2011 has been a headache, a blessing and a life changer all wrapped into 365 days.
The start of 2011 had me buying a one way ticket to Turkey and boarding that plane in March. I put a lot of hopes and dreams into going to Turkey. Surprisingly, my expectations outweighed reality, and I found myself yearning to come back home. Maybe it was bad timing. Maybe I was never meant to go. But what felt right was coming home. So about a month later, I bought my second one-way ticket and boarded a plane back to Cali.
I figured out that changing my mind was my prerogative. I didn't have to prove anything to anyone, and through this experience, I felt more autonomous than I have ever felt in my life.
Sitting by the Mediterranean, figuring out life.
Back in California, I had to find myself a job. It worked out that I was employed a month after being back from Turkey. Whether it was luck or divine intervention, I still feel blessed to have gotten a job.
As most of you know, I've struggled with this job, asking myself: is this what I really want? Is this the right path for me? I still struggle with this question.
What I do know is that I am meant to go through this struggle. These growing pains help shape me into the unique being that I am; there is no other like me, or like you, in this universe. And if you really focus on that thought, the struggles almost seem less arduous, as they are a part of the bigger picture: The bigger picture that is Ashley's life.
I've been learning that life is a series of guess & checks. There is only so much you can plan or even hope for. So I think I'm going to start giving up on planning, and even hoping too much. I always feel a bit silly hoping for a 'good year' every time the ball drops on the New Year's Eve, as if that's the only path or emotion in life. Sometimes life is bad, dirty, hard, grungy and full of sorrows. But those too, are all a part of the whole and worth experiencing.
And so, I trudge into 2012 with a sharper intuition, fine-tuned by every mistake I've made, every wrong turn that caused me to detour and every tear that helped shape this being. I will not plan for 2012, but I will leave it open: A blank canvas in where I welcome the good, the bad, the surprising, and the hair-raising. I welcome it all. I welcome life.
So here's to a new year, whatever that may bring.