Thursday, July 28, 2016

Absolutely Speechless

It was a typical day in Ms. X’s 8th grade class.  She never seemed to be able to steer the class into talking about what we were supposed to be studying.  Let’s just be honest...the students were all pretty disrespectful and couldn’t care less what she prepared.  Actually, she didn’t mind going off on tangents instead of trying to make us pay attention. I remember somehow she got talking about ACNE as the kids chattered on in their various groups to each other.  I don’t know why or how the subject came up.  But she was joking around about how unfortunate it is, or something along those lines (all with zero ill-intent, of course!).

There was this guy in my class that always had to give his two cents.  He talked loudly as though he expected the whole class to be enthralled with his comments.  He and I were almost friends, but we kind of had this rivalry going on. So…back to the story…the teacher was talking about acne and how unfortunate it is, when suddenly this kid turned over to me and said something along the lines of, “Well Ashleigh’s life must be very unfortunate, because she is like, Acne Acre!!” 

I usually was able to reply to any insults from him very quickly and laugh things off, but in this case, I was not prepared for the sting of hearing half the guys in the class snorting in derision at his jest.  Some girls laughed too, but mostly, they all gasped.  All the various audible reactions quickly boiled down to complete silence as all eyes in the classroom locked on me.  My best friend at the time was in the class, but had been talking to someone else, so she had not heard what this young man said to me.  Even she became silent and looked over at me, confused as to what was going on.

My face had never been so red.  I felt the heat of distress flushed all over my body.  It was true!  I had acne all over my forehead.  It was one thing in life I was actually really insecure about. If you have ever seen “Anne of Green Gables,” there is a scene where Gilbert Blythe calls Anne “carrots,” because of her red hair.  Well, that scene does not hold a candle to how I felt during that moment.  I honestly did not know what to do.  I felt like crap but didn’t want to cry in front of everyone.  Nor did I think I could get up and smack that boy upside the head.  I was rendered absolutely speechless, and the most unbearable lump formed in the back of my throat.

As my thoughts whirled around in my head at 100 miles per hour and as the eyes of the students bored into my soul like a drill, I lost all control of my emotions and put my head down on my desk and just began to ugly-cry.  Hot tears splashed all over the desk.  The teacher didn’t even know what to do.  My best friend ran to my side to comfort me, but to no avail.  She then punched the boy in the arm as hard as she could when she found out what he had said to me.  He was standing over me, obviously very sorry for what he said, apologizing over and over.  He never meant anything by it, and he was just trying to be funny.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop crying.  LOL.  The teacher escorted me outside the classroom so that I could calm down without everyone staring at me.  I never wanted to go back into that classroom, or see any of my classmates again – especially not HIM!!!

Later, he tried to make up for his actions by bribing me with chocolate and a string of nonstop apologies, but little did he know, chocolate always made me break out even more, so I curtly refused to accept it.  When I look back on this whole experience now, I laugh.  It is actually quite funny!  I was so sensitive. (Funny side note: I am “Facebook friends” with this guy now, but I doubt he will ever read my blog, which is why I feel comfortable sharing this story…)

The nice thing is…. I grew out of that insecurity a few years later, because I learned how to control it.  After high school I started to work at a health food store, and discovered that my health was 100% linked to my skin.  I ditched all my chemical skin products and opted for the simplest glycerin soap that cost 99 cents, exercised, and ate lots of fruit and vegetables and started juicing, and my skin cleared up a lot.  My skin was still very oily, but I had some ladies tell me I would love my skin type in the future.  Well, I thought that they were lying, but today I am happy to say that I am 100% proud of my skin, and get complimented on it all the time now. At school, I even had someone ask me what my secret is for looking so youthful when they found out my age.  I think it is my oily skin type!!!! HA! 

I may have had to suffer more than other girls because of not having perfect skin in Jr. High and High School, but I must say, this led me to having compassion for others and to developing other aspects of myself that I wouldn’t have had time for if I didn’t have these experiences.  I have also discovered the key to my own health.  I am grateful for everything I went through.  It has turned me into the person I am today.  I am grateful for the support of my friends and family – who have always loved me no matter what I ever looked like.  One last thought is this:  Those who matter the most in life are the ones who would never judge you based on how you look, but those who judge you based on your heart. xoxox

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Enjoying the Moment

What has the Son family been up to?  Well..... life has been so busy for the past few months that it feels like it is our new reality to hardly see each other, except at night and on the weekends. I have learned from experience that if you let it, a busy life can make you miserable.  On the other hand, if you make time for things you care about (and for little things that make you happy), there are small pockets of wonderful moments that basically make up for all the long hours of hard work put in at school and work.

