A Letter to You, My Reader

Hey you,

I love the fact that you’re my reader and you show up to read my words. I’m so appreciative of every single one of you that responds to my emails, slides into my DMs to share parts of your life with me or to say that my words resonate with you. Nothing goes unnoticed.

This corner of the internet was birthed from a nagging desire to use my words and show up for people where it hurts. As someone who’s more in her feelings than Drake will ever be, painful feelings can really debilitate me and make me feel like the biggest mess in the whole world. From crushing rejections to rapid-fire anxious thoughts, a lot of what I feel can make me believe that I’m going to be a hopeless, unlovable mess forever.

Yet, deep down I know this isn’t true and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

So know this, my dear reader. Your feelings are valid. Your emotions are beautiful. And sometimes the most comforting thing we can hear someone else say is ‘I know how you feel.’

My heart has always been to sit in the thick of your mess with you and tell you you’re ok. Even if you don’t feel it now, you’re going to be ok and you’ll meet someone who will love every emotional part that makes you, you.

My hope is that my stories of crying on a plane after a ‘breakup’, flip flopping in and out of depression, and experiencing crushing self-doubt, will help you articulate your own emotions and acknowledge that you’re not a loser for going through universally awkward and painful experiences.

If I’m 100% honest, I’ve often been too fearful to fully show up to this platform. From the beginning, I’ve only had one foot in the door and one foot ready to bolt because I’m a born and bred people pleaser who is afraid of what people will say. But I know that hiding our true selves never served anyone, and if I’m going to serve you faithfully then I can’t be scared of other people’s opinions.

If I’m going to encourage you to be bold and hush the thoughts that tell you you‘re not enough, then I damn well better practice what I preach and be fearless as well.

For that reason, I’m going to commit to going all on. This platform is only going to get bigger and bolder, and I want to invite you, my reader, to come on this journey with me by signing up to the new and improved Wednesday Club emails every week.

Someone told me that my words are like love sonnets- which is basically the highest compliment I can ever receive- so just think about it as the same love letters dropping into your inbox, but this time with extra frills.

I promise to share more stories about the failures I’ve had, the addictions I struggle with, and the things that break my heart. I promise to share my ‘so-tragic-it’s-funny’ and awkward moments so you won’t feel like the only odd one out here.

I promise to be vulnerable on the page so that even on your worst days, you won’t feel like the only broken one.

But I also promise to share the redemption stories, the laugh till I pee my pants stories, and the joy I feel in all my mess. Because you are worthy of all the good things too.

So for the deep feelers, serial over-thinkers and people who just want to read more of my angsty quarter-life stories, drop your email below and I’ll see you in your inbox next Wednesday.

Encouraging you always,

Ash x

Will be retiring the WordPress emails very soon, so if you want to keep receiving encouragement and confetti in your inbox, drop your email below x

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered:: A note on Valentine’s Day

The tradition began in 2017.

I used to work for a global flower company, so I know just how crazy the world can get over Valentine’s Day. Nearly every industry hops in to capitalise on your emotions and convince you that you aren’t doing enough. It’s hard to escape from the reminders about LOVE and incredibly easy to feel overlooked. No matter how many times you tell yourself ‘it’s just another day,’ it can be hard to bury the feelings of loneliness and longing that threaten to rise up.

So two years ago I visited an indie stationary shop to find the pun-iest cards I could and scribbled a love letter to the friends who may be feeling overlooked. I licked stamps and posted it snail-mail style to their homes so they would have something special to wake up to on the 14th.

Sending out cards with handcrafted messages and knowing that someone was going to feel seen, encouraged and loved, has surprisingly become my favourite tradition of the year. If I could, I’d write every lonely heart that stumbles onto my page a handwritten letter that lets you know how utterly brilliant and significant I think you are. But all the stationary in the world wouldn’t be able to do it justice.

So here’s my digital letter to you.  


Hey you,

Firstly, you’re allowed to feel like punching the person who patronises you for being sad about your singleness. All of a sudden it feels like everyone becomes an expert when it comes to why you don’t have a partner. “Read more books,” someone once told me, as if the answers to my singleness could be found by flipping through endless pages. Although they carry good intentions, people can inadvertently say the wrong things when you open up about your dating struggles. They’ll question and pull apart everything about you such as whether you’re searching too much, if you’re putting yourself out there enough or if your relationship is right with God. Soon all you end up with is a laundry list full of inadequacies and all the ways you don’t measure up.

