Today, I got a reminder from Timehop that exactly a year ago I started my blog. Wow! While I haven’t kept up with it as much as I originally intended to, nor did I write about what I intentionally set out to write about, I have been so humbled by the amount of support and the responses that I’ve gotten from the posts I have published. Being vulnerable, especially on the internet, can be quite unnerving, but I’m so grateful that I’ve had so much support and that I’ve been able to connect with so many because of our shared experiences.
I first started my blog to challenge myself to write more. As a graduate student in an English program, and someone who will readily tell you that said program was basically a Hail Mary because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after getting my Bachelor’s, I was extremely intimidated by being surrounded by “writers” all. the. time. I never thought what I had to say was important (or important enough) or that people wouldn’t care what I had to say because I couldn’t speak as eloquently as some of the people around me. Essentially, I was consumed with self-doubt, which was really something I never felt in undergrad, and it really took a toll on my confidence.
Since beginning Unabashedly Ashlyn, though, my life has gone through many changes. I’ve experienced a devastating loss, gone through months of therapy to work through grieving and depression, actually enjoyed school (which, honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to do again), rescued Fitz, and started teaching. I’ve also accomplished many of the goals I set out towards in 2017: saved money, bought a car (by myself !!!), went on a cruise with Josh, and most importantly, focused more on learning to accept myself and the decisions I’ve made for my life.
A lot has happened in just a year, and I’ll be the first to admit that it was one of the hardest years of my life. However, 2018 is off to one of the best starts, and I’ve been focused only the positive things in my life. UA has given me an outlet to share many of my thoughts and struggles and has also, perhaps more importantly, allowed me to connect with so many people who have gone through similar situations as me—I am genuinely so grateful for this.
So much can happen in a year, and I’m looking forward to more growth, both personally and for UA, and to connect with even more of you through our shared interests. As for blogging content, I’ve made it my goal to focus on self-healing and self-love. I’ll continue to share my experiences battling my anxiety and depression and ways that I’m working to heal myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. You can look forward to more candid posts about therapy, changing my diet/eating habits, practicing self-love, navigating my four-year relationship with Josh, and so much more.
Thank y’all so, so much for your support. Whether it was an email, DM on Instagram, comment, text message, or phone call, your expressions of empathy and/or sympathy and kind words of encouragement truly mean the world to me. I’m so excited for what’s in store for Unabashedly Ashlyn and hope that you’ll continue following along. 🙂