New Beginnings

There’s something about New Years Eve that always makes me emotional. I take a look at all that has happened in one year and I am absolutely speechless. The amount of growth that one individual can go through is astonishing. There have been so many positives in my life; they make the negatives seem so minuscule. 

Although the difference between one year and another is only a second, the change represents something much greater. For those who made it to see the next year, the celebration is not only a tradition but also a personal, spiritual and emotional restoration. 

I see the new year as a chance to start over, to look at what I have done in the past and how I can create a better outcome for myself in the future. For a moment, I almost struggle with the thought that I am being pushed out of such a great year and I can do nothing about it. Then, I come to grips and reassure myself that the next year will be even better. 

I believe this annual celebration of change is essential and motivates us to be our best selves. So, instead of the cliche saying “new year, new me” I say “New year, even better me.”



Ashley Renee


My Panic Attacks Have Returned With A Vengeance


So, I’m in my last year of college and I am not smoking, barely drinking and I have no time to meditate. I constantly feel like something is chasing me. My heart rate surges for no reason and I am left out of breath with chest pains. If I got a paper cut I would probably begin to cry uncontrollably, not because of the minor cut but because I would feel as though everything in my life is going wrong.

What is this all about?

I needed to let someone know what I was going through so who better to call than my big sister? I started off the conversation with “I’m always anxious and out of breath” and she says “and you’re always sleepy and on the verge of crying your eyes out?” How did she know? She explained to me that she had experienced the same symptoms the year before. She was in her last year of college as well with no career set up for after graduation. She told me that what I was going through was normal and I needed to just calm down.

She was so right. I need to calm down and face the facts. I am not just scared, I’m absolutely terrified of the future. After beginning an internship to see what my “dream job” would be like, I’m having a change of heart. I know that I can do it, but I’m not sure if I would enjoy doing it. I’m also afraid of letting everyone down who really have some big dreams for me. What if I graduate and I’m stuck with a bunch of debt and  no career and no real money to live a good life? What then?

In the midst of all of my contemplating, I was able to reason with myself. Ashley, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You’re still young; you have your whole life ahead of you.  Life is short, you might as well live a good one and stop all your worrying.

I feel like my panic attacks come from my subconscious fear of failing. It becomes a real issue when I don’t express those fears and pretend like they aren’t even there. I have to allow myself to be vulnerable and stop trying to be perfect.

I hope that opening up about what I have been dealing with helps others who have been dealing with this same issue or something similar. Feel free to comment and let me know what has helped you beat anxiety and panic attacks.


Ashley Renee

If My Life Was A Mixtape

Below are the tracks that would explain who I am.  

1. Real by Kendrick Lamar

2. Edge of Desire by John Mayer

3. Day by Quadron

4. Wandering Limbs by Kimbra

5. Like Nobody Else by India Shawn

6. Elusive by Lianne La Havas

7.  No More Room by Emily King

8. A Rebellion by Ab-Soul

9. Strength, Courage and Wisdom by India Arie

10. I’m alive by India Shawn

How Music Makes Me Feel

Daily Prompt: Describe what it feels like to hear a beautiful piece of music or see a stunning piece of art. 

If you’ve ever listened to the beginning of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” or John Mayer’s “Edge of Desire” or if you’ve heard the soft melody of Emily King’s “Georgia” or Lianne La Havas’ “Lost & Found,” then I’m assuming you know what true love is.

Every so often, I’ll stumble upon a musical creation that not only makes me listen but also makes me feel. Music allows me to live in the moment. The cadence tells my emotions how to feel and I am immersed in that feeling. My stresses are lessened and I feel like I can finally breathe.

Music keeps me alive. Music is what lets me know that God exists. Music is everything.