I’m excited for the coming year. I’ve got some ideas of things I’d like to start doing more, maybe some things I’d like to learn. One thing in particular that I’d like to start doing is reading more books. I don’t like to have regrets, but I wished I would’ve picked up a love for reading when I was younger. There’s so many books that I want to read and never enough time! With the new year and new schedule, I’m hoping to make more time to do so!
I’ve got over 500 books on my TBR list.. not sure that I’ll ever get through them all but I’d LOVE to start reading more of them. I’d love to start reading different genre’s. Many bloggers/book reviewers that I follow read so many different kinds of books and it inspires me to do the same! I’ve always stuck with my normal LDS, Young Adult clean romance novels but I’d love to branch out and learn so much more. I am LDS so it’s obvious that my go-to books are definitely LDS based and I’ve never been one to care for much more than YA romance, YA fiction, LDS fiction/non-fiction, murder-mystery/mystery, self-help, etc. We’ll see what I get to!
I also have some goals to get more familiar with my Silhouette CAMEO 3 machine. I can’t seem to figure out the darn thing. Haha! Anyone have some awesome resources or tutorials they loved? Send them my way. I don’t have anything particular that I want to create… actually, maybe I do. PLANNER STICKERS!! You know, those cute stickers people make for the Erin Condren planners and stuff? I have some personal planner sticker ideas that I want to try and make. Wish me luck!
I’d also love to start a garden. Probably just a flower garden because let’s be real…. I won’t eat anything you can grow (at least, that most people grow). Maybe grapes, or…. actually, idk. Haha!! I also can’t wait to get a dog or two again. B and I have decided to adopt this time, through the Humane Society (wherever our local one is). I’m excited! A lot of upkeep but we miss our first dog so much. SO much!
When Brady and I were engaged to be married, 4 years ago, we met with our Stake President to interview for our living ordinance & sealing recommends. We talked about each other, and being husband and wife. He gave us great counsel, but one thing he said is something I have struggled with but finally feel like I’m starting to get the hang of.
“Ashley, if you put your husbands happiness before yours, you will be happy.”
That was it. That was the big winner. It has been on my mind ever since. It sounds like one of those sayings that you hear from everybody.
Somewhere down the road I developed a very selfish attitude. I was sick of people being rude. I was sick of letting others be mean to me specifically. I developed this attitude that if someone expects something of me, they are expected of the same also. I noticed a very angry and selfish person shine through each day. Oh, you want trash talk Mormons? Well no wonder they all trash talk non-mormons. Or something like that. Oh, you want me to accept the LGBTQ community and support gay marriage in Utah? Well you better love your neighbor, the Mormon, who doesn’t support gay marriage, and THAT’S OKAY. It’s just irritating. Even writing this still brings up some of those feelings.
I hate it. I hate this person I’ve become. I hate the way I’ve changed. I’ve somehow become this very closed off, anger bottled up inside, complaining woman and I hate her. I’m tired of being her. I’m tired of feeling hurt, singled out, lonely, selfish…. I’m tired of anxiety and depression. I’m tired of the way it controls my life. I’m tired of letting my friends down by not showing up. I’m eternally sorry and I regret not being a better friend. I’m just tired of all the negativity in my life. The “nothing ever works out for me,” or how about the “well, with depression and anxiety, everything is 10x harder,” and while that may be true (that last one) it doesn’t give me the right to see myself as more-deserving than others BECAUSE of this difficulty I face each day.
What does this have anything to do with the title of my blog post?
I promise, I will get there.
With this new attitude or “way of life,” it started to destroy everything in my life. My friendships, my relationships with family members, my marriage relationship/friendship, my work-life, my church-life, my health & fitness, my finances…. everything. I felt like everything was falling at the drop of a hat, and it definitely was. It was around the end of April when I met with my new friend Karli. She and my sister had planned to meet up one Saturday to do weight/measurements & meal planning. My sister said that she was a previous trainer at the gym she attends, but now she does more personal training/meal planning for others. I was interested because again, I was miserable with this way of life I was living. After the meeting was over, I thought about it for like 30 mins – 1 hour before texting Karli myself. We picked a date & time to meetup. I was serious about this life change, and I knew my health was the first place any of this wanted “change” was going to happen.
