Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Quote You Try To Live By

This one serves as a good reminder. It encourages me, it pushes me, it reminds me to do more, to be more, and that I am more. 

 I love this. I've struggled a lot with these concepts. I love that we already are enough. We don't have to do something to earn our worthiness. We are worthy. Period. Not because of what we've done or who we are. There is nothing required to be worthy. You just are. 

These have been new concepts for me, new ideas, new beliefs that I've started to pursue and embody. That we have a story that's worth sharing. And that being brave is to engage and to be vulnerable. 

I love, love, love this one. Agape is one of my favorite words. Agape love is this unconditional, true, worthy, love. Even if, no matter what, no matter what you've done, no matter what you haven't done, no matter what you think, or say, or believe, there is this unconditional, love that says you are worthy. They aren't any fences around it, no one is excluded. 

I wrote this awhile ago. And this is me and who I am and why I do what I do. 

Things You Like and Dislike About Yourself

A few years ago, one of my friends asked me to write a list similar to this...
...I never did it.

Things I Like About Myself

  • I can read people pretty well.
  • I can generally adapt to situations/people. 
  • The color of my eyes.
  • The color of my hair. 
  • I always match. 
  • I'm detail oriented. 
  • I'm good at setting boundaries. 
  • I don't aggravate people.
  • I'm a good driver. 
  • I have pretty solid inter/intrapersonal skills. 
  • I ask questions. 
  • My ability to control my emotions.

Things I Dislike About Myself

  • I don't have a very good vocabulary. 
  • I'm not a very good runner. 
  • I'm not a very good singer. 
  • I can't do much with my hair. 
  • I can't think of things off the top of my head. 
  • I freeze when faced with the unknown. 
  • My need for people to like me. 
  • My handwriting. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Something You're Currently Worried About

The trouble with having this public way of journaling is that I begin to write for the audience and not for myself. It becomes less helpful as far as introspection for me and more about appealing to people...again.

I'm currently worried about a lot of things. A lot, a lot. I found something the other day that was a small book that will allow me to document short anecdotes about things that, well, scare me essentially. it's called"Do One Things Everyday that Scares You". It has prompts and quotes and idea and is small, where I can just start to push myself just a little bit every day.

What I'm currently worried about is a combination of failing, succeeding, and staying stuck. They're woven together, making it quite worrisome. It's been the dominating thought for awhile, particularly this past month.  T

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Five Words/Phrases That Make You Laugh

My first place to look is my Pinterest board "Grin With Dimples". Although, when  you're looking to see which ones make you laugh harder, it's easier to suppress...So I also looked at "First World Problems". Naturally, I then had way more than five. So, here we go. Not following the rules!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Something That You Miss

All of these prompts prompt me to make a list! I can't help it...I think it's because I'm too indecisive to just choose one thing and want to write out everything.

  • The beach.
  • The ocean. 
  • Africa. 
  • People. 
  • Hugs. 
  • Kit Kats (pretty sure I have one at home, Imma eat it once I get there!)
  • Family vacations.
  • Road trips.
  • School.
  • Supervising.
  • Being an obvious role model. 
  • Being an RA.
  • Playing soccer. 
  • Playing board games. 
  • Airplanes.
  • Not feeling constantly burdened by money.
  • McDonald trips at 2am. 
  • Being able to function on less than 8 hours of sleep. 
  • Living/working in a residence hall.
  • People asking me my opinion. 
  • Getting to sleep past 10am. 
  • Opening the door and having friends right down the hall.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Your Academics

Brag time.

I went to a private kindergarten. My dad was the director of the place, so that was cool, My teacher hated me, that wasn't cool. I don't know why, but the only thing I remember about kindergarten was that my teacher hated me. My parents will back me up on that. I wasn't very good at kindergarten...I think the teacher thought I wasn't very bright, because that's the time you learn how to write and cut and paste and color. And I STILL haven't mastered any of that, pretty sure because my teacher was mean.

1-5 Grade
I was a rock star, no joke. Maybe not first grade, I was still scarred from kindergarten and was now at a public school in a newish school district and the school had only been open a year, and I was super shy, apparently. And second grade was a joke, I don't remember much from there.

But third-fifth grade, I was a rock star. Academic wise, we did accelerated reading (AR) challenges, I always tore those up (not literally, using 90's lingo. Re: I kicked butt). I won a racoon in the fourth grade because I wrote the best story (he was a puppet and he was cute). I was one of the spelling bee champs every year, also. Academic life 3-5 grade was bomb.

6-8 Grade
I struggled in 6th grade. I was at a brand new school and didn't really like one of my teachers, which just makes life hard when you don't like your teachers. I did kick butt in math class though, and that was the beginning of my love for math. 7th and 8th, I adjusted, had bomb teachers, and did pretty dang well. And kept kicking butt in math class. I was awarded some math award for our team at 8th grade promotion.

