Updated: Jan 25
Hey, it’s Ashlynn. If you’re on this website you’ve probably come across my work at some point (which is very cool!!), or you’re my manager Vanessa, or we know each other in real life and I’m standing over your shoulder right now forcing you to read this. Welcome to my first public journal entry where even I have no idea what I’m about to tell you! We’re making this up as we go.
Today is January 7th, 2023. It’s one of those days where there’s a film over everything and I feel very removed from the world. It might be exhaustion. I don’t mind it one bit though, being slowed down from the inside out instead of the other way around for once. Todays the first day in a while, probably since I’ve broken my foot, that I don’t have enough energy to criticize myself for not “doing enough” or “living each moment to its fullest potential.” It’s not peace, but at least it’s not pressure! So I ordered kombucha instead of coffee today and I’m sitting at a cafe with my foot elevated like the doctor told me to, typing this up in my zombie state. We love a change.
Man it’s weird to be writing a journal entry that I know will be public because in a journal that no one reads, I’m free to sound as stupid or irrational or delusional as I want. But now I’m thinking about how I’m coming across to you and worrying. I’m telling myself it’s ok to relinquish that control. That’s the thrill of putting yourself out there, right? Something I’m trying to do a lot more of this year.
I noticed something related to that goal last night at a party I was at- well actually I noticed it this morning, when I woke up hungover on my couch and did the well-known night out debrief (with myself in my head) and all the embarrassment I couldn’t feel for myself when I was drunk came flooding into my cheeks as memories popped up. I was embarrassed about how I looked, I was embarrassed about how I talked to people, I was embarrassed that I was injured and had to move around on crutches or stay in one place, I was embarrassed that I tried to dance and enjoy myself anyway. Every action of mine that came from a place of being comfortable in my own skin turned into a shameful thing to feel nauseous over the morning after. If I’m going to be putting myself out there more, I’ve got to start deriving pride from the risks I take; from caring and trying, from the joy I feel naturally, etc.
Am I actually ashamed, though? Or am I just thinking about all the ways someone else could judge me and feeling upset that there’s nothing I can do to avoid that being a potential reality? Am I being unfair by projecting my own judgments of myself onto someone else who may not even care enough to think anything of it? If there was no one else on the planet, would I still feel shame at all? And regardless, aren’t people’s criticisms of you simply a reflection of the things they criticize themselves for? Isn’t that none of my business?? Why am I making myself suffer more than I need to lol.
I’ve been recovering my sense of community recently. I lost it some time in the middle of 2022 and I didn’t realize how much I missed it and how easy it would be to do something about it until I became pretty much immobile for a month in December and had lots of time to think and lots of time to be alone, things I’d usually crave deeply. But anything in excess stops feeling like a privilege at some point. And I love people. And I love loving people. I want to do as much of that as I can. I’ve started reaching out more instead of waiting for people to come to me, because I realized that the whole “I don’t chase I attract” thing, while it definitely has merit to it, is a biiiiiiiig ego protector. If I’m actively trying to let go of shame, I also have to let go of my ego and see my vulnerability as something to be really proud of. I mean it’s the whole reason I’m here writing this. The whole reason I have songs to write. My head understands this. My heart needs practice.
If this injury has done anything, it’s forced me to finally have enough time to finish a music project I’m very excited about. It’s very much a reflection of these past few months of having to sit and do all my living and adventuring in my head. I’m very excited to share ;)
But I’m also VERY excited to walk again.