The Rarity Of Connection

Sometimes a connection occurs when your mind starts screaming, “YES, ME TOO!”

A simple smile or conversation are good mediums of connection, but the connection I’m referring to is the gut-wrenching, soul changing vibe and draw to someone emotionally, mentally, and even physically. We know that doesn’t happen everyday— it’s rare and should be valued when you come across someone who sparks your heart and impacts you by being present.

Whether it’s instantly or formulates overtime, it’s so special to be able to completely you, without guards, reservations, or worries of judgement.

Often times, we go through life, morphing into what society wants from us without even doing that consciously, but when you are around someone you connect with on a deeper level, you become raw, real, and who you really are.

You can’t force it, and it can’t be one sided or it else it fades and fizzles because real connections never falter and fade, even through the years or distance.

When you see someone’s bare soul and they see yours, your heart cares for them for a lifetime through growths, downfalls, twists, and unexpected changes.

Life gets away from us at times— things change, people leave, distance fills in the spaces between us. But when you look back on your time around those people and how your energies meshed, you know it’s depth. That’s why I hold on so dearly to people, who just simply get me.

I believe it’s worth fighting for, cherishing and valuing it in the process. Fighting for people who make your heart flutter and push your mind to new heights isn’t an easy task, but anything worth having doesn’t come easy and sometimes people needed to be consciously reminded of the rarity of true connection.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Count Your Blessings

As humans, we crave a sense of control, and with that in mind, we create these plans, goals, and ideas that will help us create the life we want with the people we love, doing what we want and how we want to do it. We get caught up in our expectations, and lose sight of our realities and the guidance from a higher power, but oh how I am grateful certain things didn’t turn out the way I desperately wanted them to at some point.

Everything in life has an opportunity cost. When choosing to attend a certain University, the greatest alternative given up is attending another at that point in time or when deciding to date someone, your most valued alternative given up is staying single or have a trade-off of dating someone else or meeting someone new. So you make rational decisions that you believe will add value to your life, but although we have great intentions, it doesn’t always mean we will have great outcomes. Good intentions does not always mean good results.

That’s when life hands you metaphorical lemons, and those lemons don’t make life very peachy.

Those disappointments or abrupt changes in “our plans” can at often times deter us from pursuing certain avenues or trying again after failed attempts, but we shouldn’t look at our revised plan as a setback. It’s a new direction for us to explore, and indulge in, even if we can’t see it clearly at the time.

You have to trust the process and trust in yourself to be enough and deserving of greatness, love, experience, beauty, and all that goodness.

So for me, when things don’t go the way I intended, I have to remind myself, “I can’t control the universe. That’s not my job!”

This is the part where I count my blessings, not once, but twice, while I adapt to the new path on my journey. It’s a beautiful process, bumps and bruises included. Each experience— good, bad, ugly, and everywhere in between— really is a gift that we get to grow and learn from while getting one step closer to where we are meant to be.

So when life hands you lemons, you should count your blessings while making your new reality work for you.

The Process of Valuing Yourself

Self-love doesn’t happen overnight, and more often than not, it’s something you have to consciously learn how to do, like I did. I remember growing up and everyone wanted to be the same, have the same interest, experience the same things, and when someone broke out of the societal norm, they were considered weird, rebellious, or even labelled the outcast.

When you are constantly being criticized while you have an impressionable mind in tough years of creating the blueprints of who you are, self-love may sound like a foreign concept to you.

I’m here, to promote it, and advise you to indulge in it. 

Loving yourself does not make you conceited or selfish— it’s embracing who you are, accepting your faults and characteristics, and finding peace within yourself. It’s a vital aspect to growing into a well-rounded, purposeful, fulfilled, enlightened human, who is able to indulge in a deeper level of consciousness and show authentic compassion and love toward others.

Self-love is simplistic, but carries so much weight in our lives. There are days I feel less than pristine, and instead of trying to find validation from an outer source, I find it from within by reminding myself that I am capable, worthy, and beautiful. I choose to look at all I have to offer the world, instead of expecting the world to owe me anything for just existing.

