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My full 30 day writing challenge: it's time to get vulnerable

I started a 30 day writing challenge last month, one that I found off of Pinterest and well changed some questions and made them my own. I wanted to start it because I was dealing with a lot of things emotionally. I was writing a lot and needed to share with my family and friends some of these questions. I would go as far as sending them in a group with my best friend, mom and sister. So I thought of an idea about sharing with everyone who follows me on Instagram. I wanted to give them an outlet to answer some personal questions and I committed myself to asking in my stories everyday and sharing everyone's answers. As well as participate with me even if not for the full 30 days but whenever you saw it on my story. The amount of support and love that came in was amazing it honestly made me want to tear up, stories that people personally shared with me touched me. So here it is my FULL 30 day writing challenge with questions and answers straight from my journal to your screen. I want to be as transparent with you as I can as I have been working on myself a lot this year. Reading loads of self help books and trying to figure out why I am the way I am. I've been so scared of not saying how I feel and i'm tired of pushing people away. So i'm over it, this year i've been saying what I want, and how I feel and i'm not looking back. I'm grateful for the ones in my past the ones who taught me all of the hard lessons and made me feel like I was hard to love. I'm not holding back anymore i'm ready to be vulnerable and 100% honest with you. It's incredibly scary writing this and sharing this so bare with me. Some answers were obviously a piece of cake where others took me hours to think about but here it is the full (MY FULL)  30 day writing challenge: 

Day 1: 
List 10 things that make you really happy

1. Watching the ocean
2. Deep conversations with people
3. Reading 
4. Swimming in the ocean 
5. Traveling to new places
6. Coffee shops
7. Making my friends laugh
8. Inspiring others
9. Live music
10. Listening / finding new music 
*11. Creating
*12. Photography /filming making my idea a reality

Day 2: 

Write something that someone told you about yourself that you never forgot

I have a few things that haven't left me. One thing my sister told me recently was that i'm too closed off and will never find anyone for being "too picky." It really stuck with me because it's honestly true. My love language is doing not saying so half the time guys don't even think i'm interested when inside my hearts screaming for them. Trust me my sister isn't being mean for saying that to me of course it was out of anger and she didn't mean what she was saying but somehow it stuck with me and made me change the way I think and act for the better. I've taken more chances and started to open up more. I kept thinking I was unloveable and started to feel okay with being alone forever but after hearing that i'm like wow okay it's definitely me. I know i've been patiently waiting for someone extraordinary and that's okay not everyone will understand that when they're used to settling. 

The other thing that never left me was something that my mom tells me all the time. She says I never settle and that she's proud of me for living out my dreams. I do what I do because she's always believed in me. If I wanted to be an astronaut she'd support it. It really helped growing up with her always believing in me. People will forget what you said, they'll forget what you did but they'll always remember how you made them feel. So thank you mom for making me always feel like I could do anything I set my heart to. 

Day 3:

What are your top 3 pet peeves? 

1. Rude / impatient / inconsiderate people 
2. When people don't listen 
3. Bad breath / Personal hygiene 

Day 4: 
Write about someone who inspires you 

I'm constantly inspired by my friends. One in particular is cathie aka @darkmintdaisy. She's the kindest, sweetest soul anyone could ever meet. I'm with her 24/7 and somehow we never get sick of each other. She constantly thinks of others and is the most selfless person ever. She inspires me to keep following my dreams and is always there for me when I need her. She's the most loyal, hard working person I know. I'm incredibly lucky to call her my best friend and sister 13 years of friendship, nearly 7 or 8 years of living together and 5 years of working together. We have been through everything over the moon together and I just am so thankful to have her always by my side.

Also i met this girl in Australia last November/ December and I think she's also one of the most inspiring people I ever got to know. Brinkley Davis aka @brinkleydavies after meeting her I realized there's so much I'm not doing. I'm not doing enough for myself or for this lovely planet i'm living on.  
I've never met someone so easy going, who genuinely wants to help others and cares so deeply about our planet. So because of her i've made huge changes in my life. I stopped consuming meat i still am eating fish at this moment, I stopped using plastic (when and where I can) I use reusable cups at coffee shops and etc. I want to do better and her and cathie inspire me to do better! Check out Brinkley's website below. 

