This Is a Great Truth: Life is Difficult

Reposted from Facebook:

I’ve never done a “throwback thursday” before because, well, it’s just strangely heavy to look at photos pre-cancer, photos before my dad died, photos before infertility. It’s like I’m looking at someone else’s life, not mine. But I was wiping clean a computer drive tonight and found this random photo c. 2010.

This is a Great Truth: Life is Difficult via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo

I swear for a second I didn’t know who it was. This happens a lot. I see a photo that looks familiar to me, but the familiarity is more like seeing a stock photo in a frame. My mind tries to track backwards and acknowledge who it is, but there are gaps in memory, almost like the recording has been altered, as if someone cut out sections of reel tape. Someone edited my life! But the pieces I start to remember over time begin to feel extraordinary, little events woven together in such a way that when I start to try and digest them I’m aware of this force, a force bigger and more powerful than anything I could ever imagine. Huge. Powerful.

When I look at the old me I realize how hard I was trying in life, doing everything I was told I was supposed to do, exhausting just to think about really, and I feel like I was uprooted and chewed up and hastily spit back out. Tornado-like. But that force (surely God and grace all wrapped up and swirly) makes me feel like I can just be now. Just BE. And I’m not scared anymore. That girl in the photo…SHE was scared of life. Phew, that girl was ticking off every box, as if missing a single one would be the end of the world. Ticking off every box so no one would be disappointed in her. Good education. Check. Good job. Check. Big house. Check. Nice car. Check. Gym membership. Check. New electronics. Check. Vacations. Check. And now I realize why it’s so heavy looking at those old photos, because that life was h-e-a-v-y. But I’m not her anymore. Now I feel like I can just be. Don’t hold it in. Stop trying to hold it all together. What’s the worst that can happen? I mean, I guess I could get cancer, lose a loved one, quit my job, and become infertile overnight, but I’m on the other side thinking that can end up being okay too.


From a favorite book, The Road Less Traveled:


This is a Great Truth: Life is Difficult via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #quote M. Scott Peck Road Less Traveled


I can’t wait to hear Nick Vijucic speak this weekend. I’m taking Boo and the whole extended family. If you live in the Palm Desert Area: tickets are going fast but you might be able to snag one….all proceeds benefit the Salvation Army.  Maybe we’ll see you there.

Nick Vujicic Life without Limbs speaking in Palm Desert via Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #inspiration #nickvujicic #salvationarmy #lifewithoutlimbs

“I was born without arms or legs and given no medical reason for this condition. Faced with countless challenges and obstacles, God has given me the strength to surmount what others might call impossible.” -Nick Vujicic



  1. Chera says

    Love this post….I have 6 years of photos on my computer that I’ve yet to print & put in albums….mainly because they start the year that I was pregnant & my Dad died. Four more deaths, a home lost, and sometimes those photos are just hard to look at, and move forward with! But, that is my goal this year, and I’m going to make it happen….photos put into albums and a few other projects!

    Enjoy hearing Nick, we’ve seen him a couple of times, amazing!

    • Stephanie says

      During the homily on Sunday our priest was asking for people to show more compassion. I remember him saying:
      After a near death experience a person can change in profound ways. They become more religious or in some cases find religion. They are filled with JOY. Their worldly possessions begin to mean less. And they are overflowing with compassion.
      I felt like he was describing you.

  2. Anneliese says

    You are beautiful in all stages of the journey. And so much wiser and stronger now. I love your giant heart!