There are times where I have to reassure myself that it isn't the end, it is a new beginning.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Just One Spark....

Imagine you are stuck on a island, jungle, or just some place you have limited resources, and you are cold.  What would you do?  I am sure your answer would be to start a fire, especially since you might not have a blanket nearby. You grab whatever you can to make this fire, and this can be rocks, leaves, sticks or anything you can manage with.  Here is the real struggle: making the actual fire.  You try and try.  Soon, you see a spark.  One spark. Can you imagine the relief, the hope, and the anxiety you get when you see that spark?  Will the fire catch on?  This ONE spark can provide you with the fire --ultimately the warmth -- you have been desperate for.

With just one spark.

It has been almost two years since I last posted on this blog, but since then, I have had that one spark several times and all the feelings that associated with it.  Before I tell you about those sparks, I should start by telling you what has changed and how my fire died.  As you all may know, I lost a beloved uncle.  My previous post should fill you in with that tragic moment of my life.  Moving on, I walked in my college graduation in May 2015 only to find out that I was given incorrect graduation audits.  I struggled with this.  After four years of working towards a piece of paper, I was easily denied this due to multiple errors.  I took time off -- to just relax and de-stress from being constantly in school. Can you blame me?  To make matters worse, an ex-boyfriend of mine that I have been in love with and in a relationship (on and off) for about 3 years cheated on me -- AND got the girl pregnant.  All of this was when I felt like my burning and beautifully lit fire started to die.  It wasn't that I hit rock bottom or that I was miserable.  I was getting by.  Who just wants to "get by"?

With the time that I took, I decide to find a new spot to create my fire.  I was focusing much on work, so I forgot about making a fire for a while.  However, one spark came when I met my boyfriend.  We worked at PetSmart together (don't judge), and it was just a mild flirtation.  The spark showed one night when I stood up extremely late texting him.  I was like a little girl just giggling at my phone, hoping he was next to me saying these words instead of typing them.  For a week, we were hanging out and dating.  He asked me to be his girlfriend -- but I denied him several times.  My feelings got stronger.  He meant so much to me in the short time that we were talking. On September 13th, we made it official, and we said that we were falling for each other.  That fire took off, and we currently live together.  We are awaiting our 1st anniversary next week, and it has been a rocky road.  Sometimes, fires aren't as bright or tame as you want them to be.  One spark can lead to a forest fire, and there were points in our relationship that got close to that.  However, we have grown so much with each other, and we are still overcoming obstacles.

Recently, I was able to build on that fire by adding another spark.  This might have been one of the biggest sparks of them all.  After a year of struggling with the news from my school, I am FINALLY A GRADUATE!  I attempted to finish school in the Spring semester, but got into a horrific car accident and could not complete my semester.  Ultimately, I put my foot down and emailed my advisor.  I researched ways to make up my credits and requirements -- and I did just that.  I changed my major and took a CLEP exam, and here I am: A GRADUATE!  I couldn't do it without support from my peers.  When you find that drive and passion, you move forward easily.  I WANTED that fire, and I finally got it.  Just one spark! That one spark was that glimpse of hope of a realistic option, conversations I had with certain people, and ultimately my dying desire to be done with my degree.

My fire is BACK.  It is burning brighter than ever, and I will continue to feed it.  I will continue to experience these sparks that will keep me going.  Anyone can have this.  It really only begins with one spark.  It is important to also know that oxygen is needed to create a fire.  It keeps the fire going and growing, so don't suffocate yourself.  Give you and this "fire" some time and space.  You will see it prosper in no time.

Until then...

Live Life & Go Beyond It!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We Call It "Life"

When life hands you lemons, you are suppose to make lemonade.  What if the lemons went bad? What if you're not in the mood for lemons?  What if you don't know how to make lemonade?  It is hard to accept what life throws at you, but you are expected to make the best out of it.  HOW?

I recently lost a person very close to my heart.  This blog post won't do it justice to how I am feeling and how I am coping, so I won't even try.  I will just say that I grew up with no father figure, but with exceptional men who made it their duty to help my mother succeed in her life.  My uncle passed almost a month ago, and it still feels like it was yesterday when I saw him in that hospital bed.  How does one erase those images?  How does one accept the harsh reality that we have no control on what happens to us and around us?  I am not dwelling on how life is unfair or rough, but focusing on this thing we call "Life".

What does that mean "Life"?  We are given life, but how many of us are living?  What does it mean to live?  Witnessing death at it's rawest form makes you realize that your definition of life is not what it is.  I saw a lifeless body in front of me, and I freaked out.  If you don't know it by now, I am terrified of death.  I would cry my eyes out and panic just at the thought of dying.  I thought it was because I love livings -- I was wrong.  Seeing my uncle pass made me realize that I didn't love life enough to make it remarkable.  Yes, I had amazing times, but at the end of the day: Am I giving the best of me?

