Chapter 29: The Revival

 “And when you become a diamond, you’ll see why life had to pressure you.”

I’ve arrived

There are so many reasons why I feel like 2018 will be an amazing year for me. I felt it in my spirit at the end of last year as I prepared to give birth to my baby, my blog, my living spree. However, it was confirmed on my birthday last Thursday when I turned 29. It was almost as if I had a revelation right there at the dinner table. One of my best friends asked the very common question, “So how does it feel to be 29?” I responded, “My 29th year of life feels awesome, but not in the same way turning a year older usually feels. I feel like I’ve arrived. I feel like a grown woman. I love myself now more than ever before. I know what I want and I know exactly who I am, whose I am, and where I’m going.”

Dress | Earrings | Watch | Shoes (sold out) similar here | Makeup

Love yourself

As I made that statement, it made me very emotional because I could recall a time when I didn’t love myself. Not in the most obvious way, but from a place where I allowed people to treat me less than what I deserved and I adopted the awful habit of settling. Many people don’t realize that when you truly love yourself, you are protective of yourself at all costs. You won’t allow certain people or situations to occur out of love for yourself. You won’t disrespect yourself or let others disrespect you. That was my wake up call. How people treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself. I realized I had to change the way I viewed myself and therefore everything/everyone else would fall in line. In 2016, I was in a very dark place—it was like I was trapped in a hole. Then, I spent 2017 digging myself out of that hole. I spent the entire year improving myself and learning how to truly love myself so that I wouldn’t end up in that dark place again. I did a lot of “heart work” to say the least. Now, in 2018 I am completely out of that dark place and not merely surviving, but thriving!

This little light of mine

After our dinner, my best friend asked everyone to go around and share how I’ve impacted their lives or inspired them in some way. Their words were so touching and reassuring. They went on and on until I was literally balling in tears (I’m always crying smh lol)! I got emotional hearing how people I admire consider me an inspiration to them and how they view me in such a positive light. There was one affirmation that almost everyone mentioned and it was, “You are a light to others, so let your light shine and don’t dim it for anyone.” This stuck with me because I remember a time when I wasn’t so sure of myself, felt extremely insecure, and couldn’t be my true self out of fear that I wouldn’t fit in with others. In the past, I definitely felt like I had to tone down my personality, the way I dress, my “extraness,” and even hide my creativity in order to fit a mold. What mold was I trying to fit into? It was imaginary, to be honest. It really depended on what others around me were doing. Not anymore! No longer do I tailor myself to others. I realized that I am the mold! I am a light and I will continue to let my light shine!

You made it

Lastly, at that table, I realized that I was exactly where God wanted me to be and that the work I had been doing for others and to improve myself was pleasing to him. I am living a purpose-filled life and pleasing God is what matters most to me now. I no longer worry about pleasing other people and worrying about what they think of me. What matters most is my own self-concept. As I mentioned in the first post, the blog was the first leap of faith—a catalyst, if you will. The work that God wants me to do in this world goes far beyond the blog. My only job was to say yes and move forward. I went through all of that to share my story and give hope to someone else. There is beauty in the struggle, please believe that. This year began with me taking huge steps toward my destiny and it is the most amazing feeling in the world! It is so empowering, liberating, and most of all inspiring. The day I turned 29, its like everything clicked and I was like, “Wow, Ashley you did it. You made it out on the other side. You’re on the right path, exactly where you need to be.” After years of feeling lost and unsure, you could imagine how amazing this revelation was. Chapter 29 is a REVIVAL!

Looking back

As we embark on a new year and a new journey, sometimes it is good to stop and reflect on how far we’ve come. Sometimes our reflections not only motivate us to move forward but also give us some insight to where we are headed. Is there anything you learned in the past that was particularly difficult, but now you look back and realize why you had to go through it? What are some things you are looking forward to working on or doing in 2018?

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  1. Shana
    January 22, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    I look forward to that same feeling you have now! Great post!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 22, 2018 / 9:41 pm

      Thanks Shana! Trust me, if you do the “work” and be patient it will come! 🙂

  2. Annie
    January 22, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    Yes i know this exact moment of self clarity and awareness. You are going to find all the lové and light you deserve this year.