Day 5: 
List 5 places you want to visit 

1. Lima, Peru since my nana grew up there and i've always wanted to go on a family trip there
2. Maldives i've been wanting to go here FOREVER. The pristine water and villas look like the ultimate dream. 
3. South Africa 
4. Portugal 
5. Thailand, Greece basically anywhere with epic beaches!

Day 6: 
Five ways to win your heart

1. Be passionate about something you love 
2. Be open and honest about your feelings and emotions
3. Be adventurous and spontaneous. I'm huge on spontaneity 
4. Be a genuinely kind human and kind to others 
5. You have to want to travel and try new things

Day 7: 
10 songs you're loving right now

1. "Not your lover" by Morningsiders
2. "Who" by MUNA
3."Lilo" by The Japanese House
4. "I wonder" by Bay Ledges
5. "I need to know" by Tim Chadwick
6. "Outnumbered" by Dermot Kennedy 
7. "See through" by The Band Camino 
8. "Orange Juice" by Lostboycrow
9. "Beige" by Yoke Lore
10. "Au Revoir" by Phangs 

Day 8: 
Share something you struggle with

To be completely honest I struggle with a lot of things. The biggest one happens to be panic attacks and anxiety. It's honestly something i've been trying to work on hence all of these self help books, mental health and just learning about myself. It all started in college from what I believe. I had some roommates that really made me struggle. I can't blame them because it was partly me. Long story short they made me feel uncomfortable in my own dorm. I didn't even know the person I was sharing a room with. I couldn't eat or sleep I just wanted to get out out of there. Both of my college roommates ended the same way. We didn't speak to each other and I couldn't even tell you why we were so angry with each other to this day. We never spoke again, so having that constant anxious feeling whenever I was in my own room, let alone sharing that space with someone you don't speak to took a toll on my mental health. Even walking up to our apartment I would feel anxious, I started developing hives from it. This continued to happen with roommates from college even when I got my own apartment with one. The same thing happened so this continued for 3 years straight. Imagine living with people you can't stand for 3 years straight. It got so bad. I kept thinking it was me, because it was such a pattern I thought I was impossible to live with. Cathie definitely proved that theory wrong since we've been living together for 7 years and we haven't had any issues. The red blotches still come to this day and I wish they didn't exist. I get bad social anxiety before events or meeting new people (even though I love meeting new people). I used to work at this pizza place I loved working there but they constantly pressured me to do more for them. They pulled me in every direction and stretched me so thin I couldn't take it anymore. One day i had a huge mental breakdown I couldn't breathe and basically had a full on panic attack. It's so scary, i've had a few of them in my life and I don't wish it upon anyone. I still struggle with all of these things on the daily but reading "101 essays that will change the way you think" by Brianna Wiest really helped me with my mental health. It's so good I don't even want to finish it. So i've been reading it slowly. A chapter a day or one before bed or one when I wake. I highly recommend everyone to read it even if you don't deal with issues it's an amazing book to really help you put things into perspective.

Day 9: 
Write down some words of wisdom or inspiring mantras or phrases that speak to you

"Your value doesn't decrease based on someones inability to see your worth" 

"Leave footprints of love and kindness wherever you go" 

"Always listen before you speak" 

"When joy is a habit, love is a reflex"

"Don't settle for nice, for pleasant, for familiar. Keep looking until you find something that resonates with your core. And I mean this for people, for interests, for hobbies, for your possessions, clothes, music, books, art. Everything. Curate every aspect of your life as much as you can. It's the things that deeply inspire us that we find ourselves in. Surround yourself with truth, and you'll have built yourself a heaven." 

"Being happy is a very personal thing and it really has nothing to do with anyone else"

"Yeah you're cute, but do you like nature, the stars, evolution, psychology, philosophy, the universe peace, compassion, raising consciousness... in other words can you keep up with me?"

I have too many quotes and pin on the daily so check out my Pinterest board for more inspiring ones!  

