army wife

Is Reverse Culture Shock a Thing?

Howdy y’all! So we are down to our last 5ish weeks in Japan, and when I tell you, I can’t even sleep at night these days! I have never struggled with anxiety until now, and it’s exhausting. I NEED SLEEP! I had been ready to leave island forever, but as we approach moving day, I get more and more nervous. Between the packing, finding an apartment, finding new doctors, prepping for our trip back home, it’s a lot on our plates. I don’t know how to adult, help!!

I’m not really sure why I’m so uneasy about moving back to the country I’ve spent 18 years in. I mean, I’ve heard so much about reverse culture shock. Is it really a thing? It totally makes sense. In Japan, there are so many things we do differently here. Customer service, or should I say, the lack of, is going to take some getting used to. However, one thing I won’t miss, is the fact that there are no free refills in Japan. To top it off, the cup sizes are ridiculously small. Not really sure how Japan expects me to quench my thirst with a quarter cup of melon soda with 4 big ass ice cubes in it. Fun fact: Majority of places in Japan will refuse tips. I’m pretty excited about not having to use my Google Translate app to go grocery shopping. But the toughest transition will FOR SURE be the whole driving situation, I have no idea how long it’ll take my brain to readjust to driving on the right side of the road.

Although I’m starting to see a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel, we still have so much to do. TMO comes in a few days, and shit is about to get real. My dining room table is gone, and we are eating on the couch, #RECKLESS. My car is sold, which is kinda tragic. It’s so crazy how quickly everything is going! I honestly didn’t expect to be this emotional about leaving, but I’ve met so many amazing people here! People I’m going to miss so much, but I guess that’s all a part of the military life. Aside from the people, I’m definitely gonna miss my house! I’m gonna miss Bollywood Dreams, Hamazushi and Daiso, possibly even MaxValu (gotta get used to the Walmart life now).

But I’m so excited I get to see my parents and my sister, hopefully my brother soon! Sucks that we only get to spend a few days back home, but we are gonna make the best of it—if the jet lag allows us to. We are legit gonna be #TeamNoSleep while on vacation, since we haven’t been home in almost 3 years!! But seriously guys, all I keep thinking about is food. Gyros, Flyers, Chickfila, Bahama Breeze, I-CAN-NOT-WAIT. We get to be tourists for once, and I’m pretty thrilled about it. We basically wanna do everything except the theme parks, ain’t nobody got time for all that.

Onto Texas! Super excited for Texas. Super optimistic. Super anxious. If anyone knows somebody who knows somebody who knows anybody who lives in San Antonio, send them to my blog! I wanna know everything about everything. Best places to road trip to, favorite bars, where does everyone grocery shop? Seriously, I really wanna know your favorite hole in the wall restaurants, favorite boutiques, favorite mom & pop shops, tell me everything! If anyone knows anyone who owns any small business in San Antonio, comment below! I would love to visit as many small shops that I can!

I’m hopeful that during my transition back stateside will give me lots of inspiration for blogs, and even possible vlogs. So stay tuned everyone! I can’t wait to share with y’all the business that I’ve been prepping all throughout 2016. But seriously, I’m hoping that I can soon get my mojo back! It’s about that time to make the switch from Ash, to Whiplash *winks**twerks*.

Dear Ash.

Dear Ash.

You’ve come a long way. You’ve grown older, and wiser, however, you’ve still got a lot to learn. This is what life is about, learning; taking in all the information you possibly can, and using it to live an enjoyable life. I know you often feel lost, and get sidetracked, but I want to share some advice. I want to help you get back on the right path. I want to give you some tips to help you achieve greatness.

You have to find your purpose. Why were you put on this Earth? What things do you want to accomplish while you are here? What things are you passionate about? What things do you enjoy doing? In the words of Buddha, “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” You gotta set goals girl. You’re smart, and I know you’re gonna do great things. It’s perfectly okay to dream big. You wanna be a 1 hit wonder? Go for it. You wanna be a pastry chef? Go for it. Wanna be in LifeTime movies? GO FOR IT. Don’t allow people to tell you your dreams are unrealistic. Any dream can come true if you work hard to make it happen.

Learn how to forgive. I know, it’s easier said than done. I know you have a ton of pet peeves, everything seems to irritate you. Whenever you feel like someone has done something to upset you, stop and ask yourself “Is it really worth it?” DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. You have to stop letting irrelevant things ruin your day. Yes, your friends and family love you, but they don’t live to please you. Learn how to let things go.

Be yourself. You’ve got a strong, bold personality, don’t conceal it. Not everyone can handle it, and that’s okay. Those who can’t handle it, shouldn’t be around you. You are sarcastic, raunchy, and you’re what some people would call ‘extra’. In the words of the great Katy Perry, “baby you’re a firework”. Embrace your personality, it’s one of the things that make you unique. Stop trying to change who you are to keep toxic people in your life. Speak how you want, wear what you want, do what you want, be what you want. Be yourself, but better. Better, meaning; being polite, being smart, and being the healthiest version of you possible.

