“Dear younger me,
I’m not going to tell you to smile…to keep your chin up…because life is full of difficulty, struggle, and pain. But what I will say is this: Keep. Going.
You may feel like nothing will ever go right for you. You’ve been traumatised by your 6th grade crush responding to the question of if he liked you with “No that’s f***ing sick.” You feel like no one will ever love you or want you. Rest assured that this is not so. You have the love of an incredible man, who against all odds, married you.
You hate your body, but…let me tell you that health is so important…and while you might hate the pain your body causes you sometimes later in life, you think you’re fat and ugly…it will also provide you with such pleasure, in so many different ways.
Chase after your dreams. You can do anything, literally ANYTHING you want to do in life.
There will be snags. Hangups. Loss of friends. Pain. Heartbreak. But there will also be love. Love from your husband, from your family, from your friends, and from your sisters that you will come to know over time. Love, acceptance, joy, passion, laughter, dancing, reading, knitting, movement… As much as you love music, you’ve found your passion in dance! You are exceptional at it. Enjoy falling in love with it.
I know it seems hard right now. But trust me. Even the hard times are worth it. Keep going. Push through the pain. You’re more beautiful and more powerful than you realize right now. You’ll come to know it at the right time. When you do, have no regrets for the path or the length of time it took you to find your power…but rather, revel in the gloriousness that you found it, and have it…and go out there and change the world. “
“Dear baby Kar,
what a little pistol you are. There will be times when the world will try to dull your smile, but keep powering through. There will be some really tough times right ahead, like your parents divorce, your brother’s freak accident, high school in general and college.. but you’ll be okay.
Stay true to yourself always. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you’re doing something that doesn’t make you happy, stop doing it. Quit the job you hate, end the toxic friendship that’s providing you nothing but heartache, quit trying to make things work with people that don’t put in any effort.
So go out of your way to visit your loved ones, especially your Grandparents, they won’t be here forever. Don’t ever lose your drive or determination, it will carry you further than you know.
Always remember, if you ever feel like you’re living a life you’re not proud of, you have the courage to start over.. I promise you that”
You’ve had a rough time growing up. Kids were not kind to someone so different from them. You were bullied for simply being who you are and how you looked- for being tall, for having red hair, for being smart, and for being overweight. I wish I could tell you that it won’t have lasting effects on you, but it will. You will struggle with the damage that did to you into your adult life but it will not break you. You will one day learn to love and embrace being different, I promise you this.
But, with being torn down so much in life by others, you don’t see your self worth. I wish I could shelter you from all the pain this will cause you by letting others take advantage of you- mainly men in the “relationships” you find. They will use you for money, abuse you physically and mentally, and treat you like just a piece of meat- and you’ll start to believe that’s all you are. These men will make you feel bad about your body more than you already do to manipulate you for their own personal gain. It’ll bring on some really dark times in your life but you will find the light.
I want you to realize most of all, that even though there were awful things done to you, it all happened for a reason. Every time you were bullied or every man that treated you horribly, there was a lesson to be learned and girl, you will always learn from them and be a stronger woman for it. These are the things that make you the bad ass woman you are. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, baby, don’t give up hope.
Finally, you will make the decision to change your unhealthy lifestyle and get out of that 314 pound body you find yourself in. I want you to know it will be a damn struggle but it gets easier every day. But sweetie, let me tell you about how much joy you will find when you step foot into that gym. For the first time in your life, you will finally feel like you belong somewhere
So be patient, know your worth, and LOVE your body because it’s the only one you get. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to just be yourself because she’s amazing 💛”
“Dear Younger Ashley –
Your life will be hard. You will be faced with many hardships and you will struggle, but you’ll come out on top. I promise. Your struggles will make you strong. Your struggles will keep you kind and humble. You’ve always had a good heart, but you will sometimes make STOOOOPID decisions. Don’t fret.
Stupid decisions leads to great changes and those changes will make you a better person. Experience is the greatest teacher and you’ll experience a lot.
Remember who you are and try hard not to lose yourself. It’s easily done. Remember what daddy always told you, “The world meets nobody halfway.” & you’ll be good to go. Be strong. Don’t take anybody’s shit and what shit you’re handed, you throw right back. “
Love – Future Ashley