How I got into blogging

How I feel when I FINALLY finish a blog post!
I definitely have imposter syndrome. It’s hard to consider myself a real life blogger and vlogger, but that’s something I’m working on in 2021.
I have had blogs off and on since I was around… 16 years old? There’s always been this desire inside of me to share with the world.
I guess you can say it started when I was a young teen, I came across a blogger and live streamer named GabGab. She was from New York and had a live camera in her apartment all the time. You could watch her live her life… drink tea, type on her computer, read. I thought it was the greatest thing. I really enjoyed watching her and then reading her blog posts. I wish I could find her now. Or maybe she prefers not to be found, either way, she made such an impact on me! I knew I wanted to do something like that when I “grew up”. {And now I kind of am, with all my live writing sprints and what not! See? I’m making it happen!}
My first blogs were poems and short pieces about my anxiety. It was before my mom’s murder, and before any of my mental health diagnoses. Like most of the things I’ve written, both physically and digitally, they have been erased. One of my issues with writing is – while I have this strong desire to share with others, I also have the very strong and immediate desire to delete things ASAP. Also working on that one.
After my mom’s murder I started another live journal to discuss my PTSD, mental health, and my mom’s murder trial. Thankfully, a few of those posts still exist, but they’re so vulnerable I have a hard time sharing them as of right now.
From my writings on that blog, I got contacted by a Marsy’s law group to help run their facebook page. I thought that was so cool to be noticed at all for my writing.
When I was a little girl, I used to love to write short stories. I remember many writing exercises from school and how I’d get lost in it. Somewhere along the way, that got disrupted. It can be extremely hard for me to write and create now. I keep pushing through and trying! I am determined to break this creative block.
Another very inspiring blogger for me is Katy from Too Sober For This. I found her when I was around 21 years old, she’s another person I thought “I want to be like her when I grow up!” LOL. She is also where I got my #OOTD post inspiration from. I love how vulnerable and open she is about so many hard topics, addiction, fertility issues, mental health… If you have not already, definitely check her out!
I simply have to mention Samantha Irby from Bitches Gotta Eat. She’s fucking incredible, and makes me laugh so hard while speaking so much truth. I wish I was half as funny as her. Also working on that ;). So there you have it, my inspirations. I’m sure there are more and I’ll have to do a separate post just for them.
I want my blog to be a queer lifestyle blog. I still am not even sure what lifestyle blogging means TBH. It just sounds cool, and like maybe I have to not niche down so much? The idea of niching down stresses me the fuck out. I can’t choose one thing and write about it all the time. I mean, I guess I could… but I don’t want to.
There’s so much to blog about this year. My mental health, my relationship, life coaching and all the things I do, healing from my mother’s murder, etc. It doesn’t fit into one nice little basket. It spills out and is kind of all over the place. Is there a place in the blogging sphere for me? I hope so! I guess we will keep finding out!
Are you a blogger? How did you get into blogging? If you like this post, please comment and share it with someone else who may enjoy it.
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My coming out story

Coming out is a lifetime process. You don’t get to do it just once.

 
The first time I came out I was 21. I lovingly call these my “baby queer” years.
 
My friend introduced me to her gay friend, and she showed me around the queer community. She was an inspiration. She was already out to her family, she volunteered and did a bunch of cool shit, and her mom was very supportive. My mom died the year before, so I was going through somewhat of a crisis.
 
They took me to PFLAG meetings with them. At the meetings I was able to hear so many coming out stories, and hear a wide variety of acceptance (or lack thereof). It was so nice to be around my new friends supportive mom. It was healing in a way I didn’t know I needed.
 

It must have been the end of September that I learned of National Coming Out Day on October 11th. Since I was wanting to come out, I figured that would be a perfect day to do it. I was so scared. My family is pretty conservative. I didn’t know anyone who was gay until I met my new friend, and never got to see the way my family would act around a gay person.

 
The year before my mom died, she found me watching the L word a few times. Then she saw Shane was the background of my desktop. One day she came in, looked at the picture of Shane, then looked back at me and said “Do you have something to tell me?”. I froze. Then shyly responded, “No! Why?”. She told me before that she would always love me, no matter what, even if I was gay. But I wasn’t ready to admit my truth to anyone yet, so I didn’t. But right before I was ready to come out, I missed my mom so terribly. The one person I knew would be on my side without question was no longer there.
Shane from the L word.
 
