True Hollywood romance
by Ashley Ballard
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and as I plan this year’s menu, I can’t help but reminisce on the consequences of decisions I’ve made, both good and bad, that have led me to where I am today. I’m overcome with gratitude as I realize, even when things were bad and “my life was over,” it all happened for a reason.
Hollywood has shaped my life in so many ways. It helped me find who I was and who I never wanted to become. It gave me an independence and courage that not many youngsters had the opportunity to find. It has educated me on the ways of the world that no book on Earth could do. Most importantly (brace yourselves, it’s about to get super schmaltzy), it gave me my beautiful family.
I was fifteen when I met my husband. I was on a mall tour at the time, and my uncle/manager invited a friend of a friend who happened to have teenage boys that might enjoy my show. I had no idea he had done this, and as I was performing, I saw him…
I still remember that very moment. I remember it like I’m watching a movie. I completely came out of my body with a jolt of electricity. His smile lit up my whole world in that split second our eyes met.
But, I didn’t think too much of it because I had been warned I was not allowed to have a heart-to-heart, let alone date, any boys I had met while performing.
As I walked off the stage, my uncle told me he wanted to introduce me to some friends of his. He led me near where my then-dreamboat was standing. We kept getting closer and closer until, finally, I realized it was him.
My heart raced and a rush of blood filled my head as I shyly tried to spit out some formation of a coherent sentence. To this day, I can’t remember for the life of me what we talked about. I had plenty of media training, but never any “boy training.” All I can remember is knowing he was just as excited as I was by the deep breath he needed to take before uttering a word.
That night, at dinner, my uncle asked me which of the teenage boys I liked. Apparently, this was some sort of set-up to help with the isolation I had been feeling and boy did it work (a little too well). I told him, giggling uncontrollably, and all he replied was “OK.”
A couple weeks later, I heard those magic words: “You’ve got mail.” It was an extremely long email reminding me of who he was, where I’d met him, what he was wearing, who he was with, where he got my email address, etc. Little did he know, I couldn’t stop thinking about every one of those details since I’d met him. My response: I remember you.
And the rest is history.
Today, we’ve been married almost nine years, we have two beautiful children, and I love him even more. I still get butterflies when I see him from across the room. It hasn’t always been the smoothest ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
It’s funny, when I set out to have a music career, never in a million years would I have thought this is the way it would turn out. It just goes to show that there is nothing we truly control. All the ugly, beautiful, painful, incredible things that happen in our lives are all part of some master plan that, if we let it, can feel, somehow, “just right.” All we can do is be grateful for another day that gets us one step closer to its fruition.
So, give thanks. Love openly. And eat like you have no clue what the word diet means.
Happy Thanksgiving!!Tags: Ashley Ballard, Child star, Hollywood, Let go, Love and romance, Music, Thanksgiving