It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

Remember that one time when I quit my job, sold everything, and bought a one-way ticket to Guatemala? And remember how I was finally going to live the life I had always dreamed of, and how everything was going to flow happily ever after forever and ever?

Well, I’m home now.

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You haven’t heard about it because I’ve been trying to write this colossal post summing up and explaining all the changes that have happened for me over the last few months. I wrote 28 drafts and I hate all of them. So, at this moment, I’m timing myself and whatever I write down in one hour goes on the blog. (Umm… no pressure.)

(Written while listening to IVY by Active Child over and over and over again.) I recommend a listen as you read…

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I learned a lot about myself over the last eight months. I found out I’m not the lone wolf I thought I was – I really missed my community. I found out I’m more of an “adult” than I wanted to believe – I missed a routine and a home base. I learned (and finally accepted) that it’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. And if I need to change my mind, that’s okay too. This last year expanded my idea of what I’m capable of. It pushed out the stubborn boundaries of my comfort zone until more and more things were slowly included.

I saw some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I went volcano boarding. I learned how to surf. I wave-jumped in a bunch of different crazy oceans and tried at least 50 versions of ceviche. People from all over the world became my friends, offering their stories and lessons and dance moves. I would not trade these amazing experiences for anything.

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However amazing many of my experiences were, while house sitting in Panama, I came to a point where I just felt… done. I wanted to go home. Nothing bad had happened, there had been no triggering reason. I could just feel it – a shift – I was ready.

At first I resisted this. I didn’t want it to be true. I felt like if I went home it would be like giving up or quitting. I was reminded of times in the past when I forced myself to continue with things that made me miserable solely for pride or principal – and I’ve learned from those experiences that it just ain’t worth the misery.

Eight months ago, I set out to experience being completely untethered from every obligation and physical space – what I had understood at that time to be “ultimate freedom.”

Well, I experienced it, …and then I didn’t want to experience it anymore. Kinda like every time I agree to watch a horror movie. “Okay, thank you, I’m done now.”

I’d done what I’d set out to do. And I’d found it not suitable for me as a lifestyle. So I let myself be done.

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I couldn’t be happier to be home. Even though I’m not sure what my next step is, I know I made the right decision. And it doesn’t hurt that friends and family are offering their spare beds and couches and cars and hugs. I felt like I never left. But I’m really glad I did because I am so much more grateful for everything I have here.

I’ve decided not to view coming home as a failure. I succeeded at trying something new and hard. I also let go of my ego’s need to strive and prove, and instead, allowed my decisions to be guided by what makes me feel good. And being home, enjoying the Portland summer with my friends and family, makes me feel fucking fantastic.

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I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I have a couple ideas I’m excited about. I want to continue to practice using my voice – I feel like there’s still a lot of work to be done here. So, I’m going to be POSTING REGULARLY!

Every Tuesday. I promise.

I still get that voice in my head saying, “Who cares what you’re thinking about? Everybody has their own problems and their own lives to worry about. Nobody wants to hear you whining about this shit.”

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Sometimes that voice keeps me from posting. But, when I am successful at shutting it up, I remember how passionately I believe that every one of us has something unique to add to this world. Yes, you too.

I don’t know what my “unique thing” is, but I know the only way to find it is to be honest and say what you think. I used to feel really alone in my doubts and fears. I want you to know you’re not alone. We’re all fucking struggling.

But we’re all so glorious inside too. I am truly honored to have you here with me. Thank you for being a part of my life.

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Mini Super Ashley Number One!

33 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

    • I love this Ashley ♡ I love you Ashley. I love that you know that you don’t know. If I know anything about this life it’s that it is ok not to know. We are each just one soul in this huge world and we can’t try to figure it all out. I belive we need God and each other to put the puzzle pieces together. Even then the puzzle might not resemble anything recognizable. But life is stale and blah if we never try. Keep on truckin or surfin or whatever Portlanders do (wink) Welcome home Mini Super Ashley ♥

      • Amanda! Ahhh, what a relief it was to become okay with not knowing! You’re so right. Thank you for your sweet words. And just so you know, I’m gonna keep on hustlin’ – cuz that’s what Portlanders do 😉 Love you!

    • Thank you, Michelle! I really appreciate it. Yeah, I think sticking to a one hour time limit is the only way I’ll get anything on this blog ha ha! So wonderful to meet you!

