Life Lately and What I've Learned

Remember my post from yesterday where I talked about (a) how fast time is going and (b) I'm so overwhelmed with thoughts to write about that I don't even know where to start? It feels weird to just jump in with a super deep, serious post since I just came off of my long blogging absence from June 2017, but I'm itching to write those posts so stay tuned! But I decided for today, we'll just ease into that, and in the process I can update you all on what I've been up to since June 2017, as well as some life lessons I've learned since then, too.

God loves you, and there's nothing you could ever do to change that. When I began battling anxiety, there was a lot of guilt that came with that. I also mentioned briefly in my middle school recap post that there were patterns of thinking that I knew were wrong but nonetheless just couldn't get rid of. And I'll just be honest and tell you what it was: lust. And I had to realize that sometimes, against your best efforts, sometimes, you'll never completely conquer or get rid of something. That doesn't mean you don't try your best to fight sin or to overcome worry. But some of those things—lust, worry, even sad thoughts—are just always going to be there because we live in a sinful world and we'll never be perfect or completely worry free. And one of the biggest things I had to realize in spite of all this was God wasn't waiting to love me until after I cleaned these things up. He loved me perfectly even amidst all my sins, and that's amazing.

If that pushes you towards taking advantage of grace so that you can sin more, then it's obvious you don't understand the love of God, because when you realize how amazing His love is, it will make you that much more eager to do things that please Him and to live a life that reflects His character, to show other people His amazing love.

Remember the things God has done for you. This was also crucial as I battled anxiety, and I found that one of the most effective ways to rise above it was by remembering. Remembering the prayers God had answered or the ways He carried me through things, remembering the things other people had told me and their words of affirmation (as a writer who loves the power of words and stories, your kind words really do mean everything to me!). On days where I felt super anxious, just going through sweet comments people had given me was sometimes all I needed to remember that God did have good plans for me, plans that my anxiety wouldn't derail.

Music, music, music. One of the things I did heavily was just listen to a whole bunch of music I liked. I've heard before that music is like therapy, and I can't explain it, but there's nothing I like to do more after a long day than just put in my earbuds and blare some music. (I've actually heard playing your music loud is good for your brain...not sure if this is true or not? I hope it is or else I might have some serious brain damage one day from playing my music so loud... Whoops.)

Also, I've been currently listening to the same One Direction song like fifty times in a row right now. I used to love them as a kid, and now they're starting to come back for me again, haha. Does anyone still like them? I even make playlists for each of my novels, and you can bet some of their songs are in those. ;)

My look-a-like theory is completely right. Okay, so this actually isn't MY theory—I read about it on some cool facts Insta page or something—but I totally have the evidence to back it up. I talked about this here (TWO YEARS AGO...), and essentially it said that for every one person in the world, they have seven people that look like them. And when it comes to me and my crushes, there's always some unfortunate reason why it would never work out with me and them, but I thought this was wonderful news when I read that because that meant there were still seven people that would be as hot and could maybe work out! Ironically enough, two years ago at a Knoxville race, there was this teenager who looked so much like my current crush back at home, and so of course I tried my hardest to get as many pictures of them as possible. *totally not creeping, just gotta have the evidence to back up my theory*

And then, just last summer, AT KNOXVILLE, there's this other guy who looks like that guy who also looks like my old crush! And I took a bunch of pics of him, too. :D I'm not kidding, it's just freaky but also wonderful because now I have three guys that are totally my type, and no it probably won't work out with any of them, but at least I still have five left to find...

Knoxville

Gotta love Knoxville... Let's be honest, while my fam is watching the races I'm probably just sitting there looking for more look-a-likes, and it's very entertaining. ;)

Appreciate each day, and don't waste time on worries that will more than likely not happen. Look, they say that almost all of the things you worry about don't even happen, and I can testify to that. I worried about some serious things for about seven months straight, if I'm correct on my guessing. And guess what? It didn't happen. But for some weird reason, that almost gives me some comfort. Almost like I'm actually glad I worried for seven months so that I could see how pointless worrying is. Don't get me wrong, the mental torture was agonizing, but again, it made me stronger, because the next time I worry, I can be like, okay, worrying about this for seven months got me nowhere and the thing I worried about didn't happen, so more than likely this other anxiety WILL PASS as well.

Okay guys, I have to stop here. Here I was thinking that I'll do this big recap post of all the lessons I learned and things I did from June 2017 to present day, and I was going through picking out some of my fave pics from that time, until I realized I had about hundreds of them... So needless to say, I'll never run out of blog posts again in my life! I will continue to go more in depth on specific events and thoughts I've had—I take good notes and my phone is about to explode with those, too—so there will be more to come, as well as just posts that document my thoughts and such now, too. But I hope some of these thoughts will be a good start, over God's love and anxiety, two topics I'm passionate about. And I just knew you'd all want to hear about my look-a-like theory because I'm equally passionate about that. ;) And don't worry, I'll be writing more on that as well. :D

Ashlee Mae