The Weak Duckling

My boyfriend lives in an apartment complex with two large duck ponds. Extremely beautiful with islands and fountains and Grandmother Willow trees laying above, gently dropping the leaves off her branches and floating freely around the freely swimming, interacting ducks and geese.

Whenever I sleep at his house, I love waking up and taking all of the old bread we can find, and walking down to feed the ducks in the sunlight. To me, there is nothing more peaceful. It’s a true joy for me to watch as the ducks interact and swim and talk to each other. The way they communicate is like a playground of kindergarten students. Filled with rules and courtesy’s that adults cannot possibly understand.   I get lost when I watch this swimming community. I think to myself what they could possibly be saying and what they could possibly be laughing at with each other. There were these two that must have been playing tag, swimming and quacking and nipping each other in the butt feathers. Did you know ducks could play tag?

I could watch these ducks forever. I love everything about them. They influence my thinking to compare their actions and reactions to humans. How similar we handle conflict, games, and loved ones. How there are always more popular ducks swimming around us, more powerful ducks, weaker ducks. The only difference between us and ducks is that we are in a different form; a different species. Also, just happened to be more civilized.

However, today is unsurprisingly no different than the other mornings in comparing the ducks to the world I see myself. This day, as Devan and I walked from the smaller duck pond with the island in it, over to the larger duck pond with the giant fountain in it, I came across a silent duck.

This poor ducky was just standing on the top rock in the grass, opening its mouth and trying to scream. He kept trying and was mustering up all of the power in his tiny duck body and non-stop pouring everything he had into his vocal cords. Nothing came out. I could feel his pain. I could feel the duck’s frustration and sadness. “Why can’t I make noise?? Why can’t I scream?? Where is my voice?! Why isn’t this working?!?!” I could only imagine the things he was thinking to himself.
I was frozen and just staring at this duck. It didn’t even flinch the closer I got. It wouldn’t eat the bread I was offering. I could have picked it up, it barely moved when I would touch its back and feel the feathers. I couldn’t help but frown in sadness at this lonely body. Devan warned me the other ducks would probably kill it. Surely, but slowly, the small duck found the water and jumped in the pond. Next to the geese and the other ducks. Not even five minutes in the water and two other ducks nipped the silent one in the neck! They reached around and bit him! He kept opening his mouth, watching and feeling the NOTHINGNESS come out and ALL the ducks surrounding him were looking confused! They were probably thinking, “Who is this impostor? Fake duck! Not real! Can’t even quack! Is this real??”

“Ashlyn, that’s just how it is. That’s a weak duck. The other ducks will bite it and it will probably die. Don’t be sad. It’s the circle of life. Weak things don’t survive in the wild. That’s life.” Devan just seemed such a man about it. I’m just a girl. I name animals and inanimate objects like cars, purses, and shoes. I put emotion into everything that comes out of my mouth.

So as we walked away, I started thinking about the situation and the ducks and life and how it connects to me and why I was thinking about it so much. It had to click eventually. Which it did. Just now. I realized, just like the duck, without a voice, WE WILL DIE. We will lose so many luxuries. Without a voice, we allow others to pick on us and control us and everything we do. Silence IS the enemy! The strongest ducks in the pond had the loudest quack and the ability to control the situations.
Now, don’t be loud, because that could just cause you to sound obnoxious. But be HEARD. Be SMART. Be daring. Say what is on your mind. Speak your thoughts! Bring them to life! Share your ideas and FEAR NOTHING! 

 

Lose your voice and you too, shall end up like the weak duckling in the pond that was just too big for him.

Alas, I am only human…

Current Song: Kid Cudi- Enter Galactic
Current Mood: At peace
Current Location: The Mall Bench

“If you can’t do what you imagine, then what is imagination to you?”
– Kid  Cudi

I encourage positive thinking to everyone around me, everyday. Whether they  just ended a relationship with their job, friends, family, or significant  other. Whether stresses and insecurities are weighing down on their  shoulders and putting knots the size of stink bugs in their back muscles, I  help people with their confidence by rising their spirits and showing  them just how beautiful and talented they actually are. I love being the one they come to and being able to mend their heart when they feel like life is too chaotic. I love being able to give them hope and make them happy. Being able to make other human beings smile is one of the qualities I am extremely grateful I have and I feel blessed I can do it.
The one problem is that I forget to take care of the well-being of my own heart. It seems that I am only human and I have the times as well that I feel like my life is one event away from spinning out of orbit. Sometimes I have the moments where I wanna throw everything I have away, because I can’t handle what I’ve surrounded myself with. Just like many others, I have a weakness to the mentality that quitting everything or running away from my problems will solve them, and I always prove myself wrong when I tell myself I will get it over it, and the problem grows worse. I break out in zits, I emotional eat, and notice I stop doing things I love the most, like writing in my diary or reading in my cabana. I even work out less. Bad signs all around when I let stresses and worries come into my life.

