Hello, 2023

Happy 2023! Today I am alive and well and that seemed reason enough to don a humongous bow and vintage dress and twirl around for a bit. I used to have so much fun with fashion – at the end of the year most of all. I have no idea where I got the idea that YE means it’s finally time to wear what I want without a care in the world. Why it didn’t occur to me to spend the other 364 days of the year doing the same is beyond me…but every NYE I wore the craziest outfit I could think of and then wore a chiffon, bubblegum pink party dress to ring in the new year at my house, with my parents, in the life I always led which did not require anything near so formal as a pink party dress. I think it was aspirational – I was “dressing for the job” I wanted rather than the job I had, if you will.

My dad was a new years baby, so every new year is also intricately tied to my dad celebrating another year around the sun. We celebrate his birthday at Pizza King in Pendleton, and it is always a rowdy time. Rob was driving us to the celebration today and the emotions hit me like a brick. It didn’t hurt that we were listening to Noah Kahan, whose lyrics always hit me hard. The below especially stuck out to me:

“‘Cause everyone’s growing/and everyone’s healthy/I’m terrified that I might never have met me”

I can’t even accurately describe how I feel stepping into this year. Everyone IS growing and healthy, and I am also so grateful I have gotten to meet me. I felt like I was living a life meant for someone else for so long – and now I know it’s because I was. It was not meant for me, nor I it. It led me to my current reality, so of course I can’t ultimately say it wasn’t the right thing. I don’t really think the universe makes mistakes because nothing is personal, or good, or bad. It just is. And while I can’t quantify why, I can finally say I feel perfectly at ease with where and who I am. I am so thankful for my family’s and friend’s health, and I also know this won’t always be the case. What a gift that today, it is.

I don’t have a clue where 2023 will take me – but I know it will have days for twirling and bow wearing, and days where the tears won’t quit. Many days will have a bit of both.

I sure am happy to be dressing for the life I live, because it’s definitely the life I want.

Happy New Year! All my love,

Ashley

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