I have deprived you of so much metal and so many jewels lately... annnd I'm doing it again. I apologize in advance.

I've been thinking a lot lately. Thinking about my family. My quarter life crisis (assuming I live to be 108, give or take). My feelings towards specific people in life and how I have grown over the past year... mostly emotionally.
The number 27, which is approaching with the speed of, well something really really super fast.. (the speed of light? Yes. That fast)... is a number I just can't fathom. How have I been alive for 27 years? Yesterday I was 8 years old, sitting on my stoop in Maryland, my Dad giving me a pep talk, "If you don't let it upset you, they can't win, Ashley."  I still tell myself that at least once a week. He was right. It's sad really, that that is how the world works. That we pick at each other. That we're jealous of each others knowledge, experiences, and successes. And even though I have grown tremendously and have come along way since those days that felt so torturous, I still have that little girls heart.

Humility. What humbles you? Do you have empathy for others? Love? Respect? Do you show it? Everyday? Are you aware that you are no more and no less human than the person to your left? That you make mistakes and that you make them because you are simply just one of a billion creatures of this earth? Do you ever stop and think about the rest of the world... That in that deep dark endless ocean there are an unimaginable amount of creatures living a completely different existance than you ever will?  That in the matter of a second, your entire being could be turned to ash and blown off into the whistles of the wind? You exist in two places. You exist on paper and in the minds of those who know you. That's not really much is it? I will walk by 1000 strangers today and by the time I take that last step past their side, in their mind, I once again cease to exist. This is what humbles me. That in all of this everything... I, you, everyone... we're truly, really, nothing at all.

Though a slightly painful realization and reality, it is honest and it feels almost peaceful. It is peaceful because this life is yours- to do anything you can possibly think of to do with it and the only person you truly have to share it with is yourself. This has taught me that giving my 100% true self fully to those around me is what makes my life, what has built my bonds, what has instilled honesty and trust in others, but most of all, what has made me finally feel grateful for that little girls heart that I have never truly lost and was always half angry at.

With every ounce of my being, I want to make others happy, to smile, to feel confident, to feel cared about, to feel something maybe a little bit deeper than they thought that they could. I want to show them my sparkle, and to hopefully pass that on to them.. and for them to hopefully learn to pass it to another.  This is what makes me feel alive. And this is what I have vowed to myself to try and do each and everyday without the worry of what others may think of me. It is with hope that maybe if I do this, maybe at least then, when the day that I no longer exist comes and wisps me off of my feet, my ashes may make the wind whistle just a little bit louder.