My Name is Ashley

Nearly 2 years ago, I wrote the following words:
 "My name is Ashley, and I am an animal rescuer."

It was the very first sentence ever written on Lucky Dog Rescue Blog. It was my opening line... my introduction... my beginning... 

It was the sentence that would inevitably define my blog... and my life.

Well, actually... that sentence defined my life, long-before this blog ever existed. I've always been "Ashley" (duh), and I've always been an "animal rescuer." That's just who I am.

But... while I do always feel like an "animal rescuer," I have to be honest:
Sometimes... I don't feel much like "Ashley" anymore. 
You know... the "Ashley" who is more than just an animal rescuer. The "Ashley" who has a life, family, and friends outside of animal rescue. The "Ashley" who has needs, wants, and dreams of her own, in addition to her passion for animal rescue.

And sometimes, I miss her. You know... that "Ashley." I know others miss her, too.

However, that's not to say that I don't love what I do. Because I do. 
Or that I'm not living my dream, and fulfilling my purpose. Because I am. 

But it's hard, sometimes... Life, I mean. 
And not just for me, but for all of us. That goes for others involved in animal rescue, and for everyone else, in general. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do in life, you've probably felt this way, at some point in time. 

You've probably "missed" the person you were, or the person you are, or the person you would/could/should be. 
The "you" who exists outside of work, responsibilities, and stress.
The "you" who exists... inside of you.

While I realize that I am still "Ashley" (duh) ... and therefore, "Ashley" hasn't left me... I just need to remember that my life is every bit as important... as all the lives I wish to save. They need me... and I need me, too.

I guess what I'm saying is: at times, we all feel "not like ourselves," for a million different reasons, but mostly because we need to be reminded that we matter, each of us, as individuals. I matter; YOU matter.

Therefore, we need to find balance ... between ourselves, and everything else in our lives. For me, "balance" is something I seem to have at times... and lose at times. Kinda like how I seem to find and lose my own sense-of-self at times. 

So... long story short... today, in an attempt to feel more like "Ashley" again, I did something I haven't done in a while now... something that always manages to make me feel like "me" again:

I sat down... and I wrote.

And for whatever reason, you read it. Thank you.