SLIDER

Dear Ashleigh; This Is Your Life

Dear Ashleigh,

You're 16 and you're about to leave school without a clue what you want to do in life. You will grudgingly submit your sixth form choices in a week's time and within six months, you're going to hate your life. You're going to hate the people you used to hang around with. They've changed and you will need to face facts that your friendship is dead. Don't try and make it work any longer. You're going to hate your psychology lessons and fail your assessments. However, you will bloomin' love your photography lessons.


October 2009, you will look at who is in your life and following on from talking to that gorgeous boy for two whole years, it will be time to take control of your friendship but 'more-than-friendship-kinda-friendship' and tell him to meet you. It will seem scary but trust me as I write these words looking back on your life; it will be worth it. 

You will still be 16 when you fall in love for the first time and currently (as a 22 year old); the only time. You will get butterflies, smiles and be an all round happy person. He will understand you, grow with you and make you a better person. 'T' will be your first love, you're his and nothing will ever change that. You will also now officially quit sixth form and find happiness in knowing you're no longer studying subjects to please your parents. Your college application to study BTEC Photography is now in the hands of the important people, so sit back and get ready for your acceptance letter. Be patient.

30th September 2010 will be the day that you will have been at college studying Photography for a whole month. It will be alright and you will make friends but not necessarily friends that will stick around forever. The same day is the night you start your first shift at work. This will be your job for the next three years; working in a cinema. The pay is shit, the people are morons but it's your income. It will be tempting to pack it all in but don't. Keep at it.

June 2011, you will discover your first blog. What is this? An online diary? A website? People comment on stuff you write?! This will amaze you and within a month, you start up your own blog. Ironically, it's the blog your twenty-two year old self is currently writing this on. So, keep at it. It will seem like everything is moving pretty slowly but give yourself six months and you will have done well. 


Let's forward in time a little...

It's now March 2012. Your relationship is about to come crashing down and it will be unfixable. Your heart is going to break into a million tiny pieces and it won't patch itself back up for a very long time. You will feel alone, broken and like you're the only person in the world who is unhappy. It will seem like there is no point in life anymore or that there is any light at the end of the tunnel. However, you will spend quality time with your family and in return become closer and more attached to them. He doesn't care. It's time to move on; for good. You are in the midst of applying for Universities, although you was certain two years ago that you would never go. 

November 2013 and you're now a year and a bit into your University course. Naturally, you will choose to study a degree in Photography; studying locally at The University of East London. You are getting to know a whole bunch of new people in your class. Again, no one will be a lasting friendship. One word of advice: don't trust anyone. You will be tempted to leave about 101 times, but don't. Stick at it.

You will also begin speaking to a new boy that you work with. Things will develop between you and by mid November, you begin a new relationship. You will be with him for eleven months but, he isn't the one for you. You are like chalk and cheese and his friends don't like you but through no fault of your own. They are extroverts, you are an introvert; so naturally they think you're boring, quiet and probably a little snobbish. They will make your life hell; dirty looks, bitchy text messages, insulting notes left in your belongings. Prepare for this by keeping your head high. Oh, and dump that boy. He doesn't give a shit about your feelings. He will emotionally abuse you over time and do things to purposely make you feel worthless. He is ruled by his friends and will never change. Oh, and there's someone you will have suspicions about in this relationship. Your suspicions stand corrected - you wasn't going crazy.

Moving on into Spring 2014 and thank goodness you kissed (not literally) goodbye to that guy. Doesn't it feel good?
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You're now in the run up to the last couple of months before graduation. Things are going to get hectic and you will feel like you're a failure. People (your peers) have kicked you down for the last couple of months and it's time to throw your hands into the air and show them who you are. You will kick arse at your graduation show. The stress you will go through will seem pointless at the time but it will be worth it by the time you've officially graduated and you are on that plane to New York in May 2014.  


June 2014. Sooooo, now it's that period of time where you don't really know what the heck you're doing. So, you will begin to make a name for yourself. You will start shooting professionally for model agencies and collaborating with other creatives on photo-shoots. Your contact list will start growing and people you once looked up to will start looking up to you and coming to you for advice. Beware of this.

By the time August 2014 swings around, an amazing opportunity will land in your inbox. An internship in your dream career. You will put your all into it; even giving up your part time job for it. However, it's not all that it seems so you will now fully understand the hierarchy about internships. 

(If something sounds too good to be true; it probably is...)

You will find another couple of jobs but nothing that inspires you or makes you happy. You will feel like you're doing stuff to make other people happy, but think about you for a change. What makes you happy? Well, your blog does. After being left in a rut of unemployment, you will now make the decision to start blogging and photographing full time. It's a huge risk to change your hobby into a career but it will slowly get there before you know it. Keep working hard and you will succeed.

Yours from me to me,

Ashleigh 
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So readers, this is MY life. I've never made lasting friendships, I've had my heart broken, graduated with a degree, quit jobs for my dream and turned blogging into my career. I think I have done pretty well despite the ups and downs and knock backs I have had. There's still loads of room to improve though so I hope you stick around for the journey. Who knows; I may do another one of these when I hit 30?!

