Who are you? Really… who is the real Ashley?

I’m on my way back to the states for Christmas. It’s been a hard few weeks leading up to this trip. The original plans changed many times. It’s all turning out perfect though. As I am flying, I am having time to think and process everything that’s happened since November.

Since November, I called it quits with my fiancé. I started dating someone else. I decided to sell my car in the states and make Costa Rica my permanent home for the next few years or longer. I surprised my mom by changing my flight to see her before I come back to Costa Rica.

A week ago one of my students asked me” who are you?” I said “Ashley” he said “no who is the real ashley?” And walked away. This had me thinking. So… here’s what came to me.

I realized a lot of things in my life. I don’t know who I am because I am becoming my true self. The person I was always pushed away things. I have so much love, patience, and giving. I pushed that away for so long. I couldn’t give love the way I do now because i thought i would get hurt. I realized that that’s not true. I got hurt because i gave or loved and expected things in return.  Of course, I never got what I gave back so I felt angry and mad.  I realize now that I have to let go of that. I have to give and love because that’s who I am. That’s what I do.

When I was in middle school, i used to do so many things in the community. At Christmas, one of my favorite memories is handing out cards with my dad to the shut ins at my church. I did that because I had love to give. The people were older people who couldn’t leave there houses for one reason or another. My dad and I would make these people so happy. We would spend a long time with some of the people. One lady, who I will never forget, cried because she was so touched by what my dad and I had done.

I miss the person I used to be in middle school. I am slowly becoming a better version of her. I’ve done a few things since being in Costa Rica that brought me back to that person I was.

I used to love kids with a passion. I would help teach Sunday school and bible study at church. I don’t know what happened. For many years, I haven’t felt that. I knew I loved kids I just didn’t have the passion for it like I used too. The kids I teach now have given me that passion back. They make me cry and laugh and love. They have allowed me to be who I really am. I thought for the past 4 years, I won’t have kids. I need to be a certain way to have kids. I don’t want to bring kids into this world. I realize that I can have children not because I need them or that it would fill some void I have. I realize I can have them because I have something to offer them. I have a life that would show them so much. It’s not about being perfect for them. It’s about showing them how to handle the tough times. It’s about being honest with them. It’s about doing what I do best. It’s about being my authentic self. It’s about working for what I want. They will see what I do and they will do that. I know this because that’s what my parents did for me.

I am a new person because of this experience. Because of how I chose to love even when I don’t want too. It’s about doing what’s right even when it’s hard. It’s about giving myself permission to have nice things.  It’s about loving people who you care about. It’s about letting people in to your heart because you know you have something to offer them. Its about trusting yourself and what you feel.

There are things I questioned many times over the last 6 years. There was always this voice in my head that asked “are you sure? Is this what YOU REALLY want?” Some times I ignored that.

The biggest questions I had came when I got married to Josh. There was always this voice in my head that asked “are you sure? Is this what YOU REALLY want?” I ignored them all. I didn’t listen to a single question. Lately, I’ve learned to be cautious when I have questions. One of those being my engagement to Jon. I write a lot. I recently went and reread what I wrote the past year and half. From the moment he proposed I questioned whether it was right or not. We would start to plan the wedding and those thoughts came and said “really? Really?” So we would stop planning the wedding. Everyone asked us what the date was. Our response was we don’t know some time in 2018. I realize now why those questions were there. I realize those thought were the universe telling me that’s not what I’m supposed to do.

I realize this because all those questions are gone. I feel relieved and peaceful. I still struggle because I feel like i should question things. I try to question things and I can’t. The questions have no answers. Other than this is right. I feel confident and full. I am emotional and cry all the time. It’s good because I am happy. I am living a life I could never have imagined.

The next two weeks will be a game changer for me. I know on December 31 when I fly back to Costa Rica my life will never be the same. I will never be the same. I don’t know why or how. I just know. I am ready for it.

Love your life. Love the people in it. Grow and push yourself to have what you truly want. Look deep inside. If there questions be careful and learn why they are there. They are there for a reason. When something is right, there will be no questions. You will know in your soul it’s right.

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