Shining Light on 2018

December 27, 2018
Shining Light on 2018

With the dwindling days of the year comes a metaphorical end of a life stage – or at least I like to view it in this way. Sure the end of a calendar year doesn’t signify any true “end” to a certain life period, but it is a symbolic time in which I utilize it as an opportunity for reflection – as do many. This is a time in which I wholeheartedly reflect on the past year by acknowledging the highs and accepting the lows in order to move on.

Shining Light on 2018

I usually like to believe that as far as “resolutions” go, you can set goals during any time of the year…but this year is different. Sure I have a few self care practices I’m starting to regularly implement, but instead of making any drastic, defining resolutions, I’m marking this year as the end of a time in which I wasn’t my happiest. Life tests you in ways you wouldn’t even imagine until you’re actually going through it and therefore, trying to survive it. The thing is, these challenges are meant for you to only successfully survive them.

2018 showed me that no matter how hard you try to control your path, life will steer you in a direction you weren’t ever planning for. Yet, in the most beautiful way, it is a direction that was meant for you all along. An abrupt shift in plans is almost always unexpected and yet, is everything you never knew you needed. These life shifts, no matter how minuscule, exist to teach you lessons in order to grow and continually become the best version of yourself. They’re challenges that most likely will cause you pain, heartache and doubt in the beginning, but with time, will evolve into a powerful sense of clarity, hope and self-assurance you feel straight down to your core. It’s not until you make it through do you truly understand that those challenges (life shifts) were meant for you to go through in order to become who you are at this exact moment.

It sucks. Life sucks sometimes and it’s during these times where it’s easier to be depressed and dwell on where things could have gone wrong. It’s easier to cry yourself to sleep every night instead of falling asleep knowing how much you have to be grateful for. It’s easier to doubt yourself and question everything instead of realizing you’re not meant to know all the answers. It’s easier to disconnect from reality and live in a headspace that is only feeding you lies. It’s easier to think you’re alone even though there are so many people who love you, only a phone call away. Still, no one said it’d be easy.

This exact moment you are in, is where you are meant to be. I know you might not believe it now, but you’ll realize it once you get to a point where you look back and know that it was meant to be all along. When that time comes, you’ll know. You’ll feel it. It’s true when they say nothing worth having comes easy. This includes your confidence not only in yourself, but of your future, your self-worth, your understanding of what you want for yourself in all regards, and recognizing that these exact moments are meant for you to only come out stronger in the end. That’s the thing too – these difficult times are only moments, they’re not forever and they don’t have to be your entire life if you don’t make it so.

If you’re living through a time right now where you feel like you constantly can’t breathe, are gasping for air as you wake up in the middle of the night, and can’t catch a break, just know you’re not alone and you will never be alone. You never are the only one going through a hard time. Remember that you have amazing people in your life that were put in your life for a reason. They’re there for you to rely on because they love you just as much as you love them. If nothing else, be kind to yourself and hold on to what does make you happy and what makes life worth living for. Before you realize it, a day will come where you will wake up and realize you have no more tears left to cry (thanks Ari).

I love you, you beautiful people and you are part of what helped me get through this unexpectedly challenging year. I hope 2018, whether it was the best year of your life or the worst year of your life so far, has taught you gratitude (among many other things) which you can take with you as we head into 2019.

With that, I want to leave you with this poem. I shared it on my Instagram story back in the summer and I know it spoke to many more than just myself. It was what I needed during a time where I barely felt anything at all and I hope it can give you the same sense of peace and hope.

Life is amazing
And then it’s awful.
And then it’s amazing again.
And in between the amazing and the awful,
it’s ordinary and mundane and routine.
Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the
awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living.
Heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.
And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.
       – LR Knost

With love,

Ashley


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