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=)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Five Ways to Win My Heart

I kind of like "win my heart", as if it's up for battle. To win, one must work hard for it, be determined, be skilled, be passionate, be persistent, be in pursuit.
And like with all "winnings", one must constantly defend the honor of the title. Once you win, you have to keep winning. It's not a "won and done" deal.

Two questions need to be addressed:

Is my heart worth winning?

Can I better serve, can I better love, can I better mentor, can I better teach, can I better grow...Essentially, can I do life better with this partnership? 

  1. If someone answers "yes", that my heart is worth winning, and can share why, that's one way to win my heart. 
  2. Show me that we're better together than not.
  3. Be wholly in love with Jesus. 
  4. Know my friends and the people in my life. And vice versa, allow me to know yours.
  5. Hold me accountable. Even when it's hard. Don't let me bully you.

Journal Challenge

I'm going to start this journal challenge. Not sure if I'll be able to keep consistent with one a day, so some days may be none, some may be more than one, etc. I'm constantly wanting to work on my emotional awareness, my vulnerability, my inter/intrapersonal effectiveness, etc. I don't want to ever stop challenging myself, pushing myself, or stop growing. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I hate cooking. Not only do  I hate it, but I also have no interest in doing it. It's not fun for me and it's definitely not relaxing. It's stressful and time consuming. This is how much I don't like it--I don't even care about home cooked meals. Even if someone else is cooking for me. I'd so much rather go out. I remember when I was first in college and people would say they missed two things:
1. Home cooked meals.
2. Their bed.

Well, I had had my bed since I was 9, so it was pretty small and uncomfortable, and I had so few home cooked meals, all I missed were Eegees. Needless to say, I didn't understand nor did I agree with what the other freshmen were saying.

It wasn't really a big deal, I could play off my hatred/apathy (can those co-exist?) for cooking while I was working for the Department of Residence Life, since i lived in a room that the was the size of a prison cell and there was one tiny kitchen to share with several hundred other people. But once grad school started, I moved into a house, and I was suddenly expected to be the domestic woman who could cook at least a three course meal..society gave me the kindness of not putting the expectation of having a five course meal completed until I was 24..oh wait..

So I've actually started to think about what it is about cooking. Because not only do I just not enjoy it, I have like this...strong refusal to do it. I've come up with a few things, actually. And it's been helpful...because it's not about the event (cooking), it's about the issues..

1. Shame

People's responses have almost always been shameful. Unintended, I'm sure. Out of kindness, most likely. But what they were, were shaming.
When you ask me "jokingly" what I cooked, all I feel is shame, not humor.
When you make snide remarks, all I feel is shame.
When you bring up cooking in every conversation, all I feel is shame.
When you ask, "When will you ever cook for me?", shame.
When you say, "Ashley will cook! Oh wait...", shame.

When it's just once or twice, it's not that big of a deal. But when it's over and over again, it just gets wadded up in a big ball of shame. And that, compiled with the other issues, makes it really hard.

I need to get out of this shame and feel kindness before I am ever willing to cook with or for you.

2. Perfection

I'm a bit of a perfectionist..not like how the average person is a perfectionist, but to that weird extreme that's unnatural and unhealthy. One of my favorite compliments is when people tell me how much I am like Leslie Knope (re: Parks and Rec..if you haven't seen it, nevermind). Part of being able to "perfect being a perfectionist" is by doing things you're good at, and then being really good at them.

And if you actually want to do something, you do it, and do it well. You figure it out. Always. So if I actually really decide I'm in on this whole cooking thing, I gotta go all in and I gotta be willing to commit the time.

3. Not enough

Not enough of enough. I'm not good enough to cook. I don't have enough time to cook. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough understanding of a recipe. I don't have enough of the cooking essential. Etc.

Mainly, the first one (not good enough, see the first 3 points) and the second (not enough time). Seriously--that's not a lie or an exaggeration. Currently, I have a full time job with about a 45 minute commute each way. I also have a part time job on evenings and weekends. I am also taking a class, 3 hours a week, for 14 weeks. Story of my life, really. This is how it has always been for me, go, go, go.

My best friend visited a couple of weeks ago, and we planned to cook. She is one of the few (one of two people, really--the other being my mom) that I would be willing to cook with. On the second to last night, she's like, "Holy cow, I knew you were busy, but I didn't realize actually how busy you were until now. We haven't even had time to talk about cooking, much less plan a meal, go shopping, prep it...we have hardly had time to eat, there's been so much we have been doing!"

Right. I know, that's my point. I used to think not having enough time was an excuse, you make time, you find time. But seriously, I hardly have time to go to the bathroom, much less take the time to prep a meal and eat it. Combine that with I hate it and don't know how to, you can start to get the picture..

4. Independence 

Now, you can totally argue that by cooking more, you are more independent. And I agree with that, for whoever makes that point. But it's not my point, that's not "for me". See, I've grown up with two working parents. Both parents worked full time, my whole life. My parents were super busy. Most of our meals were eating out.

But, when I say eating out, I'm not talking fast food. (Unless we were on the way to soccer practice--ironic, I know). Mom would usually meet us at On the Border, or Appleebees, or Texas Roadhouse, or Olive Garden after work. We ate at restaurants. A lot of restaurants. Yes, usually chain ones. The point was though, my parents made enough money so that we could. So my view is this: I would rather spend an extra hour at work and get paid and then use that money to buy a meal. You like to cook, then cook. I like to work, so I work. I work, I get paid, I can spend the money on delicious food and all I have to do is order. I feel more independent that way, because I equate my independence with working, not with domestication. I don't disagree or think someone is wrong for like domestic things, it's just not me. That's my point.