37 comments

  1. That is such a beautiful blog post! It actually made me cry a bit, I'm quite sentimental, aren't I? haha
    I'm sure you will find what you're looking for very soon. You fully deserve it x

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    1. Hi Yana,

      Haha, I think if it pulls at anyone's heart strings, then they can probably relate to what I am writing! Thank you very much though. That is really sweet of you to say :)

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  2. This was incredible to read! It's so comforting to know that other people have gone through similar struggles and that, deep down, nobody really knows what they're doing. Thank you for writing this, I'm happy that you've finally made it to somewhere where you want to be :) x x x

    kassiella.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hello Kassi, I honestly don't have a clue what I am doing in life and really am guessing my way through most of it! You are very welcome <3

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  3. This is awesome! I love it! It's always nice to know that other people go through struggles and no one really knows what they want!

    Becca
    www.QueenBeeBecca.com

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  4. This is probably my favourite blog post, ever! It made me a little sad because I'm currently coming to an end with high school and starting a new chapter with university. I feel the same way with Moving Image Arts as you do with Photography. I'm going to give your blog a follow and I hope to see more posts like this one! Who knows, in a few more years I could be writing a similar blog post myself.

    www.kayteevivienne.blogspot.com

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    1. EVER? Woah! What a compliment :) Ah all the best for the transition from high school into University. It's the most nerve wracking thing but also the most exciting time of your life, so make the most of it! I am definitely starting to write more personal posts so thank you very much for following. There will be lots you may like to read :) Definitely give this a try yourself? I would love to have a read!

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  5. Great idea for a post! It sounds like your life has been a little bit hectic thus far but ultimately you're heading in the best direction for you. Professional blogging and photography sounds like an amazing thing to be doing as a job. Such a brave move to quit your jobs and do it full-time!

    Claire // Technicolour Dreamer

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    1. Hi Claire, thanks so much. It really has been a journey of ups and downs but "everything happens for a reason".

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  6. LOVE this, it's so similar to mine in certain ways! Big love gorgeous <3

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty - www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. We are basically just the same person... haha.

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  7. Such a lovely post, made me all emotional! But if its any reassurance, I've never made any lasting relationships either.

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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    1. Thanks Annabel. Refreshing to know actually. I often feel like I am the only person in the world to not have lasting relationships. This springs a new post idea for me...

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  8. Ashleigh! This was so well written! Your previous life before uni was so similar to mine! It's weird because at the time, we think we are the only ones going through stuff like that. But it's so good to see you come out of it a BOSS!
    Joelle
    xx
    FebruaryGirl.

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    1. Hi Joelle :) Haha, being a teenager and growing up is so weird!
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  9. Oh dear great post!! Nice pics and nice text!
    Kisses from Spain.
    Xoxo, P.

    My Showroom





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  10. I like this your post a lot! It’s amazing!
    Thank you for sharing!

    Diana Cloudlet
    http://www.dianacloudlet.com/

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    1. Thank you Diana and you are very welcome!

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  11. Amazing pictures! I love your style and hair <3 Following you now :)

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  12. This is such a lovely post, very inspiring!

    www.lifestylefunxion.blogspot.com

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  13. I absolutely adore the first photo, it looks so beautiful! Great post and lovely backpack <3
    xx Ama

    PHUCKITFASHION

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    1. Hi Ama, thank you so much! I love the back pack too. Can't wait to dig it back out this Summer :) Great blog by the way!

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  14. I love this post, it's written so well. Good on you making a choice that makes you happy and good luck with everything
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx

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    1. Thanks Lauren, that's really kind of you :)

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  15. Such a great idea for a post Ashleigh, lots of it I totally experienced myself and wish I could have told my younger self about before it happened!

    http://emmahopenewitt.blogspot.co.uk/
    <3

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  16. Be proud of what you have, that despite everything you still have positive things to be happy about in life! Best wishes with blogging it’s turning out great so far x

    The Fairytale Pretty Picture

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    1. I suppose so. I always forget about everything positive in my life when I feel negative, haha! :(

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  17. This is a really good post- written so well and I love the tone of voice! When you look at what you've come through and where you are now I guess that type of reflection makes you feel a bit more happy about life in the present?

    Ben | www.twentyfirstcenturygent.com

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    1. Thanks Ben, appreciate it! Hmm, I am a lot happier now with myself, self-confidence and over all image. However, there is still room to improve like I said. I would love a new job soon and want to meet loads of new people :)

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  18. This is a beautiful, honest and really inspiring post. I think we can all relate to similar struggles in our lives and at 26, I am still figuring everything out myself. It's really nice to see someone go through so much, survive and all for the better. Thank you :)

    Natasha | www.ofthesaints.uk

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    1. Hi Natasha,

      Thank you very much & you are welcome! I don't think we ever figure what life is supposed to be like. It's all just a guessing game.. x

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