The Unknown: Thoughts During A Global Pandemic

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Written 3/18/20 — on day 6 of quarantine

The madness, we feel it, but we are in the dark, unsure of the depth of terror that will ensue.

Are we safe? 

Are we living in the now? 

Are we borrowing precious time?

In the darkness, we find the light, the love that we should have had all along. 

The care, the compassion, the consideration — in the way we talk to one another and in the way that we regard. 

The ‘i love yous’ linger longer than before, but some refuse to face reality, thinking they are immune to the depth of despair. They are different because these fears are deemed too excessive, but if life and death situations don’t scare you, what does?

There’s so much unknown, 

so much uncertainty 

and the emotions are running away from me.

Everyone is heightened, but some just don’t see—

there’s more than the superficial agenda to fulfill; 

there’s more important things than a do-to list that’s meaningless if you’re spreading a virus to the ones you love. 

It’s crazy times we live in, and quite frankly, it feels surreal. 

I can’t help but ache for the children who can’t go to school, the families that can’t take the financial hit, the dwindling small businesses, the ones fighting for their lives, and the healthcare professionals giving their all. My heart goes out to the ones impacted and the ones who are scared and alone. 

In a time of despair, I want to remind you that you are loved and valued, cared for and known. In a time of despair, we can choose kindness. 

Love The Guy Who Doesn’t Love You Back

Love The Guy Who Doesn’t Love You Back

Then, KICK HIM TO THE CURB!

We have a long list of what we want in a partner— loving, compassionate, honest, understanding, stable, etc. It varies from person to person, as wants and needs are different for everyone, but at the end of the day, we want someone who loves us wholeheartedly. We jokingly say we want our own Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akin love, or we want the relationship our parents have or our best friends who are so madly in love. We see these beautiful couples with so much love for one another, but we only endure another letdown and heartbreak, not trying to be dramatic when I’m only 21 and I have so much going on that doesn’t involve having someone by my side.

You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in the end, but here’s where some of us end up for a period of time in our love stories.

You end up falling for the guy who doesn’t love you back…..

The guy who doesn’t make plans with you.

The guy who uses you when at his convenient.

The guy who leaves you left on read for three days.

The guy who doesn’t communicate with you.

The guy who leaves you hanging on by a thread.

The guy who isn’t enough for you.

You should love the guy who isn’t enough for you.

Then, leave and know you deserve so much more than mediocre, more than decentish times.

Love can be complicated at times because it can’t be one-sided to be true. I once had a boyfriend, for a very short period, who adored me and treated me with so much respect and love; I could even compare him to Thomas Rhett in countless, thoughtful instances, but I wasn’t his Lauren Akin. My heart didn’t desire that love, and it ended. He deserved more than I was willing to give, so I set him free and I only pray those experiences touch his life in a positive light.

Then, there’s the polar opposite: you get a guy who you fall for and treat him as though he walks on water, but it isn’t mutual. This is important and I think it’s vital to experience— loving someone who doesn’t love you in return. When you constantly have to fight reality and convince yourself this is worth keeping, you’ve already lost.

When you are in a situation like this, once you are done, you will never, ever settle again; you will look right through the bullshit of excuses and know they just don’t feel the same, and it isn’t worth your time, energy, or tears.

You are meant for a beautiful love, and after experiencing this, it will only make you appreciate it more and in the future, you’ll give your love more wholeheartedly to someone who actually deserves it and honors you.

One day, you’ll find a love that’s mutual and full, so in the meantime, you should leave behind the guy who isn’t right for you, no matter how YOU feel about him.

xo,

Ash

 

It’s Okay To Have A Mr. Right Now

It’s Okay To Have A Mr. Right Now

Previously featured on: HARNESS MAGAZINE

One day, you’re going to wake up, so in love with the person laying next to you. You’re going to be over the moon, head over heels for the person you’re going to spend forever making memories with. The pieces of your heart will be mended back together and those guys who broke your heart throughout the years won’t matter in the slightest bit, and you’re going to thank God for not answering your pleading prayers about so and so after many sleepless nights. You won’t have to question if you’re good enough, you’ll know you are. You will feel complete and loved and oh so important.

One day, all of this nonsense will have a purpose and all the heartaches or little love affairs will only be simple memories. However, today is not that day because we woke up in our empty bed, checking to see if the boy we like finally texted us back, only to be let down and disappointed.

We woke up, wanting more love in our lives and impatiently waiting for that day to come. So in the meantime between today and someday, here’s a few thoughts and reminders: you can’t make someone fall in love with you and your soulmate is probably not the guy you’ve been stalking on Instagram for the last two months. Also, everything works exactly the way it’s meant to with who it’s suppose to work with. Love has a funny way of working it’s way into our lives and before we know it, it’s all consuming and right, but sometimes, love can stay dormant, just long enough to make us question if Mr. Right will ever come around.

For me, I started out my adult life, in a committed relationship and that carried on until almost the start of sophomore year in college and while I was in the relationship, I learned an overabundance about myself, my worth, and what I need when it’s time for my next relationship.

Even Mr. Right might not be your Mr. Right. He may be a great guy— charming, lovable, and impressive— but you and I both deserve a guy who looks at us like we put the stars in the sky and loves us for the way our inner light shines.

I’ve learned I’m a believer that true love should be kind, all-consuming, and beautiful, but I also learned true love requires patience, openness, and God’s blessing.

When I got out of my lengthy relationship, I was convinced love had failed and with a valiant effort, it could not be saved. BUT, love never fails. True love never fails. It’s okay to have fun with Mr. Right Now because when it’s time for Mr. Right, he will be there, ready to love you with everything in his being and vise versa.

The best things happen when we aren’t searching for it— our own serendipity. If you are anything like me, continue loving deeply and exploring different avenues as new people enter your life, but you don’t have to be consumed with finding the one. When it’s meant to be, it will be and all will be right in the world. So it’s okay to kiss Mr. Right Now, but don’t expect him to be the one you bring home to meet your mom and love you forever.

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, Count Your Blessings

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.

Learn To Love Again

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.