I love my family, and I knew they loved me. I couldn’t imagine them disowning me or anything, but I thought they might not accept it. It’s a scary and lonely feeling.
 
I was too scared to do it in person. This was in the Myspace days, before Facebook. I decided to do it via email. I don’t even remember what my email to my nana said. I wish I saved it.
 
My nana is like a second mom to me. So she was the first one I wanted to tell, and it was absolutely terrifying to me. What if she decided she didn’t want to talk to me anymore? I couldn’t handle the thought of losing another mom in my life. But I was already out on my own in the world, and figured it was worth the risk to be able to be my true self to her.
 
I sent her the email first. Then, I waited.
 
Her response was fairly quick, if my memory serves me well. She said she loved me since the moment I was born and would always love me. She had some concerns if this was going to change me, the granddaughter she knew and loved. I said that it wouldn’t. I am still me.
Phew… one done.
 
Then I sent an email to my dad. This was slightly less scary because he and I haven’t ever been very close. I love him, but his disapproval wouldn’t rock me to my core the way Nana’s would have. I don’t remember what his response was. But it wasn’t negative. I’m sure he prayed for me. They all probably did! Shit, I even prayed for myself for years before trying to make this go away. That’s how much self loathing I had for a while. I am sad for myself in those days, wishing to not be myself. It’s a feeling I know many of us go through. It’s not an easy place to be.
 
After that, I knew I could count on nana to tell some of my other family members. I felt that if she was on my side, it would be ok no matter what the others thought. Then, I told people on my mom’s side of the family. They were not as conservative and I figured they would be fine with it, which they all were. The more I came out, the more confidence I got to keep going.
 
This is not to say you can’t live in your truth WITHOUT being out. It’s a personal and sacred choice to make. Some people can’t come out for safety, or maybe, unlike me, they KNOW exactly how much their family won’t accept them. Maybe they can’t afford to take that risk. All of it is acceptable and valid. Your queerness is valid if you’re out or not.

“Your queerness is valid if you’re out or not.”

 

 

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from the actual time I came out to my mom. But this is her grave stone. Isn’t it lovely?

Then, it was time to come out to my mom. I had to do it, for myself. I went to the grocery store before going to her grave and they happened to have a little balloon with a rainbow on it. I wrote with a sharpie, “I’m gay!”. I went to her gravestone and told her. Then I set the balloon on top of it in her flower holder. It was a very sweet, special moment. I knew I had her acceptance and love inside of me, but I needed the physical act of going down there and “telling” her.

 
So, that’s my coming out story. Like I said at first, I’ve had to come out several other times. Even last week to a new employer. What was your coming out experience like? I’d love to hear about it. You can comment or send me an email!
 
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2020 Reflections

Me at the beginning of the year.

I walked into 2020 like an innocent, angel baby. I had no idea what was in store for me this year, I mean really, who did? 2019 was a huge year of transformation, and I can’t say 2020 was any different.

In January of 2020 my partner had just got out of sober living and moved in with me. We were living at a friends house. Couch surfing, if I’m being honest. Me, my partner, and our dog. It was a lovely experience though. One can only live on a couch so long before it gets tiring for everyone involved, so we made our move to a tiny studio apartment in February.

Our tiny studio apartment which we loved so much!

This was a glorious move for me. I absolutely LOVE Long Beach, California. I was pretty much born and raised there. We lived downtown, so walking distance to everything. It was also right near where pride WOULD have been had it not been for Covid.

We made so many memories in our little apartment. It was our first home together, and where we we got quarantined together when the pandemic hit. We had about a month of walking everywhere and going to fun, fancy bars and shops in the area before that happened. Then, it was nothing but staying home and trying to find some damn toilet paper at Vons. But I don’t have to tell you that.  You already know!

We planned to move to my partners home town of Baltimore, MD in December of 2020. But in May, her mother suddenly passed away. It was absolutely heartbreaking. We had sent her a Mother’s Day gift in the mail that she never got to open. As you probably know since I’m always talking about it, my mom passed away in 2006. So I’m no stranger to parent grief, and it was devastating to watch my partner and her family go through such a loss. When we got to her hometown for the funeral we opened up the box we had sent and placed some of the items in her room. It was bittersweet. I can’t say that in helping deal with her mother’s passing, some of my own grief was stirred up as well. It was a very tough time.

At my partners mom’s grave.