Be hyper-intentional about who you choose to be vulnerable with. Limit it to the people who know what to say to make you feel better and politely ignore the ones who hold out measuring sticks and point out why you aren’t enough. If you’re the type of person that needs a permission slip, let this be it: You’re allowed to feel sad, you’re allowed to feel lonely, you’re enough as you are. Your relationship status is not a reflection on you or whatever faith you hold.

I know how tempting it is to break out the spreadsheets and analyse why you haven’t been lucky yet or why someone who you secretly think isn’t as great as you are, managed to find their person first. But doing so will only drive you crazy and fuel the lie that good things are reserved for everyone else but you.

When I first moved into my new house, everything looked brand-spanking new from the outside and my friends gushed over how lucky I was to live in such a beautiful place.

“This house is such goals,” a friend squealed as I gave her a tour.

But upon closer inspection, we realised the builders had left behind some pretty significant flaws. Small ones at first, like a badly done paint job and a few missing tiles. But soon they were bigger issues, like misaligned kitchen cabinets and a horrifically constructed fence.

In the same way, it was really easy for me to assume that everyone’s relationship was perfect when I was scrolling through their Insta feed or looking from afar. But once I became privy to the intimate details of the relationship and found out what was really happening behind the scenes, I quickly learned that the reality didn’t quite match the picture-perfect version that was being portrayed online. All that to say, you have no idea what’s happening beneath the surface of someone else’s relationship or their life. You have no idea if the couples you’re admiring are in it for the long run or dating for dating’s sake. Although other people’s stories may be happening right now, hold onto the hope that soon, so will yours.

When I get really caught up in my feelings, I like to cave in to the belief that I’m too messy for anybody great to handle. It’s taken a lot of good friends to show me that this was another one of those bullshit lies our mind likes to offer up sometimes. We all think that we’re messy or too much or not enough to ever find someone who could fit us. But show me someone who is too much of a mess, and I’ll show you someone who dared to take in a chance in Life.

Years ago, I read someone say that they would rather have their heart cut and bleeding over the floor after daring to take a risk, than have it standing perfectly cold and pristine in the corner. I clung onto this so tightly and it’s become my favourite encouragement to give to anyone who’s wondering if the pain will ever go away. The messy ones are the ones that are warm, and brave and dared to put their heart on their sleeve. They are the ones to be admired. So don’t go adding it to the list of reasons why you’re not enough.

The person you are now is not the person you were two years ago, last month or even yesterday. You are forever growing and transforming, and so is your person.

As someone who used to be a secret writer of various YA fiction, I know that my most well-received stories are the ones where the protagonist has undergone great character development. Where they’ve experienced hardships or encountered obstacles that ultimately prepare them for the story line that’s about to unfold.

And I like to think that’s how each of our stories will pan out. Everything we’re doing, and everything that’s happening to us, is ultimately refining us into the person we’re supposed to be when we meet our significant other. I don’t have a timeline for you but when they come, you’ll be in your element, and he’ll be in his.

Above all, I know that there’s a well of untapped love and affection inside of you that you’re waiting to lavish on the right person. I used to hoard the amount of love I had, as if there was only a limited quantity I could offer the world. I’d go about my day and think about all the crazy date ideas and gifts I would get my person when he finally graced my doorstep, and I’d keep it all to myself just waiting and waiting.  

It was a long time before I realised that this was a scarcity mentality. You are not a squirrel that has to store nuts to survive in the Winter, and who has to bare your teeth at anyone who comes near your stash of love. You are a human being that’s been designed with an overwhelming capacity to love others.

The best thing I’ve ever done for myself on this romantic holiday & even on regular days, was to pour the love I’d reserved for my person, onto others. It was deciding that although they hadn’t come into my life yet, I wasn’t going to sit around and let my compassion for people wither away and grow bitter in the dark. Instead, I was going to show up and love others the best way I could. And if words and feelings are the best way I can serve people, then so be it.

The reality is that we’re broken humans living in a broken world. There are people who need you to see them. Like really see them. Like get -down-in- the- mud-and-look-at-them-in the eye type of see them. And what a shame it would be if we missed the people who really need us, all because we believed our love was only worthy of the romantic kind.

Because here’s the kicker:

Your love is not reserved for your significant other.

Your love has the ability to mend wounds and spark hope.

It is capable of inspiring encouragement and reminding people to keep pressing forward.

So on a day where the pressure is on to have the best, most Instagrammable moment, let’s bring it back to love.

Encouraging you always,

Ash x

Know anyone feeling angsty about V-Day? Show them love and forward this letter to them x

THE WEDNESDAY CLUB

Everyone struggles to get through Humpday. It’s this dreaded, in-between, mess of a day where time slows to a crawl and your weekend is delayed. Let’s be honest- nothing exciting ever happens to anyone on a Wednesday…

Except if you’re part of the Wednesday Club!

