How Type A Invitations, my dream, became my reality.

"Enjoy life now. This is not a rehearsal."

"Today is a gift. That's why they call it the present."

"You are a perishable item. Live life accordingly."

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Those three quotes, while maybe cliché, are such a stark reminder of how short our lives can be and, quite frankly are. Which is exactly why they are three of my favorite motivational reads to spark me into LIVING to the fullest and stop making excuses. The day that I decided to finally make my own path and stop letting others make it for me, is the day that Type A Invitations was born. The following is my story of a very personal journey that pushed me to go after my dreams.

In June of 2015, after having been sick for over a year, after going to over 10 specialists -all of whom had the same diagnosis that I was, "young and healthy," after having some doctors dismissing my pain as being caused just because I was a woman and throwing prescription narcotics at me (really...the amount of narcotic "bandaids" I was prescribed is actually concerning), after having to coerce my GI doctor into scheduling a full colonoscopy, I finally got an answer. At prior visits my doctor, while good, was dismissive, short, matter-of-fact, "your pain is probably a sports injury." The day I received my test results, his bedside manner flipped completely. Earlier that week, I had this feeling that it was going to be something, something that I didn't want to deal with alone. So, I asked my mom to be there with me. My mom and I are waiting in the small, oddly decorated room when my doctor comes in. He looks different. He also looks at me differently than he has before and then sits down. He never sits down.

He proceeds to tell my mother and I that they did find something, something surprising. A serrated adenoma in my descending colon that was pre-cancerous. Whoa, what??? He goes on to tell us that finding that in a 27-year-old woman is incredibly rare and the first of his career. That testing for colon cancer for women doesn't even happen until women are 50 years old. That it was a good thing I requested the full colonoscopy because had they not found it and removed it when they did, I would have been dead in ten years. Ten. Years. And that it's not because of anything I've done and there's nothing I could've done to prevent it - it's simply genetic. I am wired to have colon cancer. Until that day, no one knew of any history of colon cancer in my family. Come to find out, my great aunt has colon cancer and so did her mother. Talk about a family wake-up call.

Hearing that you could have and would have died before your 40th birthday is hard to take. Had I not listened to my body and relentlessly persisted for an expert to listen, really listen to me; had I simply accepted the expertise of the specialists I saw, my life would be very different today. I am beyond grateful that my doctor was able to identify and remove that from my body when he did. Together, along with my now husband and family taking care of me when I was ill, we saved my life.

The new found sense of purpose, of living, of breathing, of how damn lucky I am to be alive - THIS is what I needed. Exactly what I needed to stop making "one day" excuses. Before those results, Type A was something that I toyed around with on the side. It was the "thing" all my friends and family said, "you should be doing that." But, instead I was choosing to waste away as a designer at companies where I was taken advantage of and under valued. At a company that let me go 2 weeks before I received my results because "my illness was really affecting my performance." The world has a funny way of pushing you to where you need to be.

Jobless, with a new, nothing to lose attitude, I did it. I made my website in one night. Within 7 days I had my first cold market inquiry - someone that didn't know me from anyone, just happen to find me online - they ending up hiring me a few weeks later. I started investing in myself, my business, my dreams. It didn't matter what happened down the road because I finally was living in the now. I started doing an inventory on not only the things I was doing with my life but the people I was surrounding myself with. I got rid of all the negativity - people, things, activities - and replaced them with positivity. 

I've stuck with this mindset, stuck with the diet and lifestyle changes I had to make, and today, I am healthier and happier than I have been in over 2 years. It's not easy. But, if it were, would it really even be worth doing??

GO LIVE YOUR DREAMS ❤️

xo
Ashleigh

For more about my story check out:
http://www.mominmanolos.com/august-wonder-woman/
http://districtbliss.com/type-a-invitations-stationary-dc-vs/