9th Grade (Freshman!)
This school wasn't all that new (like..4 years old). I took two honors classes, English and World History. Honors World History was one of the hardest classes I've ever had. I thought I was going to fail. I got a C at quarter, B for semester. I remember. The teacher told me that honors wasn't for everyone and maybe not right for me. Pretty sure she got fired later because she was mean to people... could be making that up. Anyways, other than that class, all A's. Sup. Oh yeah, and took geometry. I was one of three freshmen in the class. I remember those tests and the class. Because I was definitely the highest scorer on every one of them. Because I loved math.

10-12 Grade 
Switched schools, brand new school. Kept my steady pace of 2 Honors/AP classes a semester. (Which I believed to show I was dedicated, but not obsessed.) Tenth grade, had another bomb math teacher and did decent. I didn't rock AS hard, it was a little more complicated, but pretty sure I still did well, and I still liked math by the end of it. 11th grade though, started to hate math and by the 12th grade, math was the worst thing in my life (exaggeration, but still). Writing was always my favorite thing, though. 11th grade English class, one of the best classes ever. Again, the teacher.

My high school counselors tried to convince me to apply to ivy league schools. They told me I was one of the only students that they really believed I could do literally almost anything in the world and could excel. I just assumed they told that to everyone.

I remember senior year, a lot of our class dropped out/switched schools/I don't know what, and I was so made because while my specific class ranking never changed, the percentage did. Because being 4th in the class out of 70 isn't as impressive as what it could have been.

Weighted GPA, which is all I know, 4.4 in high school.

K-12, Overall:
When I graduated high school, I loved school. I was good at school.
I loved math, until 11th grade. (Precalculus and calculus ruined it for me.)
I have always hated all science.
I have always hated world history.
I have always loved English/writing classes.
I have never had good hand writing.
I don't have fine motor skills. Now we know why.
Teachers are vital to the learning experience, not just the learning process.

College: Bachelor(ette) Life
I started college with zero credits (no AP or dual enrollment). I averaged 17-18 units every semester in college. One semester, I took 21. Another, 19. I graduated well over the necessary 120 credits and within 4 years. Two totally separate majors and a different minor.
I had a semester where I just hated everything and didn't go to class, like...ever. Junior year, maybe? It was a rough time. I got a lot more B's in college than before. (I think I got two B's in high school.)
I worked hard in college. I think the GPA was around 3.67.
I didn't think I'd get into grad school.

But I did.

College: Grad School 
Way easier than college the first time. Except then I got that brain injury and that made my life really hard. Almost got a 4.0. But during the brain injury time, I got an A- and it's a weighted scale. 3.98, instead.

School Life is the Life for Me
But graduated with a high school diploma, two bachelor's degrees, master's degree, and gained professional licensure by the time I was 23, so that's cool.
I got a lot of academic awards during elementary and middle school, because that was the best time of my life. I peaked in middle school, pretty sure. :)

I would be willing to bet that I turned in no more than 3 papers late in my entire academic career, all with approval. I have never missed a test date, ever. My total absences from school (1-12 grade) was less than an average person within 4 years.

I showed up to class. I took notes. I read. I did my homework. I enjoyed school. And that's basically my academic life.
I was dedicated, but not obsessed, as mentioned earlier. I didn't get straight A's all the time, but got more A's than anything else. I do better than above average, not as good as crazy, genius smart. 

How You Hope Your Future Will Be Like

All the fears I mentioned, I want those to be all cleared up in the future.

The problem with talking about my future with anyone more than 5 years older than me..I started writing out the reasons, but it didn't sound good. Anyways, it's a bit of a problem for me to talk about my future with a lot of people...

I don't even know what dreaming looks like anymore.

Augh, okay, gotta clear my mind to write this out.

So what I HOPE my future looks like. 

Micro/mezzo level (my life):
Having a strong, awesome support system. Having beautiful, graceful, kind, and gentle people encouraging me, advocating for me, laughing at me, laughing with me, checking in on a regular basis and being a person like that to others.

I have more letters after my name.

I would love to do doctors without borders.

I would love to have all of my lame debt paid off (and not accrue more, excluding home). Current debt includes car loan and student loans.

I want to set roots and become invested in a community. No more college lifestyle crap.

I want to be important. I want to matter. I want my job to matter.

I want to contest my credit report (on the to do list for next immediate future). There was an error on it. I think.

Macro level (the world):
I actually want China and the US to uphold their end of the deal and cut down on CO2 emissions. 

I want the income formula for the poverty line updated, and go by net amount...

I want the US to get smart again.

I want us to keep exploring space (that's a new thing for me).

I want to see a radical shift in the way we treat homelessness.

I want ebola to be curable in every area of the world.

I want kids to go back outside.

I want to see more people want things (not material things). 

Your Fears

Well this one is rather broad and vague, isn't it.

I have many, actually. Some are just in general, some specific, some depend on the day, some are all the time, some are just during certain moments of life, so no need to get in a panic about these...

