For the first time in my life at the age of 29, I’m not sure who I am anymore. But this woman that I see, I’m not very fond of her. There have been more changes, obstacles, and general life happenings in the last year and a half than I feel strong enough to handle.
*October 2016- After 4 years of teaching part-time, I was hired as a full-time Adult Education ESL Instructor.
*October 2016- After some encouragement from my coworkers, I decided to write an ESL curriculum book about how and what to teach to First Time Adult Literacy Students. It is a very niche market, and my proposal was rejected by 4 publishers.
*October 2016- I finally started dating one of my best guy friends from college, Seth.
*December 2016- My lifelong church home was vandalized and burglarized two nights in a row. It ended in the death of a young life of one of the intruders.
*January 2017- A few weeks later, the same church home was knocked down as part of the first phase for a new, larger facility.
*February 2017- Seth and I secretly got married, and I moved into his man cave home.
*March 2017- Four nights after getting married, we woke up to a burglarized home. And despite EVERYONE telling me that it wouldn’t happen, the men came back 2 weeks later and chased me and my mom out of the house.
*March 2017- We moved in with my parents for roughly three months.
*March-April 2017- In the meantime, we had 2 wedding receptions including a mock American wedding for my ESL students, and 4 wedding showers.
*April 2017- We bought a house and moved again.
*May 2017- At work I was tasked with executing a hefty grant for our Family Education program for the upcoming school year.
*June 2017- My parents moved out of my childhood home.
*June-December 2017- I attended psychotherapy for PTSD because of the burglaries.
*September 2017- I was hired as a Program Specialist in my workplace.
*December 2017- I started Krav Maga (Israeli Combat) classes.
*March 2018- I found out that due to budget cuts, my job will be cut after June 30.
*May 2018- I completed my first full year teaching ESL, coordinating the ESL program at our largest site, while successfully executing the grant.
Now here I am. Some days my head is still spinning because I haven’t had time to process much of this. Everything has changed- my identity, my roles, my physical location, the chemicals in my brain, my work, my outlook on life. I struggle to like the woman I’ve become because I don’t want to be who I see every day. I am tired. I feel broken. I am negative. I don’t trust people. Some days I don’t even like people. I am afraid… a lot. I am not adaptable. I am a ball of anxiety. I cry way too much.
I don’t say all this asking for affirmations; I simply need an outlet. I need to be real. For those interested enough to read, I want to be understood. Seth is always telling me that I have to cling to truth before I start in one of my downward emotional spirals. I’m thankful that even on the hardest day, I still know in my soul that I was created by the God who faithfully loves me and can redeem the difficult things that have happened. I’ve been given the best husband and life partner anyone could ask for, who never gives up on me and constantly encourages me. My parents and my sister are crazy amazing and have never left me alone. And I still have a deep desire to change the world.
Someday soon, I hope to see a different person. A woman who is strong, confident, and joyful. A woman who loves others again with full compassion and understanding. A woman at peace and who has self-control over her thoughts. A woman who can be a sounding board to others who are going through something similar. Here’s to the journey of processing the former dull seconds and embracing the new ones that come along the way.
2 thoughts on “The Woman I’ve Become”
You are such an amazingly incredible person, Ashley. And brave to say the least. Brave for being totally vulnerable and sharing your story. Thanks for the read!
What challenges you have faced. Know that the zlotd is holding you tight through every hill and valley. That’s the truth I cling to as a year I would never have expected (and not much desired) has been unfolding. As I go through it, knowing that all of it AND the way I think, feel and react are all known to the Lord is such a comfort. I hope that truth comforts you, too.