NYC Beginnings

I'm sitting in my friend's hot apartment, looking up places to live, downloading NYC subway apps on my phone, and having it start to hit me that NYC is my new home.

The body always goes through an initial shock with a move--physically I am in this new city, mentally I am catching up just a little.

Some things I've learned about life in the city:

  • Carrying around a bottle of water with you at all times is necessary in the summer, unless you like fainting! 
  • New York may have the most crazies out of any city I've been to, like the guy who spat and screamed at a police car riding by, "F**K the police!" 
  • The energy in this city is contagious. You almost believe you don't need sleep. 
  • Everyone has a story about how they got to NYC. I haven't met that many born-and-raised New Yorkers. 
  • So many karaoke bars to go to, so little time. 
  • New York may have the best food (and most choices) of any city I have ever been to. 

I'll feel very settled once I secure a place and set up my room, which should happen in about a week. That's when mentally I will know--this is home, now. 


Do I Dare? (It's Moving Time)

"Do I dare disturb the universe?" --T.S. Eliot

Yes, I do dare. I really love the quote above. It's the idea of leaping forward into the unknown, so much so that it puts (your) universe askew. I won't lie, I've had a knot in my stomach for about a week and a half. Right before a move, I always want to hold on just a little longer to that comfort zone, while wanting to let go at the same time. 

Over 3 years (!) ago I wrote this blog post when I first arrived in London, titled "Getting Lost in a Good Way." I'm ready to get lost again, this time in my own country. This will be the first time I'll live in a different state than California! I'm excited to explore. I'm excited to live. I'm excited to dare.

^ And that is the reason for all of this.


I don't leave until Saturday, but I felt like posting this blog now because my nervous energy is THROUGH THE ROOF! So sending positive vibes my way will make me smile (hint, hint). Plus, I'm sure I won't be blogging too much this week. Why are there always 5,867,456 things to do before a move?!? 


Let's Talk About the Hardest Part of Leaving

Picture from my Goodbye Picnic. 
I'm just one of those people: someone who always knew that living in one place, one city, for the rest of my life would be suffocating for my personal growth. And so I'm going to embark, yet again, on a new life somewhere bold and big. Because I know that this kind of challenge brings out the very best in me (and boy does it soothe my little travel-loving heart). 

BUT...it doesn't make it any easier when I have to say goodbye. 

I am a big believer in doing what's best for yourself. You can't bend backwards making everybody happy but yourself. However, when the depth of pain in my parents eyes permeates through the sliding airport doors I'll be crossing through...I know I won't be able to help but feel selfish

Moving forward often means leaving something else, or someone else, behind. This includes family and friends I have known for over 10, 20, 30 years--people who know me inside and out, want the best for me, support me to the fullest. And I am leaving them. It is a selfish act, and there is no other way to really put it. 

But sometimes, we do have to be selfish in order to actually contribute something in this world. I would be useless if I gave up true authenticity in exchange for making others happy. Authenticity, being true to yourself, is the best thing you or I can do to really leave a worthwhile mark in this world. When I know I'm living my authentic life, I am able to give myself more honestly, more openly, and with more passion than ever. I work harder, I love harder, and I create more.   

So as I roll my suitcases away from my parents' loving arms, as I send goodbye messages to the dearest of friends, as I start packing up this Southern California life I have known for so long, I will be walking into a new chapter that is true to who I am, and I'll rest in the comfort of knowing everyone I have to say goodbye to will be a mere plane ride away. 


For Shits and Giggles

I've been a bit absent from blog world because:

1. I went to a training in Canada last week.
2. I started my new job.
3. I'm gearing up for my big move in about 2 weeks and there's a TREMENDOUS amount to do!

So to escape from reality a bit, let's all laugh at the internet, k? Things that made me laugh (I'm obviously addicted to Instagram):



A Three Sentence Movie Review

1. Trainwreck

Pure Amy Schumer, unfiltered, and thus, not-your-average romantic comedy. It's easy to see this is the first movie script she has ever penned; it's clearly novice in some areas. However, it matters not--there are enough shocking, sweet, hilarious moments to make up for any lull in the script.

2. Timbuktu

This movie stayed with me for several days after the credits rolled. The serenity of the desert contrasted with the harshness of the religious extremists occupying Timbuktu is so very striking here. I like how the movie explained the mindset of both the captives and the extremists, somehow allowing the audience to understand the humanness of everyone involved--this is a must watch.

3. Something, Anything

On Netflix Instant
I think there will be two conclusions from viewers after watching this movie: one, that the lead character (Peggy) is selfish, and two, that Peggy was on a quest for truth. I could see both sides; however, I think I ultimately sided with the second conclusion, mostly because I truly believe we are a society brainwashed, and Peggy was simply battling with the undoing of that brainwashing. The movie has got a slow pace, but like a slow epiphany I like how Peggy's end decision is revealed (you're gonna hate her obviously fake wig, though).

4. Hector and the Search for Happiness

On Netflix Instant
Even though Simon Pegg is in this (who is as charming as he is hilarious), I just couldn't get on board with Hector. While the questions asked in this film were generally quite profound and a good foundation, the actual film couldn't answer such questions in an equally profound way. Some people on Netflix seemed to love it though so maybe it's worth a watch to draw your own conclusion.

