noticed, I have changed the layout which I think encourages exploration. Instead of just writing a letter every month, I’m going to be posting a lot more, which makes me so happy and excited. I hope you are too.

But it doesn’t stop there, friends, Oh no. As I was just going about my day, at home by myself (which is very rare), I sort of had a moment of envisioning future-Ashlea. It was weird, I’ve never really thought about what her life may be like, but I could see her bordering 30, living in a cute little apartment in the city away from family, coming home from a busy and productive day. She’d be the type to start cooking whatever she wanted, not really bothering with anything fancy (trial and error sort of thing), dancing and singing happily away to her favourite songs, glass of wine in hand. Carelessly and shamelessly herself and loving it. I don’t know if she’d be living with somebody, be in a relationship, have a pet or if I was on her own. But in that thought, there wasn’t any stress of anything that could be missing, that future-Ashlea’s life may be far from perfect, but the vision of me living in my own place, being older, independent, happy and free, seems pretty perfect to me.

Also, I was reading a book and there was this one line that really made me think. The main character broke off her engagement and has a moment of looking back on their ‘perfect’ highlights. She describes the night she met his family, the first time he said ‘I love you’ etc (the obviously perfect moments in life) But there was this one moment that changed my way of thinking. It was the day they moved into their new house and sat on the stairs drinking champagne out of mugs. I just thought that life is far from perfect but that image of the time they moved into their new house, full of hope, happiness and love, spending every day with each other. That first day of moving, is not glamorous and is highly stressful – that’s the reality. So they took the reality and made it something beautiful to remember. They were together making the best of every situation – and that, my friends, is what life is all about. Perfection is an illusion. Most of the time, those perfect moments are the ones made up of imperfect details.

Thanks for reading!
Always, Ashlea

 

A Letter to July

Dear July,

I’ve made it to twenty and I still can’t believe it. I mean, 20! I’m not a teenager anymore, nor will I ever be again. And as scary as that may seem, I’m actually okay with it. The idea that I will never be as embarrassing and awkward as I used to be, is invigorating and relieving!

Although age is supposed to change you, ironically enough I feel more like my old self than I have in a long time and it could not make me happier. I’ve embraced all that the past few years have taught me but I’m not letting it change my perspective on the world anymore. I’ve learnt that you are what you attract and hating the world and blaming it for everything that goes wrong, doesn’t do you any favours. So here I am, at the age of twenty, trying to have the same hopeful, optimistic outlook on life as I did when I was seventeen. I think there’s beauty and magic in that. So although I am wiser and more curious, wearing rose tinted glasses again is way more fun!

Your 20’s are your selfish years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time – travel, explore, learn, love a lot and never touch the ground.

So July, this is where I start the next adventure, as cliché as it may sound. I feel like this is the start of a new era. A time where my life falls completely in my own hands. There’s no ties, no compromise, no obligations. I have no idea where I’m going but I’m following my heart towards happiness. I am still alive and breathing, I walk this earth with some sort of purpose and I won’t stop until I know what it is.

And now this is where we part ways again. Thank you, July, you’ve brought hope back into my life and helped me remember how powerful and wonderful it is. I feel like I’ve wandered off track for two years but I’ve finally found my way back again.

Here’s to my twenties, where everything is possible!

Always, Ashlea

Letter to March

Dear March,

Although this is our nineteenth time meeting, you seem to be a month that tends to pass me by in a blink of an eye and leave without a trace. I don’t know why, but I always overlook you as if your time in my life has been insignificant. Oh March, in hindsight, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

As the daffodils begin to bloom and the sun starts to make a reappearance, you are finding new ways to influence my life and teach me one very valuable lesson.  Year after year, you somehow manage to create such beauty where there was once nothing. In fact, if February is the symbolic metaphor for loss, then you must be the symbol for new beginnings. You are the transition between winter and spring and without a doubt, your lesson reflects this.

This time last year was the beginning of something new for me, a fresh start; a new home. After months and months of waiting, you were the one to bring change to my life and I remember how relieved I was to finally be getting my life back, even if it was going to be completely different. Although I am still waiting for something incredible to happen, I know that good things take time. So I’m still hopeful and I’m still waiting.

However, this year you changed an aspect of my life that I didn’t even know needed changing. Out with the old in with the new, like the old saying goes. I’m thankful for that, March, as once again you have showed me that change can be a great thing because it allows us to explore possibilities. The wise Helen Keller once said that ‘When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but we often look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.’ I couldn’t agree more; sometimes we focus so much on what we have lost that we don’t see any potential happiness. This is the lesson I have learned, March. It’s like a blessing in disguise. February provided the misfortune but you turned it around to result in something so much better, for that I am truly grateful. Just because something is over, doesn’t mean something beautiful can’t begin.

Always, Ashlea