I turned 30 this Monday. I’ve successfully made it from October 1987 to October 2017. YAY! It’s good so far. I like it.
I didn’t have a clothing theme this week – I thought I’d do a list of things I’ve learned, things I’m grateful for, and things I want to do by next October!
1. First of all, I’m grateful for everyone who reads this blog! I started it in July 2016 and I still get intimidated every time I write a post and send it off into the ether. You have been such an encouragement to me and I hope I’m an encouragement to you as well!
2. I learned this a while ago, but it’s been steadily reinforced throughout this past year: we are our own worst critics. Most of us don’t have an arch-nemesis whose only goal is to ruin our day in subtle ways. We don’t outsource that job, because we do it ourselves. The best plan is just to confess our sins and move on. Be happy and don’t ruin your own life. (By the way, I’m really good at ruining my own day. It’s easy to do.)
3. I love colors. Bright colors make life happier. Dark colors make life richer. But of all the colors, red is the most important to me. When I wear red, it is because I decided that I needed some red in my life that day. It’s intentional and important. Red lipstick, a red top, a pair of red shoes that I used to wear when I had to speak in public…. What color makes your day?
4. I’m scared of writing. I’ve learned that every week for a year now. I’m scared NOW. But I also know that being scared isn’t a good reason for doing something good. So if you know something is good and part of you wants to do it and part of you seizes up in terror just thinking about it, you should probably do it.
5. I’m grateful to my friends Sara and Lindsey, who have been my photographers in this venture. We’ve had a lot of two-minute photo shoots since I started my Ashley Tries series and I can’t thank them enough, because I’m bad at face selfies and mirror selfies or any kind of selfies, really….
6. Over this coming year, I’d love to get better at alterations. My mom is bringing up my little sewing machine within the month, so I’ll be able to give it a try. I fully expect to be bad at it, but I want to work on it, because I’ll have to hem trousers all my life. My legs are super short.
7. Building on that thought, to the short women of the world – there are ways to work with your proportions. Even for a short person, my legs are proportionally short. I have to hem petite trousers. I sometimes wear capris and just call them ankle jeans. If you ever have specific questions about what works and what doesn’t, ask away. Odds are good that I’ve had to deal with the same clothing problems you are having!
8. If you worry about what people think about what you’re wearing, remember that most people like it when OTHER people make bold fashion decisions. Whenever I wear a hat, I hear this multiple times during the day – “I love hats! I can’t wear them, but you look so cute in it!” There are lots of different kinds of hats. There’s probably a hat shape that suits you, so give it a try! (The same principle goes for anything that’s out of your comfort zone.)
9. It’s easy to make clothes a scapegoat. If you are unsatisfied with yourself and your life and how you look, clothes will constantly be a problem. If clothes NEVER work, that’s probably a sign of something deeper.
10. Building on that last one, it’s hard to be content if you constantly compare yourself to other people and how they look. We don’t even have to know these people. Some of them are strangers, walking blithely through the carefully landscaped gardens of Instagram and Pinterest.
11. Speaking of Pinterest, I don’t like millennial pink. I’ve arrived at that conclusion and I’m okay with it.
12. One of my biggest fears is fading into the background and disappearing. And nobody noticing. On the flip side, what I want most is to have somebody look at me and really see me.
13. Smiles are beautiful. They are like the sunrise.
14. I want to sing Romeo and Juliet with Mark Knopfler this coming year. Just want to put that out there. I don’t know how that would work, but I REALLY WANT TO.
15. The days when I want to give up are the most important days not to give up on.
16. My favorite Ashley Tries series was the week that I got to try out fandom dressing with Sara. That week made me so very happy. Here are a few highlights!
Agent Peggy Carter:
17. If you are going through a rough time, use it. Use it as a reminder to encourage others. Use it to sharpen your mind and focus your walk with the Lord. Use it as a opportunity to change. Hard times are when growth happens.
18. Singing can get me out of a deep blue funk faster than anything else can.
19. I probably have too many dresses.
20. In the immediate future, I will consign some of my dresses.
21. Women are beautiful. I’m surrounded by beautiful women. A lot of times, women don’t see how beautiful they are, but I’m here to say, “Ladies, you are gorgeous. No lie.”
22. I’ve loved my trips this year! Mexico in February and France and Switzerland in September. I love traveling – I always come back a different person than when I left.
23. I have never decorated my own house before, but I’m going to be moving into a place of my own soon and I get to DECORATE HOWEVER I WANT. I’m scared, but also excited!
24. One of the past year’s goals was to get better at talking to people. I think it’s kind of working. It’s a work in progress. Being awkward is awkward, everybody. I want to be un-awkward. So I’m working on it. Remember, embarrassment is entirely your own reaction to something, so you can choose not to be embarrassed. In some situations, it’s really hard to decide not to get embarrassed, but it can be done.
25. I am thinking about dressing up as Static Cling for Halloween.
26. Keep sending questions – I want to answer all your questions this year! This especially applies to the ones that you think are strange to ask. I love random questions.
27. Sample question: “Ashley, how might one properly wear food prints?”
28. Remember not to take clothes too seriously – they’re here to work for you, not the other way around. You’re the boss of your clothes.
29. This year, I want to get better at cooking. And playing an E chord on the ukulele. And keeping a plant alive. And having people over to eat popcorn and drink tea and do artwork. And talking to people (work in progress). And blogging. I want to get better at living.
30. This has been a great year. I’ve had my rough patches, but overall, it’s been stellar. Thanks for making it so. You are all great.
Here’s to the next 30 years!