So many times we can find ourselves stuck in a rut, working a dead end job, and just kind of existing in life. I get it. I've done it.
You have big dreams, all the passion in the world...then wake up 10 years later, a few pounds heavier, and one Netflix binge short of your eyes falling out.
We're trying to cope with the fact our life didn't turn out as planned, all the while making ourselves sicker. Once again, I get it. I've done it.
But one mantra I stumbled across on Pinterest in 2010, gave me the wake up call I needed. The moment I read the words, I was empowered to take back my life. It spared me years of potential regret, and continues to show up in my life when I need it most and expect it least. Are you ready for this? Ok. Here we go.
Maybe this didn't do anything for you, but the first time I read this? I instantly felt the spark of empowerment you get when planning a big adventure. And taking your life off default?
Taking it BACK? That is a really BIG trip.
:: Here Are The 3x Times I Took My Life Off Default ::
1) Breaking up with my abusive boyfriend
People always ask "how could you have stayed in it so long??" I still don't know.
Perhaps my young age couldn't compete with his years of experience manipulating little girls to do what he wanted? Maybe because he twisted any sense of self-confidence I had, and trained me to believe I needed him? I really don't know.
But you just stay. And it takes an obscene amount of courage to even start imagining life another way, let alone make all the changes needed in order to really leave (numbers, friends, states, lifestyle, etc.).
This was the first time I encountered my mantra. I knew God was speaking to me in that moment. Reading those words simultaneously opened my eyes to how toxic the relationship was, and how truly strong I am.
I made the decision to pull the toxic weeds out of my life by the root. It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears; but it was the most instantly rewarding work of my life.
2) Moving to Boise.
I was on year two of dating my (now) husband, and we were fighting like cats and dogs ALL. THE. TIME. By the church's standards, we were supposed to be married by now, and all that fighting was probably "sexual tension."
That philosophy never sat well with me. I knew we were fighting because we were exhausted, working shitty jobs that drained us, surrounded by people who divided us emotionally, and then volunteering 30+ hours a week at church on top of it.
I needed a change. I loved Jordan, and knew I wanted to be with him, just not under these conditions. And I'm a big believer in the philosophy "what you put up with you end up with".
So I looked at Jordan, who was ready to get married, and said NOPE. Can't. I can't let this be how my life ends up after everything I've been through. Things need to change.
My old mantra that had saved me from a life on default years before, flashed again in my mind with big bold letters. Within 2 weeks, I applied / was accepted at Boise State University in Idaho, and took my dad up on his long-time offer of letting me move in with him. Even though that meant leaving everything, including Jordan. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
At any given point in the story, you have the power to say this is not how it ends. I feel that with everything in me. Don't let the advice of others sway you from following your gut. God put that thing there for a reason!
Jo & I dated 3 years long-distance, fell deeper in love, got married, and are currently living in year two of a very healthy happily-ever-after. ☺️ I'll write a blog post on our story some time!
3) Launching IMG Design.
The more I thought about building my own business, the more it just felt right.
Multiple times, Jordan and I've sat down to reflect on our hearts desires, and write out WHO we want to be in 10 years time.
Who is 36 year old Ashley? Well, I hope to be someone who didn't waste my time, talent, relationships, and overall life. Every second I have on this planet with my people is precious to me. I don't want to waste it on meaningless things anymore.
I want to create. I want to love. I want to serve. #positivevibesonly
Enter my old mantra cheering me on! "At any given point and time you have the power to say, this is not how the story will end."
So I did it. I jumped in head first and I'm so glad for it! I build websites that go far beyond a domain and platform. They represent people, and each of their stories MATTER significantly to my Creator. I don't take that responsibility lightly.
Simultaneously, I believe that you should find passion in your trade! Whether you're a barista, real estate agent, consultant, or ant farm breeder. The world is over-saturated enough with ads and useless content. We need more REAL people doing REAL things. If you have personality and life in your trade, it becomes meaningful.
And for those who haven't taken their first steps in starting their big dream here's my advice:
Don't be afraid to dream big and start small! Building your empire is a lot of small bricks being laid, and if you're not appreciating each brick, you are missing out on your best days.
And remember your new mantra. :)
I hope you've enjoyed this blog post!
Comment below and tell me which life-change you most relate to! OR, you can be even bolder and tell me a time YOU took your life off default! :) Can't wait to read them!
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You'll thank me later...