Because You Can't Wait for Life to Make Plans for You

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One of the things I miss about London (besides London itself) is being so close to so many other countries. I really miss my monthly trips to foreign lands! I know, I know #firstworldwhitegirlproblems. I was always making fun plans, researching my next move, going on numerous adventures...I felt alive. 

Coming back, my plans dwindled and I felt more trapped, stuck and stagnant. A few weeks ago, I finally realized I had to change. I've been on the up and up, lately. It's a slow movement upward, but it's UP for once. You can only lay at rock bottom for so long before you realize, "man, I need start making plans toward the life I want, rather than letting it all pass me by."

Those plans do not include a move anytime soon, but rather that I get moving in this city. Here are 10 things I am doing to reclaim my throne as Queen Ashley, Trier of New Things (my official title).

1. Therapy: This is a big one. I'm only going once every two or three weeks, but it's major. It's all about changing your thinking.

2. Reading: The therapist recommended a book: There's Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate by Cheri Huber. Basically, a book to help evaluate the negative thoughts in your head, and how you just gotta push those suckers out!

3. African Dance Class: I've been signing up for more random crap I haven't tried before. On the agenda tonight? An African dance class, because I think it will be a freeing experience!

4. Capping the Amount of TV I Watch: This one is HUGE for me. As much as I like Mad Men, I don't want to be stuck inside, watching episode after episode (of sometimes depressing material). This is not the time or place for that.

5. Getting Outside: I now force myself to get outside at least 3 times during the work week. Even if I'm feeling lazy or in a Netflix mood (see # 4), I force myself to take a walk instead.

6. Finding and Talking with other European-Minded Folks: Meaning, people who have left the bubble and like talking about it. There's a world out there, and it goes beyond this office/town/country! And when I find these people, it makes a HUGE difference in my day.

7. Saying Yes to Invitations: When I moved to London, a very wise friend told me, "Don't turn down an invitation to go out, unless you're deathly ill or you have 3 cents in your bank account." I'm going to utilize this theory in San Diego as well.

8. Stopping the Comparisons: London is not San Diego, and vice versa. I'm notorious for comparing, which is fun when having a debate, but it's unhelpful when trying to adjust. When I feel myself comparing, I stop that thought process and think about what I do like about my surroundings.

9. Taking Linda's Advice. Follow the link!

10. Bringing My Mind to the Present When it Wanders: I can see myself on a train, sipping a coffee, heading to a different time and place than here. The problem with that is I end up losing now in the process. I don't want to lose the very minutes before me. It is those minutes that hold precious plan-making opportunities, or very real connections I could be making with those around me.

These are small plans; however, they are all plans that will slowly reorient me toward a life I want to live. I'm getting on track to once again living a life that's actually full of life, not just surviving from day to day. I've felt the difference, and I'm making the plans to get back to living. Because I can't and won't wait for life to make plans for me.


  1. Number 5 is a must - I do that too. I often feel lazy, tired, or just in a movie-mood but have to remind myself to go outside and just walk for an hour or so. :) I feel so much better afterwards. Do you?

    1. Getting outside is MAJOR stress/anxiety release. It's one of the best things I've been doing to alter my mood!

  2. I like #7! That's one I have really, really tried to utilize more this year because I tend to stick close to home and turn down invitations because I'm tired or don't feel like socializing. But socializing is good for me! And I never want to turn into the person people stop inviting to things because I always say no.

    This is a great list and I'm so happy to hear your thoughts on therapy. I plan on going back myself, and I know it can only help the process of healing and finding ourselves! Hugs!

    1. Thanks Stephany. I've found that #7 works well...unless you start getting invites EVERY night of the week...haha!

  3. I've been operating on no. 7 lately which is leading me to craving hours of netflix in bed. I have grown to love you so much through your blog and am always rooting for you, dear.

  4. Good list. I have to try some of these, mainly the invitation one and watching less, but not at the expense of Mad Men. Can't do it. :-)

  5. I'm loving your outlook, girl. I need to apply some of these to myself, especially #5. It's just too easy to veg out after a long day at work.