Be kind. This is probably going to be the toughest tip for you. Friendly isn’t a word people often use to describe you. You’re kind of a [bleep](use your imagination). You always have a wall up; It’s okay to let it down. Try to see the good in everyone, because good is in everyone. Whether it’s a blessing, or a lesson, aim to see the glass half full. Learn to trust people, and treat them well. You’ll come across some nasty people who won’t return the favor, but its okay. As long as you know you did your part, then it was a successful encounter. You will feel much better knowing you treat people politely. Smile more, and eventually it may become genuine. As cliché as it sounds; treat people the way you would like to be treated. If you wouldn’t hang out with you, maybe you should reevaluate your attitude and behavior.

Surround yourself with positive people. Don’t allow anyone in your life who doesn’t deserve to be there. Be strict about your friends, and have high standards always. If your friends aren’t supportive, let them go. If your friends don’t tell you when you’re wrong, let them go. If your friends don’t inspire you, let them go. Only keep people around who you can learn from. The friends you do have, make sure you always show appreciation for them. You deserve friends who are trustworthy, and loving. You need friends who you can laugh and cry with, and the ones who will hold your hair back while you vomit Bacardi gold. You deserve friends who truly love you. Life is way too short to have crappy friends.

 Live a life that’s worth blogging about! Be the best version of you possible! Be the friend that your friends will brag about. Be the wife that your husband dreams of having. Be the person people want to be around. Be inspirational, be fun, be happy.

XOXO,

Ashli Narissa

-♥

Why Natural Hair Isn’t Natural For Me.

This upcoming March will make 3 long years since my “Big Chop”. For those who don’t know, a big chop is when you cut off the relaxed ends of your hair, leaving the hair that has no straightening chemicals in it. In the past 3 years, I could honestly say that I’ve either worn braids, or sew-ins for more than 50% of the time. For me, it’s easier to wear weaves than to do my own hair.

I’ve had relaxed hair for as long as I can remember. Having straight hair was all I knew. After years of dealing with breakage, I got my last relaxer in May of 2012. Not getting relaxers didn’t really change anything for me because I was getting my hair done professionally twice a month. Even after getting my big chop, months later, I never really had experience dealing with my own hair. I’ve never had short hair, I didn’t know what to do with it, and so I pretty much wore sew-ins up until I moved to Japan.

When I first moved to Japan, I was about a year “Post Big Chop”. My hair was probably close to chin length. I had no clue what to do with my hair. The climate in Okinawa is completely different than what I’m used to, and it effected my hair a lot. My hair was always dry, and I still struggled with breakage still. When I finally found a regimen that worked for me, it didn’t last long before my hair grew to neck length and my texture changed. I could no longer get a successful twist out, which was my go-to style.

We all hear about the perks of being natural; hair growth, less breakage, a healthier scalp. I’ve heard that it’s easier, cheaper and more versatile to have natural hair. Then you start noticing all the beautiful naturals with long, defined curls, or the ladies with the perfect up-do. I started to wonder, “What am I doing wrong with my hair?” I consistently struggle with keeping my hair moisturized. If your hair isn’t moisturized, you can’t detangle it, and if it’s not detangled, good luck with getting it to look decent. It’s discouraging at times. Some people make it look so effortless. It’s not always so easy for everyone.

I want to clear things up; being natural isn’t natural to me. I have more bad hair days than I have good hair days. My hair grows very slowly. I have considered cutting my hair off more times than I can count. I wear my hair in a bun majority of the time. I get so frustrated whenever I have to deal with my hair. My hair is still a work in progress, and I haven’t given up. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of being natural. I’ve definitely started becoming more aware of the things I allow in my body.

The main reason I really wanted to write this, is because so many people glamorize having natural hair, but I never hear people talk about the struggles. I’ve always said “being natural isn’t for everyone”, which is crazy to me. Having natural hair isn’t always pretty. My advice for myself, as well as other struggling naturals; don’t let anyone discourage you. We all have completely different hair types. I don’t think I will ever relax my hair again, or at least I hope I won’t. As tough as it is, I’m prepared to put in the time and money to fall in love with my natural hair.

THIS IS NOT A NATURAL HAIR SHAMING POST. I’m open to any advice, tips, or encouraging words anyone may have!

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Who is Ashli Narissa?

On the same exact day that Mariah Carey released her #1 hit, “Always be my baby”, a princess was born. Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but let’s just go with it.395919_374071199286280_1014319784_n

Hey everyone! I’m Ashli. If you are reading this, it’s probably because you’re either related to me, or someone who is related to me shared my blog with you. If you don’t fit into either of those categories, that’s okay, it’s actually amazing!

Most of you already know that I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. No, I didn’t work at Disney World, I did however spend 2 years working with Spider-man at Universal Orlando! I graduated High School in 2014, and 2 weeks later, I moved across the globe to live with my husband. We have been living the military life for about 2 years now. Unfortunately, it’s nothing like Army Wives, not that exciting. Living in Japan, however, is exciting.

I’m a stay-at-home cat mom (I just quit my job, you’ll hear more about that later). I’m in school now working to become a Banquet Manager/Event Planner. I might end up planning Kris Jenner’s 70th birthday party, (or my moms 40th birthday party, again).

My goal for Road2Joy is to keep things casual, and exciting. I’m hoping you all will enjoy this as much as I will, Thank you all for stopping by!

 

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