Image credits: 1/2/3/4


That Moment When You Buy a One Way Ticket

There is nothing more symbolic of a life change than the moment you hit the "confirm" button on a one way ticket purchase. This is the 5th time I have bought a one way ticket. Each time I've had a different feeling about the act. 

The first and second time was when I tried to live in Turkey. I didn't have anything planned. I didn't have a job in place. Through this, I learned I'm totally not spontaneous. I can't just go "where the wind takes me." Because of my lack of planning, I lasted all of a month before running back home. I happily bought a one way ticket back, back, to Cali, Cali. 

The third and fourth time were going to and coming back from London. Going to London, I was majorly excited to hit the confirm button and live a new life abroad. Nearly a year later, I was unsure if a one way back to the USA was what I wanted, but I hit confirm anyway. Through this, I learned that my instincts have always been on point and I should listen to them more often. 

The fifth time I bought a one way ticket was all of 5 days ago. SAN to JFK. All I can tell you is this purchase feels right in every way possible. My head, my heart, and my plane route are all aligned in the same direction. And that's a good feeling. 


Have you ever bought a one way ticket? Did you end up staying or did you turn back? 


I Have a Crush on the Boston Public Library

If you're gonna visit Boston, I IMPLORE you to not skip this little gem. It's free, it gorgeous, and it was one of the highlights of my trip (although, admittedly I always fall in love with public libraries). This place most definitely rivals the New York Public Library, although I'm pretty sure it's a bit smaller.

 But really...can I live here? I truly do have a "crush" on this place, if it were possible to have feelings for inanimate objects (it is). That's because this place feels very much alive, a breathing piece of architecture with a vast collection of knowledge at its fingertips...er, bookshelves. I've always been attracted to the smart guys. Boston Public Library, can I have yo numba?

I really don't know WHY we have steered so far away from such gorgeous architecture in 'Merica. I think EVERY building should look like this, starting with my future home! That's totally reasonable, right?  


A Three Sentence Movie Review

1. Magic Mike XXL

That's RIGHT--I saw Magic Mike XXL and I'm NOT SORRY...all the ladies gotta watch this! The script is crap, the plot is negligible, and it really is a terrible, terrible movie. BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT NONE OF THAT MATTERS because I had an absolute blast watching Channing and the boys shake their asses (plus a convenience store scene that was the BEST).

2. Jurassic World

Don't go into it even thinking it will compare to the brilliance of the first--it just can't capture that magic. Instead it capitalizes off of the nostalgia-loving group that is 90s kids, and nostalgia it does deliver in heavy doses, sprinkled with a bit of charm from Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Overall, this makes it a fun one-time watch.

3. Coffee in Berlin

On Netflix Instant
I found this film oddly refreshing and a great watch, down to the symbolism of Frederich not being able to get a damn cup of coffee all day. Not everyone will like this film as on the surface it seems to be about nothing. However, a closer look at all the happenings of Frederich's day reveals an almost clandestine coming-of-age theme that I really just loved.

4. Take Care

On Netflix Instant 
The plot is a little unbelievable: woman badly hurt from a car accident guilts her ex-boyfriend to come take care of her, much to the dismay of his current girlfriend (who comes up with this shit?). However, I liked it anyway. It's funny in a realistic way, and somehow also sweet despite the circumstance.

Picture Credits: 1/2/3/4


The Post Where I Get a Little Narcissistic

This is going to be a narcissistic post, but I don't care.

I'm proud of myself. 

I'm proud of going after a job I really wanted, even it meant waiting around for ages for things to come together. That waiting prompted me to ask my boss for exactly what I wanted. And I got it. Ask and you shall RECEIVE. 

I'm proud of making the decision to move to New York and really going with that decision. I've learned from this experience that making a decision, even if a little unsure about it, is better than vacillating between too many choices. 

I'm proud of knowing that I can have the things I want in a career: a job I am truly passionate about, one where I get to travel for work, where I get to talk to students about fulfilling a dream of studying and living abroad, and where I don't have to go to the same office everyday (I enjoy mixing up the work week). 

I am proud for not settling. And in order to not settle, I had to work for it. I had to take less pay in an assistant role while keeping the main, grand goal in mind. In doing this, I have achieved said goal! This doesn't mean that this job will be all rainbows and butterflies...I will sometimes have to work weekends and late nights, but I welcome this knowing I will be doing something that I really, really love. This sits well with my soul. 

Lastly, I am proud for being true to myself. I knew deep down it was time for a move, time for a change, time for some action. This truth nagged at me everyday, and I knew it could not be ignored any longer. I am proud for being Ashley, unapologetically. 

This WAS a narcissistic post, but I am proud of being able to claim these actions as my own, and for knowing sometimes it's okay to be a little proud. 

Photo credits: 1/2


Really Big News (My Head is Spinning)

So, remember I alluded to having some possible big plans in the works? Well it's been a few months in the making, but I am finally (and happily) being promoted as an Student Advisor with Across the Pond (a company I adore), and I am moving to NEW YORK CITY.

New. York. City.

Newwwwwwww York (bleepin') City.

Is this real life?!?

I don't know what else to say except that this feels right, and I feel a little less scared than when I moved to London. That's because London completely trained me for these big moments in life, moments I am ready to grab and stand up and say YES to. Not without fear, but with the knowledge that I have one life to live and I AM GOING TO LIVE IT DAMMIT. I'm excited for all the new things to come. I move toward the end of summer, and I'm really, really ready...

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