Blog by Ashleigh Dougherty

31/12/2016

REFLECTING ON 6 THINGS THAT 2016 TAUGHT ME

It's sad when you're laying here, tucked up in bed and regretting having ever lived a precious year of your life. I have had those thoughts every day for months, before I have to remind myself that in actual fact; 2016 has been one of the best years of my life.

I'm no stranger when it comes to sharing my life on the internet. I'm honest, raw and every personal post is down right written with no fucks given. I have really reflected on my year this week, not knowing what direction to take this post in, but all I aim to ever do is remain honest and loyal to you reading. Hello by the way and thank you for stopping by.


Let's take a ride in the time machine and rewind back. Where was I? What was I doing? Who was I giving my time to? Well, I started the year off with a similar post to this with my 2016 goals, which I am ecstatic to stay I smashed all of my goals which are outlined throughout the post.

Who was I and who am I now? 
I was a quiet, isolated and negative person who cried most days and nights, questioned her existence in life and felt like a failing waste of space. I'm now living my career dreams in London, continuing to run an established and successful blog and feeling fulfilled, happy and laughing and smiling every day. Happiness truly is an amazing feeling.

6 things that 2016 taught me:

1) It was ok to lose myself but it was important to find myself again.


I really lost myself this year and found myself breaking down in a room with a doctor. Why was I crying everyday? Why was I lashing out at people I love? Why did I feel worthless? Why did I just want to stay in bed and do nothing every day? I had so many questions that had no answers. I felt lost, out of place and like I was stuck in another world that wouldn't let me back into the happy world that I had always known. 


The truth is, I knew the answers to all of those questions. I was letting my mind, body and soul be controlled by another person. A selfish, narcissistic and vile "man", who made me feel like I was worth as much as something that he had trod in earlier that day. I knew what I had to do, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Every time I tried to leave, it was like we was both magnets and he couldn't let go. I was trapped and letting someone else control my feelings. It was like I was a machine inside and he had the remote to make me cry, shout and isolate myself whenever he wanted me to. 

This Summer was a huge wake up call for me and nobody helped me find that strength, other than myself. The second he raised his fist at me, it was like someone really had punched me and woke me up from the nightmare I had been living in for the past 14 months.  

2) I'm not difficult to love - I'm actually very easy to love and please.


I was always made to feel like I am abnormal in relationships and impossible to love. The sad thing is, I believed this which really added to the worthless feeling I felt everyday. Why would anyone want to be with me? Why would he want to stick around? I was a very miserable person so why would I be entitled to happiness? 

However, a new relationship has made me believe in love again. It's all still very new and in all honesty, I am still healing. I always thought I would have trust issues in people but when someone new in your life treats you in a way you have never been treated before; those initial trust issues just disappear.

We are hours away from starting a new year and I am going into it feeling like a woman. Having always been treated as a girl, a temporary thing, a possibility, an option; it's quite a weird feeling  being put first and on top of the list of someone's priorities. I am usually that person who puts the people I love before anything and everything else. To receive that back is very refreshing and completely alien to me. I really don't think I could be happier right now.


3) I didn't stop chasing my dreams.


So many people sneered and laughed at me for the dreams I had. You don't have a real job Ashleigh... all you do is sit at home on your laptop is the one that really stuck in my mind. The growth and adaptation of social media means that unless you're an active user of Twitter, an uploader on YouTuber or even a follower of blogs and vloggers; you won't understand my "freelance job". 

My blog has allowed me to travel this year, work with hundreds of different brands, become a brand ambassador for some brands, work on campaigns to support brands and awareness for different causes, meet many amazing bloggers, PR's and companies and course; land me in the dream job that I am working in today.


At the end of the Summer, I landed myself in my dream job of working in Beauty PR. I'm a huge believer in fate, timing and good things come to those who wait. After all, I had been trying to break a career in PR for 3 years and not had any luck. However, the second I leave a sour relationship, I get an email asking if I am interested in a job role in Beauty PR without me having applied in the first place. Fate? Good timing? I think so!

I work with the most amazing ladies which has led to precious friendships. In all honesty, there hasn't been a day where I have felt really alone since I started this job. I handle the blogger outreach side of things (dreamy!), which is amazing as it means I get to work with a huge network of people that I have known for so long anyway.

4) The best is yet to always come. 


As I've said, I believe life has everything set out for you and if you try to change the way things are meant to be, then things won't end well. When you've been through a lot, it makes you appreciate things a whole lot more when you've finally got something good. I think being in a new relationship with a fellow content creator just makes much more sense to me. He understands me, knows what I am about, supports my every move and he is always one step ahead of my own creative thinking. 


