July, I'm so sad you're gone but you have taught me many things. We're always growing and I find it beautiful to be able to see change within yourself. I want to create a monthly blog post on "5 things I've learned in...". It's unfortunate that I didn't think of this sooner in the year but that's okay!
1. Instagram is a catch-22.
I love Instagram because of its ability to connect people throughout the world. It gives voices to those who might not be able to speak out and it enables creativity. BUT, I hate it just as much. I've noticed an interesting trend that people "follow" only for the number, not the quality of someone's work. I get it, we all want to work with brands to make this a job and be able to say we do what we love but it's such a bullshit thing to do. I've seen relationships being destroyed by this and find that a bit disturbing. I am on Instagram A LOT but at the end of the day we need to understand that we cannot only live there, we need to live and make relationships outside of it too.
2. I am a human with feelings, respect that.
My nickname as a child was "Attitude Ashley" because I was EXTREMELY opinionated on everything. Of course, as a kid, you're learning to understand the world and how to control your emotions but as I grew up, one thing stood with me. I have always been opinionated and demand the same type of respect as I give someone else. I notice because I am a quiet person, people think they could walk all over me and make me feel "wrong" for not trusting them. But I have always trusted my gut on people and I even like to believe it's my sixth sense. I know when people are putting up fronts just to look good in front of others and I know when they are being a killer with kindness. I get it, people want to be nice to everyone but I don't play mind games, I'm not a high schooler anymore who is trying to fit in with people. If you don't like me, simply be honest with YOURSELF and say it. Have the decency at least to respect that because the world is filled with so many fake people.
3. I can't survive on exposure.
I love to collaborate with other creatives but we have to understand life is a balance. NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE MY RAW FLIES, NO YOU CANNOT EDIT MY IMAGES YOURSELF OR THROW ON A STUPID INSTAGRAM FILTER. YES, I WANT TO BE CREDITED, BECAUSE THAT IS THE POINT OF A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT! I get so annoyed and even hurt by the fact people who want to collaborate don't do their part. If you're a model and not an Instagram model, I expect more from you since you've worked with other creatives before. If you're an Instagram model than you know the fricken struggle. I will not put more effort into a collaborative event if the other party does not.
Even if I am being paid I expect the same. I can take amazing photographs and I will always give my 130% but I can't survive on exposure. My prices are high because it's my time, just like if you were working, I'm sure you wouldn't work for free, so I don't either. And everyone can be a photographer but there is a difference, I'm an artist.
4. I want to live near a beach.
During my trips, I fell harder in love with being near the ocean. I find peace in knowing that something so beautiful as the ocean can be so frightening. It makes me understand that beauty is also frightening and that not everything that we love is also good for us. Not to mention the beautiful sounds that are at the beach. I feel alive when I feel the sand between my toes and allow the wind to design my hairstyle for that day. Small problems fade away and even my anxiety disappears for a moment. So let me know where my future home should be!?
5. I just want real, honest, friends.
A reoccurring theme in my life is finding people who are like-minded like me. I enjoy my solitude and find strength in being in that space but I am also a CANCER who craves connection. Both of my friends are in the military and have moved away so it's difficult for us to find the time and I've noticed that I haven't made new, real friends since high school. Not to say that I don't appreciate you guys, I truly do but I mean I want to have a girlfriend that we can get our nails done, go out and party and just talk about life without judgment.
I hope you guys enjoyed my quick post, as you can see I am trying to post as much as I can. Let me know if there are any other topics you guys would like to see from me. What are five things you learned in July?
Until then, xoxo