Day 10: 
Write something you feel strongly about 

I'm a huge advocate for self love. I think I just grew up watching so many of my family members and people not having love or respect for themselves so I wanted to be huge on having self love for myself. I think it's incredibly strong and powerful when you learn to love yourself. It's something that you have to work on every single day and really work on it until you die. When you learn to love yourself you learn your worth and when you learn your worth you don't need anyone to validate you or your worth. You can make yourself happy and learn every single thing you love without having that opinion of someone else. I've seen it too many times and I too have done this. We change our hobbies or change things about ourselves so someone will like us more only come to realize we actually never liked those certain hobbies until there's a breakup. So learn what YOU like and don't just like a certain thing because someone else likes it or wants you to like it. Being alone and I mean truly alone helps you to process, to feel, to react, to completely know yourself it's an art form. It's okay to be incredibly alone. When you place your happiness in someone else's hands it'll always fail because people aren't perfect. You have to have faith and faith in yourself before giving someone else your all. You truly can do anything you set your mind to if you're willing to work at it every single day! 

Day 11: 
Write about something you always think "What if" about

I try to always live in the moment and treat each of my experiences as learning lessons. So i'm not ever thinking "what if" because that'll drive me crazy. Things all happen for a reason wither or not we like that reason or like how things turned out doesn't matter because one day it'll all make sense. Even if I had to think "what if" I can't even rack my brain to think of anything other than relationships but even then I think they all played out how they should've. Even the times I was extremely depressed over certain boys but looking back I truly do thank all of them even the rude ones or the ones that wouldn't even hold my hand in public but would kiss me behind closed doors. Trust me i've been through my fair share of heartbreaks without them even being my boyfriends. I still am grateful for the ways they treated me like I was worthless because they each taught me lessons. I would never put up with half of the shit I dealt with when I was 22 or when I was 25 now. I would never think "what if" about any of them i'm thankful they didn't work out honestly I still wish them all the happiness in the world. It's what comes to happen when you learn to love yourself though, you snip things in the butt right when they happen and learn to stand up for yourself. So don't drive yourself crazy over "what if's" if you don't like how your life is going right now make a change, look who you surround yourself with because those are the people you become do you want to become those people? if no then life is too short to surround yourself with them, let go and move forward. Look in the mirror say you're INCREDIBLE and stop thinking what if.

Day 12: 
Write about five blessings in your life 

1. I have to bring cathie back in on this one. Without her in my life I have no idea where or what i'd be doing. She is a major blessing and I consider myself so lucky to have her as my best friend.

2. I'm blessed that I get to call what i do work. I could never of dreamt of having the life I have right now. I get to work with brands I look up to and create content for their websites/blogs/ and social channels. It's honestly a dream come true! Creating for companies makes all the hard work and dedication worth it. It's the best feeling! Even though sometimes I can't pay the bills something always works out.

3. I'm blessed to have the family I have. We've had a lot of ups and downs especially this year but i'm blessed to have them. They're incredibly funny and I actually look forward to gathering for the holidays.

4. I'm blessed to get to call the people I surround myself with friends. Heck most of them are family at this point but I have been through my fair share of friends and these ones are good ones and would never let them go! They make my heart smile.

5. I'm blessed to live in the apartment building I live in. Although small and a bit old it has character and I love calling it my own.

Day 13: 
What are you excited about? 

I'm excited about life really and traveling. Ever since I was little I had this urge to travel the world. I wanted to see how other people lived, what they ate and what they called home. It's insane that I get to travel for work and create for companies in different countries. Sometimes I pinch myself because it doesn't feel real. I'm so grateful that I get to see the world. I'm honestly excited to see where I'll go next, what i'll see, and who i'll meet. Every time I leave the country it changes me for the better and I only dream of seeing more!

Day 14:
Write about your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching

The Dark Knight - it's always been one of my favorite movies I probably watched it 4 times in the theaters when it came out. A fun little story i've never been supper star struck and yes I see a lot of celebrities living in LA and no i've never asked for a photo. BUT one time I was at a friends birthday party at some bar in west hollywood and at the time I didn't even know he was introducing himself to me and I didn't think anything of it until we were all hanging out with him on a rooftop later. One of his friends said "he's a cinematographer he shot the dark knight" he basically shot a lot of my favorite movies and I just finished writing a paper on Hans Zimmer who he was just casually talking about. It was one of the craziest, coolest most special experiences till this day.

