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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.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

une femme November 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Good for you, and congratulations on the new job! I think we all need a reboot periodically, and it sounds like it’s coming together for you.

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Thank you! It’s been a long time coming, so I’m glad that it’s finally starting to come together.

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Jamillah November 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Congrats on the new job!!! And biiiig congrats on leaving your old job. So many people are too frightened to make this move and you should be super proud of yourself.

Keep that heart open and I’m sure your reboot will not fail you. Look forward on what will be new here!

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm

God knows I’ve been scared enough over the past two years that I’ve been looking! But time is time, you know?

Thank you for the support, hon!

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Holly November 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Congratulations! I’m really excited to see what you’ll do with the site. It’s so hard to feel like you’re in control without a regular schedule. I’ve been suffering from burnout due to my random schedule as a freelancer, and I need to do better. Perhaps I will follow your example and try and do a mini-reboot myself!

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Thank you sweet Holly, for the warm support! While I don’t mind some irregularity, it was just too irregular, and impacted too much of my life. At the very least, I can now live my life for me. If you reboot, let me know! I’d love someone to bounce ideas off of :)

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Rachael @ Style Every Day November 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

This sounds like an amazing journey you’re about to go on! I can’t wait to read all about it – if it’s what you want! Good for you and keep in touch!

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thanks, Rachael! I’ll definitely be sharing some that goes along with it, especially in regards to rekindling your passions and figuring out what you want from life!

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Poochie November 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Can’t wait to hear more about the new job! Sounds like you are going in the right direction for you.

: )

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I’m not sure if it’s the right one or not, but it’s a new one, and at the least, hopefully a healthier one! It’s so good to hear from you, Poochie. I miss you tons.

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Sarah/Destrehan's Daughter November 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm

First, I’m really sorry to hear your old job was weighing down on you so much that you fell into depression. I sincerely hope that the changes you strive for help you feel better in every way. Second, congrats on everything that is coming your way. I’m sure it will be a fun ride!

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Thank you, Sarah! It was a hard choice, because I loved so many aspects so much. Still at the same school though. Hopefully the change in environment will do me good!

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Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com November 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hey beautiful,
Seriously, I loved this post, I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been going through some crazy transitions, some happy- some totally scary and overwhelming. I’ll be looking for a new job (though I LOVE freelancing I came to the realization I’d rather work for one client rather than 3-4 at a time!) in social media and relocating to Chicago. Making that decision was really hard and heartbreaking- I love having my own business but there are ways it is holding me back and there’s of course, a feeling of failure when you switch gears like that.

I absolutely love your style- both in fashion and in writing, hoping for brighter days for you soon.

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Shannyn, your words mean so much! It makes me feel better to hear from others who are going through something similar (even if it’s not necessarily a “good” change to go through). While I love blogging, and have often been encouraged to take the plunge, I’m like you– I’d rather work for one person than too many. The past two weeks have given me so many insights to what I want in a job, and freelancing…. oy. I think I’m just too much a skittish kitty for that!

Here’s to … the feeling of failure and it helping us push to better & brighter paths? (haha, sorry if this is so disjointed & out of it!)

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WendyB November 16, 2012 at 12:06 am

“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. ” — so true. It took me years to realize that I wasn’t just depressed in reaction to my environment, but that my depression was then reinforcing and expanding upon that environment.

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

It’s a crazy, insane, hard reality to face. When I realized it, it almost seemed to make it worse. It’s been an uphill battle from there, but I’m determined NOT to let this stick around any longer than I can.

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Sarah November 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I really loved reading this and I can relate 100% to the job problem! I started a new job in March and by June, I was depressed, stressed, and unable to cope with things that I had no trouble coping with in the past…it took me about 3 months and 4 visits with a therapist to realize that it was my new job that was causing all the craziness in my life. I have been looking for a new job since September with no luck yet, but just knowing I am working toward that goal relieves so much of my stress.

I only recently started reading your blog, but I really enjoy your viewpoint and your writing. Please know that I am rooting for you and wish you the very best with the re-boot!! It sounds to me like you are headed in the right direction. I think the hardest part about changing our lives is admitting that they need to be changed in the first place, and just recognizing that fact can give you all the motivation you need. Best of luck!!

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Isn’t it insane how quickly a job can impact our whole being? For what it’s worth, I’ve been searching for about 2 years, though much more actively this past year. I’m not in my dream job by any stretch, but it’s better than, that’s for certain! I hope that you’ll have some luck soon as well.

Making change in our lives isn’t easy, especially if you’re a creature of habit like I am! Thank you, and best of luck to you too hon! (And thank you for reading!)

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Lindsay November 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

CONGRATS!! This is great. The first step is always recognizing there is a problem, whether it be with a job or with depression. As someone who has suffered through both, I applaud you. A bad job can be similar to an emotionally abusive relationship. When first moving to NY, I was working 80 hour weeks, being told that I wasn’t good enough, and I even got thrown out of a meeting for yawning (and right after I was diagnosed with a very rare disease that my bosses were aware of). So yes, I’m happy you’re doing this. It takes a lot of strength to stand up for yourself. Especially as women, we’re so used to taking care of all of the other responsibilities and we forget about ourselves. I’m honestly so happy for you and wish you the best success in the reboot!

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Ashe November 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Thank you so much, Lindsay! It’s always hard for me to admit something like that, as I’m a generally optimistic and “fixer upper” type of person- so I ride out bad things longer than I probably should, hoping that I can fix it and it will get better.

Your story about moving to NY makes me so sad to hear! It doesn’t surprise me though, because it seems like a city who can nurture you or eat you alive.

“Especially as women, we’re so used to taking care of all of the other responsibilities and we forget about ourselves.” I wish that weren’t so true and I weren’t so guilty of it! But it is.

Thank you for the kind words, and I hope life is going much more kindly for you now. xx

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Julianne November 23, 2012 at 7:27 am

Congratulations on all the changes! Looking forward to seeing where they take you :)

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Arash Mazinani November 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

Good luck in your new adventure! I applaud you for taking the action and changing things up. Too many people just go along for the ride and moan all the time about how much they hate their job.

I’m looking forward to seeing the changes in your blog and also the new direction your posts will be heading in.

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