Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Study in Contradiction

"Wow. It's been almost a full year since I've been here." This is my first observation upon revisiting the idea of this blog. I am in pretty much the same place emotionally as I was (almost) one year ago the last time I wrote here. Some external changes have taken place.

I am still living in my humble but adorable (to me) condo. It still needs some work. I have less money than I had last year to do much about it. Ever the optimist I still have my plans though. I still have my beloved pups Molly and Finn by my side, and my best friend and love for the past nine years, Chino.

I heard Jessica Seinfield say something the other day that made me think. She was talking about how she cherishes her friendships with women and how she always hears other women refer to their husbands as their 'best friends.' Jessica said "my husband is not my best-friend, my best-friend is my best-friend."

At first I thought, "Yeah! Exactly. More power to us women friends." I still think this way to some extent. I cherish my friendships with women, sometimes I feel I cherish them more than my women friends do. I think I'm on the sensitive side, though I may protect this fact about myself fiercely at times. Anyway...for better or worse, right or wrong, politically correct or not. My boyfriend IS my best-friend. I do have a handful of girl friends who I consider my besties and who I would do just about anything for. I hope to gain even more meaningful friendships with women as I continue on my journey. There is one friend who I have had the longest and have been through it all with. I consider Torch and a few others, my sisters. Torch however, lives across the country and she doesn't experience me in the trenches of daily life every single day. Neither do my other lovelies, as we are all engrossed with our own stories, drama, triumphs. This doesn't make me love her/them any less or value our friendship any less. It's just that, I also consider my boyfriend my best-friend, I consider myself somewhat of a feminist, and I'm okay with both.

"Only idiots fail to contradict themselves three times a day."-Friedrich Nietzsche

"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. (I am large, I contain multitudes.)-Walt Whitman.

More to come on ch-ch-ch-changes.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I've heard this word "caveat" literally 5 times today. From several different media sources. Public radio, the newspaper, an internet article, magazine article, and just now on Gossip Girl. Yes, I do indulge in mindless t.v. from time to time. Anyway, I thought the universe must be sending me a message with this word today and felt it only right to acknowledge it.

So...I'm just getting home and settled after a long day of working my "real job" at the magazine, as well as my job waiting tables. It is 11:15 p.m. I am trying not to think of how dreadful I will feel when my alarm goes off in the morning to scream at me with it's jarring "Beeeeep Beeeep Beeeep" as if a 18 wheeler is backing into my bedroom and even scarier, about to crash into my actual bed. I will snooze it approximately 4 or 5 times, maybe 6, before I actually arise like a zombie, do the "thread the needle" yoga pose on each side, while still in bed and then finally as if I am walking to my death, will stumble into the bathroom to rid myself of the inevitable morning breath.

My mornings have been this pathetic for quite some time now. I hate to sound cliche' by using the term, "vicious cycle", but it is the best way my numb mind can describe my weekdays. Staying up late at night due to my evening gig waiting tables. Coming home and trying, but failing to decipher the most valuable use of my time. Will it be playing with my beloved dogs, tidying up my condo, journaling, reading all the yoga material I'm totally behind on, blogging, paying bills, working on my goals...the list goes on and on. Inevitably I stay up way longer than intended, before I finally shame myself to go to bed. Six or seven hours later the lovely "morning routine" I described above ensues.

I won't even bore you with the ins and outs of my actual work day. I know, I know, I am REALLY feeling sorry for myself. Things could most definitely be sufficiently worse. I do remind myself everyday of how lucky I am to have a job, two (jobs) actually, that between the two of them pay my bills. No there isn't much left over after that but...well that's what I'm working on. I have a condo that I feel at home in and definitely needs some work but I do have a vision for it.... somewhat.... with the help of a very talented interior designer acquaintance.

Anywhoo...I'm actually feeling pretty damn optimistic today, minus the usual exhaustion, burnout, ready- to- find- my- life's- purpose- urgency that pervades most my days. I'm feeling very confident that I'm on to something. More than just something. I'll keep you posted.

XOXO~ Ashley

p.s. Did I mention about the classes I taught at Shine Movement Studio last week? My first ever real yoga classes. So empowering!

Monday, March 1, 2010

High Dive

Do you ever make plans with a friend of yours who you have so much respect and admiration for that you start feeling a bit small right before you rush off to see them?

I do. I probably feel this way about more than one of my friends. I know that it's nobody's fault. It's surely not theirs for being so awesome and I refuse to take the blame for feeling so tender.