    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 23, 2018 / 1:58 pm

      Thanks Annie! Its good to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Happy to hear that I wasn’t alone in the way I was feeling. It took a lot to get to this point but I am extremely happy I am!

  3. January 22, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    Self-love is a process! I’m so glad your sisters were able to lift you up and pour into your life truths! Thanks for sharing and as always for your transparency!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 23, 2018 / 2:00 pm

      It is definitely a process! Sometimes it can be difficult, but definitely worth it in the end. And thank you for that! It is also difficult to walk in your truth sometimes but as the old saying goes- “the truth shall set you free! That is the beauty in transparency. It is absolutely FREEING!=)

  4. Sherese
    January 23, 2018 / 4:06 am

    Yes Yes Yes!! This. Is. Everything. I hope you step into your fabulous “mold” with absolutely no apologies! This post is truly an inspiration to me. Thank you for stepping out on faith and inspiring so many others along the way. I can’t wait to see all that comes in Chapter 29!!!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 23, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      Thank you Sherese! That means a lot to me as you have been my constant inspiration and source of admiration for years! Living my life unapologetically is my number 1 goal in this season. It is both scary and exciting, but most of all liberating!

  5. Roe
    January 23, 2018 / 7:52 am

    Thank you for sharing your journey with others! You have accomplished so many great things during your journey to “29”, continue to share your story to inspire other girls!


    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 23, 2018 / 2:03 pm

      Thanks Roe! That is my hope and prayer! That God uses my story for His glory. I want to be used by Him in any way possible. Thanks for your kind words and I appreciate your support =)

  6. Shelia Denson
    January 24, 2018 / 2:40 am

    Ashley, Wow, look where he’s brought you from! I’m so proud of you. You are the ideal “Strong Black Woman” and um so proud of who you’ve become! Unstoppable!!!!! I’m even more proud you know “Who you are and “Whose you are!😊

    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 24, 2018 / 5:06 pm

      He has definitely brought me “from a mighty long way!” Thanks so much auntie for your words of affirmation. It means a lot coming from you, who has witness my evolution from birth to now! Love you

  7. Chaloea
    January 25, 2018 / 9:26 pm

    Wow! You preached a word and I (along with so many others) am here to receive it! Thank you for sharing your light! I am so proud of you!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      January 26, 2018 / 1:30 pm

      Thanks Chaloea! I really appreciate it, especially from you! 2018 will be an amazing year for all of us! And for more reasons than one =)

  8. Morgan
    February 4, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    I love this post so much Ash, and I am so very proud of you and continue to be inspired by you!! Extra women unite!!! Lol. Love you girl!!!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      February 5, 2018 / 5:28 pm

      Aww thanks so much Morgan! I really appreciate your love and support of me as I am embark on this new journey. Although I am your big sis, I really look up to you a lot and you inspire me in so many ways! I am equally as proud of you as well. Extra women in this thannnggg! Love you too chica 🙂

  9. Gerianna Kneeland
    February 5, 2018 / 6:32 pm

    This is a beautiful post Ashley! And what’s even more beautiful is the strength and the courage you have shown in being vulnerable to share your internal struggles with us! There’s so many other women who many have some of those same struggles, but there is power in the common theme of universality and knowing that someone else is fighting that same battle. You were able to overcome those struggles and your story empowers other women to know they can do the same. Love you Hun!

    • Ashley Cockrell
      February 6, 2018 / 7:37 pm

      Omg Geri thank you so much for your kind words! I am tearing up over here! lol But, you are so right. And when I realized that my story was bigger than what actually happened to me and what I went through, I found peace and solace in sharing. And now I see why it was so important to open up because like you said, someone else’s healing may have come from it! And that’s what it is all about. I will continue to be transparent in this journey and help as many people as I can. I found even more strength and confidence in writing it, so I know I have finally reached a place where I am free! And if I can do it, anyone can! Thanks for your encouragement and also your support. It really means a lot to me. Love you too!

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