9w7a1413 I enjoy being alone. Outside of time with my partner and the occasional interaction with a friend or family member, I am always alone, in my own thoughts and quiet. I live alone and take in the silence while I work on the blog or do my homework. I read The New Yorker or write out my intentions for the day while taking the train to school. I almost always have headphones in when I am walking down the street, and am usually cooking and listening to podcasts at home. I am an introvert towards anyone who isn’t close to me. 9w7a1310 I wasn’t always this way. As a high schooler, I was outgoing and impulsive. I was loud, upfront, and had no boundaries with others. I went out with friends more. I never felt reserved and needed much less quiet time than I do now. Though I blame much of my evolution of self on aging, I also know that my rape experience had a huge impact on who I am as a person. I went into the hardest, most traumatizing event of my life a colorful and rambunctious human being, and came out the other side, though cleansed of depression and negativity, a monochromatic and quiet individual. I have accepted myself for who I have become and have no issues with not being the person I once was, as it is all part of the process of adulthood, but I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the days when I felt inclined to be surrounded by people and was always colorful. Literally: I had such a wide array of colors in my closet in high school, if you can believe it. It represented who I was at the time, and I never look back at old outfits and feel any sort of regret or embarrassment. I never blended in, and I was always okay with that. I don’t think I blend in now, but I would argue that I am slightly more normal than my days of wearing band shirts under cocktail dresses (which is still cool, and I highly recommend). I’m deciding to write this now because I had these calm and solemn feelings this week, and I noticed them the most when curled up and reading an essay on the train home Tuesday night. I had my headphones in without music, and I was reading an essay about a woman with a skin condition that led her to live in the dark for a decade. And I felt the happiest in this situation. That’s how I know I’ve become an introvert. I thrive the most when I am alone or in one-on-one situations. My sixteen-year-old self would have never thought this would happen, but she can kiss my ass. FLANNEL BY UNIQLO. DRESS BY LUSH (FROM T.MADISON). SANDALS BY FRANCO SARTO. DENIM BY LEVI’S. SHOT BY DILLON JOHNSON. Until next post. xx P.S. saw a frog the size of my face when we were shooting this and I went after it! best part of the day because they are my favorite. 9w7a1232 9w7a1256 9w7a1316 9w7a1388 9w7a1405 9w7a1435  
  • http://www.permanentprocrastination.com/ Permanent Procrastination

    Growing up I always thought I was such an extrovert, so out there, so loud. Nowadays I’m so very different, I’m unsure how I ever was like that??
    Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

    • http://www.closetvomit.com Ashley Ballard

      Tegan, sorry for the late reply! I didn’t realize that these comments were here LOL

      People evolve and change in the most unexpected of ways. Sometimes different is good!

  • http://naemora.com/ Adele

    Thanks for this raw and open post. ❤️ I can relate to so much you write. I can literally go for months and months without seeing any people/friends and I’m totally fine with it. I’m so absorbed within myself (in a good way – I guess/hope -) that I literally forget to socialize. And I’m okay with it. I thrive when I’m alone. It’s a good place for me. I know this sounds weird to many people, but it feels right to me.

    Adele | naemora.com

    • http://naemora.com/ Adele

      Also: gorgeous pictures!! 🙂

    • ballard.ashley.m@gmail.com

      Thank you, Adele, you are so very sweet. It means so much to know that people are reading and see themselves in what I write.

      Keep on keeping up with me! 🙂 xox

    • http://www.closetvomit.com Ashley Ballard

      OMG Adele I am just seeing this! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I am so happy to know that you can relate to what I post, and you are unapologetically a wonderful introvert. 🙂 xoxo