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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dear Little Ashley

Dear Little Ashley,

I want to give you some advice so when you feel like the world is falling apart around you, you know that thing will in fact get better.  You will go through some tough times fashionably and emotionally, but you will come out of it.  You will think it is cute to have extremely short hair when you hit second grade.  Resist the urge to beg for that haircut.  People will ask your Mom how her two "boys are."  If you must go extremely short with the hair, wait until you have matured and can pull it off without the boyish figure.

You will go through some rough patches where you feel like your Mom and Dad are the meanest people ever.  Every thing your parents will do is because they love you.  Yes, even moving you to a new part of town where you know no one is for the best.  You will reluctantly move, kicking and screaming the whole time protesting that you will never call the new house "home."  It will eventually become home and you will learn to like your new school.  However, there will be some people at your new school who are not nice.  You will get picked on in middle school because you wear nothing but kahki pants for an entire school year.  Don't let those people get you down.  They are using you to mask their own weaknesses and insecurities.  You will meet a boy who is blind and mute.  Be nice to him.  Other kids will pick on him for his handicaps, but he needs you.  Although he cannot see these people or speak to them, he can still hear what they say to, and about, him.  He will show you he appreciates your friendship and although he cannot see you, he will light up when you say his name and talk to him at lunch.

Don't be afraid to branch out and meet new people.  You will have opportunities to travel to new places.  DO IT!  Take the trip to Australia and New Zealand that will be offered.  Not everyone gets a chance to travel half way across the world at the age of 14.  While you're there you will meet some amazing people.  You will develop a crush on one of the boys there with you.  Stay away.  He will tell you he doesn't have a girlfriend.  When you get back home, you will discover the truth and be glad you stayed away.

Speaking of guys, you will meet some interesting ones during high school.  There will be one guy in particular who transfers in half way through your Freshman year.  He will be known as the "kid from Center Grove" and people will be mean to him because of the rivalry between your school and his old one.  Give him a chance.  There will come a point when you become interested in a guy you work with at Munchie's.  You will hang out with him a few times and go to a couple movies with him.  You will soon discover that he wears a special bracelet around his ankle and for what reason.  Be smart enough to walk away.

The summer between your sophomore and junior years of high school will be rough.  Your brother {and consequently most of the people in your group of friends} will be packing and transitioning to college.  You will hate the thought of him being gone, but you will survive.  You don't know it yet, but this will bring you closer together.  When you graduate from high school he will "campaign" for you to go to IU with him.  Don't do it.  Go to a smaller college, more suited for you where you can be your own person.  If you go to IU, you will forever be known as "Ryan's little sister." Learn to be "Ashley."

Once you get to college you will thrive.  You will become a social butterfly.  Be careful.  It will be easy to fall into the wrong crowd.  Your faith, values and morals will be tested by things you see and hear.  Make sure to keep a level head and you'll be okay.  You will go through moments of extreme self consciousness because you're not built like some of the girls you will have classes with.  You will learn that in order to stay on the slimmer side, you will have to work HARD.  You will put hours in at the gym feeling like you're not getting anywhere.  You are.  Keep pushing through the sweat, tears, and pain.  You will develop a love for fitness.  So much that you will change your major to help children develop this love as well.  You will attend many intramural functions, tail gates, and football games.  You will meet a guy who you think is great, but not great enough to mention to your Mom and Dad.  You will go home for a weekend to hang out with high school friends and something magical will happen.  You will see the "kid from Center Grove" in a whole new light.   You will go back to school and tell your "great guy" that it isn't working.

Two weeks later you will get an email from the "kid from Center Grove" asking if you want to try a long distance relationship.  DO IT!  You will find that this is the most caring, loving, genuine guy who loves you for YOU.  He will spend hours on the phone with you, countless nights not going out with the guys so he can talk to you, and hundreds of dollars sending your surprise packages since your schools are 200 miles apart.  A summer will come when he surprises you and proposes marriage.  Say yes.   You will spend your life happier than you've ever been.  It won't be easy, life will throw you curve balls, but it will be worth it.  You will build a life with him and spend hours and hours and hours laughing with him.   He will join the military and be gone for 18 of the hardest months of your life, but know that in the end, it will be worth it.  You will travel together, attend too many weddings to count,  baby showers, sporting events with friends, and live happily ever after.

Your Mom will become one of your best friends.  You won't believe it now, but a day will come when you tell her EVERYTHING.  Your Dad will always have your back, no matter what, and believe it or not, so will Ryan.  He will also get married, but don't worry, you will ADORE her.  You will gain the most awesome group of friends.  Right now, you can't even fathom the closeness your group of friends will have.

So, when life gets hard... stick with it.  I promise, it will be worth it.

Older Ashley


  1. Aww this is a really awesome letter :) I wish I could have given my young self a few pointers along the way.

  2. Great post =) Looks like everything turned out for the best =)

  3. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!