In a nutshell.

Rehearsed elevator pitch:

I’m usually either tongue tied, overthinking about it, or not sure what to do with my hands.

Ya dig? If not, that’s ok. But I do have a series of 3 photos that I am going to share at some point, blackmail, so you can fully grasp the combination of clumsy feet, inappropriate sarcasm, and the just down right sap monster amount of sensitivity that makes me – me. Maybe you still won’t understand, but I think you will. We are all visual learners.

Hey, I’m Ash. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.

Apologies in advance, as this is not me in a nutshell. This is me and all the nuts and bolts as to why I felt the need to create a website that could be a home to all of my op ed pieces of writing. I did it so that one day I can finally get around to accomplishing my biggest dream and dying wish of becoming a New York Times bestselling author before, I kick the ol’ bucket. And should something happen to me before I get around to it, at least it’ll still be here. So that maybe another generous soul can put it into print, for me.

With that, welcome to a 2021 version of my 2001 myspace profile which, by the way I got grounded for making, thanks to a set of helicopter parents that hugged me a little too tight sometimes.

But not the negative connoted helicopter parents, rather two of those helicopter leaves you’d pick up on the sidewalk, throw into the air and watch twirl to the ground in awe when you were 5 years old. What I mean by that is this, my helicopter parents are the shit and I owe all of my successes to them because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for their strict rules, constant nagging and helicopter flying a little too close for comfort back then. No myspace, no spongebob. Those were the rules. And I was a rule breaker. A rebel without a cause, if you will.

It all started when I decided to publish the first blogpost (journal entry) I ever wrote, of which prior to that date I kept private to my eyes only since about 2016. But the topic that the blogpost is written around, dates back to about 2013.

It was written during a time when I was in turmoil and my mentor suggested I start journaling to process some of the traumatic memories and harsh realities that I was harboring with great fear and denial. Now to some it may have looked like “turmoil” and to others I was just in love for the first time. Either way, I was caught in a twisty turbulence of euphoric love and passionate rage. For the sake of storytelling, we will refer to these times as turmoil because that is what my guardians and doctor convinced me they had to be. That was the only possible reason for my peculiar behavior and interesting circumstances, they said.

Now I may be jumping back and forth between exact timelines but full disclosure, much of my preteen turmoil arose because I was appalled, ashamed and scared shitless at the possibility that I could be stamped with an official, DSM-5 diagnosis. I felt like I was being put into a box that didn’t fit me in it. It was as if my whole world was falling apart at once and that I’d have to wear this dunce cap of shame for the rest of my life.

A life that had just lost all value and purpose because it was abnormal. My abnormal neurobiology meant I was an abnormal person, handicapped, disabled and a wretched piece of trash just waiting to end up in a landfill. Sometimes I wonder if my helicopter parents hadn’t been quite so helicopter-y, maybe nobody ever would have tried to convince us that I was a special kind of crazy. But that’s a story for a different day.

I wrote that first entry with the intention that someday I could look back at those periods of my life and not be so scared or embarrassed. The reason I feel safe publishing it now, is because lately I’ve found myself using my social platforms in a way that makes me feel incredibly validated, understood and proud. Making noise through my writing has always been a safe alternative to using my outdoor voice and actually sOciaLizIng with people.

I understand that my writing style may sound like a dramatic exclamations at times. I have not had a hard life. I am not hungry or homeless. I’ve always been fortunate enough to have a roof over my head and parents that cared enough to keep showing up when I ate $h*% and in doing so, let them down.

I am not a refugee seeking asylum from my war stricken, god forsaken country. I was never physically beaten or abused as a child. I am not a Vietnam war vet.

But I am a girl with a very quiet disposition, and very loud and obnoxious mind that needed a storage unit for everything her unquiet mind has to say. This blog is my cloud. My journal online. Where I write down the inner contemplations that I have on a day to day basis.

I’ve been told by a handful of people that I have a way with words. But I was always to shy growing up to do anything like a spelling bee, so I rarely gave them away willingly. Still, as far as words go thesaurus is my most frequently visited website. Among others.

I once scrolled across this idea that due to our complex psychology, humans implicitly assign a certain degree of “impact” to certain words. For example words like trauma, or PTSD, to express multiple different scenarios which can lead to contextual misunderstanding. Or a profound realization, maybe about yourself, that you’ve been dying to figure out or come to terms with for quite some time.

In reality, we assign our own meaning to our own traumas or experiences. No memory or experience is disqualified from being “traumatic.” No matter the shock value of one’s suffering, the person, place, thing, event etc. can act as an on-demand trigger and direct link to feelings of an anguish so deep, it becomes damn near impossible to fully process on one’s own. One needs help and “PTSD” does not fit into a one-size-fits-all category.

On the flip side there’s the traumas that aren’t actually traumas. They’re just nostalgia. They are not bitter or painful, they are sweet.

But the traumatic triggers are the hardest. They may bring you back to the day you watched your best friend die in combat and you were the only one left to scoop him up and piggyback him to basecamp so he could have a proper burial, or it leads you back to the scariest night of your life. When you drove your car full speed ahead off the road onto a frozen lake, because you had lost the ability to contain your racing thoughts. And your unquiet mind was telling you it was time to go.

As it relates to my blog, sharing my stories (good, bad and ugly) online has allowed me to make peace with the uncut version of my journey and connect with other people who have gone through the same or similar challenges.

My blog has become a place where I set free the parts of myself I’ve deliberately kept hidden and been stubborn to embrace for a long time. And much to my surprise I found that sharing my “wretched” story resulted in an outpouring of love, praise and positive feedback from my inner circle, which reminded me that I am human. And there is no societal norm that makes one person superior or less than the other. There is no societal expectation that should threaten your well-being, or make you feel like you have to earn the right to exist.

Some of my posts touch on serious topics like love, loss, trial, error, heart break, self-discovery, mental illness and more. But many are just long streams of thought, memories and reflections which I’ve found myself contemplating and hoping to make light of after the fact.

Some posts are more satirical babble-ons about the things I’ve done and the things I still hope to do with the rest of my days. Babble-ons that make me tear up, go blank, or laugh my signature double-chin accompanied laughter. Yes, I laugh at myself way to often while writing.

What can I say, I’m a riot?

This feel good feelin that I am carrying into 2021 has been a hard earned, long overdue and incredibly rewarding personal victory.

In conclusion, I hope that a sliver of my words continue to reach and resonate with people on a visceral level. I hope that my writing someday creates a chain reaction of love, acceptance and advocacy in and beyond my inner circle. I hope you check in with your people and yourself often.

When I’m not babbling on about life I like to;

Fix old broken furniture. And old broken people. My blog is a self-help blog. Not because I am good at giving advice, but because every time I publish a post, it makes me feel that much better about myself. Like I’m using the gifts I was sent to this earth to give away. I never thought my love languge was gift-giving. Turns out, I couldn’t just pick one.

Generate demand. And advocate for why your business needs a solution that makes your target’s experience of your brand, that much better.

Cuddle my dogs, spoil them rotten and discipline them as if they are my first-borns because basically, they are.

Learn more about people and pick their brains until I have all of the answers. Probably so I can use it to my own advantage and write about it later.