Lessons Learned

9 Jul



Sometimes I like to ask myself, If I met myself at age 17…would I like who I’ve become? When you’re young, you have everything before you, the future is vast and you feel like you have forever to grow up. Then you wake up and realize that you are 27, and “forever” was a blink of the eye. I still don’t really feel like an adult.

And if you answer that question honestly, would you say ‘Yes’? I wanted to be an actress {who doesn’t when you’re 17} or a doctor. hah. I became a teacher. Still becoming a teacher truthfully, because I don’t think we ever fully arrive at something. Part of why Doctors call their clinics “practices”, because research is always changing, always evolving. Same with any profession. There’s always something new to learn.

As I reflect on that question, one thing comes to mind, “Thank the Lord I am not 17 anymore!”. Oh my word. If you’re 17 and reading this, I apologize, but I swear that children are really geniuses, but then you hit puberty…and you become dumb. At least I did. Research actually shows that the amount of chemical change from hormones on your brain is comparable to the changes a brain goes through after brain damage. {Thanks for making me aware of that, Mom….}

So I made a list {because I really like making lists} of things I wish I knew when I was 17.

1. “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not.”

2. “The only one who can satisfy the human heart is the one who made it.”

3. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14)

4. “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

5. “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” 

6.” Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.” {Mary Englebrett}

7. “Pay more attention to your creator than your critics.”

8. “Be kind to everyone, for you never know what battles someone else may be facing.”

9. “People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” {Abe Lincoln} You can’t make everyone happy and keep your integrity at the same time. 

10. You’re only defeated if you let yourself give up.

picture life



What about you? 

What advice do you wish you could tell your 17 yr. old self?

What is your favorite motivational quote?




7 Responses to “Lessons Learned”

  1. Kirby July 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    I totally love this post- but I gotta just say it….I totally loved you at 17, too! Thanks for the food reminders of whats important! Xoxo

    • Kirby July 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

      “Food”? GOOD reminders 🙂 oops

      • Ashley July 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

        I totally loved you at 17 too 🙂 Best memories. ❤

  2. michaelawanders July 10, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I’m glad I went through everything I did when I was 17 because it made me the person I am now, but I would have told myself to:
    1) join a church. Stop being resistant, find community there.
    2) your hips will never be the size your agent wants. Sorry. Stop trying! If you want to keep modeling find someone who will represent you at your current size . . . you are setting yourself up for several years of food struggles.
    3) you are enough. Seek those friendships with people unexpected, and don’t worry too much about what the meanies say!

    • Ashley July 10, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks Michael! Great words of wisdom, Love #3! I totally agree with you about going through everything for a reason. Romans 5:4 Persistence and suffering = character. Thanks for reading ❤

  3. Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness July 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I love this post! this is exactly what i needed to read tonight- there’s a lot of uncertainty about my job right now and its very stressful. at the end of the day, all i can do is pray for courage to do what i think is best, even though its not the most popular choice. i dont want to let my 17 year old self down! the two quotes that really stood out for me are- “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” and “You can’t make everyone happy and keep your integrity at the same time. ” SO true.

    • Ashley July 11, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad it was helpful! I love these quotes too. I have them memorized so when I’m in a “funk”, I just take a deep breath and focus on one. I hope everything turns our with your job. Life changes are always difficult. Another one of my favorite quotes is, “God will never close a door without at least opening a window.” So whatever you choose to do, you will be successful as long as you follow your heart. Praying for the perfect choice for you! ❤

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