In just a click, you can look forward to me showing up in your inbox with a sprinkle of confetti and encouragement to make Humpday fly by so you’re closer to dancing on the weekends. 

I won’t be like your flaky Tinder date. I’ll show up on time, every time, with insightful conversation, fun stories & a mission to leave you feeling inspired.

So what are you waiting for? Subscribe below and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

Enter your email to receive confetti and encouragement in your inbox every Humpday!

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Thank You, Next: A Letter to My 21st Year

I turned 22 yesterday.

When it comes to birthdays, people will say many things amongst the chimes of well wishes and ‘have a great day.’ Do you feel any different? Do you feel older? Wiser? Did the Universe flood your brain with the answers to your burning questions as soon as the clock struck midnight?

I woke up and I felt the same as I did yesterday and the day before that. Nothing had changed.

If you’re anything like me, you often treat birthdays like a deadline for the all the milestones you were hoping to accomplish. A few years ago, I remember texting a friend in the lead up to my Birthday and telling her that I felt so upset because I hadn’t done anything noteworthy or awesome yet. “This isn’t where I thought I’d be,” I texted her while in the midst of any ugly cry. 

I’m willing to bet that you’ve probably felt this sentiment too. That this isn’t where you thought you’d be at 17, 21, 28 or 30. But that’s what happens when we place a ton of weight on a day that only asks to be celebrated for the glorious fact that you’re alive. When the clock ticks over and things haven’t unfolded the way we wanted them to, we end up feeling crushed by the weight of unmet expectations.

At 22, I woke up and felt like nothing had changed.

Yet everything has.

A whole year has passed since 21. The world has almost made a complete orbit around the sun. And it makes me wonder how many beautiful moments have happened that I’ve discounted because it didn’t happen the way I wanted.

So in honour of the year that’s gone by and the events that have unfolded, I wrote 21 a letter.


Hey you,

21 begins with you huddled under a green quilt in your flat in England wondering how the next year will unfold. Little weeds of discontentment will start to grow rampant in your heart, but you’ll shrug it off as pre-travel jitters and continue to chase after the wrong things.

The next month will be filled with you jumping from country to country, blurred memories, first dates, meeting friends who make you laugh till your stomach hurts, and moments where you wonder if loneliness will always be a companion. Turns out, everything you’ve clenched your eyes shut and wished for at 16 and 18 will be fulfilled by 21.You’ll have run the marathon, be in Law School, lived out a cute-meet and got to travel around with no parental supervision. After the past year of unmet expectations, you finally learn that some things take time to unfold. 

Things crumble as soon as your plane touches down in Melbourne. You spend the first month back home wrestling with the familiar darkness that tries to claw you back down by questioning where exactly you fit in this world. You struggle through all five stages of Grief even though it’s unclear exactly what you’re grieving, and your favourite writer will write to tell you, “You’re in the valley. Welcome to it.” The valley is something we all go through. For so long, you’ve worshipped this idea of jumping from mountaintop to mountaintop and having one victory after another. But no matter what it looks like online, nobody has that. The valley is the rocky, cavernous space in-between each mountain that we have to navigate through before reaching the top again. You might know it as the low point in your life when depression came back or when things felt stagnant, no matter how much you tried to move. It’s that place where you feel like giving up every two steps and you’re unsure if you’re ever going to see sunlight again. Believe it or not, the valley is golden. It’s the sacred space that stretches and refines you so you are ready for the next big thing in your life. When you do find your way to the top again, you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking view and say, ‘It wouldn’t have felt as spectacular if it’d come easy.’

Your valley was necessary for God to break and rebuild your foundation. It shattered the cardboard scaffolding of flimsy lies and false beliefs that you used to stand on. It forced you to decide whether you wanted to continue basing decisions off the lies you tell yourself or on truth. Anything that you seek to build,whether it’s a relationship, a career or a community, will require a foundation that won’t break at the first signs of a storm. Soon you can say with absolute certainty that you’re building your life on solid rock.

The community comes first. You pick up right where you left off with the people who know how to speak life over your wounds, and you begin the hard work to go even deeper with them. You’ll meet people who let you dive into their passenger seat and listen to you patiently while you stumble over the words to ask for help. The same ones will pick up the phone, let you snooze on their couch and will ask if there’s anything they can do to help you with your walk with God. They’ll wander into your life unexpectedly and it’ll feel like they’ve been there all along.