If you heard the details of my uncle's life, you might not think he was a good person.  He had his demons, but the best thing about him is that he continued.  I think that is the keyword: HE CONTINUED.  When life hands you lemons, maybe lemonade isn't the thing you need to do.  Maybe it is just being handed lemons.  We just need to learn to accept that things happen and that, in essence, is life - plain and simple.  There is so much out of our control, but everything happens for a reason.

I didn't want my uncle to die, but God needed another angel.  I can accept that.  I don't want to elaborate or argue that -- I want to ACCEPT it.  My uncle has passed, and there isn't anything I can do, but continue.  I am continuing with another pair of eyes on me, with another pair of hands to guide me, and with another heart caring over me.  I had that when he was here, and I still have it when he isn't.  So, I continue with this thing called "Life".


Go make lemonade or don't. Just continue, and actually live.

Live Life & Go BEYOND it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Letter to Self

Dear Ashley,

Sometimes, the struggle of a soldier cannot be imagined by the mind of a citizen.  But, you have to remember that a soldier started out as just that.  Stripped to our bare, we are all humans.  We all fuck up, get emotional, become greedy and selfish, feel pain, and find our way to some ounce of pleasure.  The difference between us is not our color or appearances, it is how we go about all those things.  You, out of many people in this world, can do these things in such a beneficial way.

When you fuck up, you don't go on thinking that you were in the right all along.  You stop to reflect, and make the bad into good.  You recently lost someone because of a "fuck up", but you realized what happen and why it went down the way it did.  You always learn something about yourself and the people that surround you.  You can fuck up as many times as possible, but it will never ruin you.  It only betters you.  Keep that going.  It is a rare skill that even the basic of people cannot master.  Take everything as a leaning experience, just like you do now.

When you make decisions that may seem selfish or greedy, you have to understand that everyone does that.  You dedicated your life to many of your friends and classmates.  You keep giving and your kindness sometimes goes unacknowledged.  That's life in a nutshell.  But, don't let that be your whole life.  You have to worry about you now.  You can't let the empire that is Ashley to fall on account of someone who doesn't care to see it prosper.  Plain and Simple.  Be selfish and be greedy.  You're American, you have the natural urge to be.  Don't let that be your whole life either.  Balance it out, but keep your self in the center of it all.  It is YOUR life, after all.
It's okay to feel how you are feeling now.  You are hurt, you are heartbroken.  You are lost in the chaos that is your life.  It's OKAY!  I think sometimes, you try to stop yourself from feeling the way you feel because you think it makes you something less than you.  We all have feelings.  We all have emotions, Ashley. You are an emotional person, not in the sense that you can't control your emotions.  You are emotional in the sense that you can open yourself up to feel and let your emotions take their course.  That's normal.  More people should do it because bottling things up worsen the situation and never gets to sealing the deal.  And that applies to the pain.  Without pain, there is no pleasure.  We all want happiness, even if it is a temporary pleasure.  Find it, Ashley.  Find it in the smallest things and the shortest moments.  Don't be scared to take chances.  You are such an open and willing person, and that is the beauty you hold.  Don't lose it.  Don't doubt yourself, you are nothing less than an amazing person who just happens to go through downfalls.

There is so much I can tell and advise you on, but you already know where I am trying to go with all of this.  The things that make YOU are the things that should always shine.  Those flaws, let them come out.  You can't be perfect, even though you are a perfectionist in a weird way.  You have friends that love you because of it all.  I can only hope that this year brings more people around you to experience the beauty that is you.  Remember that a soldier was once a citizen.  No soldiers are ever born, they are created.  It is through the things they endure and conquer that makes them stronger.  Some people cannot get as far as this, but you did.  You made yourself into a soldier by only enduring and staying true to your own purpose.  And, God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.  Never forget.


Sometimes, the struggle of a soldier cannot be imagined by the mind of a citizen. But, you have to remember that a soldier started out as just that.  Ashley, you started as just that.  Look how far you have gone, but don't forget how far you can go.  The sky is just the starting line.  Stay strong, Soldier, your battle isn't over.

Live Life & Go BEYOND IT.
-- Always Stay True,
Ashley M Lora

Monday, December 3, 2012

Expect Life's Surprises!

Pleasure. Pain. Joy. Disappointment. That's life, right?  I might never completely grasp that statement: That's Life.  How are we suppose to know what life entails if we aren't done living it?  No matter what we go through, life can't be determined ahead of time.

