You can’t help but be drawn into Ashley’s energy. You can tell she’s got a lot going on inside her head and just can’t quite get it out fast enough. I’m immediately drawn to that enthusiasm for life. That kind of excitement means Ashley may not know exactly what the plan is yet, but she knows enough to know she’s in, regardless of what it is. I’ve not yet known her for a year at this point, but she is genuine, passionate, wicked smart and not afraid to laugh at herself, and I already feel like I’ve been lucky enough to know her far longer. One of my favorite things about Ashley is her dedication to making things beautiful – not just through design, but in a very human way. Pure joy is a beautiful thing, and she’s committed to bringing it into her life and the lives of those around her. In the work we’ve been doing together in our day jobs, we have a goal of being so happy and excited to get to work that you skip on your way, and Ashley reminds us of that goal all the time. It’s impossible not to have your day be beautiful when that’s what you’re working towards. Ashley is a natural voice for our Creative Community here, and I can’t wait for you to get to know her. Thanks for sharing your awesomeness with us, Ashley!
Before I realized the posts from new bloggers were simple, easy “Introducing So-and-So” posts, I had planned to title this post “What I’ve Learned About Self-Worth.” Now admittedly, I was feeling like the title promised a bit too much. But nonetheless, I offer you this introduction and mini inspirational kick-off as a new, incredibly honored, contributor here in the Good for the Soul Creative Community.
Sometimes you’re just cruising; life has dealt you a few good cards and you’re feeling on top of the world. In my case, 2014 was a solid year. I received a great opportunity to travel to Australia for an exchange program with a partner association, I was asked to contribute to real organizational change that will impact our entire workplace culture, plus, a promotion! (Did I mention health, happiness, and an amazing husband?) Then, out of nowhere, a shift happened. You know what I’m talking about, right? When the vibe, the energy, it just shifts. You feel as though you’ve lost support, you’re more excited about “offline” projects, and the people you’re surrounded by aren’t keeping you energized, challenged, or helping you grow.
A few weeks ago, Catherine reached out to me about the opportunity to share inspirations with the Good for the Soul community. Here’s the thing – it caught me off guard. When you’ve hit that shift, it’s often hard to take great offers and opportunities seriously. But when I started to evaluate the shift, I began recognizing a flip side. I noticed that the people in my life that see in me what I hope to convey to the world stand by me no matter what the mood. Sometimes these people get drowned out by the negative noise, but they’re still present. They’re there as mentors and friends, cheerleaders and lunch dates, advocates and collaborators, and they’re all helping each of us make it one step further, one day further.
What I’ve learned about self-worth is to listen. The people you choose to surround yourself with, or that you’re naturally drawn to, are often sending you a strong message. (Hell, they’re probably even telling you pretty often how great you are!) You should feel good about the support they offer, the kudos they share, and the opportunities they present.
I hope to share more about listening. It’s not one of my strengths, but it’s something I’m working on. As my time here at Good for the Soul evolves you’ll likely realize what I truly enjoy is telling stories; hence the longest introductory blog post known to man. If we meet in person you’ll realize I talk too much and way too fast. (Okay, let’s face it – I’m an over-sharer.) Expect stories and inspirations about architecture, design, photography, travel and culture. And if anything brings you back, hopefully it’s to hear inspiration or a story from my years of work at a video store when VHS tapes were still a norm, how and why I bartended my way through college, or the insanity that is being married to an architect. Thanks for having me!