Taking time out of every day to write is a challenge. I don’t believe that I’m a writer but I have a lot to say. I’m sure there are plenty of grammer mistakes throughout my posts and lets be honest, THANK GOODNESS for spell check. I am a total believer that I am a self-diagnosed dyslexic. (Yup I had to spell check that one for sure!)
But even in the last couple of days that I’ve taken the time to sit and actually think… it’s given me a chance to slow down. Find a groove and then just run with it. I know it’s not perfect and to be honest I have absolutely no expectations of how it will turn out by the time I finish, but I’m doing it.
I think in today’s world we are in a constant state of judgment. Why are we being judged for trying? It makes me wonder how many times in my life I didn’t do something out of fear of judgement. I wanted to fit in… I wanted to be liked. And most importantly, I wanted to be accepted.
For years I tried to fit in… I wanted to be apart of the cool kid crew. And for as long as I tried, it never felt like I fit. I was the square peg trying to squeeze into the round hole. As I grew older, I pretended I didn’t care, but I did. I pretended to be what I thought everyone wanted to be. I gave the answers I thought were correct. I always did the right things. I was the goody-two-shoes. But still never fit.
My life growing up wasn’t hard. I didn’t experience a lot of loss and I didn’t have any major traumas to combat with. I am grateful for that. But along the way, I lost myself. I was so focused on meeting the needs of everyone, that I had no idea who Ashley really was.
By the time I was 27, I identified myself as the former Charger Girl who was divorced and was a business owner, personal trainer and always happy. But inside, I was exhausted. I had created an image of a person that I thought everyone wanted of me. It was hardwork to put on the facade everyday. I believed that I was not allowed to have a bad day. So on those days, I was “sick”. I’d crawl into bed and try to sleep the saddness away. Or at least until I could have the energy to put on the mask again.
It was a vicious cycle. And I felt like I had no way of escaping the rat race. By 32, I was 15lbs heavier then my CG days and I saw the writing on the wall… I was heading down a path of obesity and diabetes. I knew that was in the distant future, I was still considered “healthy” by doctors standards. But I knew in my heart that if nothing changed, nothing will change. So I did what any personal trainer would do. Meal prep, drink a gallon of water and hit the gym. Sometimes twice a day.
In a few weeks, the weight started to drop but life happened. I was coaching two high school dance teams, going to school for massage therapy, managing my PT business AND planning a wedding. Things got tough to maintain, gym time almost stopped, meal prepping on Sunday’s was harder to do and well putting on the happy dance everyday wore me out. I hit a wall with my weight loss and needed help. I knew it was possible to lose more and yet I felt I couldn’t DO more.
So I sought for help. My older brother was on his own journey and me being the bratty little sister, I totally judged him for it. But when you’re desparate, your’e desparate. SO I asked for his help. Imagine a dog with it’s tail between her legs, and that was me.
We started on my journey and that is where my entire life changed. Yes I sought out help in my physical goals but what I found along the way was so much more than that. I found freedom from the chains that bounded me to the girl I thought everyone wanted me to be. I became someone I had never met before. The real Ashley. The girl that will be completely honest with how she feels, who is not afraid to let someone see me cry (even the ugly cries). The girl that doesn’t need approval from anyone. The girl who loved her days as a Charger Girl but isn’t defined by the makeup and red lips. The girl who can look across the room and feel complete peace that she doesn’t have to “fit in” anywhere. She can be whoever she dreams without the fear of judgement or lack of acceptance. Why? Because I was not made to fit in. My identitiy is not rooted in what I do or how I dress… My identity is simply Ashley, the girl who loves life and loves helping others find their own piece of heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, it was work. I have cried a lot of tears, I have had to question my every thought and I have had to find joy in the journey. I never knew what my journey would bring… It just started with my weight and simply wanting to be confident in my outfits, but with every step in my journey, I have grown into someone I never knew was inside of me.