Bridesmaids - I can probably quote this whole movie and have before. I'm very annoying to watch this with basically but could watch it every day and still laugh. It's brilliant.

500 days of summer- This one killed me in high school and I loved every second of it. That one expectations vs. reality really got me. ALSO best movie soundtrack!!

Breathless - I don't watch this one as often as i'd like. I watched it in one of my film history classes and I was hooked. Yes it has subtitles but it's just magical. The style, the shots, it's just everything.

Wonders of the sea - This documentary really changed my life and I highly recommend everyone to watch this amazing film! It really made me want to do better and help the environment.

I have way more but then we'd be here all day.

Day 15: 
Bullet Point your whole day 

(July 22, 2019) this is what I did that day
- 8:00 am wake up check emails / made coffee for cathie and I
- 9:00 am shower
- 10:30 am started to paint live wyld jacket order
- 12:45 pm stop to take a break to run errands. Went to Marshall's, Trader Joe's, Bed bath and beyond
- 2:30 pm got back home and started to paint the jacket again
- 3:40 pm took a break to style clothes for tomorrows shoot day
- 4: 50 pm worked on finishing jacket to ship it out tomorrow
- 5:45 pm finished jacket and got ready to meet up with dustin and jared
- 6:00 pm head to laurel
- 7:45 pm head to bardot in hollywood to see brett play with quinn lewis
- 12:00 am got home and slept

Day 16: 
What do you miss?

I miss places more than anything right now. I miss Bali, exploring the unknown of a foreign place. Getting lost in the streets, drinking fresh coconuts at our Airbnb's, learning how to surf, and stumbling upon cool coffee shops and cafes. I miss walking until we had blisters and couldn't walk anymore. I also miss Australia because it all happened so fast and was gone in a blink of an eye. In a short amount of time I got attached to these places. The people there, the scenery the breathtaking beauty that surrounded us. One day i'll go back to Byron and explore the beaches, eat at all of the restaurants and just get lost. Those are things I miss right now.

Day 17: 
What's your zodiac sign and does it fit you? 

My zodiac sign is a Libra (born october 1, 1992) it definitely fits me on most things. For example I'm very social and love being around people. It's true that I see both sides of things. Hence arguments are never my favorite because I do see the other persons perspective. I do tend to be the balance for my friends and family. Other things though like indecisiveness i've gotten better on. When I want something I go all in with it but if you ask me to choose a restaurant we'll be here all night. I think everyone has little things that connect them with their sign and obviously other things that don't make sense at all. It is fun learning about but I don't base everything I do around it.

Day 18:
List 30 facts about yourself

1. I graduated from CSULA in 2015 with a degree in film and media studies
2. I started my own company 2 years ago
3. My favorite colors are primary colors blue, yellow and red
4. I've lived in Los Angeles longer than i've lived anywhere it'll be 10 years in 2020
5. Self love is a huge thing to me and I just want others to love themselves too!
6. I stopped eating meat in May 2019
7. I have a total of 4 tattoos and I constantly want more
8. I'm constantly wanting to travel
9. My favorite place I've been to is Bali
10. I love watching documentaries and old movies
11. I believe in real love and genuine connections
12. The ocean will always be my happy place
13. I've been saying this since high school but I think one day i'm going to marry a foreigner 
14. The smell of fresh rain, salty ocean, and flowers are some of my favorite scents
15. I don't let my past define me i've lived it and learned from it
16. I could write you a novel but when it comes to speaking face to face I stumble
17. I rather write a novel over doing 5 math problems
18. i'm always reading at least 3 books i've been doing this since high school and haven't stopped
19. i've been photographing and filming for 15 years 
20. My favorite fragrance is Kai 
21. Black coffee over everything
22. Going to live shows makes me incredibly happy. Dancing, singing along to my favorite artists while they live their passion is such an experience. 
23. I have the most talented, loving, caring, and incredible friends. 
24. Nicko is my dog she's a Siberian husky and I miss her every single day since she doesn't live with me. 
25. My go to drink when i'm out is gin with water and lemon. YUM! 
26. I never dreamt my life would be this incredible. I'm so thankful to live out my passion.
27. I love learning new things 
28. I want to do better and be better not just for myself but for the environment
29. I'm so thankful to have such a supportive mom
30. I'm trying my hardest to be more vulnerable and let people in because it's something I lack. I will open up more!

