Whew chile! What a year!

Whew chile, what a year!

So 2018 was magical and phenomenal and everything I could’ve imagined. 

It was also difficult, terrible and at times seemed unbearable.

At the end of last year I decided to relinquish all rights of my life over to God because I can mess up my own life, but allowing God to lead me allows me to get through the tough times because He’s by my side.  Having Him guide me has really put difficult times in perspective for me.  It’s also brought me much closer to God and in that I’ve learned several truths about Him (5 of which I live by and constantly remind myself of).  I’ll save the five truths for another time 😉 

The Good

So this year I was accepted as a board member of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence board, along with CEOs, lawyers and other big whigs 😬.  I also had so many doors open for me at church, which has been such an amazing journey.  The highlight of my year had to be starting A Look in the Mirror.  I got a chance to use my pain and help young girls learn a little more about self-confidence and how to love themselves.  You can find out more below:

A Look in the Mirror

The Bad

So, while my year was awesome it didn’t always have awesome moments. 

My husband lost one of his father figures, his Uncle Charles.  Uncle Charles gave me such a warm welcome into his family and he was such an amazing man to both his family and his community.  My husband took it rough and being his rock wasn’t always easy, but it surely brought us much closer together.

The very same weekend of his funeral, our house had terrible damage from one of them daggone hurricanes 🙄

It was stressful, but one of the truths I learned is that God never gives us anything more than we can bear.  *Amen* 

The Ugly

Okay…so here we go. 

With all of the amazing things that have happened for me this year, my work life became increasingly stressful.  I prayed about my next steps and a year ago God told me that I wasn’t meant to get promoted at my job.  I didn’t understand or accept this and was allll fast and applied for a promotion.  I got the job and thought it was enough to make me happy enough to stay, but it wasn’t. 

Since I was a young girl, I struggled with understanding why people would not enjoy my presence.  Honestly, I’m bomb. But anyways, I didn’t understand why people would talk negatively about me when I’ve done nothing that would warrant that type of behavior.  Needless to say during my time in my new position my anxiety got to a level that it hasn’t been in several years. 

I had my first panic attack in the 8th grade.  I didn’t understand what was happening, or how to control my breathing or how to stop my thoughts from racing.  Eighth grade was my first experience with backlash at a large degree.  I had several people who didn’t like me and talked badly about me.  I constantly felt like I was being talked about by the people around me and working at my job brought all of the 8th grade Ashley feelings back.  It was terrible.  I came home from work and had a panic attack, feeling the exact same way as I did in 8th grade, and in high school, and during all of the high anxiety years I experienced in college.  I didn’t want to go back to that time ever in life and here I was, post-therapy, body confident, self-loving Ashley having a panic attack because of her work.  Something had to change.

What’s Next?

Thankfully, God gave me a new job that I start at the top of the year.  It gives me the freedom to use my gifts, to be creative and to have a manageable amount of stress.  I’m thankful to God for this new position, but I’ve got to learn to re-manage my anxiety. 

I’ve also been striving to learn how to balance faith with anxiety.  See, my faith tells me that God will never leave me or forsake me and that in my weakness He strengthens me.  My anxiety knows ALL of these things and trust that God knows what’s best, but at the same time prepares for if things doesn’t go the way Ashley wants them to.  It may seem harmless to some, but it has kept me from celebrating all of the amazingness of 2018.  I’ve only been preparing myself for when things fall apart.  My goal for 2019 is to celebrate ALL things, not just the bad.  

I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me.  I’m trusting God ALWAYS and giving everything to Him FOREVER *Cardi B voice*. It’s only going to get better as my faith gets stronger.

7 thoughts on “Whew chile! What a year!

  1. Essence Sylvia Smith says:

    Great blog . Your ability to be vulnerable made it more relatable. Congratulations on your new job. Stop worrying about what other people say because they are always going to have something to say. I have to learn this a well. Happy New Year!


  2. Jowette Bobray says:

    Ashley, thank you for sharing your highs and lows with us. I appreciate your vulnerability. Anxiety is no joke and it can take away some of our best moments. I love how you said you will NOT allow it to take away your celebratory moments in 2019 (which you will have several moments like that!). Also, I am sorry to hear of the loss of a loved one. I am sure your husband is forever grateful to you for having his back as he processed his grief. Lastly, congratulations on finding peace and happiness in your career. I, too, had a trying year this past year and I am grateful for the change that happened this summer.

    You are wonderful! Happy New Year! ❤


  3. Jasmine says:

    WOW! Your post spoke in so many volumes and had many layers. The common denominator was transparency and I love that. I used to feel that way in middle school too (gah that was such an awkward time). What I’ve learned is that people are going to talk whether you’re doing bad or good *Rihanna voice* so just do what you want to do and what makes you happy. So happy God blessed you with a new position tailored just for you. Enjoy all of that and more that God has for you ❤️


  4. lambamsworld says:

    Thank you for sharing with us your highs and lows . I learnt a great deal reading through your comprehensive post . Congratulations on your new job and wish you and your family Blessings this year .


  5. Tiaunna Weaver says:

    This is an awesome year review and I’m so excited that you are making an impact in many different areas of your life. One thing that connected me to this was your willingness to be real. One thing many bloggers can lack at times is the element of being authentic and this was just that. So so so very excited for 2019 and all that you will accomplish!


  6. bestmeyet38 says:

    Congrats on your new position! I too have gone through some major life changes and left a 20 year teaching career to pursue my creativity and passion in life. All the best to you!!!


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