when the creativity tree in your life needs to be watered quickly.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Since this year aka unemployment began, I've had my ups and downs. The days when I'm excited to look for a job and the days when I feel depressed and would rather rot in a hole instead. I run through my head a thousand times a day my emergency plan if six months go by, my unemployment benefits end and I still have no job. When I'm not doing that, I'm choosing to trust in God and believe that He's going to help me find me a job before then...and that it's okay if He doesn't because everything always works out in the end for our good and His glory. I've spent wonderful mornings enjoying being home by myself in peace, and boring nights in the dark looking for a job on Indeed, and vice versa. When I'm not looking for a job I'm playing with my cat or cleaning the entire house or taking a trip to the ocean to go cry or something or hanging out with my friends pretending I'm not scared to death for my future. Some days I sleep in, some nights I stay up way too late. My sleeping schedule is messed up and I seem to always be sitting alone in the quiet in some room of the house. I've felt sad and lonely, and happy and content. Some days I cry over it. Some days I laugh.

Overall I'd say I'm doing pretty fine, though it's pretty obvious I am in a rut. But if something about this rut does not change soon, I am going to lose my freaking marbles.

I am already feeling a little crazy for sure, but the crazy stems as a result from all of my current and ongoing thoughts:
  • I am just dying to do something that terrifies me. 
  • I want to get out of this town, though I love being home. 
  • I love home so much lately that I could actually work at home.
  • I need to do or make or start or be something I can be proud of. 
  • I need to find something I've never found before.
  • I want to use my muscles and stretch my character.
  • I want projects! I need projects in my life!
  • I want to be someone I've never been before.
  • I want to survive on less and simplify.  
  • I need to be on a routine that works and kicks my ass everyday.
  • I am afraid no one will think I have the skills when I go to try something new.
  • I need a few tangible goals to get me out of this rut.  
  • I want to inspire and care for and love people.
  • I want to make my life an extraordinary story people will still talk about when I die.
  • I want to make my family proud in a way they haven't been yet.
  • I don't need to be rich, I just want to work hard in a job that my conscience can support, where I can have fun and basically be able to support myself and a cat.
  • I honestly don't think life should be as hard as this generation/society/day and age makes it out to be.
  • The next bit of work I do, I want to enjoy (and not feel like I'm getting fired every day of my life).

When I lost my job, every ounce of me wanted to use this time to start painting, start writing, start baking, start making and start doing everything I could that counted as an art and perfect those skills, whether for fun or for profit. The only reason I have not yet was because I didn't want to be your stereotypical bum on unemployment who wasn't sticking entirely committed to finding a job. Yet almost two months into unemployment, I am becoming agitated with my lack of luck with finding somewhere else to work, and equally agitated that I won't give myself some leeway to do at least some of the things I love to do.

I'm 26 years old. The silence is starting to get to me, as is the lack of creativity in my life. My last job I didn't really need to use my brain much, since waxing is pretty much just a four-step concept on repeat and now I'm taking it out on myself because I'm unemployed.

It stops today.

I'm looking into starting a creative business. Wish me luck y'all!

something old, something new.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This post is not about a wedding.

I had a post completely thought through, developed and finished, and just as I was about to hit the Publish button, I decided to scrap everything. It's been a really long time (to me, anyway) since I've last posted something worthwhile here and today as I announce the change in direction of this blog, I want to also tell you how where I'm at in this new year has everything to do with it.

So first of all, I am now unemployed. Yeah. A lot of doors had closed for me in the last year and I never thought that my job (or the apartment I was supposed to be moving into this month) would be one of them. Through prayer and discernment I was beginning to realize way before I was even let go of that I was probably not going to last much longer here. I was working in an atmosphere where I was unable to utilize my full potential, where my work and life balance had to be completely neglected for the sake of maintaining my career, where my stress level was sailing through the roof on the daily and where the company itself obviously didn't care about what happened to their employees. None of that is ever okay with me, but still I managed to pull through and work hard for as long as I did and could on whatever little sleep I was getting. So when I received my release papers on New Years Eve, every ounce of me believed that it was all for the best. In this day and age, we cannot be picky when it comes to looking for work, but I will never again work for a company that I do not believe in.

Things are going wrong yet I'm choosing to look at everything positively. I keep trying to tell myself that I am actually just a character Amy Poehler is acting out in a movie called "Unemployed" where everything continues to fall apart for this poor girl who is trying to just maintain a sense of humor about it all. It actually helps (lol).

It's a new year. A fresh day. A blank page. And as some would say, it's even a new you.

My personal goals for this year are to see the upside to every hardship I face from here on out, to remember that God always has my back even when it feels like He's just letting my heart break, to remember to make time for myself no matter how much room there isn't in my schedule, to not lose my mind over the things I cannot control. To seek peace and faith constantly and to pursue life with as much love and hope possible regardless of what's spinning supposedly out of control in my world. 

2015 was insanely and absurdly unpeaceful, worrisome and shocking for me all in one. Anyone who's ever had a humorously frustrating and terrifyingly disappointing year, trust me, I feel ya. Dishing into my apartment savings for another car, singleness at almost 26 and unemployment were not places I had anticipated to find myself in. But these factors do not have to dictate us into losing our inner peace, our faith, our happiness, our rest.