Day 19: 
Discuss your first love

To be completely honest I don't think i've ever been in love. I'm gonna tell you about my first real boyfriend I think I loved him in many ways but I was never truly in love. He was the closest i've ever gotten to that feeling though and probably was the only one I could really be myself with. I'm gonna put his name out there his name was Charlie. We had an incredibly fun friendship that blossomed into a relationship. I still remember sharing headphones on field trips or waiting for him to walk into a class we shared or making films together (get your mind out of the gutter) we were in the same film class and production group. He really taught me a lot about myself and what I wanted. I'll always be happy about what we had and although we aren't friends anymore and haven't spoken in over 9 years I'll still wish him nothing but true love and happiness. I'm incredibly lucky to have had him as more than a friend, I don't compare anyone to him or crave the relationship we had. I'm happy with what is was. 

Day 20: 
Discuss your top 3 celebrity crushes

1. Joe Keery because WOW look at that amazing hair and face. He's weird and he could sing. Basically what can't he do!?
2. Shawn Mendes because have you heard his voice? Again he has the best hair, face and wow those muscles.
3. Matthew Gray Gubler enough said he's hands down the coolest person ever. HAS great hair, he's funny, handsome and oh so talented. He's the reason I watch criminal minds <3

Day 21: 
What three lessons do you want your children to learn from you

Lesson 1: Treat others with kindness even when they aren't kind to you. Love them and listen to them.

Lesson 2: Self love so they never settle for anything less than they deserve. They'll learn that no one can make you whole and that when you learn to love yourself you're whole all by yourself. 

Lesson 3: I want them to be able to do anything that sets their heart on fire. I also want them to learn to weed out the bad people in their life that try to suck out all of their energy. So they can learn to surround themselves with people with good intentions that truly care about them.  

Day 22:
Put your music on shuffle and write down the first 10 songs that come up 

1. "Daphne Blue" by the band camino
2. "Malibu" by LANY
3. "Still" by The japanese house 
4. "queen" by Slenderbodies
5. "Are you bored yet?" by Wallows
6. "scars" by Yoke Lore
7. "Orange Juice" by Lostboycrow
8. "Once" by Two Door Cinema Club
9. "I love you so" by The Walters
10. "Only everything" by Quinn Lewis

Day 23: 
Write a letter to someone, anyone 

Dear Mom, 
I want to say thank you for always pushing me to be the best me. Thank you for always being kind it's shown me how to treat others with respect. I'm very thankful for the relationship we have and that I can always call you day or night and you're always there to listen. Thank you for always allowing me to follow my dreams even though you may not always understand what those dreams are. You've always been my number one fan and I always want to make you proud of me. I'm sorry I don't say all of these things as often as I should but I want you to know how great you truly are. I'm so proud of you too because you have been through a lot and you continue to shine bright and be the kindest, most supportive person I know. I'm very thankful that i get to call you mom and i'm just so thankful to have you. Keep being the strong woman I known know that it's okay to feel sad and lonely sometimes we all have those days. So I just wanted to say thank you and I love you. 
xoxo Ashley

Day 24: 
Something that always makes you happy no matter what

Being in or around the ocean, swimming in it, just floating in it or watching the waves crash onto the shore. It's beautiful and sometimes moves me to tears.

Day 25: 
Write about the last time you complimented someone in person

I try to compliment someone on the daily. It makes both sides feel good and I don't like holding back when it comes to seeing something I enjoy. I complimented a worker at Bluestone Lane coffee shop about her blue nail polish. Try to make this a daily habit. However small the compliment it goes a long way to the person receiving it. 

Day 26: 
Write about a lesson you learned the hard way

This is one that I still struggle with from time to time but for example no matter how kind or nice or caring you are to a person they could still hate you. I've learned that it has everything to do with how they feel about themselves than how they feel about me. There's this quote about how you can be the ripest, juiciest peach but theres always going to be someone who doesn't like peaches. That's with life there's always going to be someone who doesn't like you or talks bad about you even though you never did anything to them or you were only kind to them. Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you are hard to love because that's the biggest lesson i've learned. That was a hard lesson when you give your all to friendships and or to people and they just dump you like yesterdays trash. It's really helped me learn to just keep being me because people who are unhappy with themselves will continue to discuss people whereas that's the last thing I want to talk about. Just be good to people and the right ones will continue to be by your side. Aka just leave people better than you found them. 

