On Turning 31….

I can’t believe I’m turning 31 today.  When did that happen?

Ashley through the decades… at 1-

And 11…

At 21…..

And now, just a few weeks before 31….

I’m not bothered by getting older, just a bit perplexed by time and how the years go by.  Milestones in life always bring me to a reflective state.  October 16th is really no different than October 15th….but it’s a marker, another notch on the belt, and yet another reminder that this life goes quickly and that we only have a limited amount of time to make the most of.

More than ever, as 30 is turning into 31, my heart is filled with such a strong presence of gratitude that it overwhelms me.

I am grateful for life itself and for the fact that I get to breathe in everyday.
I am grateful for the people who surround me with love, care and support on a daily basis.
I am grateful for a physical body that performs better now than it did 10 years ago.
I am grateful each day that I’ve been given eyes to see the richness of this existence and a heart that desires to soak up every ounce of it.
I am grateful I’ve been given the soul of a seeker, looking to find beauty, life, truth and purpose in both big and small.
I am grateful that I have made big mistakes in my life that have ultimately led me to freedom and joy; and I’m thankful I made them early on in my life so I could learn from them and walk into deeper truth and peace.
I am grateful I’ve stepped into self-acceptance and love, and that with more age and maturity I’ve left the critical behind.
I’m grateful that everyday I wake up with a stronger sense of purpose and direction in knowing what I am made for on this earth and what I really want to do in life.
I am grateful that I’ve been through hearthache and let it teach me;  and that because of it, I’m more open to love instead of jaded and hardened.
I’m grateful to have experienced so much of the world through my travels and that there is a  deep love planted in my heart for the world, its cultures and its people.

With this new year ahead, I feel more hopeful, rich, full, joyful and open than I have ever felt in my life.  I don’t wish that my life had unfolded differently.  I love each step and see it all as a part of the greater whole that has brought me into this current existence.

I could be in no better place for this time and space than where I am right now: in my New York City apartment, hopeful in all aspects of life: career, love, family, travel, aging, health……all of it.

I’ll leave you with what is my favorite quote, shared with me by a dear friend.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you have a life you’re proud of. If you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Carpe Diem.
Ashley

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4 Responses to On Turning 31….

  1. Ksenia N. says:

    Happy Birthday, beautiful soul! xo

  2. Happy birthday beautimus!

    This quote makes me think of you:
    “I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”
    ― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

    Much love- Jacqueline

  3. Holly says:

    Jesus said he came to give us life…and life to the full. You are living in the fullness of that life. If only everyone could be in this state, what a difference it would make! I, too, am grateful for the very same things and love all the little details of life that make it so colorful and full and rich. Carpe diem and happy birthday sweet friend!

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