On our first meeting, we recorded my weight and measurements so we knew where we were starting. We created goals together and talked about foods that I liked (or should I say, foods I DO NOT like). A couple of hours after our meeting, she emailed me with my meal plan attached. I was so freaken scared but knew deep down, I wanted this for myself. I wanted this for myself. Fast forward to today. The day I made the decision to want to make the health change that I needed, I changed. I noticed a physical change as well as a change in my every day thoughts. I honestly wanted to spend more time with my husband. I wanted to see my family and friends more. I started making an effort to go to social events (aka hanging out with friends) even though I thought I would die from anxiety. My effort at changing my attitude about and at work started working. I started CHOOSING to feel happy, to be nice to others, to do something for my husband, to just clean the freaken bathroom. I can’t tell you exactly what it is or why things in my life started changing but they just did.
You cannot make someone change or become better, or do something different. They have to want it for themselves. And until that happens, all you can do is love them.
My life is different now. I feel different now. I’m choosing reading over social media. I’m choosing private blogging over trying to be a business blogger. I’m choosing personal photography over business photography. I’m choosing my health over temporal “wants.” I’m choosing discipline/debt snowballing over obsessive compulsive/anxiety-driven shopping. I’m choosing honesty over hiding. I’m choosing God over doubts. I’m choosing the Gospel of Jesus Christ over finding joy and peace in temporal things or people. I’m choosing to smile when I wake up because I prefer to have a better day than yesterday. I choose my husband over anyone else. I am choosing to give the benefit of the doubt. I am choose to say sorry and to admit to my mistakes.
I love my husband. He is my best friend. I love spending time with him, cuddling, watching a movie, or driving in the car together. I love that he teases me and I love that he accepts my apologies. I love that, even though times have been hard, he’s choosing to be with me forever. I love that we’re growing stronger together as a team, rather than two individuals legally married. I love him. I love him so much. He is the calm to my storm and I’d be lost in life without him. Putting his happiness before mine has truly changed the happiness I experience each day. He means so much to me and it’s important to me to make sure he is happy. His happiness IS my happiness.
I cannot end this blog post without first sharing my gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. He is always there when I need someone the most. He is always there when I’m upset about how lonely I feel each day. He comforts me in ways that I never look for comfort in. He answers my prayers when I kneel humbly each day. He has blessed with me with a beautiful life, an amazing husband, a loving family and endless opportunities. Heavenly Father comes first in my life. Without Him, everything else isn’t possible.
I’m doing my best each day and as I make these new decisions to cultivate what matters most to me and the Lord, I find myself feeling happier and more at peace.
According to Wikipedia (the most untrusted website) a Multipotentialite is:
An educational and psychological term referring to a pattern found among intellectually gifted individuals. [Multipotentialites] generally have diverse interests across numerous domains and may be capable of success in many endeavors or professions, they are confronted with unique decisions as a result of these choices.
AKA we never know what she is doing because she always changes her mind.
The first thing that came to my mind was, is this really a thing? I laughed about it for a bit the other day, seriously and laughing at the idea of it. Someone must have made this word up. It totally sounds like a made up word. And maybe it is, I’ll never know. But after doing more research, and watching this awesome TED talk, I’m starting to finally feel understood.
I can’t even begin to tell you/express how embarrassing it is to constantly be jumping from the next adventure to the next and hearing from others how it all just looks crazy and they just never know what I’m up to. Clients won’t want to book me because they’re afraid I’ll just cancel or change my mind on them. Nobody will want to buy my cute stickers that I make, in my Etsy shop, because there are soooo many people who already do. And my newest adventure, nail school? Yeah, I won’t be able to make enough to pay back what I spent on schooling… it’s depressing and extremely frustrating.
