Bare with me! I am far from prefect, I do not have all the right answers but I can share my experiences and lessons I have learned so far. I hope this will help you in some way, if anything make you feel like you are not alone!
Since this is my first “Daily Living” post it may seem scattered but its raw material! This post is going to talk about “how to figure out your next steps.” This applies to everything – work, family, children, dating, marriage, hobbies, money, friendship, or just daily living!
I was the type of person who had to have a PLAN. I did not care if it was going to the store or washing clothes. I had to plan in my head how I will get to what I needed to do. I over thought , I over planned it and everything else that came with planning. Deep down I so badly wanted to just go do something without making a plan. I wanted to have fun and enjoy everything I did, even if it was washing clothes. When it came to dating,I would get involved in a relationship and if we were not talking about marriage by 6-8 months, I would panic. I had it in my head when I was 17 to – finish high school, go to college, live on my own, get a job and only work one job, make money, get married, build a house, have babies, live a normal life. Well that’s not how it worked out for me.
So far it has gone this way – I finished high school, lived with my sister + friend after high school, moved in with grandma for a year, I finished college, lived with my friends for a year, broke off an engagement at age 21, moved back home then back out to live with my old roommates, moved back home because one bought a house and one got married. I had a two serious relationships, I worked a serving job while working a full time job, 6 years after high school I was able to work ONE job, started a photography business, renting a house, in a healthy relationship, and I finally have my own puppy. So needless to say I have lived and learned since 17 and I’m now 27!
In the past 10 years – I have been happy, excited, heartbroken, angry, depressed, talkative, quiet, lost, and confused. I tried to talk myself through situations without anyones help, I would go to work and comeback home and crawl into the bed and do it all over again. Then 4 years ago, I had a come to moment. I basically thought to myself, if I keep living how I am I will NEVER be happy and I will always be going in a circle. Someone once told me that I have to focus on what’s in front me, right then and there and it will then get me to my next step. Stop trying to fix everything and just do the best I can. Stop worrying about what others will think. Stop trying to make others happy and be the best YOU can be and everything else will work itself out.
Once I finally understood that, it was a game changer!! Again I’m still far from perfect. I still struggle with certain areas but I’m human. So this is what I do, so I don’t fall back into PLANNING MODE.
Stop worrying about the next 5-10 years or even the next week. Focus on the next right thing! What you do next will effect the next 5 years. You’re probably wondering what I mean by that. If it’s folding the laundry so you can finally see the table then you can go sit down and watch the tv then that is your next step!!
WORK – you want your boss to notice your hard work or you would love a raise or just a simple “Your are doing such a great job” ,instead of planning for that to happen – just to do what’s best for your job and yourself. Go into work everyday, don’t call out unless you HAVE too, do your job role to the fullest, don’t judge others, help others when their struggling (think about it this way, a coworker is struggling on something your great at. You go over and offer help, finally they understand their job and feel less stressed. They go home and talk highly of you to their family and then come back to work and they feel like they can trust you as a person. BUT if you sit there and watch them struggle and do nothing, you see their mad or upset because they feel lost.They will go home and instead of having a less stressful evening with their family – their aggravated, discouraged and then come back to work to just do it all over again.)
RELATIONSHIP – Stop worrying about your age and what you don’t have. God will give you everything you need when you’re suppose to have it. Pray daily for your person and for your relationship. Start your day with a fresh mind. If you feel unconnected or mad with your person now is the time for that to change. If your not happy with yourself, how are you suppose to make someone else happy (that even goes with children – they pick up on everything!) So find who you are. What makes you happy?! I love to wake up in the morning, take a shower, head on to work, read my devotional before starting my day, I try to work to my fullest and help others out where I can. Now don’t get me wrong, I can get aggravated by others but then I tell myself I can be aggravating to them also! I love to have lunch with my co-workers or just go eat alone. Sometimes I like to go to the gym and sometimes I don’t. I love to send random messages to my friends just to check in on them, I ask if they want to go grab food when were both free ( I don’t get upset anymore if they can’t – everyone has a life!) I like to get home and be lazy or I want to get into something. I like to photograph everything and enjoy that passion. That’s what makes me and then I start including others into the life I have created and if they fit its meant to be and if they don’t its OKAY! I always thought I had to please everyone and do what they wanted ALL the time and I lost sight in what made Ashleigh happy. Once you find yourself, talk with your person. Let them know what makes you, you! You are not the same person you were 5 years ago or even 3 months ago. In relationships you always think nothing will change but it does. Do not get angry with your person if their not into something that your not into. Be open minded though and invite them into your daily living or they will end up not knowing you. If you have never read the 5 Love Languages I highly recommend it (take the quiz online also!!)
-Forgive the past and forgive yourself-
If you hold onto anger or hurt from someone let it go. It won’t happen over night but pray for God to help you through it. I started writing in a journal every time I felt hurt or mad towards someone. It started to help because I had a place to go and let all my emotions out and I could talk myself through those feelings. Before I knew it, I was starting to be a happier person. I understood it’s okay to feel hurt by someone but it’s not okay to stay that way. Why would I let someone hold me back from living a humble and happier life? Also FORGIVE yourself. I have made stupid, horrible and selfish choices that effects others. I still deal with this but I’m learning that I have to OWN up to my mistakes and forgive myself or it will never help me grow. I want to be a loving, kind, humble, trustworthy person. In order to be those things I have to look at what I have done and how I can take my next step to get closer to those traits! It takes time – ALL OF THIS DOES!
So take this time and start with “what’s the next best thing” right here, right now!!