I GOT THE JOB

This morning a dear friend of mine texted me an inspirational quote, as she usually does most mornings,  that really made me stop and reflect. It read: “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.” Wow. 

If you’ve been following along with my posts over the last year, you’d know that I’ve been living through quite the roller coaster. The past few months have been rough. Realllllly rough. I’ve contemplated dropping out of grad school, moving back home to Florida, and whether or not I’m doing what I’m truly passionate about. I’ve been harder on myself in the last four months than I probably have my entire life. It’s sucked.

But things are finally starting to look up.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my Insta stories the other day chronicling my “traumatic” interview. (If you missed my overly dramatic, way-too-long Insta story, here’s a quick recap: the weather was cold and rainy #badhairdayaf; rushing to get to the highway, I realized I forgot my phone; I made it to the interview location just at the scheduled meeting time only to realize it was the wrong location; and I ended up being 30 minutes late.) Luckily enough, though, I got a second interview with the CEO. It went really well, and the company and position seemed honestly too good to be true. I couldn’t have been more excited about the opportunity to be in a position that allowed me to use both of my degrees and be creative.

Well, yesterday I was offered the job! And while I was fairly confident I would get it, I couldn’t help but let out a “woohoo!” when the offer was presented to me (I’m so lame, ugh). Part of me is so relieved that I don’t have to search for a job any more; I can focus solely on finishing my Master’s and teaching for the rest of the semester. But mostly, I’m just filled to the brim with gratitude. That this job literally fell into my lap without me seeking it out; that I found a company that seems to really value its employees and does whatever they can to help them succeed; that I won’t just be a number at some big corporation; that everything I’ve gone through in the past year wasn’t in vain; that my God is so, so faithful.

Over the next few weeks, I will begin working part-time until I graduate in May.  I will also be studying for my comprehensive oral exam, teaching two classes, and taking two of my own classes. I am so excited for the future I could cry (which could be because I’m partially overwhelmed already), but I know that God’s plan for my life is beyond anything I could ever imagine for myself, and for that, I know I can handle anything that is thrown my way.

Lastly, I really want to thank all of my family and friends who have given me words of wisdom and encouragement throughout the hiring process, throughout school, and throughout life. Without each of you, I am certain I would not be where I am today. And if you could remember from time to time, I would so appreciate it if you would keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I begin my career in Marketing!!!

XO —

Ashlyn

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Therapy: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

 

Today is World Mental Health Day, so I want to get real with you.

A few days ago, I shared on my Instagram (@ashburgett) that this summer was really rough for me. I experienced one of the most traumatic life events that I wouldn’t wish on anyone (although I know it happens all the time), and I had trouble processing that experience. I was working 50-60 hour weeks while going through it too, so I never gave myself time to cope with the emotions I was dealing with. I put on a front like I always do when I go through something difficult, told myself to put my big girl panties on, and tried my best to suck it up and put a smile on my face every day.

This was so detrimental to my mental health.

Because I’ve always been commended on how “put together” I am, how ambitious I am, or how much I’ve achieved, I try my best not to be vulnerable around others and never really open up about what I’m going through. IMG_3168I’ve created a wall to block out emotions that are hard and unpleasant. I never want to deal with those feelings because I’m literally terrified of being “weak”.

I also shared on Instagram that rescuing Fitz, my adorable lab/retriever mix, has really allowed me to start healing. And it really has. He’s a total sweetheart, cuddles his mama all the time, gives me something to nurture, and showers me with the all affection that a girl could want (J does this too lol). However, what’s really started getting me over the hump of what’s easily the worst season of anxiety and depression I’ve ever gone through is seeking professional help.

I’ve always been apprehensive about seeking out a therapist/counselor/psychologist for my depression. I think this is mainly because I’ve always prided myself on being able to work through my problems myself or talking myself out of thinking that I’m really in that much pain, but I also think I’ve always been worried about the stigma associated with seeing a therapist. I don’t want people to see me as weak or think that I’m “crazy” or “psychotic”. I want so badly to be that strong, ambitious, put-together girl that I’ve always been told I am.

But the truth is, I’m pretty fucked up. I have a lot of problems: I’m insecure as hell, I always fall into seeing things through “the glass is half empty” lens, and I genuinely feel like I’m always bitter about something. My life has never been sunshine and rainbows; it’s messy and uncertain. I’m constantly worried about money, but I still seem to spend so much on frivolous things. I care way too much about what others think about me, and I’m always thinking about the “what ifs”. I’ve created this wall that doesn’t allow me to be vulnerable with others, and makes me not give a shit about making new friendships. I’ve put myself on this downward, self-hating spiral that I can’t seem to get out of.

