A Moment of Reflection

Me and My Grandmother – May 2014

Hello everyone, and Happy Easter! I know that today is unique for many of us as we are experiencing moments of confusion, uncertainty, and even sadness with regard to COVID-19 and the impact that it has created on our lives. I am just like you, I have been feeling all of the things – truly the whole darn spectrum. But, today as I sit down to write this post for you, a truly unusual post (as my blog is solely devoted to makeup, product reviews, and wedding prep) I find myself reflecting on the past month and a half of our lives… And I just want to share some of these thoughts with you.

First and foremost, I have to remind myself daily that it is okay to feel all of the emotions. We are complex human beings – and one unique characteristic that we have is the opportunity to feel a whole range of emotions in just a brief period of time. What also makes us unique is that we can recognize these feelings, allow ourselves to acknowledge them, and then pick ourselves up and keep moving and focus that energy and emotion into something positive. So one way I have been trying to redirect my feelings, is to use this time to be reflective of where I have been, take moments to be grateful for the experiences I have, and take this time to be more present with my family members and clients and grow my business. I am taking this 30+ days of “quarantine” to work on me, my business, and my opportunity to impact more lives.

So what does this mean, how am I being reflective? Well, in July of 2018 I first announced my desire to offer my makeup artistry services privately, and put my business out on the market. I was concerned about the potential to fail, what happens if no one contacts me? I mean I had 6 years of experience working for other companies at this point, but there is something frazzling about putting yourself out there, and being in charge of your successes and failures. And after having lost my grandmother and best friend just over a year prior, I felt it was time to stop making excuses and give it a shot. Since my first job with Clinique, my grandmother had pressured me to pursue my passion of makeup and try to make a career out of it. At the time, I found numerous excuses such as “being too busy,” “having too much school work,” or “working too much.” But do you want to know what the real reason I waited so long to build my own company? Fear. Fear that I could and would fail. Fear that maybe people wouldn’t like my artistry style, or maybe they wouldn’t like me. But in losing my grandmother, the biggest cheerleader I’ve ever known – I knew it was time to do something about that fear. I had been given a gift in light of having something so important taken from me, and I would be disrespecting myself, but also my grandmother’s memory if I didn’t take that opportunity. Between July of 2018 and today, I have been given the opportunity to paint hundreds of faces, communicate with thousands of people, and touch countless lives. And to be honest, had I not lost my grandma so tragically, I probably wouldn’t have realized just how short life is… And I wouldn’t have taken the leap to start my own business. So for that, I feel so much gratitude and love as I reflect on my “WHY” – why it is that I do what I do.

Now, I know what you are thinking… “What does this have to do with the current state of the world?” Well, much like losing my grandmother – we have had something taken from us. We have lost the hustle and bustle of daily life that we all take for granted. I know that personally, I love supporting small businesses and getting take out for dinners… But with the corona virus, many restaurants and “non-essential” businesses have been forced to cease their operations for this short period. The convenience of running to your local boutique to pick up a new outfit has been interrupted, and the option to gather together for parties and weddings has temporarily been put on pause. So through this corona virus pandemic, although we may not know someone personally that has passed away or experienced the virus, we still have lost something. We have all lost the normalcy that we have come to know. But how do we take that experience and turn it into something useful? How can we take something that has brought on so much stress and fatigue and find moments of reflection? How do we choose joy in a time that is so bleak?

Each day, I force myself to think of 3 things that I am truly grateful for. They can be something small and seemingly insignificant, or they can be large and impactful. But every morning, as I force myself to make breakfast, get dressed, and begin my day – I take a few moments to myself in the quiet to be reflective and remind myself what blessings I have in my life. I have found that for me, taking these moments to be present with myself and intentionally thankful for the things that I can control, or that I have been blessed with, it is a great way to set the tone for the rest of my day. I choose to take each day, and remind myself that I have been given the opportunity to recharge and live each day with intention and be impactful. You too can take this time to look inward, and try your best to see things in a more positive light.

We have been given a gift. It doesn’t feel that way, I know… We are all anxious about when we can go back to work, we are nervous about getting the virus, and we are scared of all of the unknowns. But we have forcibly been encouraged to take a pause, take a moment to look inward, and reset. If you are at home with your significant other, look to them for mutual strength, but also be honest with them about your feelings – there is a reason that you have chose to do life with them. If you are at home with kiddos, remember that children are going through these unique emotions at this time as well. Be present with them as well, focus on fostering family relationships and showing immense love during this time. I know, it’s tough to balance schoolwork while working from home – but we have been given a gift to be with our immediate family during this time and recognize the important role they play. Have a passion you want to pursue, but finding excuses why you shouldn’t do it? If you have free time during this chaos, take a few moments to pursue that passion that you have put on hold for so many years. This is your opportunity to try something new – the excuse of being too busy, or running too many errands is no longer there for this short while. Take advantage of that.

Guys, as I reflect on this uncertain time I know it hard to find a rainbow at the end of a storm. Lord knows that we have weathered one heck of a storm, and we don’t know when the end will come. But I can tell you this, the pandemic has been a bold face, reach-out-and-slap-you, reminder that life is short, so incredibly freaking short. Life is unique, and we only have one shot to get it right. So in these moments of chaos and uncertainty, think about what things you want to pursue and how you want to come out of this stronger. We have been given a gift in disguise of immense grief, but today – on Easter Sunday – look around your table at your family. Choose love, choose joy, and choose gratitude. Choose intention and positivity. And above all else, choose faith. If you believe that we will weather the storm, we will come out of this better than ever, and that the time to act intentionally is now – there is nothing that can stop you, not even this silly virus. They say that when God closes a door, he opens a window. Search for that window, and use the opportunity he has thrust upon you. Sending love, good thoughts, and positivity your way. God bless.

XOXOXOXO,
Ashley

%d bloggers like this: