I’d Rather Be Brave

ASHLIN HORNE

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It seems like we’re always waiting for something.

Waiting for an answer, for a direction, for an open door. We’re waiting for the right person, the right opportunity, the right words.

I think I’m just tired of waiting, of wondering. Of thinking that one day we’re all just going to wake up and have it figured out; what we’re supposed to do and who we’re supposed to be. And that suddenly, we will possess the bravery to do it.

I don’t know what you’re waiting for, but if it’s a sign you’re in need of…consider this yours.

You’re never going to be ready. You’re never going to have the perfect answers and the color-coded map that is a guarantee you won’t get lost. Not making a decision is making one–I’ve learned that this year if I’ve learned nothing else. If you refuse to choose, to change, to try, to explore; you’ve…

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We’re all fighting battles.

ASHLIN HORNE

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I take pictures of people. Engagements, weddings, families, birthday parties…you name it and I’ll photograph it.

And whenever I sit down to edit them, the tears always come. I find myself a complete mess, grabbing tissues and trying to click my way through my usual process. It’s quite a sight to behold.

I cry because there’s a story. Sometimes I know little pieces of it, but I weep because I will never know the price they have paid to get to this point. I cannot ever understand what it took for them to get to these moments, to hold these dreams. It’s clearly beautiful, but heartbreakingly mysterious.

Dinner parties, books, letters in the mail, phone calls, coffee on a Tuesday: I hear stories in these ways, and I feel deeply about them. But I will never fully understand the load they’ve carried, what it took to carry it the way…

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Black Coffee & Weak People

ASHLIN HORNE

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“I’ll take a coffee.”

He begins slowly pouring it into the white paper cup. “Room for cream and sugar?”

I shake my head, “No.”

He looks slightly surprised, but says nothing as he pops the plastic top onto the cup.

If you’re going to love something, learn to love it exactly the way it is.

This is my thought about coffee, about life, about people.

We’re always trying to add things, change things, make them sweeter and easier to swallow.

I don’t want to expect anything different than what I’m being handed. This is it. This cup of coffee, this moment, this human being. This is what’s in front of me and that has to be enough, it should be enough.

I want to be enough as I am.

I realized that when I was working in the living room in my pajamas the other morning. Our house is consistently knocked…

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We’ve Got Bigger Problems

ASHLIN HORNE

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My playlist landed on that song, it happened just as I was turning into my neighborhood in Georgia.

It poked at my heart, it nudged at some pain I’ve been carting around.

I turned it off and put it out of my mind.

This morning the same song came on, but its weight didn’t crush me. Today, I’ve got bigger problems. I’ve got bigger problems than sad songs that remind me of disappointing seasons and of people who didn’t turn out to be who I thought they were.

This morning he left. I lost an uncle. My family lost a father. The world lost a fighter.

Sad songs didn’t really seem like such a problem after that. The little heartbreaks didn’t really seem to matter when I thought about his life, the miracles he lived. The world seemed more gray this morning. The news felt like bricks breaking in an earthquake, I could…

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Sorry Shakespeare, No One Was Born Great

ASHLIN HORNE

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She said it so matter-of-factly, “I’ll never change it. I can’t change the world.”

For me, everything just stopped. She believed them, she really believed those words that just came flooding out of her mouth. Her eyes were glassy and her posture resolute; I could see that in regards to world changing, her heart was settled.

I didn’t know how to respond, mostly because that thought has never gone through my mind.

How did she know that greatness hadn’t chosen her? Could she really be so certain that she wasn’t woven with all the threads of a world changer?

Her words just sat with me for the rest of the day, but late that night, wrapped up in my covers and staring at the ceiling, I heard something thick with truth:

Greatness doesn’t choose you, you choose greatness.

You don’t make a difference all because fortune fell into your lap.

Shakespeare may be…

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Sunday and Not Settling

ASHLIN HORNE

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Sunday has ruined me for other days.

Sunshine, windows down, music sailing through speakers, it’s like his wind whispers: you’ll never be able to settle when you see how I’ll always come back around for you.

I’ve tried to fall in love with Mondays, Thursdays, but they can’t hold a shred of my heart once he starts knocking.

He is gentle in the way he loves me. He brings friends with fresh flowers and comes with steeples that hover over people who are also trying to learn about this thing called grace.

I love that he makes me feel comfortable to be natural, barefoot and lazy. I’m never afraid to let my hair down, to dance and twirl on hardwood floors. Together, along with caramel coffee, we don’t focus on the questions, the worry, what we don’t know. He’s my day, it’s that plain and simple. Sunday has got me wrapped around his…

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Love Is Graham Crackers and Hospital Rooms

ASHLIN HORNE

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I never really understood love until Sunday when I was sitting in the emergency room.

He was screaming, tears running down his tired, red face. Pressed close to me, it was like holding fire, he was so hot and in such pain. I’ve never felt more helpless. I’ve never felt more afraid.

It was a few hours before they finally got his fever down.  As he sat up, still leaning on my chest, he began to eat his graham crackers and drink his juice. I felt oxygen fill my lungs again, I’d been holding my breath for so long.

There we were, covered in crumbs and my shirt soaked with sweat, tears, snot, and juice—I’ve never looked worse and I could not have cared less. And it clicked, there in that uncomfortable chair in the darkness of that hospital room.  Love is graham crackers and hospital rooms–all your prayers being for someone else, forgetting…

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