I have been through some horrible things, but I still get caught off guard.  Take this past weekend:  It was my birthday.  I expected so much since I worked so hard, but I got the complete opposite.  Instead of things coming together, things fell apart.  And it seems as if it fell hard.  In the end of it all, I didn't have such a great time, argued with people I love, and lost someone I fell so hard for. Well, I have fell in love more than once, and with that being said, I got my heart broken more than once. I had arguments with family and friends, and I lost people in the past. It can be said that it is a routine, but no matter what, it still hurts like a bitch (Is that my first time cursing?).  It still feels fresh every time.  Maybe it's the timing, but I don't expect any of it or the magnitude in which it hurts me.

Maybe that is it! Maybe life is about expecting to be surprised.  Maybe understanding that statement is understanding that the bad will happen to you, and that it will come in different forms as well as different times.  Maybe it is just a way we prepare ourselves for the rough times and lasting pain.  Or maybe it is our way to pour alcohol on our wounds.  "That's Life" is our S.O.S (our way to save ourselves).


We don't know what life entails.  We can't tell our own future as we blindly went through our past.  But despite that all, one thing is for sure.  Life is full of surprise.  Maybe we should just expect to be surprised.

Live Life & Go BEYOND it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Simplicity at its Best!

People complicated the simplest things in their head.  This is fact.


What can be the possible reason(s) someone would do this to theirselves?  I can't speak for everyone as I can't barely explain this for myself, but there is always a reason to the madness.  Personally, I overthink everything -- and when I mean everything, I mean EVERYTHING.  Sometimes, I just put myself in this cycle of endless thoughts, but sometimes, it does happen naturally.  Let me see if I can give you a peek into how I do this and how my thought process works.

I can admit that I make a mole into a mountain through my thought process.  But, to me, it is much more than the answer you give to my questions.  I have answers for my questions already.

Question: How much do you love me?
Answer: I love you with all my heart... (or something along that line)
MY ANSWER: I LOVE YOU beyond everything else.  You are my number one -- the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.  You know what? MARRY ME RIGHT NOW!


Question: Why didn't you do the homework last night?
Answer: I didn't have time for it because I had so much to do, and I barely got any sleep.
MY ANSWER: YOU decided to do other things with your time, knowing that YOU had homework to do.  You slept in, and you knew about this assignment a while ago.  You didn't do the homework due to YOU being lazy!

As you can see, my answers does not match the other person's answer.  This will lead me to ask myself more questions on why they do not match and what does that tell me.  I know that it may seem as a pointless and not a healthy thought process to put myself in.  BUT, it does help fix many of my issues and helps me be more practical than I set out to be.

Look, from outside, it may seem as such a stupid thing to do.  It seems as if it causes nothing but issues.  And I will not deny that; it does cause problems for me A LOT.  But, it also brings me "down to Earth" as I am usually an optimist and I think highly of everyone.  Does this make sense?

Well, if it does: Welcome to my life!  If not, I can't explain much into it as I already have.  Again, it differs by the individual.  For me, I overthink and complicate everything due to my lack of understanding, lack of a realistic perspective, and to be honest, my lack of confidence on the subject.  It can be both good or bad, varying on situation and individual.  For those of you that do it, just be honest with yourself about why you do it.  This is just to understand where everything is coming from, and sometimes to avoid the issues you come across.

Lastly, after understanding it, I must make some limitations or DOS/DON'TS for us overthinkers or complicaters. 

DO: Do continue to put thought into many things around you.  Asking questions or thinking through things can allow yourself to be open and honest.  Also, you can easily call "BS" on things or people presented to you.  Do try to be accurate when vocalizing your thought process.  What may seem as simple and understandable to you may not be for someone else -- THIS CAN BE THE SOURCE OF THE ISSUES YOU COME ACROSS.

DON'T:  Do NOT, under any circumstances, hold your possible conclusion(s) or thought(s) as anything final.  Things change, and I am pretty sure that you can't account for EVERY reaction possible. Don't put yourself in an endless cycle -- don't get stuck in your head!  Be cautious of how your thoughts affect you (and those around you).


If you decide to overcomplicate or overthink anything, just try to make it as SIMPLE as possible for yourself as well as others.  You can't just go too deep into everything because it is an endless cycle and life is too short. THINK SIMPLE.  BE SIMPLE. It is simplicity at its best!

Live Life & Go BEYOND it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's ALL about the Closing!

When your heart breaks, there is still something in the midst of it all; something that makes it that much harder to let the relationship go or make the pain almost unbearable.  And without that "something", moving on or taking the steps needed to do something active with your life seems almost impossible.  It is like you are frozen and the moment replays over and over.  You have no idea what to do or what to say.

Well, with the fantastic feeling of "love" that is so over-emphasized in movies and TV drama comes the "hangover": The Aftermath.

