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The Big Life “Reboot”

by Ashley on November 14, 2012

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Last week I began a new job. After three years of working in theatre, I moved on to a position that I hope will leave me with a better life.  There were many things I loved about my job (my students! working in the arts! interacting with our rad & supportive patrons!), but at the end of the day I was miserable.

I’ve spent the last three years not believing in myself; being told, and feeling, like my work was inadequate; feeling so emotionally and mentally taxed that, at the end of each day, I didn’t have the energy to put in to my house, my cats, my partner, or my own personal passions and pursuits.  I sought out anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications when exercise and natural methods failed me; my body continues to be a pile of knots, tight muscles, headaches, and too many sleepless nights.

You have been overtaken by your own evolution, Cancer, and can only sit back and enjoy the ride. Brilliant future-oriented ideas are only one product of this deeply meditative time, as you open to intuitional truths that might elude a more logical mental grasp. -Astrograph

Making the change hasn’t been easy, but I’m hopeful this change that will bring about bigger & happier results in my life.  Lately I’ve been thinking about my life: what makes me happy, what my passions are, and what I can do to have a job I love and a life I love.

You are intending at soul-level to become everything that you can become, and by that movement to both join with and to inspire others that have a like-minded attitude to your own. This month is a very powerful one for you and in part consists of finding out who you really are and applying that knowledge more directly than ever before to your work in the world, and to the projects that you choose to endorse with your actions. -Astrograph

The Big Life “Reboot”:

I’m considering the next few months (or year) of my life to be a “reboot,” like rebooting my computer.  Turning things off and turning them back on with the hope everything will begin running smoothly.  I’ve had this itching, nagging feeling that if I can sit down, get active, and figure things out, that maybe what I want from life will begin to fall into place.

Every once in awhile, we just need to let go of our fears and our demands and just keep ourselves open to what the universe may have to offer us.  This is that time for me, and I am open and eager for the opportunities and paths I may take. The world is open, wide, and bright.

Mind & Soul:

Since returning to New Orleans and becoming too  immersed in old job, I became depressed.  It wasn’t even clear to me; once I realized it, my loved ones were like, “Well, duh, didn’t you know?” It’s hard to admit to, let alone write. This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve been depressed, but it’s the first time it’s happened in a very long time.

The hardest part has been coming to grips with how it’s impacted every other aspect of my life– my creative outlets, my relationships, how I react to challenges. It’s hard to admit everything, including updating my site, feels like a chore.  The joy I found in my life has been drained away and can’t be cured by “5 Ways to Bust the Blues.” Knowing what needs to change and finding out a way to change it is difficult & scary. 

But I’m committed to finding joy again.

Health & Body:

As I reboot my life, I’m using it as a chance to reboot my relationship to my health and body. Since August 2011, I’ve lost approximately 25-30 pounds, putting me back at the lowest weight I’ve been in years. While my weight has plateaued a bit this year, I’m hoping to break past it in the next few months.

Now that I have a significantly more “set” schedule, I’ll be spending the next few months rebuilding a regular workout routine. Regularity KILLED my ongoing success this past year– every time I was able to build regularity, it was knocked back by a sudden shift in my day-to-day schedule.

One of my greatest investments this past year was my gym membership. It’s an uninterrupted hour of me time, which I was rarely getting. Time to realize a goal and fulfill it–which is such an amazing ability in such a short period of time! Since joining my gym in January, I’ve felt the impact on the weeks I can’t go, and it reminds me how truly important physical activity is to our mental and physical well-being.  That’s a pretty big breakthrough for a girl like me.

Fashion Health:

See that point about being depressed? It’s trickled down in to my love of fashion. I order a cute dress online, and before I even put it on, I know it won’t look right. I believe it won’t fit and I’ll be disappointed. Naturally, when something looks good, it’s kind of a shock. There was a time when putting on something, trying on clothes, trying to find that magic piece, was fun and an adventure, and now it’s just another way to bring myself down. It’s trickled down into the joy I found in putting effort in to my appearance. It’s hard to motivate yourself to care when you can get away with a black t-shirt, jeans, and ponytail.

Finding and fighting for financial freedom has impacted my feelings about shopping.  In an effort to rid myself of all consumer debt, I’ve been fixated on that end goal.  Shopping became a mixed bag where each shopping trip resulted in a different emotion–guilt, apathy, rage, disappointment, and occasionally great pleasure.  This time has also taught me about buying what I truly love, how much I can really go without, and how to shop “better.”

It’s my plan that as I fight for a healthier body and to sustain financial freedom that I can find balance in my love of shopping and fashion. That I can begin to feel good in clothes again and enjoy the process of shopping, that I can continue to build moderate and realistic shopping habits, and that I will find satisfaction in a carefully curated closet of pieces I love.

This Site:

In the upcoming months, you may see changes around here, as I try to reboot the site to match the reboot of my life. While you’ll see lots of fashion and style still, I hope that I can broaden it to match my interests. While fashion is still a great love of mine, as I’ve gotten older, its importance has shifted.  I hope to make this a place that can grow as I grow, and that you’ll enjoy that change, too.

Building a Brighter Future:

Earlier this year, the Beau and I got engaged! After almost 7 years of off & on again, we’re shaping our future together — for good.  It’s both scary and wonderfully comforting to have someone by my side that will help shape our decisions and share insight into the life we want to build.

When I think of our future together, I think of a place that is stable, yet filled with adventure.  A place where we feel safe to push and challenge ourselves,pursue new interest and activities with a sense of support and meaning. I’m committed to engaging with New Orleans and being reminded why I came back to this great city. I’m committed to engaging in activities that stimulate my mind and passions, energize me, and make me fill fulfilled. I’m opening my heart and soul up to the universe for all the good that can come by letting go and not looking back.

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