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So, about the title…(Part Uno)

Oh you know, just waking up...to fight for my life. (Please ignore the fact that I am waking up at 1:19. I am not a vampire.)

Oh you know, just waking up…to fight for my life. (Please ignore the fact that I am waking up at 1:19. I am not a vampire.)

Warning: this post may or may not have been written with tears in my eyes.

Hello lovelies! Before I truly get started on this journey (which involves me being honest with you about my weight…yes, I am planning on saying how much I weight on the internet), I wanted to explain the title in further detail. I deliberately left that explanation out of my first post, because if I didn’t, the first post would 1882323405953053 words long and you would STILL be reading it. Chaos would ensue. 😉

However, something happened when I tried writing about the title. I kept wanting to make it 1882323405953053 (this is totes a real number) words long. Which is fine. Truthfully. Except for this: I kept skipping past the vulnerable part of really truly explaining why I came to this title in the blog and what I believe about myself and the whole blogging process. I was just explaining titles I loved and words I loved having together. Kind of like downright SPRINTING (I really hate running, sweetsies) past Go and demanding that I collect $200 from all of you. NOT FAIR.

So here it goes…I will be brave, and faithful to this process and all of you, and explain the processes behind this blog and beginning to explain my title (and new life mantra).

(Pep talk to self: Be brave Ash.)

For as long as I can remember, I have never thought I was beautiful. Ever. Yes, I have had fleeting moments of feeling powerful, strong, loved, and pretty, but never beautiful. Truly beautiful, from my soul (inside) to my face and body (the outside).  I so badly wanted to be skinny, with the perfect hair, skin, teeth…I really could go on and on, but I will stop here. Every time I thought that maybe I could be beautiful, or at least worthy of all of the good things in life (we’ll get to that in a second), the following things happened that slammed the proverbial beautiful door shut:

  • Being told (in 7th Grade) that I would never have a boyfriend because I was fat, ugly, had pimples, and was preppy. (WHO THE EFF CARES HOW I DRESSED?!)
  • Being given a weight loss book when I was in high school. For Christmas. I didn’t ask for it. (In my relative’s defense who shall remain anonymous, this person didn’t give me this book to be mean, but out of concern for my health. Regardless of intent, this gift still brings tears to my eyes and breaks my heart to this day.)
  • Being called fat IN FRONT OF MY WHOLE SHOW CHOIR (again, in high school) by our choreographer. Yay.

(Aside: Writing this is breaking my heart.)

I quickly bought into the lie that if people were saying this about me, then it must be true: I was gross, unworthy of love, and peace: all because I weighed differently than most people I knew. So I had a new job: protecting people from my heart, and myself: you will see me laugh, smile, and make you laugh and smile in the process, but you will never see me cry. Because (I so badly believed this) I wasn’t worth your time anyway, and since no one was going to defend me or come to my rescue, I had to do the job.

Lovelies, this is no way to live.

I don’t write the above for your pity, shame, praise, or what have you. I also didn’t write this to make you sad. (Don’t be sad sweetsies!) I write this because I am tired of living in my own shadow, in my own castle with a freakin’ moat to keep all out for their own safety. I want to live my life with an open heart, with all the love, kindness, and peace bestowed to myself by….myself. Being beautiful does start within, and it one is brave enough, it will push its way outside. Light attracts light, you know.

Hence, the purpose and title of this blog: The Lovely Courage. (True story: I kind of want to tattoo this somewhere on my body. Don’t tell my mom.) The very idea that in order to find your own beauty and live it in every single day, you have to travel through some mountain tops and valleys in order to get there. You have to accept the joys and the sorrows, and you have to be honest along the way. Yes, it is one thing to have your lip gloss be poppin’ and your hair did, but it quite another to face 30 years’ worth of demons in the name of loveliness and begin the fight to slay them…forever. If I am going to truly embark on journey, I want to make sure no stone is left unturned.

I’m ready. Are you?