It’s a daily, consistent battle with myself. Do I really need to do anything at all? Do I really need to just find one thing? Can I really just enjoy having a job and nothing else? Can I handle just coming home and not having anything to do and be content with that? Do I really have the courage to give up my photography business, throw the nail school idea out the window, and believe that my designs for Etsy aren’t going to interest anyone?
Nobody is at fault here, and nobody has made these decisions or caused these questions. It’s how I’m wired. It’s just who I am. Entrepreneur? Probably, I can definitely be that. Creative? It’s my favorite outlet for ALL of my emotions. Each time I was in the hospital, my favorite therapy session was art therapy. I always felt most calm, most “in my element,” and most content. It’s the real deal for me.
I’m just ready to accept that I’m always going to be changing interests. I don’t have a “calling.” If I do, there’s definitely more than one. I’m happiest knowing that I can do and be whatever I want to be. I don’t have to be a doctor just because I’m really smart. I don’t have to be a wedding photographer just because I know how to use a camera. I can make all the flippin’ stickers I want because if no one else uses them, I know I will. I guess the price I pay for following many of my interests is the frustration that comes with road blocks. I’m sure it’ll always be that way. But I know, hope, believe and have faith in myself, and that I can do anything I put my mind and heart into.
Something that I really enjoy doing is driving. I love driving far places, and just spending time with myself in the car. Maybe that’s why I love photography and the wonderful opportunities I have to travel to shoot weddings. There’s something so freeing about just relaxing, seeing the beauty of the earth and traveling.
Occasionally I’ll play softer music instead of my usual Jam Out! playlist or my Country music playlist. My softer music includes piano, violin, Mormon Tabernacle Choir and many other artists from CD’s like Especially For Youth program, etc. One particular song always brings comfort to my heart, “Our Savior’s Love.” The rendition I listen to is Hillary Weeks; she’s an amazing artist!
Sometimes being in my car, spending time listening to the beautiful music of the Gospel, really calms my troubled heart.
I have been feeling extreme burn out lately. The thought of reading scriptures, scriptures I’ve already read before, just feels like a chore. I’m not reading because I want to. Sometimes I’d just rather stay at home on Sunday’s instead of going to church. Exercising and eating better fell off the wagon when I went on a recent vacation. Blogging, photography, and anything creative just aren’t satisfying right now. It’s so hard to feel burn out in a lot of aspects in life that use to consume you.
I’ve changed. I’ve become a quiet person. I don’t socialize or talk to people. I’m not loud and obnoxious or outgoing like I used to be. I’m just quiet, and definitely a homebody now. I’m hoping this summer will be a fun, relaxing summer of just simply having no responsibilities (except work). I want to enjoy being outside, reading books, spending time with my family, going on dates with my husband and swimming. Doing nothing. It’s all I ever want to do.
But, sometimes all you need is a sweet, humbling, simple reminder that peace exists. You can be and feel at peace. You don’t have to be perfect today or tomorrow or even next week. You don’t have to do or be every idea that comes into your mind. You don’t have to impress anyone and everyone. If school isn’t right for you right now, that’s okay. If loving your job or corporate position is fulfilling to you, that’s okay! If spending time at the library brings you happiness, you should go more often. Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be hard every single day.
Be you, be happy, love God, serve others and live your life to its fullest.
The name, “Built Upon the Rock,” comes from my favorite scripture verse found in the Book of Mormon, in the book of Helaman chapter 5 verse 12. (Hel. 5:12). That scripture has been my favorite since I was 12 years old. I was at a Summer girls camp and this scripture was the weekly theme. It has stuck with me ever since.
I have always wanted to pick a niche for my blogging but the only one I’ve ever felt comfortable choosing and the one suggested by basically everyone I know is: Spirituality/Religion. I’m nervous as I learn the ropes of blogging, Christian-blogging, and being safe on the internet while still sharing the word of God.
I am nowhere near nor ever will I, claim to be a perfect disciple of Jesus Christ, know everything about the LDS Church, ⬅️ it’s doctrine, OR how you should find happiness and live a good life. 💛 I am imperfectly trying to become perfect through my Savior.
I am so excited to get sharing blog posts with you & meet so many new friends! :)