  • My typing has slowed down significantly, and I'm concerned about that. It's not like I don't type very often, so I'm not sure what the deal is. But I was averaging 72wpm when I was 12 (I had amazing learning programs), my average was near 98wpm in college..and now I'm like...lower..
    • Update: I just took  a typing test. I feel a little better? Still way lower than what I was at.. It's one of those trademarks I had, where people almost always would comment on how quickly I typed. I am not as concerned about the typing speed, obviously I'm not slow, but I don't understand how I've decreased so much. 
    • Maybe it's because I'm not typing like 7 intensive papers a week like I used to?

  • The normal fears...failing, not being enough, not being legitimately awesome..
  • Getting pulled over
    • I got pulled over last weekend! All turned out to be okay (sort of, one of my headlights was out). But got it fixed immediately after. 
  • Someone thinks I'm mean, hurtful, rude, unkind, unpleasant, and/or stupid. 
    • This is something I don't share with a lot of people, but it's one of those deep rooted fears I have. And that leads into shame...and the cycle goes on.. 
  • I won't learn how to be truly authentic. 
  • I won't/don't have a really strong support group/system. 
  • I'm afraid I'll never be good at waking up. 
  • Sometimes I get afraid to drive over bridges...that's been a new thing within the last year or so? It's been a weird sensation...
  • Anything that flies that wasn't made by a human. 
    • Insects, bees, wasps, etc. 
  • Ugly animals
    • Might be judgemental, but totally afraid of an animal that isn't cute. Like armadillos. I'm not afraid of cute animals, like squirrels, which is problematic since we all know every squirrel has 43392 diseases and you'll die if you touch one. (Exaggeration)
  • I'm afraid to drive where I can't use my mirrors. 

Currently, one of my biggest fears is getting stuck. Or staying stuck..I think I already am stuck. Being unable to get unstuck?
Today someone told me I should be happy with where I'm at. It made me feel like I was being ungrateful. And perhaps in a way I kind of am. But I don't buy the "you're where you're supposed to be" kind of crap. Sometimes it's true. Sometimes, it's not. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Five Items You Lust After

I don't know how to actually respond to this prompt....
I assume it means five things I really desire..?
Or I could talk about lust.

A Problem That You Have Had

Is it a cop out to say it's been a problem for me to write a post for this? Yeah...I'm thinking so.

A current problem is that I get embarrassed super easily. I do anything I can to not draw attention to myself if I'm somewhere unless that's the goal. Take right now for instance, I'm at a coffee shop. I have my laptop, my journal, my Bible, my headphones, and some coffee. If I get briefly distracted for a few seconds, I look at my phone, I open a new tab, and someone walks behind me, that's enough to send me over the edge. Not like someone is coming up to me, but just, walking past me, walking anywhere in the vicinity of they can see what I'm doing. Talk about needing privacy, I'm ridiculous. (Sidenote, is it ironic that I'm putting this on a public website? It's different though.) It's not even like I'm procrastinating on anything...I have nothing to procrastinate on!

I also hate taking pictures with my phone. I pretty much refuse to take any selfies. Even texting, I hate doing that in front of people. I will never answer the phone in public (or really anywhere, read almost anything about introverts).

I think a large part is because I always (always, all the time, by everyone, even if you only see me for 4.3 seconds walking by), I always want people to know me as the diligent, hard worker, who is focused. It might be more than that.

And that leads me to my other/similar problem of not allowing myself have fun. I think that's why when I'm in Pinterest, Facebook, BuzzFeed, any social media site in public I feel ridiculous/embarrassed (none of those tabs are open PS.) It goes into the category where I judge myself but not anyone else. I have been looking at where I've been spending my money a lot these past few months. The amount going towards "fun things" are fast food restaurant places to grab a super quick bite to eat, sometimes with people. Other than "fun food", nothing in the past 5 weeks. 100% of my paycheck either went to savings, car payment, rent, utilities, and gas. I've become obsessed with saving, but not in the good way. And I tell myself I have fun by paying for Netflix (oh yeah, that goes in the list) and getting more than one meal a day.

This coffee shop trip? I've been planning for over three weeks. I have 1 1/2 hours that I get to be here. And I bought one coffee.

I didn't even realize I had a problem. But um...I think I have a problem. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Something That You're Proud Of

Immediately, my mind went to tangible type accomplishments when I read this. I knew that I didn't want to write about any of those though, I wanted to write about something I've learned, rather than an achievement...

Because today is election day (yay, voting!!!!), I'll use this time to talk about America!

This song gets me every single time. Every. Single. Time.
I really am proud to be an American. I have several posts about it. I love the republic of the United States of America.

I love that Americans can vote.
I love that people know about America.
I love that it's a country that people look to and respect.
I love that we have the police who actually are here to protect and serve.
I love that we have checks and balances.
I love that we have a President and we can elect them and we can impeach them and we can have a say in who he/she is and influence policy.
I love that I can go to any athletic event.
I love that I can go travel between the states without any trouble.
I love that there is such thing as national debate, because that means people can debate.
I love that people can start a campaign.
I love that people can research things.
I love that people can go to school.
I love that education is encouraged.
I love American food.