Soooo.... here are a couple of small things I am sharing with you - how I enjoy small moments:

1) Live "in the moment."  Don't worry about what the future holds.  Cross that bridge when I get there.  Sure, I am scared about the process of finding a new job that is the right "fit" for me when I graduate.  But at the moment, when I pause my worried thoughts, and just look around me, I am absolutely fine NOW.  In this very moment.  Deep breaths, in and out!

2) Eat food that makes me happy and healthy at the same time.  I like to eat as simply as possible.  Part of it comes from being completely lazy (ha ha!!! but I do work hard other than this, okay?) and the other part is because simple, unprocessed foods make me feel healthier and help my brain function better.  A couple of favorites for me include fresh summer fruit (cut up watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines), spiralized baked fries (a couple potatoes julienned or spiralized, baked at 475 degrees for 15 minutes, and then broiled at 500 degrees for up to another 5 minutes, then fresh lime drizzled on top), or fruit sorbets (frozen banana as the base with other frozen fruits or cacao powder or matcha...whatever I feel like).  I also enjoy juicing fruits and vegetables.  I could make a separate post about all this... but anyway the point is, healthy and tasty food is the best!

This past weekend, Brandon and I shared this huge bowl of Strawberry Banana Sorbet.  It is so easy to make (one part frozen bananas, one part frozen strawberries, and a splash of almond milk pulsed in a vitamix until it is "ice cream texture.")  I could eat this every day, and it is much cheaper than going out for ice cream all the time (and much easier on the stomach too).

3) Brandon is going to laugh at me for this because I am going to be a hypocrite for a second... but EXERCISE.  I really feel best when I do exercise, and I am not saying I am on top of this by any means, because I am not.... but let's just be honest.  After doing this yoga workout, I feel like I am on top of the world!  Another favorite way to get some exercise in is walking.  Brandon and I explored a new walking path near our home that we haven't been to, and saw all kinds of wildlife (including a bunch of cute snails, slugs, and a tiny bunny, to name a few).  Sometimes getting outside to get some fresh air is just the lift our body needs after being cooped up inside the majority of the time.

See if you can spot the little gray rabbit.  It's tough but if you look hard enough you will see it.  We saw this little guy hanging out alongside our walking trail over the weekend.

After our walk we went to the river and had a picnic of fresh berries and cherries!  It was so perfect!  Little moments like this keep me sane while trying to juggle work, summer school, and home responsibilities.

4) Remember to rest and have a relaxing outlet.  I personally love to have Disney movies playing in the background so I can sing along with their catchy soundtracks while I am doing homework, and often after a long day of school I will just fall into the bed and watch "The Brady Bunch," or "The Twilight Zone," or some other old reruns on Netflix or Hulu.  There is a point where this can become unhealthy though.  I find it is best to limit myself to no more than 3 episodes of TV shows.  But this can also vary more or less depending on how dead I feel from school. Even better would be to draw something, or work on putting together my ultimate cookbook filled with recipes that I love!  Also, I find that watching an intense TV show while folding laundry makes the chore a lot more bearable.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this insight.  I bet you already knew all of these things already, but sometimes it never hurts to hear it again.

~Sincerely, Ashleigh Son

Monday, June 13, 2016

Another - I Am Currently - Post

Making: the most of two week break before summer school.
Cooking: hahaha! riiiiight....
Drinking: spring water from Mt. Rainier.
Reading: None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen.
Wanting: to be graduated already!
Looking: into who I should vote for.  Scared for America right now.
Playing: Beyonce.  Feeling nostalgic for high school days.
Wasting: tears on less-than-excellent grades.
Sewing: .....again....hahaha.
Wishing: I could fast forward time.
Enjoying: Disney movies, the Brady Bunch, and the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Waiting: for the next time I get to see my family.
Liking: belgian waffles cooked by my true love.
Wondering: who invented bureaucracy.
Loving: that feeling of having a shred of happiness while school is out.
Hoping: that I can figure out this whole "adulting" thing soon.
Marvelling: at the strange weather in Washington.  Seems like summer has passed already?
Needing: more time than just a week before school starts.  *crying*
Smelling: Pacifica vanilla perfume.  Just happens to be one of my signature scents now.
Wearing: professional navy suit with pinstripe button-up shirt and low heels.
Following: blogs about waste-free living.  Very inspiring!
Noticing: that positive thoughts bring a positive life.
Knowing: that I cannot in good conscience vote for either Trump or Hillary. 
Thinking: of doing yoga every day.  Might help with a lot of things.
Bookmarking: websites containing deep LDS doctrine.  
Opening: my mind to new ways of thinking, and realizing that I am quite often wrong.
Giggling: at my cat, Nabi/Nabee.  He is just too funny sometimes.
Feeling: like Brandon is the best thing that has ever happened to me.


~ Sincerely, Ashleigh Son