Change does not mean Failure

This past weekend was perfect. It is already August, but it was the first weekend that has felt like a true summer weekend to me. It included lots of outdoors, good food, and lots of yoga.

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Sitting in McCarren Park in Brooklyn all day on Saturday eating snacks fresh from the Farmer’s Market

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The beach on Sunday

But I left you all again, didn’t I. This year has been rough – I’m not going to make any excuses though. I have unfortunately been consistently inconsistent. Combination of being crazy busy, writer’s block, and a little procrastination.

I was chatting with one of my yoga instructors on Friday evening and she reminded me of something important: Life is always changing.

I have definitely learned this over the past three years since graduating college. My final essay was about change – embracing it, welcoming it, learning from it. I wrote a bit about it the Live Beautifully tab on my blog. But I do not think I fully believed it, or understood it, until now.

I have changed a great deal over these three years in NYC. Something big has happened each year that has morphed my personality and allowed me to grow in ways I never imagined. Especially this year, I think I finally hit a rock bottom in my life back in April/May when my long time life plans of working in healthcare did not workout as expected.

Right after this, I decided I couldn’t live the stressed, anxiety ridden, always in control life I had been. It was taking it’s toll. I thought after coming to this realization at the beginning of May, that I was already happier and rebuilding. While I was, it was silly of me to think that healing and re-evaluating my life would happen that fast. Basically overnight really.

I was writing, and focusing, on all the positive things coming my way, so it was hard to believe that I was not happy and fine now. Externally I was happy and excited about these positive, very serendipitous opportunities. But internally, I was still trying to convince myself. Yes great things were coming my way, but really I was feeling like a failure at my life still.

Ever since I was young, I was going to be working in the hospital, helping people heal. That was always the goal. Now after my third round apps, and things again not going to plan, it looked like my life long goal was not going to happen. But that was always the plan – even with the detour and delay to work in research, a career in the clinical setting was always the end point.

Now what? I am just a failure and a burden now to everyone, especially bb. He is working hard to secure a future, while I do not even have a goal, or plan anymore. Not to mention, I come strapped with financial baggage as well….

Plus – the weight thing was/is moving at a super frustrating snails pace despite all my best efforts, and me getting a pretty damn clean bill of health from my doc. It has killed me to have to pass on fitness invites and events. As well as, taking this whole year off from doing things I love like lifting, spinning, running. Last year, I had planned to spend 2012 training for my first mini triathlon. Now it is August – and I’m still “rebuilding.” What the hell??? Another failure.

So there you have it. I hadn’t told anyone of these struggles. My internal voices kept going back and forth between the good –  ”Everything happens for a reason. I will take life as it comes. I am excited about these new ventures.” and the very bad – ” I’m basically a failure at everything I wanted for my life.”

I finally had a break down of sorts, and let it all out to bb a couple weeks ago. I think that is when I finally hit the bottom. I think now I’ve been able to finally embrace the changes and realizations that my life is meant to follow a different path. I have some ideas, but the path is not quite clear yet. And I am okay with that. More than okay, I am great with it.

I now know, and believe, that change does not mean failure. This entire year, especially this summer, my life goals, values, and views have changed and developed drastically. The only thing I am certain of is the basics that I’ve always held – I want happiness in my life and to spend my life helping others to find health and happiness. I am discovering that there are ways to do that not in the hospital, and that might actually be better suited for me, and that I am infact happier doing.  One avenue for that is my blog, which is why I started it. The one thing I truly love, which I have let fall by the wayside every time things get rough. I guess I sort of believed I was failing at everything else, so why bother?? Not acceptable at all.

I can only hope that I stop suffering these inconsistencies. I’ve “promised” before, so I’m not going to promise now, but I am going to promise to consistently deliver my best when I am here. I can honestly say I owe most of these changes to blogging and the blog community. I want nothing more than to give back to blogging at least a fraction of what it has given me.

Thank you incredible friends for reading and joining me on this crazy adventure that is life. If there is one thing to take away from my experience: Do not succumb to failure. There are no failures in life. It is just the universe telling you it is a time for change, growth, transition to something better.

Cheers! And Happy August!!

Recipes, life insights, yoga talk, and the big changes to follow :)



  1. HUGS to you!!!! I hope things are turning around for you! You are a strong and intelligent young woman. You will reach your goals!! xoxo

  2. Oh Ashley… I wish I’d know you were struggling so! I am so glad you are ok and refocused now. Please let me know if you ever need anything from me – including a little vaca to ATL. :)


    • Thanks so much girl! I didn’t even really know how much I was struggling until I look back on it. I’m still down for ATL – trying to figure out best time!! Be in touch soon

  3. Oh…young woman, you will continue to grow into yourself. You sound like me in my twenties and thirties, and even now and again! I think women put so much pressure on themselves to ‘get it right’ when in actuality, all roads lead to the personal journey. That old saying, ” leap, and the net will appear” has served me well. As I get older, it becomes a little easier to trust my gut.
    A year ago I was t the place that felt like rock bottom, and had to go on anti depresants/anxiety meds until I could see light at the end of the tunnel again. That’s when I started running – which helped a lot! Today, I am on cloud nine with a move, a sweet little house two blocks from my new school, and a welcoming community. The short story is – I was offered the job without even interviewing, our house sold in five days, and we bought a house that wasn’t for sale via Facebook connections – for exactly what we offered! Te was many a trial and a heap load of crap leading up to it, but when things are right, they just show up. If it’s any consolation, I graduate with my education degree at nearly 40!
    Take care – the path will be made clear, and remember that each step of the way is building your readiness for it!

