Monday, August 17, 2015

Reflecting: On Being Twenty One

With my 22 birthday quickly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my life as a 21 year old. When I was a child, I couldn't wait to turn 16 and 21. 16 was a cute age, but I really feel like I started living at 21. My 21st year was definitely a year of firsts. I finally received the push I needed to start this blog that I love so much (this blog was a long time coming), I met my wonderful boyfriend and entered into my first adult relationship, I visited two countries for the first time (China and Trinidad &Tobago), I got my first full-time job offer and began my career working for one of my favorite companies, graduated from college, purchased my first car and became what people like to call a real adult. I also became more independent, and encountered some of the hardest challenges and disappointments in my life. However, I received an abundance of blessings, triumphed over my struggles, and experienced moments of immense joy. Life is a series of highs and lows.

Being 21 taught me that growing pains are necessary for development. There were moments when life wasn't going my way and times when I felt unfulfilled and unaccomplished. I encountered rejections, battled depression, and made some tough decisions. Looking back, I'm grateful for my trials because they gave me strength and showed the greatness of my capabilities (with God on my side). 

Life as a 21 year old reminded me that people are fickle. Friendships and relationships will be tested, especially once people graduate from college and embark on their careers and new journeys in their lives. Those who genuinely value your friendship and presence in your life will show you. If not, take the hints; some relationships may need to be  re-evaluated. However, you also need to allocate time towards nurturing the relationships that are important to you. Everyone is busy, but smart busy people know the importance of prioritizing the things and people that matter to them. "You gotta understand the difference between someone who speaks to you on their free time, and someone who frees their time to speak to you." 

Self reliance is vital for survival but so is asking for and receiving help from others. If you have not experienced it already, being 21 will show you that there are things that you must go through alone and you will have no one to rely on but God and yourself. The people you thought would be there for you will let you down at times and you can't let that discourage you. Life is a journey and you will find that many of the people that will help you and guide you through your journey are not necessarily your friends or family. Be open.  

Twenty one showed me that adulthood is a juggling act. Balancing a full-time job, paying bills, maintaining a healthy social life, nurturing relationships, and pursuing your passions are not easy. I sometimes struggle with finding balance and it's frustrating. Right now, my career consumes me which makes it difficult to create time to blog and engage in other activities that are of interest to me. Time with my loved ones is very limited because of conflicting work schedules. Sometimes it gets lonely. However, I remind myself that my labor is not in vain. All the early mornings and late nights will be worth it. To those who have stuck with me, supported me, and spoken words of encouragement thank you!

Finally, being 21 has taught me to trust my journey and continue growing. I don't know what life holds for me but I know God holds my future. His grace has carried me through life and will allow me to thrive. Twenty two, I'm ready for you!
Thank you to my photographer Alfred Sarpeh. Full outfit post coming next!

7 comments

  1. Ashley you're amazing! In this blog alone I learned so much more about you and your insight on life. I appreciate you sharing your journey I'm excited to see what the future has in store happy almost bday🎉
    💛April

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  2. This was really insightful, Ashley! It encouraged me to do my own self-reflection and honestly, at 24, I am still having similar experiences and learning as I go.Thanks for reminding me to "trust my journey and continue growing". :)

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  3. What a great post, Ashley! I love this!

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  4. I love this post. Keep up the great job! And hard work!

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  5. Ash you captured 21 beautifully!!! Here's to more growth challenges & rewards

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