This is your life, filled with all kinds of circumstances, but you can’t let the burdens dictate your mindset and vision. When things crumble, rebuild stronger. When relationships fail, carry your lessons into future experiences so you don’t let history repeat itself. When times get hard, become someone you are proud of. While you grow and learn how to love yourself, take some time to highlight your successes and be real with others about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

This life is far too short to be anything, but genuine and if anyone criticizes you or rejects you for being real and authentic, they are not the people you need in your corner.

In case nobody has told you before, you are worthy and you are deserving of all life has to offer. You have the ability to be your biggest advocate and fan, if you choose to be. It can start off small, indulging in your own interests without worries of judgement, trying new things you’ve wanted to do, choosing you and your happiness.

It’s easy to become a doormat, who gets walked all over in friendships or in relationships, but asked yourself, “If I really loved myself, what I allow this? If I really valued my happiness, would I do this?” Love yourself by doing things that don’t hurt your soul or belittle your feelings— stand up for yourself because you do matter.

There are going to areas that we lack in our lives— maybe it’s in relationships or within your family unit— but just because you don’t always feel loved by others, doesn’t mean you aren’t lovable and deserving. You matter a whole, and you should consciously choose yourself everyday, even if you feel as though no one else does.

It’s a process, a journey that can take a lifetime, but if we consistently try to better ourselves and love every piece of our being, we will find happiness and peace from within.

The Tale Of An Outsider On The Inside

Ever since I was young, I looked at the world with open eyes and desperately wanted a place to belong, a place where I was understood and enough to meet all the expectations of society and my peers. I searched for years, never finding the answers I was looking for.

While on my quest to belong, I found out a lot about who I am and what I want out of life. I never was, and probably never will be, the girl who has a million friends— constantly going out, being invited, knowing I could do anything with anyone whenever I wanted.

It’s not that I have a mediocre personality or unbearable insecurities or a fierce resting face, it was just as though no matter what I did or how I did it, it was never enough for everyone around me. I tried to force conversations, but that didn’t work. I tried to think they like did, but I was not a good actor, so I stuck to myself and a few good friends.

I’m the girl who has one or two very best friends, but gets along with just about everyone I come in contact with. A smile finds my face every time I enter a room and pleasantries are shared when I meet a new face, I have no problem meeting people. What I struggle with is connecting with others, the way I wish to.

Maybe I could blame it on my expectations, the quality of connection I crave, but I’ve learned it’s rare.

My mind goes deep, and I get lost in my thoughts more often than not. For all my years in school, I would be considered likable and rememberable as I was involved with activities and captain of sports teams. I may be remembered as nice or smiley or smart, but I struggled to connect with any of them at my essence when I felt we didn’t see eye to eye. I walked to my own beat, especially when I stopped caring about fitting in or even being liked. I gladly labeled myself as an outsider, but I had all the luxuries of being on the inside— I was invited, I was remembered, I was voted for.

It’s the weirdest combination— to always have a place in the center, but to never belong.

Now in my college years, I’ve found my purpose, my belonging and that’s loving people who are in my life so entirely and completely because they see who I am, they see my worth and value me as so. Now there’s no such thing as fitting in for me— when I look around at others with different values, morals, priorities, lifestyles, I do not desire to be them or inside their clique or follow their rules. They are who they are, as I am who I am, and that’s exactly they way it’s meant to be.

We aren’t designed to be the same— some need more reassurance than others, some need more friends, space, or power. One is not superior to the others, it’s just the route you are belong on. We all are just trying to find that sense of belonging inside our reality.

Learn To Love Again

A few years ago, I got into a relationship and quickly fell without really knowing what I was getting myself into and although it came to an end quite sometime now, I am able to reflect on that experience. I’m so thankful for the gifts and lessons I’ve acquired from the good and bad times. I faced a lot of fears and overcame many obstacles, and even though I chose to say goodbye, I am a better person because of this relationship.

I recognized the fact that I have divorced parents and at the time, none of my friends had a serious relationship in their lives, but I decided to go wherever my heart were to lead me and to not let my head always get the best of me.