    • I am so happy for you! And this comment really made my morning. I love the quote ” leap, and the net will appear.” I have not actually heard that before. It is very powerful.
      I’m glad you have found your light in life. And the job without even interview is crazy!! Please come back more often. This was a great read.

  4. Sending huge amounts of positive vibes your way! I have no doubt that happiness is in your very near future. Let’s get together for a walk/yoga/anything(!) very soon.

    • I’m feeling the vibes this morning! Thank you friend. It was great running into you the other night, and meeting Eli. You guys are too cute together – really!
      Let’s definitely meet up soon. I’m always around – message me anytime you are free :) Even if it is to just grab a coffee and catch up.

  5. I’m so glad to hear from you. Sounds like it’s been a rough summer. I’m glad you’re realizing you’re not a failure. I’ve been wrestling with similar issues lately. Good luck!

  6. Wow, Ashley, you seem to have a really great outlook on your situation now! This post is so well written, and I know that great things will come to you in the future. ” If there is one thing to take away from my experience: Do not succumb to failure. There are no failures in life. It is just the universe telling you it is a time for change, growth, transition to something better.” <– such a great reminder, I know that I can definitely benefit from this advice. I came back to NYC with big plans for the summer (and future) and almost all of them have fallen through at this point. Now I just have to pick myself up and take a few steps – who knows where they will lead.
    Wishing you the best! R

    • Take a few steps and see where they lead – exactly!!
      I see you’ve been going Strala…that is my second home and reason I’ve been able to stay positive. Let’s meet up there sometime soon :)

  7. Oh girl, I had no idea!! I’m sorry to hear that it’s been a rough time for you!! I’m glad you decided to share your struggles and I’ll be praying for you. Life has a way of taking completely unexpected paths sometimes and many times it turns out even better if you can make it through. I hope that is true for you!

    • Thank you for the kind words and prayers. I’ve been following your move, hope everything is great! I owe you a package of NYC treats still.

  8. Never forget that life has a funny way of working things out in the end. The good times will be followed by tough times, and vise-versa. It’s the equilibrium of life! Stay strong and keep trudging through! You are NOTa failure, you’ve just taken a few unexpected turns in life (which ultimately will be for the best) :)

    • Beautiful comment. The encouragement and kind words mean so much. Life does have an equilibrium and we just have to remember to focus on the positives sometimes!!

  9. I am sending positive vibes your way. I know that things can get tough but when things turn around (and they will) you will know that you are stonger and wiser for it. I’ve been there and things are finally turning around!

    • Congrats to you!! It is good to know it happens to everyone and its lead to better things. That’s what I am hoping for.

  10. Ashley! I have missed you so much, and I know I only made one (I admit) somewhat half-hearted attempt to check in on you in the past couple of months. I won’t make excuses for that, but I am SO sorry that I couldn’t do more for you. I am i awed by how beautifully written this is, and I love your outlook on embracing change. I have to remember that myself sometimes. As I am on the cusp of a birthday, and an age, at which I thought I would have accomplished many more things (or maybe just many different things?) I feel a connection to what you have written.

    Please let me know if you need anything. Even if it’s just some test samples of Nutty Butter. ;)


    • Oh my girl, don’t even fret. Your email meant a lot. Ahaha, and some nutty butter will never go unappreciated. That stuff is equal to gold. I use it sparingly.
      I do have a a bday package for you! And a belated one for Laura. :( I’m awful about getting to post office lately in NYC. No time to walk there!

  11. Hey doll- I somehow (don’t know how) missed your post that you linked to about gaining weight. And I know I sound like everyone else- but I was relieved. Even though I can’t imagine ever needing to gain weight- I CAN imagine how hard that would be if you food/body issues (like I do). I hope that you are feeling good and healthy and strong.
    I can tell you from experience that life is going to hand you all kinds of changes- and you have to roll with it. You have no idea where/who you will be in 2, 5 or 10 years. I certainly did NOT think that I would have ever been a high school teacher OR that I would quit that job to be a personal trainer.
    Change can be hard- but everything happens for a reason.
    You’re an amazing, smart, compassionate woman. You’re going places. :)

    • I never thought I would have to gain weight either. Being on both ends of the spectrum overweight, and unintentionally underweight, has been eye opening and interesting to say the least. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. There are no words to express it really.
      And I’m so happy for you and the positive turns your life has made. You deserve it! You and your hubby are good people :)

  12. Change means growth!

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