Photo Challenge Finale (with a side of philosophy)

Day 19 - A favorite picture of yours

my nephew, Sebastian :)

Day 20 - Any picture that you want!

The picture above is of St. Germaine in Paris. It was my favorite part of the whole city.

St. Germaine doesn't have any flashy clubs or excess, it isn't overly pretentious or trying to be something it's not; it just is. I find places (and people) like this to be the most beautiful--a natural beauty that is comfortable. You walk around this place and your soul is content and at rest, because this place is content and at rest.

I want my life to embody this very idea. I want to possess a real beauty; meaning, I want my life to unfold naturally, not as a result of planned events (oh, I must get married at this age, have this type of job and drive this sort of car). I'm not interested in formulas or age limits; although, it's easy to get wrapped up in this if not careful.

What are all these labels we stamp upon each other? Adult, adolescent, cougar, middle-aged man, quarter-life crisis and so on, and so on until we start choking on our words, because we realize that no one can truly fit any of these molds. Like, what does it mean to be an adult? My answer may vary from yours, but we sure know society's answer--marriage, kids, job.

I am simply concerned with living my life the way that works the best for me. Let's call it the Ashley Route.

How did I get to all this from a picture? I've been doing this photo challenge for so long, I haven't had a big meaty post for awhile, and I guess I had to spill this out of me. Especially after reading all these recent articles on what it means to be a 20-something.

Why is that even a relevant question? The question should be, "What does it mean to be a person?"

With every year, I find that people can only truly live if they are free to be unique. It's the difference between St. Germaine in Paris, and the Paris Casino in Las Vegas--one has followed its own path, and the other is just trying too hard.


  1. I love this post, Ashley... It made me realize I've been getting caught up with fitting the "mold" lately. I'm not where I'm "supposed" to be and sometimes I start thinking I've missed the boat. What you said is true and it sure brightened my outlook.

    Thanks for shaking all that junk out of my head. You're awesome!!


    P.S. - One of these days I will start my own blog. :-)

  2. UM yeah, D...I wanna read your blog!! Start it this weekend ;)

    and thanks for your kind words!

  3. The corner of the screen just caught my eye and I see that you are reading Redeeming Love. THAT IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK!!! I hope you enjoy it and if you like it, read the Mark of the Lion Series next!

  4. I think I am more concerned with fitting into the mold and making sure I do everything within a certain time frame. (Case in point, graduating at 23, not 22.) But life really isn't meant to be lived with time frames. It's just meant to be LIVED and let our path take us where we want to be, not where we should be.

  5. it's amazing how the little things in life can inspire the deepest things in us. i've found that even though i think my life is going one way and i think i've got the timing figured out, in all reality, i have no idea what's going on. God leads me where i'm supposed to be when i'm supposed to be there. it's really freeing to know that i'm not in charge, though. we all get to where we're supposed to be, it's just easier when you're not trying too hard.

  6. What a lovely post, love. We all get caught up from time-to-time and it's good to take a step backwards and look at your life, where you want to go vs. where people think you should go, then throw the book out and do whatever the hell you want to do.

    Great sentiments.

    Jax x

  7. yeah... i sure did. here are some pics from that:


  8. Fantastic post. (And adorable picture of your nephew!)

    I think there's something very freeing about living a label-free life - trying to let go of the hold the world takes of us with shoulds and musts, and living life YOUR way. It's just a shame the rest of the world can't work the same way :)

  9. Ah, agreed! I love living life at an unusual pace but it is so easy to get neurotic about it, and society's (and sometimes my mother's) ideas of what is right and appropriate at a given time are so strong...

    I've never been to St. Germaine, but it sounds lovely.

  10. oh that sounds lovely! i could certainly go for something on the less than soul crushing side.

  11. this was such a cool post. and you finished the photos! congrats! i was kind of glad to be done, haha :)