We knew then that we had to move to be with her family sooner.

I sold my car, which was a huge deal for me! We started downsizing and getting ready to pack all of our stuff up into her Chevy Impala, plus our dog, and two cats that my ex gave back to me during the pandemic! I was beyond stressed at the thought of driving across country. But I knew we were making the right decision.

I’ve never lived anywhere else other than Southern California. It was sad to say goodbye. I had a very hard time with moving so far away from my mom’s grave. I’ve asked a few friends if they will go visit her for me.

We made it to Maryland in about a week. We stopped and stayed at many hotels, which I adored. There is something so lovely about a good hotel. I took pictures and documented our journey on my Patreon. The cats were a nightmare, as you could imagine. They screamed the whole time we drove. The dog was pretty easy but hated getting out at rest stops. The trip went pretty smoothly, except one of the cats shit in her cage the last 45 minutes of our drive. Oh well, if that’s the worst thing that happened, I’ll take it!

Since our move things have seemed to slow down a bit for me. We’re not paying $1,300 rent for basically one room anymore, so that has freed up a lot of worry on my end. I’ve had more time to create and reflect on what I want to do with myself. I’m still a personal assistant and social media specialist, but I also want to keep growing my brand and have been spending so much time trying to figure out how I will accomplish that.

A memoir exercise I completed to get me ready to write!

In November I participated in #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The goal was 50k words in the month of November. I only got to 15k before I quit, but I’m still very proud of myself. I began writing my memoir which will be about my attempted murder and my mother’s murder. The title I have so far is “Remembering Me”.  I planned to have it out in June of 2021 (laughs hysterically). I had no idea just how much work it would be, I’ve been taking courses on memoir writing and self publishing.. and let’s just say, it will not be out in June of 2021. Maybe June of 2022… and that’s still a big MAYBEEEE.

I hadn’t anticipated just how much my ptsd would be triggered by writing this damn thing. Thankfully, I’m still on my meds for bipolar, depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist gets major props because that’s been the only way I’ve been able to get through this. One of my goals for 2021 is to get back to therapy, which I know will help so much as well.

So that leads me to here, where I am now. I’ve been slowly but surely working on my Youtube channel. During #NaNoWriMo I did several writing and productivity sprints (live writing streams) on my channel. It was so much fun, something that really helped me get my ass in gear to write. I decided that I would carry that over into the new year, and maybe do some sprints once a week to work on this here blog.

I do love writing, I just have a terrible time sitting down to do so. Patreon gets the bulk of my efforts. But I have decided to commit to one blog post a week here, two on patreon, one youtube video a week, a monthly newsletter, and more time on my own social media channels. Whew. A lot of work, but I think I can handle it. 

I’m excited to be blogging again. I plan to make this a queer lifestyle blog. I know, everyone says to niche down, but I am still all over the place about it. Maybe as the year progresses I’ll be able to narrow it down a bit. As always, if you have anything you want to see here, just let me know! I love taking suggestions. Don’t forget you can join my patreon for just $1 a month.

Here’s to getting so much done in 2021! Cheers, queers!

Wise words of advice for myself & anyone else who needs it. Xo

 

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My morning rituals

My morning rituals calm me, bring me into the now, and keep me connected to my own magick.

I enter a different state of consciousness during these rituals that helps sustain me throughout my day.

I am reminded of the sacredness of life and the present moment.

Today, I put my aunt’s ashes and her photo on my altar to feel connected to her. She died way too soon, in her 40’s, as so many of my family members have passed away young. I miss them all and find healing in having them around me.

I might do some tarot or oracle cards during the process on some days. I think I will right after this.

read full post here: HiMeganAshley.com

My love for being in a parked car- my safe little bubble

If you’ve ever been on any of my patreons in the last 5 years, you’ve seen plenty of love letters to the car. And this time is no different.

I get massive anxiety being in a moving vehicle,
but love being in a parked car alone.

It all goes back to PTSD.

Once someone broke into my home in the middle of the night and attacked me and killed my mom, all sense of safety in the home went out the window.

I used to go to these support group meetings for victims of homicide survivors, and there I met people who truly got me.

I met people who thought living in their car was easier than living in a house.

It makes total sense to me, although I’ve never done that-

I’ve thought about it.

I’ve also thought about sleeping in my car, and have done so during the daylight hours many times.

 

read post here: HiMeganAshley.com