there’s something about *newness* that just makes the world exciting, isn’t there? new job, new apartment, new relationship, new car, new taco spot – with the new comes a blank slate for you to fill with whatever you choose and change your direction however you may see fit. CRAZY, but effing awesome.
some of you may not know this little tidbit of trivia but! my name isn’t *LEGALLY* spelled “A-S-H-L-I”. i changed it myself (ok i didn’t change it legally, my ID’s still say ashl-EY) in 4th grade so i could be different than allllllllllll the other Ashley’s that were my age, especially since it was the #2 girls name for those born in 88…(first was Jessica in case you were curious). i was switching schools and my mom gave me the whole talk “you can be whoever you want to be at your new school! nobody knows you there!” and i jumped on that opportunity to make sure i changed the thing about me that just felt off, my name! been going against the grain since day 1 i suppose.
but she was right! a new school meant new opportunities, just as a new job/relationship/apartment whatever can mean the same. you have the opportunity to create a unique experience from scratch and that freshness has always been something i’m drawn to…and maybe a big reason why i love New York as much as i do.
this city completely changes daily, weekly, monthly for me and again if you don’t know me, i either LOOOOVE it here or despise it so much i’m threatening to leave within the next few weeks…which i clearly haven’t. the human part of me that craves a bit of that tug and pull works well with NYC in that way and keeps me on my toes. I’m always feeling challenged, excited and consistently pushing for the next thing – whether with my blog, the podcast i had, my work, and so on.
lately there has been a lot of really wonderful “new”‘s that i’m excited to see unfold and to update you on as they go.
this week, in particular, i embark on a new journey myself professionally and after months of looking for the right position offering exactly the type of scenario, team, structure that i’m looking for, i’m confident and excited again to be working in this city and industry that i love so much – both of which are extremely challenging at times (pay your people better, fashion industry!). as i open a new page in the hypothetical notebook, i have a completely fresh opportunity to influence and collaborate and offer expertise in an industry i’ve immersed myself in for over a decade – and instead of feeling weary by it or exhausted already, I. AM. PUMPED. (and honestly currently very sick but such is life and on we go!)
the thing is, i’m thankful that I’ve never been afraid of change or deterred by it. in fact, i welcome it with open arms. unless they’re wrapped in a blanket poncho of course 🙂
i hope you all start the week with the same kind of fresh energy. you may not be starting a new job, or in a new relationship, or moving into a new place but it’s a new week – one with days ahead that are untouched and ready for you to write your story. the words you choose are up to you. the way you treat people is up to you. how you respond to the week, how you spend your days, how you choose to view life when you wake up in the morning is YOU. YOU. YOU. cool, right? you’re the one in charge, and we’re all starting a fresh slate together on this Monday.
let’s make it a good one. and by that, i mean donuts.
another monday? like cmon guys. aren’t we past these things? can’t the week just start on Tuesdays?
well if we must be here, let’s jump the week off on the RIGHT FOOT and focus on being our absolute best selves. it’s the least we can do right? and with that – installment number 2 of Lessons I’ve Learned (so you don’t have to).
let’s just do this, shall we.
LESSON 1: If you spend money, you don’t have it anymore.
this is QUITE THE SHOCKING revelation, to me. had i known that every time i swiped my debit card i’d have less money than before, i’d probably be going to less dinners and buying less flights….ok no i wouldn’t but i’d have sacrificed something else so i could actually *afford* those things. one of my main goals lately is getting My FiNaNcEs iN OrdeR (ugh) because i’m a very mature responsible adult with a savings account, great credit score and no debt HAHAHAHA. but THATS THE GOAL! less drunk purchases on Amazon (it’s my version of a drunk dial, but i get a present for myself 2 days later instead of regret in the morning!) and more “do i need this?” questioning so as to prevent needless purchasing. it’s time i spend money wisely. which is LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMEEEEEE. but it’s time.
LESSON 2: It’s important to be selfish … in a way.
Now, i’m not urging you to take over conversations, not listen to your friends, only prioritize your happiness, etc. but i do believe there are some times in our weeks (or days even!) where we need a minute to be totally left alone or not needing to explain ourselves. Why don’t i want to go to happy hour? Maybe i just don’t wanna. Why am I having ice cream for dinner? Cause it’s sounds delicious and it’s only 2 scoops. Are you still watching Ozark? Why yes, Netflix, i’m obviously watching this obsessively amazing tv show in the privacy of my own home. Take some moments of your day, your week, whatever to do something without having to answer to someone. If you need a little something special to make life easier, you owe it to nobody to explain. Especially if it’s ice cream.
LESSON 3: The strongest people don’t always appear as such.