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.39.09 PMAnd while recognizing all of this about myself hasn’t been the easiest, it’s forced me to really think about my life and how I need to make some changes. Recently, my therapist had me diagram my inner self. I split myself into the “good” and the “bad” and was able to identify which qualities affected the way I thought and acted. I can now go back to that diagram and check myself when I start feeling insecure or when I start feeling bitter and ask myself “Why do I care what people are thinking about me?” or “Focus on all the positive things that came from doing this or doing that”.

I want to implore you all to seek out a therapist/counselor/psychologist. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about going to therapy is that you have to “have problems” or be depressed to talk to a psychologist, but you don’t. Some sessions I just talk about what’s been going well in my life and that things are going smoothly. Other times I do have problems (whether they’re trivial matters or something more serious) that I need to work through. Either way, talking to a third-party about what’s going on in your life is so, so helpful (especially while you’re in college and have so much going on!!!).

I also want to note that most colleges and universities usually offer free clinical services. I grew up with either not-so-great health insurance or no health insurance at all, so I didn’t have the opportunity to meet with a counselor when I went through some of my “underlying issues” as my therapist would say. I also never took advantage of the counseling services my undergrad offered when I really should have, and it’s one of my biggest regrets. So, try it out! Make an appointment and just talk to someone. We’re all works-in-progress, and you’ll learn so much about yourself, trust me.

What are some of the experiences you’ve had with therapy? Let me know in the comments below or via email! I’d love to hear from all of you.

Xo,

Ashlyn


I want to thank my very best friends for being there for me through all of this chaos, and for pushing me to talk to a professional. I am truly so lucky to have such great people in my life.
To learn more about World Mental Health Day (October 10th), visit the World Health Organization website.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline phone number is: 1-800-273-8255.

 

 

 

Putting Down Roots

Over the last few years, I’ve struggled with the idea of putting down roots. When will it happen? Where will I eventually settle? Am I wasting away my life moving all around or am I gaining experience?

I moved to South Carolina for undergrad and each summer I would move to a different city with my boyfriend and work your typical minimum wage summer job. We moved in with his grandma in Myrtle Beach one summer, then we went back to my home in Orlando to take classes the following summer, and finally after graduation, we moved back in with his mom for a few months in Wilmington.

Now, we’ve been living in Bowling Green, KY for the last year and have finally had the opportunity to start building our own home together. However, it’s really not our home: it’s a college apartment that’s fully furnished with things that aren’t ours. Sure, I can decorate it all I want. But it’s still hard to make it really feel like ours.

I feel like this has been our living situation for the last five years: dorm rooms, our families’ homes, and college “apartment-style” housing. We’re always moving, never staying. We can’t put down roots because we always get up and leave.

And while I genuinely feel like home is wherever I’m with Josh (and now Fitz), I think for me the most difficult part of this never-ending cycle of moving is forming relationships with other people. It’s really challenging for me to create relationships with people that I know I most likely won’t see again; I struggled with this in high school, in undergrad, and now in graduate school. I’ve always had a tight circle of friends that knew my innermost secrets, and I never felt the need to go beyond that.

It’s also often hard for me to find a reason to network professionally when I move to a new place. Josh is always encouraging me to go out into the community to meet people (especially some of the people he works with or coaches), but I don’t. I always talk myself out of it, or if I do meet someone that could potentially be a good networking opportunity, I usually don’t follow up.

I think this is one of my greatest pitfalls. I’ve been so caught up in the idea that the place I’m currently living isn’t permanent and that the relationships I form don’t really matter. I’ve been slowly growing out of this mindset, but I sometimes catch myself drifting back into my old ways. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to be cautious when establishing new friendships, but I think relying on my “clique” as the only relationships I’ll ever need to form is really unhealthy.

I’ve started to realize that it isn’t about putting down roots. I’m only twenty-two and I have a lifetime ahead of me to grow and move around. I don’t have to settle yet; I can wander wherever my heart desires. I think what I’ve finally learned is that I don’t have to put down roots, I just need to plant seeds. I need to create relationships with people with the understanding that they could be some of the greatest bonds I’ve ever formed or they might not last at all. Both of which are okay. I need to be more vulnerable. I need to network. I need to put myself out there. I need to stop worrying about “settling” and enjoy the present.

It’s so easy to get caught up in societial pressures and pressure from family: When are you getting married? Where are you going to live when you graduate? Are you going back to Florida or are you going to the Carolinas? What are your career plans? What’s your five-year plan look like?

I don’t know. I really don’t. But I’m going to do my best to plant seeds and watch them grow. As cliche as this sounds, I know nothing is ever guaranteed in this life, so why not just take chances on people?


Have you ever experienced a similar feeling when you moved? How do you or did you try to overcome it? Let me know in the comments below or via email!