We have 24 hour donut shops, hotlines, emergency help, mass transit, TV news, sports broadcasting.
You can eat so much here!
Drive thrus!!

I wrote this letter to North America a few years ago:

Dear North America,

I love you a lot. I have been living on your territory my entire life and seriously enjoy it. You are the continent that is just superb in every way. You are the continent that makes me the most proud, to be honest. North America, I am astonished by your ability to be the world’s leader and to be the home of countries that the rest of the world looks up to.

I love the United States of America. The USA is an incredibly interesting place, as it is a place of pride and leadership, however it so often seems to lack humility. Americans are often seen as people who know everything and can achieve anything. Sometimes Americans get that idea in their heads as well and that often leads to trouble. North America…stop. Just stop thinking you know everything and that you don’t ever need help. Yes, you are amazing and revered throughout the world. Yes, you have power and a strong influence on others. But you can’t do it alone. Americans, start learning from others and stop solely teaching. Teach and learn.

Be willing to admit that you need help. Be weary of the fighting you are doing between each other and forgetting about one another. North America, you are a wonderful continent and my personal favorite. You are so admired, so step up and lead by example. You are loved North America—start accepting that love.

James Watson, scientist (Interviewed in 2007)

For all my life, America was the place to be. And we somehow continue to be the place where there are real opportunities to change the world for the better."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Something You Always Think "What If..." About

Pinterest introduced me to this quote. 

At first, I didn't really like it...I'm not usuallyyyyy a huge quote person, simply because they are often too SIMPLE. They make things mundane, and wring so much of the life from it, that it's just a lame thing people think/say. Which sucks, because there are some super solid quotes. I digress..

Anyways, I have been thinking a lot about this quote, especially recently. I let my fear of failure hold me back from so many things. It's amazing, truly a miracle, that I willingly applied to grad school. Maybe not willingly, I was kind of pushed/convinced. I remember after I was accepted into the second school, I was like beyond amazed and told someone once I got the letter and they looked at me and said, "Ash, whether you would get into grad school was never our question. That we didn't doubt. What our question is which school you'll choose."

Right now I'm facing a similar dilemma. One of my friends called me the other day and said, "I'm going to call you every day until you do [this]." I kept talking with them and finally was like...but this is the easy way. Do I really need to try to do [that]? Because

What if I fall?

And I have friends who say,

"But darling, what if you fly?"

I don't know the answer to either of those. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Your Zodiac/Horoscope and If You Think It Fits

First of all, I immediately think of this from "Full House" every time. 
I'm Cancer (Crab),
July 17.

My fortune from my fortune cookie says "Following inner promptings brings quiet accomplishment"
I looked at my horoscope here:

And today's horoscope: Difficult challenges that have been lingering on the sidelines will probably become more prominent today, Cancer. There is a strong possibility that things will come to a head. The problem was easy to overlook at first, but now that it has taken on a life of its own, you may have to consult someone who is more of an expert on these types of situations than you are.

I'll go with yes, because that's fun. I can't taco 'bout it here (see what I did there? Because mmmmm tacos!) because I gotta be an adult first.

However I have made a list and am starting to address the problem, for real for real. And it started for real when my best friend called me on Wednesday and told me I better do something and they'll keep bugging me until it happens. After they texted me and left me a voicemail about it.

Oh wait, I just saw that the actual title is "...Fits Your Personality". I forgot to check that part out!

Cancer Personality:

Deeply intuitive and sentimental, Cancer can be one of the most challenging Zodiac signs to get to know. Emotion runs strong for this sign, and when it comes to family and home, nothing is more important. Sympathetic and empathetic, Cancerians are greatly attuned to those around them. Devotion is the keyword for this sign, making them wonderfully sensitive people to be around.
Ashley Says: Hard to get to know...attuned..

Compassion, emotional sensitivity, fierce protection of loved ones, tenacity.
Ashley says: I mean...

Manipulative, indirect conflict, clinging to the past, insecure, packrat.
Ashley says: eep. Yes. 
Charismatic marks:
Medium build, round face, prominent breasts, a tendency to take charge.
Ashley says: Uh..not so much with the breasts. 
Relaxing near or in water, art, home-based hobbies, a good meal with friends, helping loved ones.
Ashley says: yeah. My favorite thing recently is to get dinner and sit by the pool, eat my dinner, journal, and listen to music
Strangers, revealing of personal life, any criticism of Mom.
Ashley says: haahahhahaa the second one, yes. 
Best environment:
Cancer will always be most comfortable at home, close to family, familiar things, and dear friends.
Ashley says: Hashtag introvert

Cancer in Love:

"I feel" is the key phrase for Cancer, and this is all too evident when it comes to love. Tender and gentle, Cancerians will show sensitivity with their lovers without a second thought. They love readily and choose a mate who can understand them as much as possible. Superficial or overly ambitious partners are not well-suited. The Cancer lover will look for someone who is equally intuitive. They are devoted partners, love children, and marry for life.