First heartbreaks will seem impossible to overcome, and that is natural because this is the first person who made you feel like never before.  This is the first person to take your heart and show you a whole new side to life.  It's understandable, but I need to be honest with you, it doesn't get easier.  Because your last love will be better than your past loves.  I say this in the sense that you start to get a better grasp on the concept of "love".  As if there are stages, love gets stronger or more concrete over time.  In my experience, my first love was almost a "puppy" love.  It wasn't until the second love, I began to know what love can do to you. I can go on and on, but those who been in love will know that this post can get very lengthy if I do so.

Back to the matter at hand: When you love, you get heart broken.  As pessimistic as I am going to sound now, nothing lasts forever.  But how does one cope?  How does one let go of that person they fell head over heels for?  Well, I can't give you the answers to that because I still don't know myself. BUT, one thing that does make it "easier" to cope with is CLOSURE. 

When you open something, don't you need to close it before starting new ones? 

Think of it like this:  How many tabs you have open now?  Two or three?  Imagine five, ten, twenty.  What would happen?  Not only would your computer or device run slower, but you won't be able to give your attention or focus on any one of them.  You will be left to keep checking each tab to remember what you have it there for and examine its importance.  Right?  Relay this concept with relationships and life.  How about you close some of those tabs one by one?  Maybe some of those tabs were never what you were searching the net for?  They could have been distractions like Facebook is to homework.

Closure can come in different forms. I don't know your style or how you like to deal with personal matter.  All I know is that closure is needed, and without it, things become...complicated.  Using my life as an example, I previously fell for a guy who broke my heart a few times.  This last time was rough, and the ending wasn't that great.  I struggled with that because I started to question the love and meaning behind what we did and how he dealt with everything.  It was harder for me to cope with the fact that he probably never loved me than the breakup itself.  I couldn't keep adding alcohol to the wound anymore.  I had to tend to it, and take the first steps to healing or atleast trying to.  I started to express my feelings everywhere, which were both positive and negative.  I came to realizations, and it wasn't until I came across what the guy had posted on a social networking site.  It hit me hard.  I knew he still had those feelings I still have.  I knew he still loves me, and knowing that meant the world to me.  I don't know if our lives will cross paths again, but I know that our intentions were pure.  We got the chance to celebrate the love we both shared even if it was short lived.  Those positive thoughts in such a bad time makes this easier for me.  An It will for you.  No matter how you take it or use it; it's all about the closing. 


We will be heart broken. We will be left to deal with the aftermath of love and the pain it brings.  But, why make it harder for ourselves?  We should be all about the closing --whether it is personal or business matters.

Live Life & Go BEYOND it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Luck is Such a Funny Thing!

Beginner's luck. Try your luck. Lucky me. Luck is on my side. Just my luck. I luck-ed out.

Many of us are "lucky" because we were given the opportunities that others did not. Is that really luck? Some people have the luck to win a flat-screen TV, camera, gift basket, or even a pair of tickets to a big social event. Others have the luck to win the NY Mega Millions. But what about those who don't have the luck to even have a meal to eat? What about those families that didn't have the luck to win a house makeover or the single mother that couldn't win that new pink bicycle for her daughter? Yes, some of us are "lucky", but what is luck?

People would say that luck is matter of chance, it is something that won't last forever. It is a temporary happiness almost. But then again, wouldn't people have their chance at luck? Luck, to me, can go either way. I think we are all lucky in some form. And no, this isn't the cliche explanation of everyone being lucky to be alive. No. That is extremely corny. I am proposing that luck isn't instantly beneficial. Let me elaborate.

I was never lucky enough to have my own sweet sixteen or attend a wedding. I did, however, have the luck to go to two funerals. I had the luck of seeing my family crash and burn in front of my eyes. Please, don't feel bad. It is "just my luck". Those events I mentioned wouldn't be considered as lucky to be apart of, but it is. Yes, funerals and family conflicts are not beneficial when occuring. But I had the luck to learn and grow. I had the luck of experiencing the cold reality at an early age, and now, I have a head-up on life. My family, through the fire and the flames, had the chance to work on themself both as a whole and individually. We aren't perfect, but I can honestly say that progress is being made. Funerals are full of sorrow and pain, but I got the chance to see death. I mean, I got the chance to see where things end. I mean, I got a chance to know that life is short. And as depressing as it may seen, you begin to find a light in the dark tunnel.

I had the luck of experiencing the bad because it made me stronger. Some people will never have that kind of luck. Some people would never feel the lowest point a person can hit. I met people who are so oblivious to what can happen or how things can turn, and I feel bad for them. I guess they are "luck-ed out".

Don't get me wrong. Luck is also how it has been portrayed. I had the luck to have a all-expenses paid trip to California to take a college course at UC Berkeley for six weeks. I had the luck to be the "hero" of my high school senior class. I had the luck of meeting amazing people, and going amazing places.


Luck is such a funny thing. It comes in different shapes and forms, and it comes at different times and days. But with luck, it can go eitherway. (I know I am corny!)

Live Life & Go BEYOND it.