Reality…That Pesky Thing

It’s been a while, and there are been some major changes in the life department. Rather, there have been some major changes in the decisions of life department. So, after getting turned down for the Anthropology program, I started thinking: is this really for me? Is that really what is going to make me happy? And an important consideration as well: is this going to get me where I want to be? Is this the best decision, not only for myself, but for my son as well?

So I started thinking about my own childhood, and the things I disliked the most. The things I remember vowing to myself I wouldn’t do the same with my own kids. My major memory? Moving… A LOT. New schools, new houses, new places all the time. I hated it. I hated moving, I hated having to make new friends every year, I hated all of the change, all of the time. Wait, so now what? I don’t want that for my own child! And what was I planning on doing? Why, getting a degree and making a career out of moving, travelling, and making my little family make new friends all the time, leaving old ones behind a vast majority of the time.

New decisions? Yes. Changing the major? Yes. Is it my ultimate goal, my ultimate dream? No. But there’s something more important in my life than chasing every single dream in my repertoire: my baby boy. What I want more than anything in this life a stable environment for him to grow up in. He deserves to go to the same school, with the friends he’s grown up with. He deserves a life that doesn’t include constant moving and interruptions.

So I’m changing my major to Business. I’m looking into getting a job somewhere that I can grow, a place that has the constant change my mind is looking for. There is something to be said for being able to satisfy your need for something new every few years and still living a stable life for the ones you love most.

I’m at peace with my decision. There are still parts of my life that I can incorporate my love of alternate lifestyles, and I don’t ever have to stop loving the curiosity of the past. I can do it all. Maybe not the way I had planned, but there are perks – not that I’m encouraging or condoning it – to having your children at a younger age. After they are out of the house (hopefully on time) you still have a life to live, and you’re still young enough to really enjoy it. I’m not saying this lifestyle is for everyone; what I’m saying is that it’s working for me.

There are other dreams to follow, there are other people to think about, there are other paths my walk is taking me. And you know what? I’m just as excited about this path as I was about the last one.


A Side Street

So recently I let everyone know that I didn’t get into IU. Bummer, sure. But I’m happy to announce that I am now an official college freshman!

I’m starting classes at Ivy Tech as soon as I can. We have a campus about 20 minutes from me, so that makes it even better. My plan is to get some general education classes under my belt and out of my way so that I have some backup to say: “Hey, I promise, I’m serious about this.”

I’m not exactly taking the route I had originally planned, but side streets are all a part of life. I’m also hoping this will give me the springboard of courage I’m trying to get together to leave the full-time job and get something more part-time. I can’t wait to see where this is going!

Roadblocks on My Path


“Oh, the plans of mice and men”…er, and women. Well, the decision of my application to IU came today.

First, let me give you some advice if you’re still in high school and you aren’t exactly achieving academic excellence: Get all the help you can. Find a tutor, find a friend who is good in the subjects you struggle with, study your heart out. Get the grades you need, because even if you aren’t thinking “college” right now, you might when you’re older. You never know where your journey takes you. You never know what you might end up wanting to do.

Second: I struggled, a LOT, my freshman and sophomore years of high school. Math is my weakest subject, and I didn’t have the drive to try too hard to change that. It wasn’t interesting to me, so I didn’t really try. My sophomore year was pretty much me slacking off in most of my classes, and I’m not even sure what else. Junior and senior years were easier, but harder too. I was attending the Adult Ed. in my town because of the fact that I had a little bundle of surprise come my way. The classes there were easier, but I was most certainly distracted. I graduated on time, but I most certainly didn’t do the best I could. My best advice to high schoolers: focus on school! Stop worrying about romantic relationships. Oh yeah, and definitely no babies. They’re adorable, but they tend to sidetrack you…a bunch.

Anyway, all that leads up to the fact that, guess what? I’ve been denied. Ouch. There’s the ouch, and ouch, and “wow, I suck”. There was my heart falling through the floor. The blood rushing to my head, making me dizzy. There was the feeling that I was going to puke right here in the dining room, all over everything. So, no, I didn’t get accepted. Looking back, I think I was expecting this. I wasn’t expecting this journey to be all smooth roads and easy sailing. (Which is probably why I’ve started looking into hiking and off-grid camping). After 5 years of being out of school, I was expecting bumps, side roads, and probably some back tracking. So here I go.

Am I disappointed? Well of course! I want this so much my heart hurts. But, all hope is not lost my dear friends. I will take the necessary steps for the appeals process. I will attend a community college and get some general education classes under my belt and then transfer in if I must. I will not give up.

That’s what this whole journey is all about. It’s about learning about yourself. It’s about evolving into the person you want to be. And it most certainly is NOT about giving up just because it got hard. I’ve been set back, I have not been defeated. And that makes me want to realize my dream that much more.

Adventures of A 6 Year Old

I’m a girl that likes to be outdoors. That being said, after 8 hours in the office, and 2 more doing the “mom” thing as soon as I get home, my brain is not going “let’s go outside!” It’s actually yelling at me to get my butt in a chair and just let it stop working for 5 whole minutes. Tonight was no exception.20140806_194426

Here’s the scenario: a tired mother (me), fighting siblings (my very own), a grumpy 6 year old who wanted to do everything with his dinner humanly possible except eat it, and tons of cleaning that had to be done before I could allow myself the luxury of going to the bathroom.

Miraculously, all of this settled down as my parents left for Wednesday evening service with both of my brothers, Legoman got himself fed (finally!) and the dishes were done, the laundry got put away, the room got swept…and I got to go to the bathroom. (Yippee!) Now I get to feed myself and sit down for 15 minutes at the table with a book in hand. I know, I know. Parents should eat dinner with their kids. In this house, sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight it didn’t. Don’t hate me, please. And don’t preach to me. I’m a single mother. Yes, I do live with family, and yes, they do help out a ton, but in the end, it’s all on me. He is all mine, and all my responsibility. And this living with my parents thing only happened recently, so I’m used to doing it all by myself.

