The Jukebox of Life

Words I Live By

"I believe that everything happens for a reason.  People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so eventually you learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together" ~Marilyn Monroe


Sometimes the Smallest Action Makes the Biggest Difference

    “Maybe you and I can do great things.  We may not change the world in one day, but we still can change some things today in our small way" -In Our Small Way ~Michael Jackson

      In college, I passed a lot of people walking to and from class every morning.  Usually, most of them went unnoticed.  I was too busy thinking about all the things I had to do that day, or I would get wrapped up in whatever song is on my iPod.  Occasionally, someone would stand out to me.  I remember one moment in particular.  I was walking back from class, and I was thinking about an email I had received from a professor about a grading mix-up that had occurred.  While not a serious issue, it was one that sat at the back of my mind and was consuming my thoughts at the time.  As I walked along the bridge, I passed someone whom I had seen before, but did not know well.  The person recognized me and smiled and waved.  For a brief moment, I forgot all about the email.  In fact, it took me several seconds to even remember what I had been thinking about before.  That seemingly insignificant smile allowed me a few moments of freedom from my worries.  Sometimes if I am feeling frustrated or upset, a smile from someone has the power to make me smile too.   It is amazing how just smiling at someone as you pass them on the street can make their whole day better.  Smiling makes people happy, and if you can make someone happy, even just for a moment, then you have done something worthwhile.


You Can’t Do Everything All on Your Own

    “If there is a load you have to bear that you can’t carry, I’m right up the road, I’ll carry your load, if you just call me” –“Lean On Me” ~Bill Withers

          It is okay to ask for help.  Nobody can do everything by themselves.  A choir is not made up of one voice, a band is not composed of just one instrument, and athletes do not win games without their teammates.  It takes individuals working for the whole in order to achieve group success.  Participation in church missionary trips has given me first hand experience in the importance of teamwork.  With one week to accomplish multiple tasks, it takes each person giving the most of their time to complete the project.  If one of us does not know how to do something, we always have each other to help guide us in the right direction.  I remember my first mission trip.  Our team of five was given one week to paint all the rooms on two floors of the town house where we were located and scrape and repaint the front porch.  The task seemed impossible to me.  By the end of the week, we had successfully finished all of our painting.  It was teamwork which brought about that success.

We Are All Unique

    “Don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set, I’m on the right track baby I was born this way” –“Born This Way”~Lady Gaga

         Humans are fascinated by labels.  I have been called weird, crazy, shy, nerdy, and so many other things.  I have been ridiculed for fitting in to one or more of these labels.  In fact, I spent most of sixth grade eating lunch alone because I did not fit someone else’s definition of normal.  Fortunately for me, I have always been perfectly happy not being normal.  Weird, crazy, shy, nerdy, whatever you want to call me, I am Ashley.  Growing up, every day when my dad would drop me off at school, he would say “Be a leader, not a follower.”  He always encouraged me to make my own decisions, and be my own person, regardless of what anyone else thought.  With me, you get Ashley.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Above All Else, Enjoy Life

    “Our lives are made, in these small hours, these little wonders, these twists and turns of fate. Time falls away, but these small hours, these small hours still remain.” –“Little Wonders”-Rob Thomas

          I am an optimistic person.  Sometimes it seems like the people around me take life too seriously.  If I there is one thing that I would suggest people need to do for themselves, it would be that they need to start enjoying life’s “little wonders” more often.  I was walking home from class one day in a tee shirt and shorts when it started to rain.  The people around me rushed under awnings, or pulled out umbrellas, anything to get out of the rain.  As I watched the people around me running for shelter, I looked up at the sky.  Huge rain drops splashed on my face, and instead of following suit, I started laughing.  I was laughing at the irony of my being dressed for sunshine instead of rain, and at the timing that caused me to be caught in the storm.  I was taking a situation that most considered inconvenient, and turning it into one of the happiest moments of my week.  As I walked through the rain back to my dorm, the smile on my face was one that could not be wiped away.  Life is meant to be enjoyed.  Even something as simple as letting yourself get soaked by a rainstorm can be turned into a moment of pure joy.  It’s these simple moments which make life worth living.