Do you ever feel like you take two steps forward, then a huge step backwards in life? I feel like I go through these seasons frequently. Throughout college, the summer and fall semesters would be my time to shine - my grades were great during these semesters, my health was on par, and my social life and personal development flourished. Then would come winter and the spring semester - my grades would always plummet, life would be out of balance, and let's not even talk about my health, let alone my emotional health during this season!
These seasons of growth and regression, I've found, show themselves outside of college, too. This spring season has been particularly difficult for me. The hotel I work for closed for construction and I was still employed, which is nice of my employer to keep me around. Except the work wasn't challenging. I sat in the office during my 8 hour shift and answered the phone when it rang. If it rang. I kept busy with mundane tasks. This type of work drains me in more ways than one and it started reflecting in the way I viewed myself and my place in this crazy world. Who am I? Why am I even in Vail...do I even really want to be here?
Photos by Brittney Blystone Photography
Thankfully, the hotel reopens next week, which means my tasks this past week have had more importance and deadlines have been set. Last week, I was sick of feeling down and randomly decided to watch a TedTalks that showed up in my email titled "The Power of Vulnerability." The speaker, Brené Brown, talks about how we crave connection with others and vulnerabilities place in that connection and shares her struggles with being vulnerable. Brown says:
"Courage is the ability to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart... Be willing to let go of who you should be in order to be who you are...Have the courage to be imperfect."
That is so powerful to me.
Courage: to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.
Who are you?
Who do you want to be?
And you know what? It was difficult to answer these questions out loud. We often ask and answer these questions to ourselves internally in our own minds and to be asked them out loud provides a quite different approach to self-reflection. Suddenly, we question who we are once we are expected to answer it out loud. It creates a discomfort of sorts as who we are collides with who others think we are and who we are expected to be.
As I enter the summer season, a season to take those two steps forward again, I'm reflecting and defining who I am and who I want to be. Always growing, and open to transformation.
I'm Ashliegh. I'm ridiculously trusting of others, blunt and outspoken, and quirky in endearing, and not so endearing ways. I like to be challenged and I like to challenge others to grow (though I need to learn who is open to being challenged). I'm the type of person who will move half way across the world to a place where I know nobody, hell, I don't even have to know the language! I will be vocal about something I don't like (actions, the way I'm treated, etc.). If I'm angry, I don't hold back. I'm terrified of commitment - to a man and to a place. I crave for financial stability. I'm open to sharing my crazy stories and life experiences, if you're open to listening to them. I like to be asked deep questions that make me reflect on said stories and you better believe I'm going to ask you deeper questions.
So hello world. This is me. Let's make this a summer of magnificent transformation. Hope you're in for the crazy ride.