Let it All Hang Out

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Today marks exactly two months since my last blog post. Ashamed? Yes I am.Disappointed in myself because I ghost on y'all but then I come back and say, "I'm so sorry, I'll never do it again." Then a couple of months later...What happens? I do it again. It's a vicious cycle I am hoping to cease.

But it's time to be honest with y'all and myself, so here are the reasons I went on a blogging break:

~ My focus wasn't aligned

The whole purpose of this blog is to be a step in my journey to not die afraid. It's been a dream of mine long before I shared it with the internet. I write to inspire both you and I. I started this blog to share my experiences and thoughts with you in hopes that we would connect by laughing, being enlightened, and maybe even crying together. I love writing, so I wanted this to be my outlet that I could look back at years from now and say, "Wow Ashley, you captured those raw moments in a manner that allows me to still relive them."

Over the past year: I have read more blogs, scoped out the brand deals bloggers were cashing in on, and saw all the comments and engagement. All those observations contributed to me not feeling important and thinking, "Nobody reads my blog anyway; so what if I don't write consistently? Who's checking for me boo? Nobody!" Yes I am very well aware that I shouldn't compare my beginning to some else's middle and all those cliche sayings...Blah, blah, blah. 

Can I be real with y'all though? (The title of this is "Let It All Hang Out" for a reason) Sometimes I can't slap sense into myself and get out of my funk, but that's okay because I needed that time to realign with my original mission for this blog. How could Mr. Resilient (my beau), Cassandra of Food Before Love (my mentor), and countless other supporters believe in me more than I believed in myself?

I found this quote from my Mental Mentor Tyece of Twenties Unscripted (meaning she's my mentor in my head, not in reality yet),

"So, right now, just build. My blogging trajectory has very much adhered to the mantra of “build it and they will come.” Believe in what you are saying and say it. If your goal up front is to gain crazy high readership, you’ll spin your wheels and sell your soul trying to get there. But, once your readership grows (because it can and it will), that is when you grow with it. As your brand expands, that is when you make changes. That is when you develop new ideas. That is when you shift. I never set out to have giveaways or an intern or events. But, my blog offspring started to outgrow its clothes and I had to change the contents of its closet."

Can I get an AMEN and a Hallelujah? The most ironic part is that this quote is from a post she wrote over a year ago. While getting lost in her literary web of gem-dropping posts, I found the Cozy Blanket of Fear post and it spoke to every fiber of self-doubt in my body.

Do Not Concern Yourself

~ I've been living in a bubble of fear since February.

My Nana was admitted to the hospital in February 2015 and after that she was moved into a rehabilitation center/nursing home and has been there ever since. Every day I thank God for allowing her to see another day but in the back of my mind I am afraid that it might be her last and I can't handle that. These dark thoughts prevent me from focusing for long periods of time and I frequently break down into tears when I think about her leaving me.

I capture all of our precious moments either on video or voice recording. I have mustered up all the strength she has instilled in me to find the faith to keep going. She always wanted me to do what I love and would constantly tell me how proud of me she is; so I know making this blog the best it can be is something she wants me to do.

~ I was in California for five weeks, working from 6am-11pm daily.

Yes California, my dream location!!...Working those many hours, not so much. No time for blogging because I barely had time for sleep. My job was very hands on; it required me to be alert and well rested.

To sum it all up, I am back my Fearless Family and I am stronger than ever. Thank you for your support! Have you ever had to take a break from a blog, school, work, a friendship, etc. in order to regroup? How did you come back from your break?