I've tried dating people that are the complete opposite to me; the teacher, the graphic designer, the builder, the buyer, the guy that sold garden sheds for a living. However, nothing ever worked out because life simply didn't have them in the grand plan for me. 

'Nice guys finish last' is a saying that sticks in my head quite a lot. Even though he tried to take me out a lot of times, timing was never right and I have missed out on a lot more happiness that I could have had. Saying that though, I feel like a completely different person now than I was 6 months ago. I am stronger, harder to break down; but most of all... selfish for the first time in my life. 

My self-happiness is the most important thing. If that means I am selfish, then so be it. I would never let another person(s) control me ever again. I don't need to be in a relationship or popular with my friendship circle to be happy. I am content with every aspect of my life and will always remember that I was very happy on a new journey of being a 20-something newly-single girl... I mean woman. 

As much as I try to be sassy and all b-e-y-o-n-c-e though, I am very excited for the future with him and hope he feels the same about me/us. 

5) A furry friendship is the best of all. 


It wouldn't be a 2016 summary if I didn't mention little-but-not-so-little-anymore Elsie. I got her almost a year ago (12th January) and it's been a roller coaster of a year. She has really tested everyone's patience, chewed up way too many pairs of slippers and almost pulled me over on walks way too many times. However, she's incredibly loving, clingy and loves nothing more than a cuddle with her human on the sofa. 


6) Do my own thing, by myself, for myself. 


I think this is a resolution I will also be taking into 2017. I've got myself into a really good place with the help of no one but myself. Of course, I've had ongoing support from my family and friends, but no one can really save you from drowning in your own negativity. It's about finding the courage and inner strength to address the problem and deal with it. 


This really is the last fake smile of mine from this year that you will see. If I hadn't got out when I did, it baffles me that I would still be where I was and wouldn't have the good things in my life that I have now; my dream career, fantastic new friends and the most amazing and supportive boyfriend.  

2016, I won't miss you at all but thank you for teaching me that I am worth much more than what I was living and settling for. Scary thought. Bring on 2017 and everything it has coming for me. I cannot wait.
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24 comments

  1. Aw this is such a fab post and it has definitely been a year of learning about who you are and it sounds as though Elsie has been part of that journey x

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    1. Elsie has really pulled me through some tough times! Love her to bits :)

      Ashleigh x

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  2. What an amazing post, so much and has happened for you this last year and you seem to have made a massive leap forward, big well done. Mich x

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  3. Sounds like you're ending the year on a high. All the best for 2017.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. All the best to you too.

      Ashleigh x

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  4. It sounds like you've learnt so much this year and I'm so glad to hear you're in a much happier place now ♥ happy new year, best wishes for 2017 xx

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  5. This year has been mad but there's always a new one to try new things and move forward. Xx

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    1. I definitely agree with this one Jennifer! I have so much to look forward to in 2017 :)

      Ashleigh x

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  6. I hope you continue on this upward path for 2017!

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  7. I hope you continue to build o all of your amazing acheivements in 2017, you should be really proud of yourself.

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    1. Thank you Gem. This means a lot :)

      Ashleigh x

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  8. This post got me a little teary! I really wish you the best with your new relationship, and I want to follow your zero fucks given attitude to blogging about more personal stuff! xx

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    1. Thank you Eloise, your words mean a lot. You definitely should! It takes so much weight off my shoulders when I write and share about what's on my mind. x

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  9. These are amazing lessons to learn. Sadly it always takes us so long to realise these simple ones.

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    1. It really does. Happy New Year, Shannon :)

      Ashleigh x

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  10. 2016 has been amazing for you in so many ways - so proud of you for landing the beauty PR job, its perfect for you x

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  11. So much has happened for you in 2016, it does sound like it has been a great year for you overall especially when you write it all out like this. Happy New Year, I hope 2017 is wonderful for you! x

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  12. I really loved this post, you are so inspiring and look fab in all the pics!

    Beth xx
    www.myfunsizedlife.com

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  13. So much happened in 2016 for everyone, it seems! Its really nice to see that for so many people 2016 was a year of learning! I hope 2017 is similar in only the good ways.

    -carryonbeautiful.com

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  14. Balancing Individuality and oneness in relationship definitely requires a lot of mindful work. I tend to lose myself, too in a relationship and learned how important having time by yourself truly is. Wonderful insights you have gained this year and wish you a wonderful 2017 :)

    KatrinaJeanCarter.wordpress.com

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  15. Loved reading this post, its sounds as though you've had an amazing year full of great experiences. I love your little pup too she is such a cutie. Hope you have an amazing 2017 xx
    Danielle Miss Sunshine & Sparkle

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