Ashley Says:
Well...actually, yes..especially the ambitious part. 

Friends and Family:

Traditional and maternal, Cancerians make excellent parents. In fact, all aspects of family are number one to this sign. This can be seen in the homes they make and in the dedication to duty they display. Cancer natives are often willing to overlook personality conflicts when it comes to family simply because they are related. Whatever needs to be done, you can count on a Cancer native to go the distance for a family member. They are deeply sentimental and are diligent about keeping family albums and histories intact. Passing on stories to the next generation is a favorite pastime.

When it comes to friendships, the Cancer person is very helpful. They're almost always willing to lend a hand, providing it doesn't conflict with family obligations. Friends are held in high regard and are generally of like mind. Because the Cancerian generally prefers the home scene rather than going out, folks who enjoy visiting and sharing activities such as cards or at-home dining are top picks for buddies. Although their deeply intuitive, heart-not-head personality makes Cancerians very sympathetic, it can also make them a little hard to understand. Time is the cure for this!

Ashley Says:
Not so much with this one...

Career and Money:

Cancerians can be as tenacious as they are sensitive. When there's a job to do, they roll up their sleeves and get to it. They especially shine when performing caregiving or related tasks, and they make excellent nurses. Other career ambitions include housekeeper, gardener, and journalist. Cancerians' love of country gives them the base to being outstanding politicians. The need to feel as though they are making a difference, however small, is essential for this sign to feel fulfilled.

Security is of utmost importance to the Cancer native, and money is no different. Making money generally comes easily, and putting it away is usually what happens. Cancerians are not overspenders; in fact, they are far more apt to invest a few dollars and make their money grow. Many Cancer personalities see money as a symbol of their status in life and are inspired to build healthy bank accounts as a result. Cancers are resourceful and manage their time and money well.

Ashley Says: I love America! And I have actually done a money habitutes and my top two were targeted goals and security for what I do with my money. And most of my goals are about building retirement and there's that. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What You Wore Today

I'll tell you what I didn't wear today--I didn't wear jeans. I told my boss that I refuse to wear jeans this week because of a boycott. (Obviously there's a story behind that..)

So what I did wear today:
My blue dress with my white shawl thingy and white sandals.

When I got home it was getting chilly, so I did change into my new favorite pair of wind pants (black adidas), new shoes (teal/purple nike), tshirt, and a sweatshirt.

I used to refuse to cross brand (wear different brands at once), but I'm trying to get better. So, I bought a new pair of kicks the other day--Nike. I haven't worn nike since early high school! I had made the full switch to adidas way back in the day, so been a long time.

Your Opinion About Your Body and How Comfortable You Are With It

This one is getting deep! I could write the gist of things...but I'll be real, because that's what I'm learning to do. Most of this, I don't think I've ever really verbalized..or written out..

There is the rare day that I can look in the mirror and think I can look attractive. Every so often, I think my abs are in good shape. My face looks good, my hair looks good. But those days are few and far between. Like maybe 7 times a year kind of thing.

Usually, I will avoid mirrors at all costs. Not because of any kind of superstition, but because I don't like the way I look. Or if a picture is being taken, I won't look at it on the camera. You will rarely see me look in a mirror as I pass by it. Even when washing my hands, I try to keep my head down. I'm trying to get better at it, forcing myself to look in a mirror if it's there (like washing hands). And if I look at a picture after it's been taken, that means I'm making progress.

Most people say it's because I don't care about the way I look and I let people think that. It's not true though. I do care. I care a lot. And when someone says I don't care, I take that to mean (confirm) that I actually don't look good.

I rarely wear make-up, not because of the fact that I'm good with my skin or whatever, but for the very same reason as to why most people do wear make up. I've been thinking about doing a make-up challenge (ironically enough, I just read something about this today), and haven't yet. I'm slowly getting there...

It's the same reason as to why I wear soccer shorts more often than cute, stylish shorts.

I also go through times where...eating is hard. And I rationalize it. I did tell someone about that, because they were struggling with the same thing. We knew what we were doing wasn't good, but it made sense to us. It was something we could control. There was the control piece, there was the time piece (I had more time to do other things if I didn't spend it eating), there was the financial piece (eating is expensive)...those were bigger things than the calorie/weight thing..
Now, before you start thinking "oh my gosh, Ashley has an eating disorder" I can tell you, no, I don't. It sounds like it, the way I worded it, but I don't/didn't. I don't meet the criteria...however, I do recognize the..not goodness of not eating. So now, when it comes up and I battle between to eat or to not, I usually choose to eat.

This is kind of what I touched on a little bit with the pop music thing--I love it, but sometimes I can't listen to it because it just makes me feel bad about my body.

I still constantly struggle with comparison, with judgment, with shame. It's been a long process and a hard process to be good with my body. Even saying the phrase "my body" rattles me...

I love the song "Try".

