ashley’s dream report: week two

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First I want to thank everyone for the wonderful and encouraging comments that you took the time to leave on last weeks post. I had no idea what to expect when I put myself out there and I was completely blown away by the warm reception. A million thank yous go out to each one of you!!

So the truth is, after the response from last weeks post I kind of freaked out. I started to put a ton of pressure on myself and for the life of me couldn’t figure out what to write about next. I kind of felt like it needed to be profound and life changing and I also want to make sure that what I am writing about is actually what is happening as I follow my dreams. But honestly, this week wasn’t profound and life changing.

A little story:

It’s kind of funny what happened first, after the wonderful response I received from all of you I decided I absolutely MUST have a beautiful office space to birth my genius in. I mean, that’s the way it is supposed to be for successful creative people, right? There are tons of groups dedicated to beautiful office spaces and studios on Flickr, there is even a magazine called “Where Women Create” that displays the perfectly messy and beautiful spaces that creative women work in every day. In my head, if I was going to consider myself successful and on my way to my dreams, my office MUST match that mission. Um…ok. First problem, to have a beautiful office you have to be able to buy beautiful things…or have beautiful things to start with…or have ugly things that you can turn into beautiful things. Well, there isn’t much money in my bank account so buying an entirely new office was out of the question, and I certainly didn’t have beautiful office things to work with (even though it sometimes seems like creative folks are birthed with beautiful things from the start) so I decided to go with the latter option…turn my ugly things into beautiful things. I decided that I would attempt to paint my ugly brown desk (made of fiberboard).

Bad idea!! After hours of spray painting 3 different desk sections in the Florida wind, I realized it just wasn’t going to happen. I ended up with a hideous looking desk in 3 TOTALLY DIFFERENT COLORS (in the middle of painting the desk white I changed my mind and tried blue)! And then when I barely touched it the paint peeled right off. It just wasn’t possible for me to make this ugly thing beautiful (someone with more patience, probably so, but not me). So off to Ikea I went happy for an excuse to spend my very limited $40 budget. Honestly, at that point, anything would have been better than a 3-colored-paint-scratched-fiberboard monstrosity.

The result still isn’t impressively beautiful but it totally works for me. It doesn’t look like a photo you would find in a cool Flickr group or in a magazine but I really love it.

So then, in the middle of the desk painting fiasco, my parents called to let me know that they would be coming to town to visit for a few days. The good thing is that I got to hang with my mom and dad and eat lots of good food and explore the city that is still so new to me. We had a lot of fun. The not so good thing is that nothing profound happened this week for me to share with all of you.

So as I was dwelling on (uh..obsessing on) ideas for today’s post it dawned on me….you are here reading this because you want to share this experience with me…authentically. How on earth could I forget that even for a moment? Then I realized that you might be interested in what I have done and the events that occurred that brought me to this point today.

The concept of making some serious changes in my life began around this time last year. I was really unhappy with my job and the tiny town that I lived and, though I was working in a creative position as a graphic designer, I hadn’t actually done anything creative, on my own, in a really long time. So I signed up for an online craft class with artists and bloggers Elsie Flannagin and Rachel Denbow. This class totally rocked my world. For $60 we had access to an online blog where 30 project tutorials were posted in 60 days. To document my creations and to share them with my new online classmates I started a blog. I got a lot of positive feedback and once the class was over I decided I didn’t want to stop. I signed up for 4 more online classes. Blogging Your Way with Holly Decor, Unravelling with Susannah Conway, In the Fish Bowl with Marisa Haedike and Creative Pathways with Deb Owens. I became a little obsessive with the classes maybe, but I blogged about the things that I learned and I continued to work on creative art projects in my spare time. I began to see that people really liked a lot of my work and that I really enjoyed connecting with people through writing on my blog. And funny enough, people liked reading what I had to say, I gained quite a few followers in a pretty short time.

A couple of months later, right as my boyfriend and i decided to move to a new state for him to go back to school, I purchased a program by Christine Kane called Uplevel Your Life. It was expensive (i just made my last payment yesterday) but it was SO worth it. This course taught me that I really needed to start changing how I was being before starting to change what I was doing. It taught me the importance of self-care and of not playing small. It taught me how vital it really is to my health and happiness to follow my dreams and live within my purpose.