This morning is just the morning I needed. It’s 5:50 in the morning and I am sitting, indian style, on a bench at the outside Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake. The air is crisp and fresh; I can see the foggy air as it escapes my mouth while I breathe, holding my hot chocolate in one hand as I am typing this blog right now. It’s in this moment where I am lost in the simple pleasures of pure dark, quiet, peaceful serenity that I realize, everything will be okay. Regardless of my own personal issues, doubts, and fears… life has a funny way of working itself out. It’s the one thing in a lifetime that you should never doubt. So I asked myself on the bike ride here, “How do I overcome this? What are ways where I can help myself when I start feeling low and stressed and overwhelmed with unwanted problems and/or desires??”

Well these are the answers I came up with.

#1. Smile: Smiling has been proven time and time again to produce happy thoughts and positive thinking. No matter how dorky you may feel smiling by yourself or smiling while you want to cry or are angry, you can’t help but have good thoughts come from it. I always say, when in doubt, smile, and your thinking will automatically always change.

#2. Write: Take out a piece of paper, go into your favorite place, turn off all noise around you and scribe like you have never written before. If you’re more of a computer person, open up Word and type like you’ve never typed before. The thing about this is it lets you vent without fear. It doesn’t have to make sense. You don’t have to use correct words, punctuation, or complete sentences.  After a page or two you will realize how much was really going on inside your head. This is one of the best solutions I have ever done for myself and one of the solutions I have received the best feedback on. With this practice, it forces you to really dig deep and pay attention to your thoughts as they produce in your head and lets you confront your thoughts without judgement of someone else listening to you. It’s fast, accepting, and an easy way to get everything out that you wouldn’t want to share with anyone else.

#3: Exercise: This is a fantastic solution! What better way to sub-consciously control and solve your problems than to work out? When you focus on one major thing, like running (or whatever your favorite exercise is) you will notice that your sub-conscious will start to rise and just like the sweat, it will drip out of your mind and into thin air. With exercise, there is no side affect. Channel your inner self to push yourself to new limits and reach your goals.

#4: Work on a hobby: Never forget the things you love. It feels like stress can take over our lives, but it’s just a thought. Just like the devil, stress works on our minds with the intention of breaking us down and taking everything away from us. Don’t let stress get the better of you. Overcome it, and tell that stress bug, “You will not conquer me! I will not suffer!” Keep your passions awake and alive. Keep them vibrant and full of life. Go out of your way, even one hour a day or ten minutes a day, to work on your hobby, whatever it may be. Let yourself live for your passion. Heighten your ability and prove to yourself that you are able to overcome obstacles. Stress is short term, but letting it take over your life can have lasting affects.

#5: Smell the fresh air!: You would be surprised at how many people react like a hermit and lock themselves away in their houses when they have a layer of thick stress hovering over them. This is one of the worst things you can do. A perfect place to think clearly is in the naturalistic planet we inhabit. Candles can be relaxing, but when you are sitting inside of your home for too long, your thoughts are unable to grow and expand, just like being kept inside close doors, your thoughts are kept inside a locked box. Fresh air is breathed in through your nose and immediately fills your body with healthy particles, opening up and heightening your senses. Suddenly your thoughts will be swarming around you, just enough for you to be able to pay close attention to them and follow them. How to solve problems, how to think of new goals and aspirations, how to JUST BE. So go for a walk, ride a bike, put on those roller blades you have had sitting in the hallway closet only to collect dust. Take the dog for a hike – just go outside! This is one of the best things you can do for your body with all the healthy vitamins from the sun and the grass and the clouds. All around you is beauty and I promise, it will give you better thoughts.

 

So beat the problems and issues in your life. Show yourself you can live for better things. Be the person you want to be and learn in more ways than just these five minor tips to have a healthier, happier, more fulfilled YOU. Because you are the most important thing in this lifetime. You have the ability to be amazing. Don’t lessen yourself and don’t ever tell yourself can’t, won’t, and don’t. Those words are no longer part of your vocabulary. You are great, you are fine. Just breathe, and everything else will fall into place. Life has a funny way of working itself out. Trust in yourself, trust in the universe, and you will soon find happiness wherever you go.

 

Great Autumn Day.