I figured I should probably add some pictures, to show I'm trying!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Five Guys Whom You Find Attractive

Five Fine Fellas.

I realized that I'm really picky about who I say is a fine fella. This was harder than I thought it would be! While I'm all about treating celebrities as people, I feel like it's less creepy to use celebrities than to also include people in my real that's what we're going to do. But really, this is taking me way longer than expected. I only thought of two on my own. The other three, I've been like googling and asking around...

Zac Efron (ever since HSM)

Ben Affleck (for always)

Paul Walker (Paul:( )

Ryan Reynolds (It's when someone finally pointed out to me "my type" the first time I said he was attractive)

Jensen Ackles (Tumblr happened...)

I tried to have some diversity, but obviously, I failed miserably, because they all look the same (basically). I recognize that.  

Your Family

When I think of my family, I usually just think of my immediate family. We moved away from the rest of my family when I was little--like 1200 miles away. Growing up, it was always just the four of us.

My parents have been married longer than I've been alive and have one of the healthiest marriages ever. I can't even think of any screaming matches between them. They never talk poorly about each other, never tear the other down, never try to make the other jealous, never demean the's incredible. They are constantly lifting each other up, seeking the other's opinion, and involved in each other's lives. They spend hours every day talking about their days to each other, actively listening to each other. They always showed physical affection, in the cute, simple ways. Above all, they love each other more than they love my brother and me. And that's one of the most beautiful things ever.

My broha is incredible. He just started college! He's a college boy now. He's super, super, kind and friggin' hilarious. I always thought he was tall, but realized that I only really saw him around our family...turns out, he's actually kind of short! Regardless, he's a good lookin' kid, the stud of the family, really. I always joke that he's only cool because of me, and let's be real, that's the truth. (Hashtag noitsnot) People have asked if we're twins (we're not) and people have asked if we've always been close and people have asked if we're always this cool (we have been). He brings out the fun in me and one of my favorite persons to spend time with.

Also, my parents are now empty nesters!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Put Your Music Player on Shuffle

The prompt is to put your music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play. 

I'll do it for Pandora (Shuffle All) and my iTunes on my computer. 

  1. Glamorous, Fergie
  2. It Makes Me Ill, 'N Sync
  3. Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo Soundtrack
  4. If You're Out There, John Legend
  5. Fake It, Seether 
  6. Let's Make Love, Faith Hill
  7. The Launch, Boston
  8. (Let Me Be) Your Teddy Bear, Elvis Presley
  9. Irreplaceable, Beyonce
  10. This Fragile Breath, Todd Agnew

  1. Can You Feel the Love Tonight, S Club 7 (S Club 7 Radio)
  2. What Hurts The Most, Rascal Flatts (Rascal Flatts Radio)
  3. Stir, Downhere (Oh Lord, My God Radio)
  4. Broken Girl, Matthew West (Matthew West Radio)
  5. Drunk In Love, Beyonce (Beyonce Radio)
  6. Favorite Girl, O-Town (O-Town Radio)
  7. P.I.M.P, 50 Cent (2000s Hip Hop Radio)
  8. Middle of Your Heart, for King and Country (for King and Country Radio)
  9. Day After Day, Kristian Stanfill (Kristian Stanfill Radio)
  10. The Climb, Miley Cyrus (Miley Cyrus Radio)

How Important You Think Education Is

I can't get on board with the idea that someone who has a lot of experience in something is more equipped than someone who has formal education. I'm a huge proponent of formal education. I totally believe that everyone can graduate from high school. Some have to work waaaay harder than others, but still doable.

My brother got to hear my monologues about how valuable and important formal education is over and over and over and over again. And most of my friends (probably all, actually) would say "Education is one of the most important things to Ashley". Particularly formal education.

Post secondary school is something I value a lot too. Admittedly, I have the most respect for fully accredited 4 year universities, as a degree from there holds more weight than any other institution, however I also understand and believe that not everyone can/should/wants to go to a university like that. And that's okay. Regardless, I think college (however defined) helps people do the following:

  • Refining writing skills
  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Knowing how to research
  • Building lasting relationships
  • Seeing growth in one self
  • Can show up and adhere to deadlines
College is where you learn those things. It's not about what you major in or what grades you get or what classes you took. It's about those 6 things. Formal education exists to purposely and purposefully help you. When someone tells me they have a bachelor's degree, I immediately see them as someone who has been equipped with those 6 things. I thought about continuing on, but this is my main is important and valuable. 

What You Ate Today

I had cocoa puffs and chicken cordon bleu. 

Five Pet Peeves

Five pet peeves! Things that irritate me/aggravate me on a minor scale. The literal definition is: A pet peeve or pet hate is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to themselves, to a greater degree than others may find it.

  • Improper use of your/you're
  • Wearing brown/black together
  • Shorthand when texting
  • Incorrect usage of punctuation 
  • Just writing your name in a card without a message

Also, this is awesome:

Your Views on Mainstream Music

I love mainstream music. Pop, popular, mainstream, whatever you want to call it--I love it. I think it's fun and usually catchy and generally engaging. It gives me a way to connect to people. I love singing and songs that a lot of people know are wicked fun to sing along to.

