What may seem like a silly little predicament to most of you, has turned me into a whirlwind of doubts and fears and awkwardness. For most of my blogging career I have went by the name of Katherine Ivy. I liked this name. This name let me hide behind my writing; never forcing me to take full responsibility for my words. If someone attacked one of my views, heck it didn't matter, that was Katherine. It wasn't Ashley. It was never me. While all of my words rang true, and not once in this blog I have written anything untruthful, I simply hid behind a name.
This goes all the way back to my school girl days. I was always the quiet one. When the teacher looked in my direction my eyes shot downward forcefully - just hoping that he/she wouldn't call my name. In the halls I would walk with my eyes on my feet, trying to avoid the glances of the other students as I walked by. I just wanted to hide.
Even to this day when I see someone I know at Wal-Mart I sometimes try to avoid them or act like I don't see them at all. I try to avoid conversation, and mostly confrontation.
I've been blogging for over a year now, the whole time hiding behind this "fake me" that I've created for myself. I have met some amazing bloggers, and have made quite a few friends who all call me by the name that I created for myself. I feel like I have been lying to a lot of you, and the guilt in the pit of my stomach is eating away at me. For the first time in my life I want you to know me. I want you to know my opinions, and I want you to call me by my name. My real name.
Finally, after 25 years I am ready to come out of my shell. I finally, after so so long, feel like a woman and feel that it's okay to be a woman with opinions, and a woman who wants to change things for the better.
So, yes, dear interwebs. I'm here to introduce myself to you once again. My real self with my real name.
*holds out hand for a shake*
Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Ashley. (& yes, dammit. I'm still extremely toxic.)