The End of My First Journey.

As December swiftly runs past us and we begin to feel the weight of the year we are all about to leave, I have to say it packs more of a punch this year than it usually does. Today is my final day at my first college. Today is my final day at an awesome job that I have had for more than two years. Today is the tie up loose ends, say goodbye to everyone, and remembrance kind of day. When writing a couple of emails to a couple of people for a couple of things I have to clear up before I leave, I was written back almost immediately by one. And it read “Thanks for the update, Ashley. Congratulations on your graduation and best of luck on the next part of your journey!.” Which, made me realize that today I am completing the first part of my journey. And, isn’t that just terrifying and breathtaking and confusing and humbling. All this hard work and changing my mind and challenging myself actually accounted for something. I came to this school, got a new job, and once I graduate I wont be back. Today is the end of my first journey.

This part of the journey that is coming to a completion today, I believe, was about growing up, figuring myself out a little bit more, and learning to trust my instincts. Right before I got this job and began school I moved out on my own. I went from living with a rather large, loud and rambunctious family of seven to a small, quiet place with just me and my best friend. I also went from a soft little town with bright stars and limited dreams, to a booming downtown city where the dreams where massive and stars impossible to see. I also started college, got a new job and changed my major. Which, as one could only imagine lead to may tear filled nights, lost days and confusing choices. As you could also imagine, I had to pick up the run of the mill adult stuff like paying my bills on time, how expensive heat can be, how to not burn your apartment down, and how costly groceries are. But, I also learned the more meaningful value of being an adult. Things like learning to trust in yourself, having to make hard decisions, never letting fear stop me from attacking my dreams, and of course that you are never to old to call your mother crying asking for help.

Not only have I learned a lot about my somewhat new role of being an adult, I have learned a lot more about myself on a personal level. I learned that I am only responsible for myself and my actions, that happiness comes from within, and the true importance of being a good friend. I have learned to forgive even if someone has not apologized, learned to put faith in myself and the abilities I have and, that above all else my family is the most important thing in the world. I have learned that I love the bustling of a downtown area and plan on living in New York City one day. I have learned that I also require time outside where I can spend a moment figuring myself out. I have learned that yoga helps my clear my head, exercise keeps me from wanting to punch people, and eating healthy is a value that is important to me. I have learned that communication and trust are the most important things in a relationship and that learning to live with someone you love is a challenge but it is so worth it. I have learned that I love brunch on Sundays and sleeping in late on Saturdays and weekends filled with food, friends and laughter. I have learned the kind of movies I like to watch, the books I like to read, and the music I enjoy listening to. I have learned that while it is absolutely terrifying to go to school for something that you love, in the end, with hard work, determination, and never taking no for an answer it will all be worth it. I have learned so much about myself and the person I want to be. As the year is coming to a close and the curtain is abut to close I realize that today is the end of an era. The end of my very first journey. It has come with its fair share of hardships challenges and obstacles but, I have made some hilarious memories, wonderful new friends, and instilled an unshakable faith in myself. Soon I will be off to my last school with a new job and new sights in store.

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The Best and Coldest day of my life

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The Best and Coldest day of my life

Seeing the ball drop on new years was always a must do for me. Juka (My then boyfriend) promised me on my couch, new years eve of 2013 that next year that would be us. We would be the ones out there under the confetti and singing with Frank Sinatra about one of the coolest places on earth. Me, of course thinking he was all talk. He surprised me a couple months before December of 2013 saying that this was for real, he was going to take me to the city of my dreams on the best night of the year. Or, as he put it “The first day I met you, one of the very first things you said to me was that your dream was to see New York and I swore to myself that day that when I could, I would make that dream come true”, I know, I know I found a great one. So Juka and I came in a few days early to New York. We spent the days seeing the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of liberty and of course Rockefeller center. Around 2 pm New years eve (this year) we took our spots. Yes you read that right, two pm, and if you can count that means we were outside for a hearty ten hours. We had thought that we had dressed warmly, but after a few hours we almost threw in the towel. If it wasn’t for Jukas constant “we cant turn back now” chant I don’t know if I would have made it after I lost the feeling in my feet. It even started snowing! We actually met some fellow Ohioans (OH!) and they were nice enough to share their pizza with us. Because of course like almost everyone else down there we were incredibly unprepared. As you can imagine ten hours doesn’t creep by slowly even when you are in one of the most magical places on earth. But, I would not have rather been down there in the perfect spot with anyone else. We passed the hours jumping, squatting, laughing, and shivering, and of course hugging for warmth. One of the hugs I felt something square under his jacket and when I asked him what it was he quickly responded with “Um my wallet and stuff”. When everyone was up and ready, it was within the hour that we had all been waiting for, the nivea balloons were passed out and we all got a pair of spider man gloves. A minute before the ball drop I hear Juka say something to me so I turn around to find him down on one knee and my very best friend asked me to marry him, right there on the disgustingly dirty streets of times square. I immediately put the ring on my finger, covered my mouth, and rapidly nodded yes. Just then the count down began, and I would try to explain what it feels like to be newly engaged, standing in one of the coolest places on earth, and chanting down the coming of a new year with millions of people, but I cant really find the words. When the ball was down and the fireworks began, the square became covered in a rainbow of confetti just as I had dreamed it would. We hugged, we cried, we screamed and then we took off for the subway to get the heck out of there. While it took me about an hour to feel my limbs again, I defiantly wouldn’t have changed going. I mean I probably wont go again, but hey it was an amazing once in a lifetime experience. In the middle of Times square I got engaged to a man that I only dreamed existed.