ohai, i'm ash.

Step Inside, See The World In My Eyes.
all photos are mine, so yes they are copyrighted.

I belong to the one and only, Taylor Reid Smith forever <3

god. family. friends. profressional photographer. vegetarian. optimist. 21. pokemon. animals.

Photography fuels me in ways I cannot explain.

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I’ve been thinking back on my life like I often do and discovered a few things that highlight what I’ve been through and realized out of it all. Just thinking that maybe someone may get something out of this that they need to hear.

There were points where I had promised myself I wouldn’t forgive, I wouldn’t love others, would stop trying and not care anymore. I kept telling myself that those who bullied me didn’t deserve forgiveness for tarnishing my spirit. I told myself that I wouldn’t love anymore because I had been used, cheated, neglected, stabbed in the back, straight up told I wasn’t good enough. My heart had been tossed and used so much and I was sick of feeling. People abused my nice nature and beat me with their unappreciative words. I kept saying I would never care again since I had been overlooked.

I admit, I struggled a lot. I had people treating me like trash, guys I dated tearing my heart to pieces, those who were once friends making me look like an enemy. I had dealt with depression for 7 months once, and that was the worst of it all. I’ve hurt. I’ve hurt a lot in my short life. But I’ve also seen the better in it all.

The times I was bullied and promised myself I would never forgive, I felt sick every day. Physically sick. The hate that I held in my heart thinking it would do me more good than to let it go made me want to throw up every day and made my appetite disappear.

When I said I wouldn’t love anymore, I felt more alone than I ever did in my life. I was taunted by the past and constantly put myself through so much struggle because I denied my heart’s natural ways of wanting to love all.

I kept saying I wouldn’t try anymore because those who I once held dear had to disappear. I had to become the enemy they preached about me being and shut them out so I would stop getting sick from stress. Stress from trying to make them see I was trying to be the best I could be for them. Trying to prove to them that I would do anything they asked and would be there for everything. But to no avail.

I never wanted to care anymore. I was done with caring because all that I seemed to care for just abused my feelings and left me for dead. Why did I even need to care either?

I forgave because one day I decided to let go of hate and find peace within myself. I learned that if others were not going to give me peace, then I just had to find it within myself. The day I forgave is the day I no longer felt sick daily and felt my heart lighter than it had been in a long time.

I realized that those who I had ‘loved’ before were not the right ones for me, which is why I got hurt. From the hell they each put me through, I learned to love myself. If I couldn’t be good enough for them to the point that they would tell me I wasn’t, cheat on me and treat me like utter garbage then I would be good enough for myself. I would be the best I could be for myself and stop wasting effort on someone who only made me feel insecure and dreadfully awful.

I began to try for others again. To try and make them see the light inside them, to see the brilliance they hold within them. Try to treat them to the best of my abilities and do all I could for not only my friends, but for anyone I came into brief contact with over my life time. I feel joy every time I am able to see a smile on a friend or stranger’s face. It makes me realize that none of my efforts are wasted, they just aren’t always recognized. If they didn’t recognize the acts of kindness I put forth for them, then at least in my own conscience I can know that I did what I could and I can rest easy knowing that I had a willing spirit to keep fighting and to keep trying.

The day I stopped fighting against my caring heart was the day I found my true self. I found the me that I was most comfortable with  and could breathe love and happiness around everyone without hesitation. We all just want to be accepted and loved, so I made it a habit to always speak of nothing less than care and concern for others that came in contact with me. I made an effort to always love those who needed someone to listen and to care for them in a dire time of need. I feel more human from letting my heart naturally care for everyone.

Human. Being human means we will struggle with our minds and our hearts and fight against others who oppose us along with our ever changing selves. It’s difficult, and I know I am far from done experiencing all that life has to offer, but I am grateful for everything that has ever happened to me. From the people who bullied me to the friends that once had a part of me, I have learned so much about myself and how to love myself. Not only to love myself, but to love everyone. I learned to find the special little quirks we all have and to love them. I learned that I may go through a lot, but so do others.

My goal for the last couple of years is to not just to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong for myself, but for others coming up paths behind me. And that means you.

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