My goal for this blog is to focus on nothing but that last sentence. Each week, I want to remind you to rest. I want you to thank God that you're alive. I want you to finish your coffee. I want you to eat breakfast. I want you to take a minute or two to look out the window, or do 50 squats, or read a few pages of your favorite book, before starting your day. I want you to not feel stressed out every day of life. I want you to realize that it's okay to put yourself first sometimes. Ultimately, I really want you to learn to rest not in your situation but in the Hands of God who has the power to change anything in your life and make any miracle happen just for you. Even when it's hard to do any of the above.

So this blog is going to change its perspective and purpose with me.

From now on, this is what to expect around here starting in February:

1. better quality pictures
2. entries that are more simple to read: shorter, sweeter, right to the point
3. quotes and bible verses on most posts
4. each post being either a fun or a personal challenge
5. my new perspective to be laced throughout
6. a commitment to publishing at least three times a week
7. a new layout probably coming this Spring
8. less "journaling" posts, and more of myself making a much better attempt to relate things to you :)
9. information on how to remember to rest and keep calm in an absolutely busy life and complex world
10. a desire for more posts to come

I'm okay with right now. I'm okay with not being the planner for once. I'm okay with not worrying about the future, or dwelling in the past. I'm just thankful to be at peace in this moment, right now. I'm okay with looking to the silver linings. I want you to learn to be okay with that too no matter what you're facing in life. 

For now, a silver lining to me looks like a life I can fulfill now that my time isn't being invested in the wrong job, the wrong person or the wrong situation. That's where I'm at now. Don't get me wrong, I definitely do have my days, because at the end of the day I'm still only human. Just as long as this remains my perspective 80% of the time :)

Life is beautiful. Refuse to miss out on a precious second because it's 'impossible' to balance your life with something or someone else that won't allow you time to appreciate being able to breathe and be.

losing people.

Friday, December 25, 2015

I'm not even gonna lie. 2015 was just...not the year I had hoped would be.

Some years are better than others, for all of us. This year was just not the better year for me. But perspective is everything, I guess.

Car pooped.
Car shopping.
Industry jerks. 
Crushed dreams.
Job changes.
More broken relationships.
ER trips.
Kidney stones.
Ended relationship. 
Unforeseen events.
No apartment.
Unspoken issues.
The sinus infection turned stomach flu turned into period.

Don't get me wrong, the year had its good points too. 

Bought car.
Published articles. 
Shore visits. 
Blogging Year #1.
Got Netflix.
New kitten.
Sponsored child.
Esthetician licensed. 
Co-worker hangouts.
Ombred hair.
Sunflower shoot. 
Supermoon eclipse.
God miracles. 
Last-name change.
Fitness goals.

Several really awesome highlights. The kitten is no doubt the best thing that has happened to me this whole year, and in awhile. Nursing her back to health, taking care of her and now having just about full responsibility over her has not only kept me distracted from a broken heart, but has rethinking what is a priority to me anymore. Outside of her though, I guess I just kind of hoped that the rest of this year to be more than what it was.

I didn't expect 2015 to hit so hard emotionally and mentally as it did. I will admit that one thing in particular has brought out a darker side of me lately, and that is that this, for sure, was the year of learning who truly gives a crap about me. 

I used to always think that if you aimed to be a drama-free and genuine kind of person, that you would never find yourself surrounded by cattiness.

I used to think that if you were the best friend who listened to everyone's problems, that they would be and do the same for you.

I used to think that if you had someone's back, that they wouldn't stab yours.

I used to think if you withdrew yourself from the crowd, they would at least notice.

I used to think that if you loved somebody with all of your heart and soul, that they would love you with all of theirs.

I used to think that if you were kind enough to people, that they would be the same in return.

I used to think that family would never turn on you (or each other) no matter what, just because that's what families are supposed to do.

It's not that I ever demanded these things from people, it's just that those were my expectations. It's my bad for assuming. It's been weighing heavily on me. My heart breaks over the many broken relationships I've either had to leave behind or for whatever reason completely left me out in the cold. It's a hard lesson to learn, the lesson of learning who your true friends (and family) are. Which enemies you should keep closest.

There's a lot of painful memories and all these little hurts from this past year that, somehow, leave me hopeful for so much more in 2016. I am no longer depending on happiness from any person or any thing but God these days, and although this post is a bit more miserable than some of my others, this part at least has me thinking along the lines of something I tend to need to re-learn every day regardless.

2016 will have its' own problems, I'm sure, but I'm thinking positively about there being more opportunities. New people. New jobs. A new place to live. New money. New love. New health habits. New priorities. New memories. The only difference is that this time I'm going to work... and not stop until I am done. I can and I will create a more beautiful life for myself, and I am no longer waiting for it all to just happen.

Add a new last name and new church to that list. I've given it a lot of thought, prayer and consideration -for about two years actually- and have I decided that I found where I want to be my new home church. I have felt a pulling in its direction even before the first time I ever visited! And now? I just love the Pastor messages, the worship, their whole church mission, etc. I feel really at home every time I go and they have two locations...one closer to where I work/was planning to move to, and one 10 minutes away from where I live now. Interesting.

As far as the new name goes, in about 150 days I will become Ashley Velez. Why am I going to be a walking billboard of the man who didn't stay in my life by keeping his last name into my adulthood.

With a new name and a new outlook on my life into the new year, I feel like I'm about to become an all-new person. I'm kidding, of course. Sort of.

It's all gonna be alright.

Mail from the court about my name change application!