I felt compelled tonight to share some very personal things about myself. I just feel it’s only right being that I’m asking people to take the time to visit my blog, like my content, subscribe to my blog and trust that my recipes are worth trying and sharing. That’s a lot! When people want my buy in, whether it be to purchase a product or service, or just to trust their advice and expertise – I like to get to know a little bit about the person offering these things to me. In a digital age it seems we lose the personal connections we once had and everything can seem a bit…cold.
If you’ve visited my About page, you probably know that my name is Ashley. I am 30 something year old who has overcome a tremendous amount of trials in life. I was raised in a broken home where drugs and alcohol gained control of my mother’s life long before I was born.
I witnessed things that my young eyes and mind were in no way ready to process and those things have scarred me deeply. I experienced being homeless, sexually abused, being subjected to drug and alcohol use and participating in theft and criminal activity…all before the age of 13 years old.
Once I became a young woman, I had very little self-worth and I subjected myself to further abuse and neglect. My parents did the best that they could for me with their limited resources while battling their own demons.
I turned to dating toxic men for a sense of security. I became pregnant while still living at home and had an abortion…something I regret to this day. I dropped out of college and moved out of my parents’ apartment at age 18. Things took a horrible downward spiral from there. The drug and alcohol abuse worsened. There were times when I would go on a three-day binge and not eat or sleep…just more drugs and alcohol. I would trade sexual acts for money and spend the money on my next drug binge. I somehow managed to maintain my waitress job throughout this time…but I guess that wasn’t hard to do considering the standards of the job.
My sense of self-worth was nonexistent by this time and I was making more reckless decisions than ever before. I had successfully gotten myself arrested twice, had several car accidents – totaling one car after owning it for just six months – all the while subjecting myself to more abuse and misuse by men. I can’t even tell you when I hit rock bottom because it seems I was there so many times.
I finally began to try and tackle the drug abuse but the demons I battled had not gone anywhere. Everything around me and inside of me was so negative that I just wanted to escape it all…permanently. There were many times that I contemplated what it would be like to leave the place that brought me so much pain. I thought about how the world would be better without me and how no one would miss me really. My heart was hard and bruised.
The pivotal point in my life would have to be when my mom passed away. I was 25 years old and I had to deal with feelings and emotions that I was not mentally or spiritually equipped to deal with. After my mom passed, I was fired from job. I felt like the universe was out to get me but truly it was me out to get me.
I still had nothing valuable to offer anyone at this point in my life. I grieved and loathed and continued to self-destruct in many ways. I finally kicked the drugs and decided to enroll myself back into college. I knew that it was what my mom would have wanted.
I persevered and graduated college at 27, much to my own surprise. I got a “real” job and actually started to feel like a capable adult. I moved away from the city I was raised in and I feel that really allowed me become who I was meant to be.
I met a man, who is now my loving husband of almost four years. I gave my life to God and my life now has an entire new meaning. I love myself…hell, I’m actually proud of the woman I am today! I have traveled out of the country more than once – something I never dreamed of ever doing years ago. I own a home and I’ve managed to keep my little family together over the years (dad and brother).
That doesn’t mean that life is void of trials. My husband and I have been trying to start a family for a while now. I was diagnosed with PCOS and sadly, we have suffered two pregnancy losses just last year.
Be these things as they may, I’ve never felt more alive or hopeful. I know that God will bless my husband I with the gift of parenthood when the time is right according to His plan. I am overcome with joy when I think about all God has brought me through. I am so hopeful for the future because I know Who holds my tomorrow.
I now come to you as a budding entrepreneur, with a passion for creating delicious food…mainly because it brings my loved ones together, and that brings me joy. I write this story, being as open and exposed as ever, in hopes that I reach at least soul out there and help them see that what we think is the end is actually just the beginning.
To anyone reading this, wondering if things will ever change or if you’re worth believing in…just know that you are all that AND MORE!!!