Anyway, as I said, Legoman was extra-grumpy. And I was extra exhausted. I got tired at yelling at him for being loud, for being whiny, for crying because he couldn’t get on the computer, for making a mess and for just generally getting on my shortened nerves tonight. Then I got a bright idea: take the kid out of the house and go DO something. We just happen to have a World Fair Garden five minutes away, and it is now one of my favorite places around. I got an hour with my little boy, but more than that, I got to see this world through his eyes for a little while.

He finds everything outdoors exciting; from the birds we saw sitting in trees to the cat that jumped out of a garbage can. He got within 10 yards of a bunny and thought it was the coolest thing ever. We crossed a tiny stone slab of a bridge and he dunked half his head in the water trying to look under it. We walked a bridge that used to be part of a rail road, and he couldn’t believe trains used to come over that thing. We raced up steep trails, three times. And tried not to fall on our faces coming back down. There was a lot I didn’t get pictures of that I could have, only because I was too busy just…being.

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We just walked and talked about anything he wanted to the whole time. My favorite part of the entire evening? I got to hear this little guy say: “I like walking and talking like this. It’s like you’re my mom, but you’re my pal too.”

Can you say coolest thing ever, or what?! Tonight made me realize that we don’t have to go across country, or on huge trips with our kids to create memories. Walk into your backyard and try to remember what it would have looked like as a child. Create your own adventures, and cherish the memories they will make.

Just a few more pictures:


Yes, those are stone mushrooms folks. He especially loved climbing on these.

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Change Is Always


Well hey there. I haven’t been saying much, I know. There hasn’t been a whole lot going on that I thought I would have liked to share…at first. And then I thought, why not? Why not make this blog about all of my experiences, trials, and wins? So here goes.

First off, I just want to get it out of the way: I’m playing the waiting game at the moment. I’m waiting to see if I do actually get accepted into the Anthropology program I’ve applied for. I’m waiting to see if a change of pace is right for me, I’m waiting on myself to get the courage to turn that one application in and see what happens.

There is a certain security in knowing that every week you’ll have enough money to pay the bills, put some money in savings, and still have a little to play with. But then for me, there’s also a certain aspect that detests the regularity of it all. It’s not that I don’t like having a routine, it’s just that I don’t like having a routine that so thoroughly kills my ambition to be creative. Staring at repetitive data all day long, every single day, with nothing new to look at except e-mails complaining about this or that, is wearing on my highly active brain. I’m beginning to “drone” as I call it. I am competing with this killer of active brain functions with upbeat classical music and listening to entertaining books while at work, but those can only go on for so long.

On the other hand, I’ve found some fantastic information about my body and the chemicals that make me tick…errr…sick. (Insert giggle here). My detrimental substance? Sugar. A little refined sugar, even as small an amount as 7 or 8 grams per serving has my head pounding, my stomach churning, and my thinking abilities flummoxed for hours afterwards. Unless I start drinking outrageous amounts of water immediately and then take a 2 hour nap, I spend the rest of my day fighting the effects of sugar. So my solution is to slowly but surely wean my body off of sugar completely. Did you know your body has withdrawals from sugar if you go too long without it? I do now! Why? Because it’s in absolutely EVERYTHING we eat every day. Bread, tortillas, yogurt, cereal, noodles, sauces, salad dressings, even peanut butter! I spent 10 minutes staring at peanut butter at the store today, trying to find one that is sugar-free. (Schmucker’s All Natural, by the way). I spent the better part of an hour also looking for crackers or salty snacks that have 0 to >1 gram of sugar, and looking for salad dressing. I stumbled upon a really great blog ( that has been a life-saver already, and I’ve just started reading it! So along with my journey to escape the “American Dream,” I’ve also started listening to my body in an active way, and now I get to experience life while also refining my eating habits, which can only be good for me. Yay to new discoveries, whether they be within or without!


New in Town

Hello there, my name is Ashley. Yes, I’m aware it’s one of the most boring names in history. Don’t remind me.

I am currently a 23-year-old single mother, and for the past 6 years, my life has centered around my son, my family, and striving for “The American Dream.” It’s been 6 years full of work. Jobs just to make money (not very great money)deciding early on that higher education wasn’t going to be possible, and surviving life, because that’s what is expected of me. Well, I’ve decided that I’m tired of chasing that elusive and glamorized dream.

So, after a break up and realizing I’m going to have to lose some independence, I’ve decided to go back to school, which will entail moving back in with my parents. (Oh geez). Mind you, it’s been 5 years since I’ve stepped foot in a classroom not full of 6-year-olds. But I’ve finally decided that I’m going to chase a life in Archaeology. I’ve decided that business and the corporate world and being stuck in an office just isn’t for me.  And yes, I’m pretty freaking terrified that my own dream will come crashing down around me, but I’ve decided that it’s finally time to start living instead of just surviving.

So here I am, awaiting an acceptance letter from Indiana University of South Bend. Hoping and praying and crossing all of my fingers that I can get into this college. Not only because it’s a great college, but because it’s close enough to my parents’ home that I won’t have to live on campus. A mere 40 minute drive is completely worth saving the money in housing. (I’m being practical while looking as if I’m losing my mind at the same time). So here I go. I’m jumping off the edge of this cushy office life and diving for something more. Hopefully starting in January I’ll be doing homework alongside my son. (How weird does that sound?) I’ll keep you updated, if you’re interested anyway.


“Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” – Seth Godin