{Muse} Hi, Five

I never imagined myself a writer.  I only wrote for myself, in journals and on scraps of paper in line at the store.  Then I started blogging and, well, I found myself actually liking to write.  And then this magical thing happened, all at once.  Within a period of a few months I started writing with some friends from high school and Camilla approached me with the idea for The Violet.  For the latter, it is already clear the effects this has taken, but for the former, the effects have been much more subtle. 

When the opportunity to join a writing group came up my impulse was to say,“Hell to the no.”  But a small part of me, a tiny, fledgling part, said, “DO IT.” And for reasons I can’t explain, I listened to this tiny voice.  It may be one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.  If it weren’t for those guys (you know who you are, gents) I would have never had the confidence to say, “YES!” when the opportunity to start The Violet presented itself.  And I definitely wouldn’t be here.  And, what’s more, I would have missed an important lesson that (I promise) leads me to my list.

When I first showed Cinco, my 5 year plan article from the Spring Issue*, to the boys they suggested I include goals that are a little more immediate.  So, my first goal became “make sure the people in my life know that I care about them.  Show them how and in many ways.”  It seems easy enough, right?  Actually, it is pretty hard.  Because I’m one of those girls who has a hard time really saying what they feel.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to literally yell at myself in my head to say what I am thinking.  Enter my new gentlemen friends (who, to be honest, aren’t actually new friends but renewed friends).  They are fantastic for many reasons, but one of most important lessons I have taken from them is their ability to say exactly what they are feeling in the moment.  They have this lightening-fast response reflex—they don’t need tons of time to process a situation and they don’t need or want to hide behind technology to express their feelings.  If they are happy, they say they are happy; if they had fun, they say it.

Now, I may be completely daft, but I think this is amazing.  It’s like I didn’t realize that I could say what I was thinking until I pondered and collected my thoughts, which is just silly.  There is nothing nicer than hearing that someone had a nice time as they are standing in front of you.  It is a small, incredibly kind gesture.  And at first this may seem a little strange, believe me, I understand.  But the more you practice it, the easier it becomes.  I certainly don’t think I’ll ever be done with this goal, I think it is always going to be on my list because it is always something to be worked on.  I think with lists like this all they ask is for your acknowledgment every day.  To just take a minute, tip your hat to them and say, “I see you.  I honor you.  And I’m working on it.”  In fact, I believe this about most things in the universe.  Just like people, young and old, all they want is to be heard; to be acknowledged.  So here it is, List of 5 Goals:  I see you.  I honor you.  And I’m working on it. 

~ Ashleigh

*If you haven't, check out the {Muse} section of The Violet Spring Issue to see the my original 5 goals list.  It begins on page 50.