ASHLEY MILLS MONAGHAN
I am a wife, a mom, an award winning author, a preschool teacher and I am a songwriter. I have secretly always been a songwriter at heart but never knew until recently that it was something I could actually do.
Of course, I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I can remember at age 6 writing poetry down to turn into songs and I'd use a hairbrush to sing into every chance I'd get when I'd finally have the bathroom all to myself. I have endless journals of lyrics scribbled down with scratched out chord changes all over the pages...Music has always been there for me. I couldn't spend a whole 5 months away from my guitar when I studied abroad in Ireland so within the first week I was there I bought a red guitar for 100 euros in a music shop in Carlow. After spending 18 years at the piano and picking up the guitar at 16 years of age, I knew I had found my best friend in life.
When I was 23 I realized I would never make it as a musician so I stopped trying altogether. Even though I never really played for anyone, I just assumed no one would want to hear what I had to say. I stopped dreaming. I pursued other interests. But after the success of my award winning book 'A Little Goes a Long Way' and years of working in early child education, now being a mom and speaking at various workshops and conferences, I realized the time has come for me to stop using my fear as an excuse not to pursue my dream. If I can manage twelve 3-4 year olds myself in the classroom, I can share the songs I've written. If I can birth 2 sons of my own, I can share the songs I've written. If I can speak at various conferences and perform at school assemblies with my book in front of a hundred people, I can share the songs I've written. And if I can write and publish 2 award winning books, I can share the songs I've written. I've been scared for too long. I hold a lot of self doubt in me that I’m ready to let go of. I think that’s my biggest drive for this.
I wrote a tune called "If I tell Myself I Can" and it's about having the mindset to teach yourself that you can do anything if you tell yourself you can do it. I see this theme a lot among young children; they assume a task is too difficult and they are afraid to fail or struggle, so they say 'I can't do it.' But I tell my friends in my preschool class and I tell my boys at home, if you think you can't do something, you won't do it but if you tell yourself you CAN do it - you will. Messages like these need to be heard. Songs like this one need to be heard.
It’s time I take my own message to heart and be brave and put myself out there. If I tell myself I can, I can do anything so help me spread my message of self empowerment and help me get these songs heard. Let's let the good times roll!