The highs were breathtaking and beautiful, but I valued the relationship even more when things got didn’t go smoothly and it got real and we had to face the fact that nobody is perfect and it can’t always be rainbows and butterflies. The lows taught me how to be vulnerable, how to be forgiving, and how to be committed.

 

From early on, I had never been the girl to have a boyfriend or want anything super serious and it all came down to I didn’t have anyone in my life I wanted to go through hard times with until I realized life is worth taking risks, especially when it comes to love.

I always assumed I was better on my own because being isolated means I wouldn’t get hurt and I wouldn’t be let down and disappointed, but now I realize that was letting the fear of commitment win.

John 4:18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect with love.”

Love and commitment are compliments (economics major, I can’t help it) and you can’t have one without the other. When we let God lead, He will lead us to the one who holds the key to our hearts, but we live in a society where cheating is almost acceptable, having a side chick is laughed at and expected, and commitment isn’t a given.

When I say ‘I love you’, it’s a promise to be there for you, to support you, to honor and respect you, and to be by your side when the waters get rough, but love comes and goes, and is often said before you actually grasp it’s magnitude (been there, done that). It’s one thing to say the words and it’s another to show actions that prove what you are saying because actions speak volumes.

We acquire many imperfections over the years and we have our faults that we carry into relationships, and who are we to expect our significant other to be flawless? God teaches forgiveness and when love is at the center of your relationship and there is genuine remorse, there is no point on being bitter or resentful to one another.

When you forgive, you set yourself free from unsettling feelings and then you can continue bettering your commitment to one another.

Basically, you should find someone you’d love to goof around with and grow with for the rest of your life.

Better Than I Was Yesterday

Going through life changes and actually evaluating yourself is often times challenging, but we make it more difficult than it needs to be. When we look in the mirror and analyze who we are, we are gazing over the exterior first and then sinking deep into our soul; we constantly highlight our flaws and what we’d change, both psychically and in our personality, and as we do that, we are subconsciously comparing ourselves to the girl who seemingly has it all together.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” but it’s all we do.

Social media will be the death of us. We see the girl who is instagram famous with a million guys pining over her and two million girls dying to be her. We see her highlight reals and perfect selfies. We see her excelling, and having the perfect hair, body, friends, family, house, etc. We see perfection when we analyze her, but when we look into ourselves, we see flaws and imperfections. We see everything that is wrong. But why? Why are we so quick to adore others, but forget to see our worth? Ladies, we are not in competition with one another; we all have different strengths and weakness and far different hearts.

Having a pretty, symmetrical face doesn’t make you more beautiful than the girl who has a soul that radiates.

We have this mixed up perception that others don’t struggle with the things you do, but I promise they do. We work tirelessly to keep our flaws hidden, like we are the only one who struggle with anxiety or depression or have shaming circumstances. We assume the girl that is smiling with her perfect friend group is what we should be aiming for, but we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. We don’t know who she is without her mask; being real, especially on social media, is seldom the case, but yet we compare like it’s our day job. We are all guilty of it, like highlighting or acknowledging our flaws to the world is lethal, but it’s needed.

Self-love is a crazy concept because that means accepting and loving yourself with all your craziness included.

You can love yourself while wanting to better yourself, but do it from a place in your soul that craves to be a better you for you. It’s all about intentions so only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and keep improving to be the best version of yourself. You will be so loved and beautiful.

Meet Ashley

I’m Glad You’re Here

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Thank you for coming to the Thoughtful Blonde Blog.

Blogging has been quite the journey for me filled with a lot of realizations and self-discoveries, and I’m only starting to get the hang of it now, that’s why I chose to jump on over to WordPress.

So let the fun begin…………..

I’m a midwestern girl from Indiana, who moved down to Southwest Florida about six years ago, in the prime of my high school years. It wasn’t always a walk in the park, but the lessons I learned during hard times are the reason I am able to share my stories today with you all.

On this blog, I’ll be talking about everything under the sun– from overcoming obstacles to my fashionista wardrobe must haves to places to travel. I am a huge OPTIMIST, so even on the gritty stuff I put a positive spin on it because we are in charge of our own lives and happiness. I love talking and collaborating with other bloggers, writers, brands so feel free to contact me!