Hello all of my beautiful readers!
Many of you are probably thinking: Woah there. A blog post? This can't be real.
Alas, the blog is not dead! Just went into hibernation for a bit. ;)
Along with some major life changes going on in my life recently (been CRAZY busy), I've also been having a bit of writers block. If any of you have suggestions for topics to write about, send them my way! For now, a little personal life update:
In the last 2 months, a lot has changed.
Let me back up...
Since the beginning of the year, I have felt extremely lost. Most of this feeling was due to taking on a job at the end of last year that wasn't in my line of work, because I was having such a hard time finding a position in my field where I live. The job wasn't a bad or hard job, it just wasn't fulfilling or rewarding for me. While I was still doing my Esthetics on the side, it was extremely hard for me to concentrate on my goals. My life plan changed daily, and I lost a clear vision of what exactly I wanted. I considered going back to school for something else, because I lost all confidence that I could find something in my field.
It never occurred to me that I could do it on my own. Or maybe it did...but I was scared, so I stayed at this job for much longer than I anticipated. Almost a full year, even though it was originally supposed to be temporary.
I recently took the biggest leap of faith I have ever taken. I was lucky enough to quit my mundane day job, and go full time at home with my Esthetics business. It was a huge risk for me (I'm NOT a risk taker), and to be honest it has been terrifying for me. But that assures me that it was really brave and will continue to be rewarding. It has lead me to meet/reconnect with the most amazing people. It has allowed me to reset my brain, and set some clear goals. It has also given me some great opportunities to better my career, and I don't anticipate those opportunities stopping. I absolutely love what I'm doing, and now know that I was always meant to be an entrepreneur. Without the support of my sweet husband, I don't know if I ever would have taken the risk. He has been so supportive and helpful during the times when I haven't thought I could do it or be successful at it. I tend to be a bit of a pessimist, and his words of encouragement keep me going. Although some may not understand, I have clear goals now of exactly what I want. I'm able to dream again, and that's what matters.
Of course with any big risk, it means inconsistency. At my last job, it meant consistent hours, consistent paychecks, consistent work. While that's nice to have and was "safe", great things never came from comfort zones. More money isn't worth my happiness. I am okay with having inconsistency for now if it means I'm happy with my job. I have big plans/goals for the next 5 years, and that's something I haven't had in a long time.
This life change has been quite the learning experience. I've had to learn the business side of things, which is something I'm still learning. I've started to learn what works and what doesn't. I'm doing it all on my own (with inspiration of others of course), but that's been the most rewarding part of the whole experience.
Isn't that the whole point of me starting this blog? We're all learning.
This isn't me telling you to quit your job tomorrow, or that I'm any sort of life expert. Some of you have a family or children to support, which I totally understand. But if it isn't fulfilling and you dread going to work every day, maybe it's time to make a change. Look for other opportunities. The right one won't just fall into your lap, and may take some time. Life's too short to hate your job every day. The beauty about living in the era we do now, is we don't have to be stuck at the same unfulfilling career for 40+ years until retirement. Our generation is much more open to new opportunities and entrepreneurial work than the generations before us.
Like I said, I'm not claiming to be some life expert guru. But maybe sharing my own experience will give one of you the confidence that I needed a year ago.
As far as the blog goes, it's happening. The blog is not dead. ;)
As always, thanks for reading. If you made it this far into this long post I applaud and appreciate you!
See ya in the next one.
P.S: If you want to see what I do, head over to my Instagram page @ashleychanellebeauty!
I read something earlier this week that I cannot get out of my head. I don't know who originally wrote it, but I'll go ahead and share it with you:
"At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.
At age 28, Wayne Coyne was a fry cook.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
At age 37, Ang Lee was a stay-at-home-dad working odd jobs.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn't get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn't release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn't get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first major movie role at age 52.
Kathryn Bigelow only reached international success when she made The Hurt Locker at age 57.
Grandma Moses didn't begin her her painting career until age 76.
Louise Bourgeois didn't become a famous artist until she was 78.
Whatever your dream is, it is not too late to achieve it. You aren't a failure because you haven't found fame and fortune by the age of 21. Hell, it's okay if you don't even know what your dream is yet. Even if you're flipping burgers, waiting tables, or answering phones today, you never know where you'll end up tomorrow.
Never tell yourself you're too old to make it. Never tell yourself you missed your chance. Never tell yourself that you aren't good enough. You can do it. Whatever it is."
Wow. What a powerful message.
What I'm about to say is very scary for me, but I will do my best. At the age of 21, we think we have it all figured out. The truth is, wherever your life is now is not what it's going to be forever. A lot can happen in 1, 10, or 20 years.
People who are my age and think they have found the career they are going to do until they retire, think again.
It's never too late to achieve your dreams. In fact, it's never to late to write a new dream.