So two months ago I hired a life coach, I hired a nutritionist, and I began an intense physical boot camp training class. At this point you may be wondering how I am paying for all of this stuff, right? The truth is that most of these things are being put on credit cards. Now I am not recommending that anyone should go into debt (Suzy Orman’s voice is now screaming in my ear), it has to be a decision you alone are comfortable with. But I really want to share the truth with you, the honest experiences that I have had and am having right now.

Also around this time I discovered the Make Under My Life blog and subscribed to the RSS feed. I left a comment one day not too long ago and Jess and I began corresponding with each other. And that brings me to today.

Its funny how signing up for one class started an entire chain reaction to follow my dreams. I guess you never, ever know what will be the spark that lights the fire!

I’ll see you guys next week! I started the online business class on Monday so hopefully I will have stuff I can share about that.

If you made it to the end, and you’re not my mom, I think you are pretty cool! Thank you so much for reading! If you have any questions or want to correspond with me one-on-one feel free to email me ashleyinzer (at) g mail (dot) com.

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  1. Hi Ashley,
    I have a headboard for my bed laying out in my garage with only one-third stripped – only to discover I hate stripping paint. 😉 DIY looks easier when someone else is doing it.

    Thanks for sharing your story! I had a similar “spark” go off in my life last year – and had about 7 weeks of sheer energy and excitement. Followed by a big, tired crash. Have you gone through any ups and downs like that in this process?


  2. Hi Valerie,

    YES oh YES a big crashed followed! That cycle of up and down happens to me all the time. I have gotten to the point where I recognize it for exactly what it is….the cycle. But when I am in the down places sometimes it feels like I will never get out. Somehow I always do. I have even kind of learned to appreciate the cycle because it is so trustworthy! I don’t necessarily enjoy it, but I trust it. Thanks for your comment – I am with you on the stripping, I just don’t have the patience for that type of stuff!


  3. Hey Ashley, first, I love the office “makeunder”. It looks great. I actually could see it in a Flickr group for cool spaces.

    And, I’m currently taking the Blogging Your Way class and am totally inspired. I’m now thinking I may take another class after this.

    I took Naomi Dunford’s Online Business School and got SO much out of that, too.

    Thanks for letting us go along for your ride.

  4. I’m loving learning more about your journey – even the parts you’re not sure about, like paying for things with credit cards. I’d love to hear whether you think the life coach is worth it and what exactly she does. I considered seeing a therapist or using a life coach when I divorced, but never got around to it. Two years later, I’m wondering if a life coach will help me resolve issues lurking (minorly) beneath the surface and help me envision myself more positively. Keep writing 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us Ashley. It is so lovely to read how you are transforming your life and making it in to the life of your dreams.

  6. Dayka

    I love, love, love to read stories like this. I’m always encouraged and excited by people who step off the highway and take the road less traveled. I think what I love about your “story” is your honesty–every week doesn’t end with an epiphany, you’re still figuring it out as you go, but you’re having a wonderful time and your life has been changed even without having “figured it all out” yet. Best to you as you continue your journey!

  7. Stacey

    Thanks for sharing your authentic experience, Ashley! I just recently hit the wall, so to speak, so I am thrilled to find others out there who have been through it and come out with a life-changing experience! I am now going to spend my Saturday night following all of the links you posted, LOL! I love your new office space, especially the fact that the windows are more open!

  8. Jillian

    The online classes seem like a great way to keep the creative fires going. Thanks for sharing about them. I really enjoy reading mml and your posts are a great addition.

  9. “even though it sometimes seems like creative folks are birthed with beautiful things from the start”

    This cracked me up — I feel that way all the time. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing again this weekend.

  10. The second half of this sounds like exactly what I’d like to do. I actually took the BYW class last year but didn’t get past that. I’d love to take a business class, a photography class, hire a nutritionist and fitness trainer, hire a life coach… so I was quite jealous when I read this but felt a little better when you said they were credit-card purchases. Although, as a worrier, that worried me! I know you’re capable of handling your own situation, but be careful girl! I’m slightly in debt from moving in October, thought I’d pay it off in a few months and then my boyfriend lost his job and my hours were reduced at work. Now I have a balance sitting on it and it feels terrible. Not criticizing, just cautioning. 🙂 I do love your refreshed office though! Nicely done.

  11. Anna

    Ashley, I like your new office look. I think you did a great job. I am currently taking Holly’s BYW class and recently discovered all of the other online classes. Thank you for your honesty and for your courage to tell your story. I can’t wait to hear more.

  12. Erin

    Not your mom, AND enjoyed reading all the way to the end! I’m behind, so I’m going to go read your other installments. 🙂

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