Category Archives: Ashley

Stuff about me

To Mackenzie

Today is June 7th, 2019. A day that has always seemed so, so far away. A day that I have counted down to, dreamed about, and also dreaded. My baby graduates high school today.

I will not lie and say that her journey through school was all rainbows and butterflies. PLENTY more times than not, it was just downright unpleasant. For Mackenzie, school just isn’t her thing. And that’s ok. She doesn’t have plans for college. And that’s ok.

I think back to my graduation day. I was so excited and ready to start the next chapter in my life.  I wish I would have known then how much opportunity I had before me. I wish I would have known how fast the next 20 years would go by and in just the blink of an eye I would be getting ready to watch my own daughter walk across that stage.

There was a song that was released when I was in high school that I have always loved the lyrics from. I’m sure I didn’t really “hear” the advice given when I was still a teenager but 20 years later, it always brings a tear to my eye because of how much truth is behind it. I find it only fitting to use some of the lyrics in this post.

To Mackenzie,

“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked…”

Mackenzie, you will never understand what I see when I look at you.  I see a beautiful young woman who is so independent and strong.  You tell people what you want and don’t settle for anything less. I only wish that you could see in yourself what I’ve always seen in you. Enjoy these fleeting years of youth because they will be gone too soon.

“Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”

I am only starting to learn this one but if I could go back to my 18-year-old self, this is definitely something that would have helped me. I have spent so much energy and wasted so much time on worrying and stressing about the unknown. The things that you should worry about will undoubtedly happen when you least expect them and no amount of worrying will be any help in preparing you for them. Bad things will happen. You just have to work through them. Feelings are just feelings – they may feel like they are going to kill you, but they won’t.

“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”

Be kind to people. Try to be kind to them even when they don’t deserve it. If you didn’t learn anything else from me, please know that I’ve raised you to be kind and respectful. You don’t know what kind of battles a person is going through.

“Floss”

I had to put this in there just because I won’t be paying your dental bills forever 🙂

“Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself”

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Only try to be a better version of yourself. Whatever it is…work, how you act with friends, etc.; just do it better the next time. Most of the time, anything that happens to you has already happened to someone else. You will get through it, no matter what.

“Enjoy your body
use it every way you can…
don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it
it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”

Your body is the only body you will ever have; at least on this Earth and at least in this lifetime. In the end, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it.  And it really doesn’t matter what anyone else’s looks like either. Take care of it while you are still young. Enjoy it, appreciate it, and don’t abuse it. Once it starts breaking down, it’s no fun 🙂

“Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings
they are the best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future”

Just know how much your brother and sister love you and look up to you.

“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft
Travel”

Travel everywhere you can while you still can.

“Respect your elders
Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
maybe you have a wealthy spouse
but you never know when either one might run out”

You are your own responsibility and you should expect no one else to support you. Don’t rely on anyone else to do what you should be doing for yourself.

“Be careful whose advice you buy, but
be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth”

And my own last piece of advice is to just not give up. Just keep doing your best. Your true best. Anyone who is successful certainly had bad days and many failures. But they didn’t give up. People and things will certainly knock you down sometimes, but you just have to get back up and keep going.

I am so proud of you and I love you.

Mom

Congratulations Class of 2019!