However, there are a few things I don't like. I don't like swear words. Sometimes, they're necessary in a song, I'll go with that. But some songs, I can't listen to, no matter how fun, when there's too much swearing. I also don't like too much sexualization. I don't mind "sexiness" in songs, but actual sexualization, not a fan.

Annnd there are also times when I have to stop listening to pop/mainstream, because it starts to influence me in a negative way. So then I take a break from it. Usually, songs like that are ones that are sexualizing, dehumanizing, and reducing people (usually women) to status, hotness, and how sexual they are.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Things You Want to Say to an Ex

For a lot of reasons, I can't do this one. My rule at first was to not go to the next topic until I had completed the one prior, so I couldn't get out of doing it.

I've been sitting for awhile, trying to come up with a response to this one, and for a lot of reasons, at this time, it would be less wise for me to complete this journal entry than more wise/helpful. Perhaps one day I can go back, but right now, the wiser option will be to skip this. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bullet Your Whole Day

I kept starting this and not be able to finish. So, I'll bullet my Saturday, hope that's cool...

  • Four alarms went off before 7am.
  • I finally got myself out of bed, but was afraid I was late.
  • Couldn't remember if the event was at 8 or 830.
  • I got dressed and ran out to the car to get the paper with information. 
  • 830, phew. 
  • Got ready, jumped in car, headed west. 
  • Almost got lost, but didn't.
  • Had a "fun day" with the police. 
  • Learned about the K9 unit
  • Talked to the guy who has a drug dog. 
  • Talked to the guy who has a bomb dog. 
  • Learned stuff about training dogs. 
  • Watched them train dogs.
  • It was really cold. 
  • Learned about guns.
  • Shot my first gun. It was a pistol. 
  • Shot my second gun. It was a rifle. 
  • Ate some donuts.
  • Went to the police lodge.
  • Had a delicious meal. 
  • It was chicken salad, BBQ, a lot of fruit
  • Went to the race track parking lot. 
  • Sort of learned how to drive like a police.
  • Drove their cars. 
  • Did the backing up challenge twice. 
  • Then, did the fast driving challenge.
  • 35, 40, and 45mph. 
  • They call out a lane (there were 4), you had limited time to get up to speed, then they changed the lane, so had to swerve to the actual lane, and then called out another lane and had to swerve other there.
  • Weren't allowed to hit the brakes. 
  • The first time, I spun out and did a 360. 
  • My passenger told me I was going 35, right on target. 
  • Radar had us at 52mph. Too fast to swerve...
  • It was terrifying/super fun.
  • Did 3 more runs. 
  • Rode in the car with a police driving and he did several J turns
  • Like in the movies, where you go backwards one way, swerve around and drive forward.
  • Then he did donuts. 
  • Then, I drove home. 
  • I was supposed to have dinner with 5 friends from school.
  • It got cancelled. 
  • I was debating about what to do, it was around 5pm. 
  • I was exhausted from the day. And week. And life. 
  • I decided to bathe, get into PJs, and watch "The West Wing" and veg out. 
  • It was awesome. 
  • I also did pretty much all of my laundry. 
  • My sheets are clean, made my bed.
  • Didn't text or talk to anyone all night. 
  • Just laid on the couch and watched TV. 
  • Actually, that's a lie.
  • I got hungry and decided I just wanted some Taco Bell.
  • I drove to Taco Bell, went through the drive thru.
  • Came back and then ate my food and watched more TV.
  • Then, I went to bed. 

That was my day!
Basically, got to shoot guns, drive police cars, and watched "The West Wing".

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Book I Love

I honestly don't know if I have a favorite book. As much as I love reading...I can't think of my absolute favorite. But wait, this isn't about my favorite, it's about a book I love.

I've already written about quite a few books, so I'll think of another...

Ah! It's a series, can that count? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 

  1. Mainly, I was referred to them by my best friend and it was another thing that bonded us. 
  2. Also, they're so good! I love them. And I love the movies. 
  3. They're for teenagers, so they're super easy to read. I get involved and invested every single time I read them. 
  4. I'm thinking once I finish up some of my TV series, I'll read those books again (I'm looking at them right now, sitting on my bookshelf). 
  5. I love Alexis Bledel and she's in the movie, so I have to like it.

If you don't know anything about the series, it's basically about these 4 best friends who are going to go their separate ways for a summer and they find a pair of jeans that fits all of them, so they share it...and it helps keep them connected. Okay, I'm not great at pitching the idea, but it's awesome and beautiful. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Something I Feel Strongly About

Let's make a list of some possibilities. The funny, the serious, the profound.

I feel strongly about....

