Birthday Special

Say goodbye to being a teenager and hello to adulthood. Don’t ask me how it feels…I am not quite sure yet. Someone thought I was fifteen a few weeks ago. Granted, I will totally take advantage of looking younger when I am older. Five years sounds like a little much though, right?

So what is twenty?

Beating teenage pregnancy? Sure. I mean, that is all I can think of off the top of my head.

The last few days have been rough. Really rough. Like I kind of cried in the bathroom at work for a few minutes the other day. I have been thrown back into some emotions I have been trying to stay out of. Back to wondering who my friends actually are. Sides are taken, and I understand it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

Okay, that was vague, but that is all I got.

But it is my birthday, and I am supposed to be happy and loving life. It is the very last day of summer camp, and like every Friday, we have sno cones and forts. Bit of a bittersweet moment, but I am ready for the rest of the summer…to be over so I can go back to SLO. Cal Poly is calling my name!

But while I wait, let’s take a gander through twenty things I have learned in my twenty years.

1. Life kind of sucks.

Honestly, it does.

2. But it needs to sometimes so you can appreciate the times when it does not suck.

It is like when Joy learns that Sadness is one of the most important emotions. Riley needs Sadness so she can appreciate feeling happiness. I mean, Joy. Thank you, Inside Out, for teaching me this.

3. And those times when it does not suck really make you love life.

Even if you once thought you never could.

4. I am awesome.

Say it out loud to yourself every day.

5. It is totally okay to post that selfie.

Whether au natural or filtered the crap out of.

6. And no matter how many likes it gets, please refer to #4.

Seriously. The likes do not matter. The more selfies you post, the more your confidence builds, and it totally rocks.

7. Always dip your French fries in your milkshakes.

Self-explanatory.

8. Read a lot.

Reading makes you smarter, and I hope you fall as much in love with books as I have. Read books, novels, magazines, guides, billboards, road signs, etc. Reading is my favorite thing. I probably just spent two hours in Barnes and Noble and managed to not buy a book. I did, however, take many pictures of book covers (for future reference) and purchase an “I ❤ Darcy” canvas bag. So worth it.

9. Use the right your/you’re, there/their/they’re, to/two/too, and so on.

Please. I cannot stress this enough.

10. Self-harm is not cool.

It is a temporary fix to a bigger issue. It is not the proper way to push through whatever emotions and feelings you have. This goes from cutting to disordered eating and beyond.

11. If you are self-harming, choose recovery.

It feels so good, I promise.

12. It is always a good time to sing High School Musical songs.

Also self-explanatory.

13. Do what you love, and love what you do.

Like being an author is a practical career choice. Oh whale.

14. Indulge.

Food, Victoria’s Secret, Netflix. Victoria’s Secret. Sorry, I need a new bra. [Update: I got one.]

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15. Drink lots of water.

Just do it. Stay hydrated.

16. Making mistakes is okay and very important.

I can attest to this one hundred percent.

17. Learning from those mistakes is even more important.

Sometimes we make the same mistakes a few times. In my case, they seem to come at me in different ways, and I end up with the same outcome. I just have to stand back up and try again. Taking from one of my favorite movies, National Treasure, Thomas Edison once said about inventing the light bulb, “I didn’t fail, I found 2,000 ways how not to make a light bulb; I only need to find one way to make it work.” Hopefully I will not need 2,000 tries to learn from some mistakes.

18. Hey, I am only human.

And while humans are capable of extraordinary things, we also can be real screw ups sometimes. I am not perfect or flawless. I make mistakes, I have Bad Days, I think about relapse, I cry about trivial matters. So do plenty of other people.

19. Enjoy the little things.

Thank you, Zombieland. Take note, folks. The little things are significant. Buying a good book, seeing a cheesy movie, eating an ice cream cone, hearing a funny joke. The little things can be the best things.

20. Always find a reason to smile.

This one is not easy all the time, and I know that first hand. As do many people. There is always something positive to think about. If you cannot think of anything, refer back to #19, and think of one of those things 🙂 FullSizeRender-1


These are just a few of the countless lessons I have learned in my life so far. I have come an incredibly long way since turning nineteen. I cannot believe the person I have evolved into!

Sharing everything with you all has been such a highlight to the past year, and I adore every minute I spend writing for the blog and thinking about the blog and all things relating to the blog. Y’all are such a huge part of the girl I have become, and I thank God for you guys every day.

I am so happy to have been blessed with this year of life, and I cannot wait to see where the next year (and more!) takes me. Back to Florida for the Disney College Program? Getting a job as a nanny for the summer? Falling in love? (HA HA at that one). Maybe not procrastinating on everything? (HA HA at that one, too). Being so happy I cannot even explain it? That one deserves laughs of happiness, not mockery.

In other news, I am deciding on what dessert to indulge in tonight at dinner. Maybe I should figure out where we are going to dinner first…

Look at me, adult-ing already!

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I still cannot believe I made it this far. Life is so good and beautiful! Where is it going to take me next? Wherever it is, I am ready for the adventure.

Your no-longer-a-teenager writer friend, Ashley ❤

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