I have a person in my life who I love very dearly and man have they been through the ringer in life over the past couple years. Just gettin hit left and right wam-bam and expected to keep going with a smile on her face – which, to note, she does! this gal is hysterical, optimistic, always willing to help, very positive and everyone in her presence is happier when she’s around. So what’s the problem Ash?! I know. She, like all of us, have times when things aren’t so easy, when she breaks down a bit more and i made the mistake of having little patience with this as though she’s on top of the world having everything go her way. NO, self. Bad move. COMPASSION was the answer, not impatience, and I failed. I was annoyed and completely uncaring of what she was going through and having since apologized, hope that the next time shes feeling a bit weaker or sad, i can show her overwhelming empathy and love instead of annoyance at her short fuse.
LESSON 4: Cancel the free trial subscription before it charges your card.
You win, Cinemax.
LESSON 5: ASK! You never know what the answer may be.
If it’s true you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, then I need to start playing basketball…soon! Lately i’ve been doing this thing called “ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT” in a cool confident manner and i’m 10/10 on receiving said requests. Some examples:
- A meeting I wasn’t invited to. “Hey! Could I sit in on this? Seems beneficial for me to be there and I wasnt invited”. Turns out – I was supposed to be, good thing I asked!
- Checking for accuracy on my SkyMiles account (hey i’m close to Silver status!!): “i really think there should be another flight on there to/from Raleigh around “x” date. Can you just double check for me?” – whaddya know, they missed not only 1 flight, but TWO because my name was spelled incorrectly and it gave me more miles and even closer to Silver!
- Requesting clarity on something that sounded really offensive: “Sorry what exactly do you mean by that?” resulted in me finding out that the statement said was totally misused and the insult was actually a great compliment but worded incorrectly.]
- Asking a GUY on a date that i always had a crush on and was recently single: “Hey! Great to see you the other night – next time, you and i should get a drink sometime if you’re interested :)” – annnnnnnnnnd it worked. (keep you posted, i’ll sabotage it in a week.)
- EVEN an increase in salary: “Listen, I know it’s not much but this “x” amount would really make a difference in my happiness here especially considering my performance with ____ and ____.” Guess who got the extra amount requested?
so ASK. what’s the worst that could happen? At the end of the day, these all result in a better understanding of each others points of views and sides of a particular matter, and regardless of the answer, that’s a great goal to accomplish anyway.
I hope I help provide some clarity for you guys. My life is certainly not perfect, I’m lightyears away from being that myself, I learn consistently how to be better for different people, scenarios, or conversations and i hope this continues forever. If i’ve said it once, i’ve said it a million times but – we’re all just doing the best we can! xx Ashli
it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission. -my mother
I don’t know what it says about my upbringing or my persona as an adult but this quote above was something I remember my mom consistently saying to us while growing up. Now – her intention was way less nefarious than it can seem – she didn’t urge us to break the law or hurt people or act inappropriately at all. the thought process behind this quote, in my eyes, was always – take suggestions as such, question the social norms/rules set on us, and don’t be afraid to push boundaries. as you can tell, we grew up in a household of great support, always urged to be exactly who we are and to forget what anyone thinks about us. if you know my sister and I, this is very very very us.
Let me give you an example of getting forgiveness instead of permission.
When I was applying for colleges I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry and applied to the big fashion schools – including FIDM in LA (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). The extensive process included questionaires, sending sketches, writing essays, sending references, etc. and being accepted each round to continue to the next. The final step was an in-person interview with the Dean of the school (or the President? someone big) but I lived in St Louis MO. How am I supposed to make that happen? My parents had NO IDEA I was even APPLYING because I didn’t know how they would feel. Randomly, my sister and I had the opportunity to go to LA so on the flight out, I told her we had to make a secret pit stop to visit the school and interview with them.
Long story short – we go, I’m there for hours interviewing with multiple people, defending my sketches and my potential future, touring the campus and was accepted to their school at the end of the day. WHAT. OMG. COLLEGE IN LA. but wait, now what?
so I called my parents with my sister and told them I got in, explained the process and the major honor this was and they said we’d discuss when I was back. Now, no – I didn’t end up going, for personal reasons, but the takeaway here is that – had I told my parents about the process, they may have dissuaded me to apply. However, doing what I knew I wanted to try and going for it proved to me and validated that I was on the right track in my life/career/education and also that I’m able to go after something if I feel it’s right for me.
We all have opportunities to push a boundary, to question what is best, to rebel in some way and there are times when this pushes us to be better, stronger and out of our comfort zone. Now, don’t go cheating on your partner or lying to an employer or stealing and cite this blog as reference because you can find a way to win them back over with an apology because that, my friends, is manipulation. and selfishness. and…wrong.
Maybe there is a solo trip you’ve been wanting to take, or a hobby you’ve wanted to try, or a risk you’ve been questioning that you really feel could be right – GO FOR IT. If nobody can be harmed and you wont lose your job and it isn’t illegal – book the flight, sign up for the class, propose a new way of doing things at work. You’ve got one life to live and sometimes you have to go for something if you know it’s right and you don’t need permission or acceptance to do so.
So whatever that may be, I hope you find a little pep in your step to try something different and out of your comfort zone. Even if it’s simply wearing shorts in winter with your over-the-knee boots and a cozy sweater/fur vest. We can start there if you like.