It's never too late to change your career. Life's too short to stay mediocre.
It's never too late to go back to school. Even if you've already been once. Even if you've already gotten a degree in something else. What's stopping you?
It's never too late to learn a new trade or skill you've always wanted to learn. Always wanted to try kickboxing? Always wanted to go get that cosmetology license? Always wanted to learn how to sew? What's stopping you?
I think in this day and age, we are so damn worried about what everyone else thinks of us that we are too scared to go and get after what we have always wanted. I think we are too scared to even admit what we want, because it might affect those around us.
The people who really care about you will stick by you and support you through whatever dreams you have.
So I'm going to tell you all a few things I've never said out loud to anybody. I have dreams too.
I've always wanted to get a degree, but I'm not sure what yet. I plan to go back to school some day.
I've always wanted to start getting into yoga, and maybe become an instructor.
I have a passion for the Aesthetics industry. Although I am trained in that industry, I have other possible avenues I am interested in.
I have an interest in interior design.
I have an interest in nutrition.
I have an interest in fashion.
I (secretly) have an interest in criminal justice (not so secret now).
With all of this said, I am 21 years old. I work at a local credit union. And I have dreams. My story doesn't stop here. Yours doesn't either.
What are your dreams? And what's stopping you? Go get 'em tiger.
Dear 16 year old self,
I want to start off this letter by saying one thing.
Life does not go how you plan or imagine it. Whatever you picture your life to be in the future, do yourself the a favor and stop. It won't turn out that way, and in your case that's probably a good thing. It is when we have expectations that something should be a certain way that we get let down. That is the number one lesson I have learned.
Know in your heart that whatever you are feeling right now will come to an end. You have had your heart broken by both family, and friends...it probably won't be the last time either. Although you may not see it, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will lose people, and you will gain others. You WILL be happier than you ever thought possible.
Embrace all of those football games and nights out with friends. Those nights don't last forever, and come to a screeching halt when you work a full time job.
Not reacting at all to the people who hurt you will save you so much heartache. It's an amazing feeling when you figure this one out. How beautiful is it to stay silent when someone expects you to be enraged? Have the courage to stick up for yourself when needed. Stop worrying about hurting other people's feelings so much, and worry about YOUR feelings.
Last, don't take anything for granted. Be present when spending time with the people you love. Never let a day go by where people don't feel you care.
Something I want you to take away from this letter is that I have made it, and you will get there. Your story is just beginning, and it will go on.
Your 21 year old self.
There's plenty of things that I use every day.
I use the internet every day.
I use clean water every day.
I use my Keurig every day. (Girl's gotta have her tea alright?)
Although I'm very grateful to have all of these things in my life, I want to go a little deeper than that. I am asking you all to look beyond the material things and ask yourself, "What is something I use every day?"
For me, it's my willpower.
Willpower is defined as the ability to control yourself; the strong determination that allows you to do something difficult.
Every day is a struggle to keep going. I have triumphantly overcome plenty of struggles. I surely could have taken a different path in life than the one I am on now. There are times when every bone in my body is telling me to crawl in my bed and give up. I give credit to my willpower to overcoming all of these thoughts I struggle with. It is something that I use every single day, so I can get up and keep going.
I believe everyone has some sort of willpower in them, whether they believe it or not. Just like exercise, it's something that needs to be practiced daily in order to get stronger. It isn't just handed out to everyone. You have to actually be responsible for your thoughts, which is one of the hardest things to do.
I would love to hear some of the the personal things you use every day. Thanks for reading.
I think in this day and age, there's A LOT that we all take for granted. I could talk about how I take technology and all of our first world problems for granted, but I think there is something I take for granted even more than that.
If there's one thing I know that I take for granted, it's time.
There is truly nothing more precious in this world than time. It's so important to remain present and soak up each moment.
There's a lot of my time wasted spent inside my house, when I could be outside exploring instead.
I spend a lot of time on the internet, which I think we all could use a little detox from.
I think when we look back in our older years, we will only regret the time we wasted that we can't get back.
We'll remember the time that we took for experiences, the memories.
We'll remember the times we were really present in the moment, and soaking it in.
This is definitely something I am working on, and think about on a daily basis. I'm grateful for the good memories I've had so far in this life, and the people that have been a part of them.
Time lost cannot be regained.
Love you all!
Since 2015 started, I've been trying to take a more minimalistic approach to my life. We live in such an instant gratification society, it's easy to mix up our WANTS and NEEDS. Lately I've been struggling to remember this, and have felt like something is always missing. The temptation to make unnecessary purchases has been really strong! At the end of the day, it just takes a few gentle reminders to put everything into perspective when you're feeling the urge to splurge. Here are a few of my reminders:
Quality over Quantity:
This can apply to several aspects of your life. Quality friends, clothes, furniture, food or whatever else it may be, always choose quality. In the long run it will always cost you less financially, emotionally, and physically.