  • Having matching socks. 
    • I refuse to wear socks that don't match. I take the time after each load of laundry to lay them all out and match them. 
  • Not defining a person by what they have.
    • Autistic child versus a child who has autism. 
  • Who Jesus is. 
    • Refer to just about any other post...
  • How great Disney is. 
    • Um, it's awesome. And I hate the things that try to say Disney is corrupting childhood or Disney is bad or Disney is anything less than awesome. 
  • Not wearing brown and black together. 
    • Seriously, it doesn't match. 
  • Using we/us language in a relationship. 
    • Rather than me/I. It's about us, it's about a partnership. 
  • Existence of rape culture.
    • It exists, it's real, and it's awful. A study found that when people meet someone from online/Tinder, women's biggest fear is that they will be physically harmed. Men's biggest fear is that their date will be fat. What the hell?!?! Every single freaking time I would go out somewhere, someone would always make me give all the details until I...well, moved to Kansas, because then no one cared about me when I first got here. Truth. 
  • Being clean. 
    • I'm pretty messy, but I am not dirty. Some people think I am obsessed...I beg to differ. 
  • Google being the best search engine ever. 
    • Um, it is. I love Google. 
  • Always paying your rent/mortgage first. 
    • First. Like, before anything else. 
  • The idea of grace. 
    • It's beautiful and real and lovely. 
  • Rules. 
    • I am kind of a rule follower. I think rules exist for a purpose. 
  • Jaywalking. 
    • Don't do it. I'm so against jaywalking. Partially because of rules. But also because I am from a city where people die often from jaywalking. If there's a crosswalk within a reasonable distance, freaking use it. If there isn't a crosswalk, wait until there aren't any cars. No driver should ever be concerned about hitting someone who is walking. Ever. There should be more crosswalks, I agree. And sometimes it's not convenient, but use some empathy and think of you crossing the street from the driver's perspective. 
  • Making lists.
    • Obviously, I love them. 
  • Agape love.
    • That's been discussed here before. Unconditional. Even if. 
  • How awesome The Lion King is.
    • Holla. 
  • The importance of reading.
    • Being illiterate isn't cool. Reading transforms a person, increases empathy, introduces you to new ideas, new ways of life, new ways of thinking. Reading engages the mind, body, and spirit. Reading helps with just about everything in your life. 
  • Senior Exit Project from high school.
    • We had to do an SEP and I'm like the one nerd who loved it and thinks it's like the coolest idea ever...We had to pick a potential career, shadow someone in it for a certain number of hours, write a paper, do a mock interview, give a presentation, and some other things, I think. It gives you an idea of what you do/don't want to do and it gives you practice of doing important job like refining your writing skills, interviewing, presenting...
  • Taking finals.
    • They are the worst and I hate them. Seriously, if I already earned whatever grade I have after 14 weeks of school, I've already (hopefully) proven it to you. Finals are stupid and just extra nonsense stress. I loved when teachers gave us an optional final, that makes sense to me. Or finals that can't hurt your grade....finals are just terrible and I am willing to advocate against them. 
  • Importance of homework.
    • On the flip side, I love the idea of homework. Busy work is stupid, but legitimate homework is worthwhile. Practicing and learning things is great. 
  • America.
    • I can direct you to other posts if you'd like. 
  • The necessity of vulnerability. 
    • Also, has been discussed before. 
  • The importance of having a solid role model. 
    • Have a mentor or mentors who push you, guide you, encourage you, love you, and hold you accountable. 
  • The influence of the people you surround yourself with.
    • Research is leaning towards the concept of we are the combination of the five people we spend the most time with. I have people write down two adjectives for each of the five persons and those ten words are likely how people see yo. 
  • Using critical thinking skills. 
    • So important. Don't just look at the surface level of anything, look deeper, question. Be critical! 
  • Not asking dumb questions. 
    • There is such thing as a dumb question. And if you ask me one, I will likely point it out. 
  • Always smelling good. 
    • I love when people tell me I smell good or my area (office/room/home) smells good. Smelling bad is just the worst, almost worse than finals! 
  • Making showering a priority. 
    • This partially goes with the cleaning thing, although that I was more referring to Clorox and stuff..It's like that meme that says, "Motivation doesn't last...neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily."
  • Being a disciple of Christ. 
    • I want to be Christ like. I want to exude who Christ is. 
  • My relationship with Christ. 
    • Whole purpose of this blog, really. It's real, it's raw, I struggle, I question, I doubt. This is my core, though. 
  • Excelling. 
    • I want and choose to excel in all I do. I don't want to just be. I want to be awesome. 
So, these are things I care about. Usually I won't engage in serious discussion, but most of these you'll realize how much I care about them within the first week of knowing me. This is like my top list of things I'm passionate about, will discuss, and have a strong opinion on. 

It would take me a loooong time to write about all of them, and really, I have written and/or mentioned most of these. If there's any of these in particular you want to hear about, lemme know. Actually, I will go ahead and go back and briefly write a blurb, about each one. Although, since I have this at the end, that probably means you already read the blurbs, so now you just get to see my whole thought process=)