Current Location:

You know when you have one of those days where everything is just perfect for you? (Or as close as perfect can get)

I have had that kind of day. First of all, nothing makes me a happier girl than when I wake up in my cabana with the moist, fresh, crisp autumn air greeting me with the crickets rubbing their wings together and the sun just barely gleaming out of the clouds. The kind of weather that looks cold, but is just warm enough to still wear shorts. I turned over to see the face of my adorable boyfriend, with his arm wrapped around me. He looks so adorable in my girlish bed, it never ceases to make me giggle seeing such a manly man in such a girly atmosphere. Poor boy. He must like me 😛

I got my dream job, working at Victoria’s Secret. It may sound silly, but I have wanted to be a part of the angel team for as long as I can remember, before my obsession with Playboy came about. But anyway, that will be a discussion for a different day. Anyway, we did a lot of hands on training at the store today, which is the #1 store in our entire region. It makes me feel extremely proud to work for such a great company, and I am hoping to stay with them for a long while. I made a friend there who is much different than I am. Jessica is going the LDS Business College and loves BYU. Now, I grew up with more Mormon people and turned out the exact opposite. I experimented, swore, snuck out, and broke every rule I could think of. Yet, when I am around all the LDS friends of mine, I feel so wonderful 🙂 She is such a great girl and means well. She is new to Utah, and it inspired me to be a good friend to her, and show her a genuinely good time in Utah. Since I am doing this whole “Bad Girl Gone Good” transformation, I know I needed to decide who in my life in poison, tolerable, and good for me. So far, I have done semi well.

So, back on subject – waking up to a perfect morning? Check. Go to Dream Job? Check. Make a new friend? Check.

After work, I grabbed my bike just in time for a 7 minute thunderstorm to sweep into the downtown area of Salt Lake. Picking up leaves and papers and bending the trees at just the right amount of angle to worry someone of a tornado. It was pouring rain! And I love that. I used to be terrified of thunderstorms. When they would come, I would run to my bedroom and jump in my bed and pull the covers all the way over me. The breaking of the clouds sent my heart pounding and seeing the lightening frightened me more than the sound of a chainsaw at the Haunted Mazes during Halloween. Once I got over that fear, I played in the rain, slept soundly during a thunderstorm and will now even sit outside and just watch in awe as the natural wonders of the world take place. I watched the thunderstorm today through the glass doors of a corridor, waiting for my amazing friend, Allison to pick me up in her truck. Our stomach’s were demanding we let it feed on Paradise Bakery.

So that’s three other great things! -> Thunderstorm? Check. Seeing good friends? Check. Panini’s and soup? CHECK, CHECK.

I got to ride my bike all around the city today and for anyone who knows anything about me, knows how much I love being on my Trek. The feeling of being on a bike is so free and invigorating. Since the thunderstorm was rather short, the smell of rain filled my nose as I aimlessly rode back down to and around my work, up to the busy streets and would have stopped at my gym to lay in the tanning bed, but forgot my goggles. It’s okay though, skin cancer wasn’t on my To-Do List today anyhow.

I took a great nap with Devan and his greatly big, beating heart offered to drive me and pick me up from my best friend’s birthday dinner tonight. She is 21 today. *HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHALY! I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!* I had such a good time tonight at Winger’s sitting with her, her son (and my Godchild) Damian, her boyfriend Luke, and his friend Dylan. We talked about hilarious experiences and I filmed Damian taking off his baby wife beater and playing peek-a-boo; his new favorite game. I don’t get to see them all as much as I would like, if it were up to me, I would be living in the same house as them. Every year, I know if we don’t get to see each other, I can at least count on her birthday – NO EXCUSES – for us to have our time. She is one of those friends that no matter how much you talk or physically interact, things are right where they should be. Being there in her presence tonight, made me feel at peace.

So, in conclusion with my story: free bike riding? Check. Nap? Check. Best friend and Godchild time? Check.

 

I’m not saying I have a perfectly happy life. Just like other people, I have worries and stresses and sometimes I feel like my world is about to spin out of control, but it’s days like these where I stop and smile. I tell myself everything will be okay. I remind myself of how many good things I have and how grateful I am to have such a wonderful surrounding of energy comparable to the Sun that controls our very solar system. It’s easy to forget how much we take for granted. Maybe we don’t have the job we want, or maybe our siblings play the “Why?” game too much or embarrass us when we’re with our friends. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck and are in debt, spending money faster than you can make it. Whatever the case may be, you’re alive. Be thankful for that. Be thankful you have a place to sleep at night and a computer or some kind of internet to read this on right now. Despite all the unfortunate things that may occur in our lifetime to us, these are the days that will mean the most when you’re gone. Not making a million dollars in a year or how many nice pairs of True Religions you own. Nobody will care about that when you’re dead, unless you are Valentino. Then people may care… but until then, stop and smell the fresh air. Smile, because today is a new day to do great things. It is never too late to soak up the goodness.