“Write what you need to hear”
Thats the advice I got from Brené Brown.
“Write from your experience”
That’s the advice I heard in undergrad.
“Write from your heart”
This one is from Mark. He’ll never let me distort my truth to make anyone else happy or comfortable.
“B*itch, just write”
This is from me, for when I’m too afraid to share my thoughts with the world.
I forget who I heard this from, but its a philosophy I hold dear to my soul, (and if you’ve done The Courage Campaign in any capacity, you know exactly what I mean) "The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life."
I ask a lot of questions. They aren’t always answerable, but they always make me think and they always help me help others.
So here goes:
What in the actual fuck are we doing?
We. Humans. Americans. People.
What. Are. We. Doing?
Why are we so fragile?
Why are people picketing over haircuts and botox? Is this real?
Why is there so much unrest over spa treatments and not over the blatant racism that permeates EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES from healthcare to The White House to underserved neighborhoods to school systems to the police to voting to laws to the prison system to the food industry to fitness? (I could go on.)
Why do we tie all of our joy into everything other than our own hearts and minds?
Why do we think it to be ok to not work on ourselves during quarantine? Why do we think Netflix and snacks are the best we can do?
Why do some parents have the ability to homeschool their children with materials like laptops and the internet, while others aren’t even home because they’re essential workers?
Why are we never grateful for the little things like not being sick?
Air in our lungs.
WHY DO WE FORGET HOW BLESSED WE ARE?
Why do we find comfort in complaining?
Why do we find discomfort in acting on anything?
Why are we hating on other people on the internet instead of simply unfollowing, muting, or blocking?
Why do I, me, Ashley, feel anxious about sleeping because it’s possible for some rogue cops to one day break into the wrong house, my house, and kill us all for no reason?
Why do I feel anxious about my level of productivity if and when I decide to put on headphones and listen to a podcast?
When did I learn that the only productivity that matters is the kind where you get a 6- pack, a kid who goes to Harvard, or a fat paycheck?
What the fuck?
How do I remember that rest is growth?
How do I remember that there’s a difference between laziness and rest?
How do I remember that all of this is temporary and to not get caught up in the overall panic of everyone else’s worries?
I write it out.
Every single day.
The questions don’t have to have answers.
The questions can be a relief, a mirror, a call to action, a means of re-examining, a pathway to being a better ally to those with less privilege.
Sometimes the questions themselves are an answer.