 Find the friends who aren’t afraid to talk about all of the deep and hard things with a side of pancakes and maple syrup. You’ve always had people in your life who know how to stay for the sparkle. It takes a longer, deeper process to find the ones who aren’t afraid to set up a tent with you in the mud and help you unravel your feelings. But take heart- at 17 you never thought you’d find anyone who’d stay during the tough times. Now, your tribe is full of people who are fluent in the art of showing up. Better yet, you’ll have learnt to be the one who shows up for others. 

When the calendar flips over to June, you’ll have coffee with a boy an hour before your exam. He’ll sit next to you while you’re sipping on lattes and speak breathlessly about his new business venture and how taking a risk changed his whole life. As the words rush out of his mouth, you’ll finally realise what true passion looks like. His words and support will push you to start forging your own path and investing in a craft that fulfills you.

You’ll land a job in an office that will make you feel more and more in your spirit that this is not the way you’re going to help other people. While some serve the world best by distance between themselves and others, your sweet spot has always been to sit with people in the thick of their everyday messes and tell them they’re ok. Words have always been the life raft that’s kept you from drowning and stories will keep you paddling even when the waves beat you down. Now it’s become the secret stuff that gets you out of bed – to speak words that will help people through their storm.

Let me say that the words you tell yourself and the words you speak over someone matter. Gosh it matters so much more than you know. The things you tell someone will either empower them to embrace who they are OR it’ll be another strike on the list of why they’re not enough. Be conscious when you tell someone that ‘no one cares.’ Be extra cautious about the lies you’re repeating to yourself about not being good enough.

Every storm you’ve ever weathered, every dark pit you’ve fallen into, the way you feel things so deeply, and how you used to scribble stories in the margins of notebooks, will come together to form the pieces of a bigger picture. Everything will click into place and it’ll make sense what you’re here on this world to do. For anyone that’s currently wandering aimlessly in a fog and confused about the direction their life is going, trust me when I say that the fog is a good thing. It’s the first step to making a breakthrough. The fog forces you to ask if you really like the direction you’re headed or if you’re just following someone else’s journey. Perhaps this is the opportunity you’ve always needed to chart a new course for yourself.

Fear will fight hard to pull you back whenever you’re about to be a victor. He’ll wrap his bony fingers around your wrist and whisper things like, ‘Who do you think you are?’ and ‘No one will care.’ He manifests himself in the forms of other people’s opinions, failure and risk of rejection.Sooner or later you have to decide who gets to call the shots in your life. You or Fear? I’ve done the research and spoken to the people who are 5 and 10 steps ahead of me. They all say the same thing: fear doesn’t go away. It’s going to be up to you, brave one, to push through. Fear shrinks every time you step forward so just commit to one step. And then another. And then another. Soon you’ll realise that fear’s got nothing on you.

Take heart though, because our hardest battles really do become the launching pad we need. Every ballad you’ve ever written about overcoming fear becomes the fight song that opens new doors. Every heartbreak, anxious thought and tear you’ve ever shed will form the lines of a map that will help someone else come out of their storm.

On a warm Spring day, you’ll spontaneously accept an invitation to skip Uni and drive to the middle of nowhere. You’ll watch as a group of singers reduce an auditorium full of restless teenagers to tears after telling their story, and it’ll hit you that your experiences are important. The stories that make up your life are sacred and golden, and you need to stop discounting them as too trivial, messy or boring.  Afterwards, you’ll sit on the grey carpet with one of the guys who shared his comeback story. He’ll look you in the eye tell you that he can see joy written all over you. “In fact, Joy will be one of the key pillars of your life,” he says.

You’ll cling so hard to that because there was once such a dark period in your life that you thought you’d never feel happiness again. Now, if there’s anything you want to dedicate your life to fighting for, it’s to help other people feel joy as well.

21, you were a fight song and a love story all wrapped up in one.  Society places you on a pedestal because it’s the year of ‘real adulthood,’ but I say this was the year you could proudly say ‘I’m in my element.’

Love always, 

Ash


Wednesday’s Just Got A Recharge!

When the fresh start to the week has worn off, but the weekend still feels ages away, you end up with humpday. This dreaded, in-between, mess of a day where time slows to a crawl and your weekend is delayed. Let’s be honest- nothing exciting ever happens to anyone on a Wednesday…Except if you’re part of the Wednesday Club!

In just a click, you can look forward to me showing up in your inbox with a sprinkle of confetti* and encouragement to make humpday fly by so you’re closer to dancing on the weekends. I won’t be like your flaky Tinder date. I’ll show up on time, every time, with insightful conversation & a mission to leave you feeling inspired.

So what are you waiting for?

Enter your email to receive confetti* and encouragement in your inbox every Humpday!

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