Day 27:
What kind of person do you want to be known as when all is said and done? 

I want to be known as a kind person who is passionate and loving, who always puts others first. I want to be known as wild and creative someone who doesn't just follow the trends but creates new ones. I want to be the type of person people crave to be around. I want to have conversations that matter! The type of person who fights for others well being, who helps others, who helps the environment. I want to inspire others to be the best them! I want to be known as a boss lady and know that all my hard work got me to where I am. Most of all I want to know that I was being the best me I can be! 

Day 28:
Write about an area in your life you'd like to improve

So to be completely vulnerable here during this time I was dealing with some friendships that weighed heavy on my heart. I've focused on this a lot within the past years. I gained some amazing people and lost some along the way too. The ones that weren't allowing me to grow or change really kept holding me back. Again I don't look back at those people and hate them for giving me a hard time. I wish them well but glad they aren't in my life anymore. My heart was heavy when writing down this question because of a friendship that I cared so deeply about. It made me question a lot of things and actions and words just weren't adding up. Where did it all go wrong? I kept questioning. I cried in the shower most nights and felt an ache for this friendship in my chest to the point of not sleeping. I was wondering if they even loved me like they said they did. So many things were going on in my mind that my mind took control and fabricated emotions. It went on for about a month and I was waiting for a text or call that wouldn't come. One day I just couldn't take the aching anymore and texted. Texts get blown out of proportion because you aren't face to face with the person and this happened quickly. Finally we met up a few days after the texts. Let me tell you it was one of the scariest things thinking of all possible outcomes. Maybe she doesn't need me in her life anymore, maybe we've outgrown the friendship, maybe we aren't family, maybe we aren't meant to be in each others lives anymore. Maybe she'll come over and end it. Seriously every thought consumed me. Every day was inching towards this meet up until the day came and it was all I thought about. I was ready for whatever was coming but honestly I didn't want it to end. I had no idea she was feeling the same emotions and thoughts I was feeling. We both let not speaking consume us to the point of thinking irrational thoughts. When all we had to do was communicate how we made each other feel. It was that simple. This whole situation taught me that i do need to say how I feel more often because if it can drive a wedge into a friend who feels like family it can drive a wedge into a lover. I'm thankful that i had to go through this because now our friendship is stronger than ever and will continue to work on things we talked about. 

Day 29: 
What are your greatest accomplishments so far? What are you most proud of?

My company live wyld designs has shown me a lot of how with dedication and persistence you really can do anything. I'm so proud of myself for creating this little company, watering it and seeing how it's grown. I do push it asides at times especially while traveling because it's all ran by me. I'm also so proud of quitting a job that was killing me to work for myself. Although it's extremely scary i've learned that it's the little things that make me happy. I don't need much in life so it makes it all possible to work for myself. I work so hard and continue to push myself and my boundaries so i'm very proud of how far i've come. 

Day 30: 
What do you want more than anything else in life?

There's a few things but I want to have an ocean loving little surfing family of my own one day. I want to travel more and experience other cultures. I want to try new things and just experience all that life has to offer. I want to inspire others to live out their wildest dreams. I want others to learn that with hard work, dedication and persistence you really can do anything! I want to continue to treat others with kindness. Most importantly I want to see my friends thrive because seeing them happy makes me happy. I want to see them receive all the love they keep putting out into the world. I also want to be so madly in love with my future husband wherever he may be now. I want for me to give him my all and for him to reciprocate those feelings. All in all I want my love to be received and cherished for all time. 

Going to end it with this photo because not every photo comes out the way you want it to and a lot of factors come to play. I had this idea with sitting in the ocean while the waves hit the mirror embodying me as the ocean. I got trampled by waves and it didn't matter it was also a bit cold being full on in wet clothes but we got the shot. Just know theres always a million shots that didn't work out for one to actually work. 

all photos by @thelindawangphotography and @darkmintdaisy edited by me mainly using the bali preset from the beach pack :) 


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