  1. Ashley , I Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your awesome journey in life. Keep up the blogging you are amazing writer. You make sense !
    I AM SO PROUD OF YOU AND LOVE YOU DEARLY!!!! If there is anything I can help you with please let me know. You did it!!! You have done what many wanted but didn’t cause of fear. I know God will show you your nexus steps . They will be awesome!!!! I appreciate you Sweetie . Thank you for BEING YOU!!!!! Luvs

    • Hi Birgitte! Thank YOU for reading! I’m so glad I make sense! Ha ha :) I truly appreciate the feedback and encouragement. Yeah, fear has kept me from doing a lot of things in life. Now I’m just trying to challenge the fear a little more and not let it rule my life. Love you!

    • Thank YOU, Susan, for all your advice! Talking to you about writing really got me inspired. Hope you got a lot from WDS as well. Thanks for reading!

  2. Bravo for embracing the experience wholeheartedly and reading your true and honest feelings as the seasons shifted. (And welcome back to Portland!) Looking forward to hearing how you choose your next chapter. xx

    • Bethany, your blog and travels were very instrumental to me getting up the courage to quit my job and leave. Thank YOU for being brave, doing what you love, and sharing your experiences. It’s wonderful to connect with you in this way :)

  3. I sure hope you don’t feel like you failed! That was sooo brave of you! Something most people just talk about and never do! You’re awesome & I love reading your bloggity blog :)

  4. Ashley, I’m so happy you feel this way! Remember ‘home’ is not the place..it’s the feeling of calmness and happinness, friends and family that surround you..
    You have been inspired and now this inspiration will help you move forward. Just make sure that you keep a little corner of your heart to the memories that remind you of this feeling and when things are a bit more difficult read trough this post again x

    • Thanks, Aliz! You are SO right. And you put it so eloquently. I’m stuffing as many memories and good feelings as I can into a special place for the next time things go foggy 😉

  5. What an inspirational read Ashley! I loved it & was nice for me to read before o go.to sleep after a long night shift.
    Loved the music too.
    Keep blogging. When you have writing like that people will always want to read x

  6. Proud and jealous of you! The pictures are amazing and the words valuable. I’m glad you got to experience and evaluate yourself in this way! Keep rocking it girl!

    • Hahaha! I love that your Mini Super Danielle Heart and my Mini Super Ashley Heart are like the two halves of a friendship necklace. With our powers combined…!

  7. It was great meeting you and getting to know you. Glad to call you a friend. Love your photography and writing and can’t wait to see what you do next. “Take imperfect action.”

    • “Imperfect action” has been my mantra! You two are so amazing and inspiring the way you’re living life – creative, adventurous, and generous. I’m so glad we met and I hope to hang out with you guys soon! …Whenever you’re in Portland 😉

  8. I changed my mind too! And guess what, being here in Germany is freaking awesome. Failure is a good thing. Failure in Latin America happens because it happens everywhere to everyone. I wish I had read this when I was making the decision to leave Brazil because while reading it I was pretty much screaming “yeah!! EXACTLY!”. Thanks for being an inspiration and a friend in world travel and mind changing :) Miss you lady, do Europe next, bed always open here.

    • Sarah! You are an inspiration to me! I love hearing that you resonated with this – it’s like we’ve been living parallel emotional lives ha ha ha! And fuck yeah, I’m coming to Europe for a visit!

  9. Bien hecho, GirlChild. Nicely stated. Keep those cards and blog posts coming. I’m looking forward to next Tuesday. (Oh, hey, that’s day after tomorrow…) We do miss you here in Panama (boo-hoo-hoo, bwahh), but I’m glad you’re happy. That’s what it’s all about.
    PS. I am most impressed by all the comments you have garnered! A built-in Raving Fan club! Excellent!

    • Jacqi! Thank you! And thank you for your WordPress help! God, I’m such a mess with that stuff. I miss you, too! And wish you still lived down the road. Say hi to Zozo and Eeny for me.

  10. Ashley,
    I am very proud of you for going and taking this adventure and following your heart and doing what you think you needed to do. I know that you will never be sorry for doing this for your self. and I’m very glad you are safe at home and I want you to know that there was a lot of people praying for you each and every day you was gone. Keep writting for us

  11. I see by that picture in the hammock why you had to come home…looks like you were really suffering…ha, ha. Awesome pictures, experiences! So glad that you had the opportunity to do that and won’t live in the mindset of “what am I missing out there?” God does have a path for each of us and when you find it, the fulfillment is so rewarding, as your soul is in peace, the voids are filled, feelings of being different are understood, and there really is a joy that surpasses understanding. Keep it in prayer and be watchful for those “syncronicities” to confirm or divert your actions. Glad you’re home safe. Love ya.

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