I tend to have a lot of shame about the place I am in career wise and financially at this stage in my life. I feel like most of the people I know are so much further along the path than I am. It's not for lack of trying, that's for sure. I feel like I have been on an archeological dig for the last 10 yrs. with no bones to show the boss man.

Last week during a visit with a lovely friend of mine, one who is in law school and practically engaged to a Harvard medical student, I found myself saying to her with a certain amount of self pity, "I have just never been one of those people who has always known exactly what they wanted to do." She said something back to me that struck a chord. It is not something I had never heard before but yet it was as if I was really hearing it for the first time. "I don't think most people do always know what they want to do. I just felt it was time to decide on something, and I really liked law. It is something I feel even more passionate about now that I am this far into it. At this point I've committed and sacrificed so much to this path there is no going back."

Hmmm...It was a light bulb moment. Maybe I've been looking so hard for"the work I was put on earth to do" that I have been eliminating things (careers) that aren't PERFECT. Now, I know every career has it's ups and downs, but I have had this idea in my mind that there is one specific job out there for me and I have refused to settle until I found "it." Maybe there isn't just one perfect job for everyone but many that would be great for each person. Maybe it's time that I just leaped into what I love and think I might be great at, even if it doesn't fall into the diameters of a title, or even a job or career I've ever heard of. Perhaps I have thought that if I looked hard enough I would one day stumble upon the perfect job for me wrapped up in a neat little package complete with a manual on how to get from point A to point B and a list of all responsibilities and what to expect. Has this been my problem?

Maybe it's time I quit watching all the big kids jump off the high dive and go ahead and do it

xoxo ~ Ashley

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hit Upside the Head

So after leaving my day job at the magazine today I head over to the restaurant where I wait tables a couple nights a week. I don't mind it here too much as it's a family owned joint, pretty laid back, with only a handful of employees, all of whom I like for the most part. The place is especially drama free for a restaurant. I can come here and do mindless work, earn a few extra bucks and go home. It's a bit degrading to me (my own issue, I know) when I have to wait on someone I went to high school with or the like. I always find myself explaining why the hell I'm working here in between "what would you like to drink" and "would you like any parmesan cheese for your pasta?"
Anywhoo...I'm going along playing the role of cheerful servant all the while mulling over in my head the same thing I mull over 99.9% of my day; "So what IS IT EXACTLY that I want my life's work to be? What was I put here to do?" I get an epiphany. It's one I've had before but came on especially strong at the soda fountain tonight. "I want to work with kids. Yes, I definitely want to work with kids on expressing their creativity, building their self confidence, doing art projects. I can incorporate yoga, movement, and breathing exercises! I will have a
really cool office and it will be amazing!" I get really excited about this and get all warm and fuzzy inside. I start heading to the back of the kitchen to grab some rags to wipe down a counter where I encounter one of the chefs's sons playing with a ginormous nurf gun. I smile at him when suddenly he aims his gun at me with a calculating 11 yr. old grin on his face. He fires, narrowly hitting me in my face. "Roberts, don't shoot me with that thing, o.k.? I mean it. " He proceeds to stick his tongue out at me and smirk then aiming the nerf gun at me again. "Who cares?!" He shouts in a bratty, and antagonizing tone. "I do. I'm trying to work and I don't want to be plowed in the face with a plastic suction cup." I am so irritated with this boy that I become aghast at myself. "Oh shit. Maybe I'm not cut out to work with kids" I think to myself. A few minutes later I talk myself down. "Well maybe this is the Universe's way of saying 'Yes. This will be challenging, but yes'."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Listening to a Whisper

I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know much about technology and computers, like math and science, technology and computers in general have always felt a bit intimidating to me. I have always said "Oh I'm terrible at math." Or "I'm not a science person." However, in eighth grade I had a talented teacher that had the ability to show me the way to figure out an equation and it was thrilling. And I know there are some scientific things that can stir some interest in me...even if they do lean towards the metaphysical.

I am on a journey. A journey to find my calling in life. I refuse to settle for a job. I refuse to settle for what my parents may deem a respectable profession. I want fireworks. I want heart racing, breath taking, "Ah, this is why I am here" moments- I want them on a daily basis. And I will stop at nothing until I figure out just what it is that will provide this for me. I am ferociously searching, the way a starving person would search for a morsel of food. I am following the bread crumbs. I don't know why but my gut says to start this blog. I am "trusting in the process" as one of the hundreds of self help books I have read recommends. Maybe this blog will just be a sort of captain's log that only benefits myself. Maybe it will be something more. At this point I don't have the answers, I'm just following orders.