Never Prioritize Wants Over Needs:
This one is really hard for me. When I see something I love, I feel like I can't live without it. It clouds my judgement. I think we all can agree that having fewer wants will make us more happy with what we already have. Always ask yourself, "Do I really need this, or do I just want it?"
Not More Space, Just Less Stuff:
If you find yourself saying "I need more space," you probably need less stuff. Everyone has something they can donate, sell, or just get rid of. If you have a bunch of things in your garage/storage for months or years, you probably aren't missing it too much. It can be hard to let go of some of those things, but it always feels SO good to unload. It makes us see clearly how much we really need to survive. How fascinating!
Only Own Your Favorite Things:
The best way to enjoy your things is to only own your favorites! Don't buy something just to buy it. That is a #1 red flag to emotional spending! Only buy something if you absolutely love it. Wait to buy it for a few weeks. If you still want it, save up for it!
Own Less. Live more.
What if you took that money you were spending on that Starbucks drink every day, and put it towards a vacation fund? Having a vacation to look forward to really makes you think twice about unnecessary purchases. You won't remember all of the things you had, but the memories you made during your experiences!
Be Happy With What You Already Have:
This one is pretty self explanatory, but a very easy one to forget.
There you have it! Let me know if there's any tips you have for living with less, I'd love to hear them!
Today's post is going to be a shorter one, but I had to put this one out there. Last week I had a few questions on how I decide who to keep in my life, and who doesn't make the cut. The whole process seems a bit insensitive at a glance, but once I found this quote a year ago it everything fell into place:
This right here is exactly how I decide who I keep close, and who I stay distant from. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish people with good intentions verses people with bad intentions. Sometimes people who have good intentions might not be good for YOU. We are all fighting different battles. Figuring out which category the people in your life fit in to can be a difficult task, but once you do it's a fresh breath of air. Self freedom is our goal in life. Bottom line, don't allow people to stay in your life out of guilt. Let them stay because you actually want them there, and discard the rest. I hope this helps any of you who feel trapped by guilt, whether it be yours or someone else's. Love you all.
I think it's safe to say most of us are so quick to help others out, but have such a hard time taking some time to take care of ourselves. Between work, school, kids, spouses, friends, and family we all make excuses for not having enough "me time." In today's world, we are experiencing more stress and anxiety than ever before. There's always pressure to succeed, and if we fail we are self critical. We look forward to weekends and go to bed each night exhausted. There isn't enough time in the day to finish all of our daily tasks. We stress about the things we didn't accomplish that day, therefore hindering our sleep at night. I'm experiencing this myself right now. Last week I tried to schedule just 10 minutes of my day to myself in a quiet room. It really made me realize how often I put my needs last, because there was only one day that I could make it work for me. It always came down to making excuses for myself. What a sad moment that was. What if we actually had the ability to make the stress disappear, and make time for ourselves?
Believe it or not, we actually do. It's called Mindfulness.
Now this has nothing to do with religion, so just stick with me. Anyone can practice this. Mindfulness is a way to bring more calm, clarity, and joy to your life. Many sports teams, students, business owners, and public speakers use this method of relieving stress. It's been proven to allow you to wake up more alert and present through the day, so we are really soaking in every moment. It teaches us to react more calmly to sour situations. It teaches us to recognize our unhealthy habits, and help control them. It helps us to become more patient and tolerant, and less judgmental of others. It helps us to understand other people's perspective better, and to empathize. If we take time to be kinder to ourselves, it will reflect on how much more kind we will be to others. Sound too good to be true? Try it for yourself!
Now the question is, how do we do it? The best way to practice it is through taking a small chunk out of your day to meditate. Start with 10 minutes, then work your way up to however long you'd like. Find a quiet place, put on some calming music, make yourself comfortable, and just focus on your breathing. Whenever your mind wanders, just focus on your breathing. If it seems a little awkward the first few times, there are lots of meditation apps to help walk you through it until you can do it on your own. Practice makes perfect.
Just like maintaining exercise, you have to maintain mindfulness. Make it a point to schedule those 10 minutes in your day for it. We all are very capable of 10 minutes of taking care of ourselves. It's so easy to get caught up in our day to day activities and really lose touch with ourselves. We always say treat others as you want them to treat you, but I challenge you all to treat YOURSELF how you would normally treat others.
Today I challenge you to do one small thing to take care of yourself. I will be taking the 7 day "me time" challenge, and I would love for you all to try it with me! For 7 days, I'll be taking 10 minutes out of my day to practice mindfulness. I want to see how it affects my daily attitude, presence, and creativity. If you try this with me, I would love your feedback with your own experience in the comments or in an email! Let's start today!