memorial day, 2011. everything changed when my close and dear friend Chelsea + I packed up a U-Haul and drove our butts to NYC with very little money, no jobs…
HAPPY FRIDAYS LOVE BUGS. got any big plans this weekend?? i do !!! follow me on instagram/snapchat at @ashli_p for updates because i’m going to have an amazing weekend that…
THE TIME IS AMONG US. the time of year when you can wear pieces of your winter clothes with your spring clothes before we all melt in the blistering heat…
FRIDAY !!! you guys got big plans? same – friday night drinks, saturday night dinner, sunday casual brunch and stroll around the city. yes, almost all my plans truly do…
happy monday! and happy easter love bugs (a day late, sure but you were with family yesterday anyway right?) OK FINE ALSO. you guys are too sweet, thank you for…
we all have those days. those lay-in-bed-all-day kinds of days where you dont even realize that its 6pm and you havent had dinner and you’ve just wondered for hours and…
HIIII FRIENDS. how was your weekend? fantastic like whoa? amazing. i leave for 3 weeks of straight travel so i did a whole whopping of absolutely effing NOTHING. i feel…
ON TO THE NEXT CITY. about now, i am heading to San Diego after a week plus spent in lovely LA. can i just tell you, i DID NOT WANT…
is it me or does December feel like it’s 4 seconds long and January feels like it’s 19 weeks? so here we are, 19 weeks later and we’ve got FEBRUARRYYYY. THE MONTH OF LOVE. of VALENTINE’s DAY CARDS. and CHOCOLATE. and DINNER DATES.
……and pressure. and fights. and gross names like smoochybearloverkins. okay fine, Valentine’s Day is pretty much the worst but i still feel like there are ways we can celebrate some looooove in the air. why not spend some extra time this month giving you some solid self love? i assure you that you need it. know how i know? cause you’re human. and we’re all overworked and somewhat in debt and never really doing everything right. WHICH IS FINE. so let’s make this the month we go back to basics and give ourselves some hugs for once.
i mean, cmon, we just came off of the holiday season when we all spend a littttttle too much time with family, a littttle too much time justifying our life choices, and sometimes a litttttle too much time feeling lonely. what better time than grand ol February to remind yourself that *also* are super deserving of some TLC too, right? i mean look at you, you’re the coolest??
and noooo this isn’t some single girls plea to tell you that you DoOoOnT nEeD a MaN to love yourself. self love needs to be practiced by all – i would say ESPECIALLY those in long term serious relationships or marriages because it’s so easy to forget to take time for yourself. so no matter your relationship status, sexual orientation, or dollar amount in your bank account, i love you all the same. so stay tuned for some of my favorites way of #selflove and make sure to incorporate some of these into your life.
CAUSE YOU DESERVE IT BOO.
just remember, we’re all just doin the best we can.
love you all
Speak your mind…even if your voice shakes. – Maggie Kuhn
i have to admit i’m a total hypocrite here. maybe the point of writing this blog post is to give myself the hutzpah needed to get something off my chest that i need to say, to tell someone something i desperately feel i will regret not saying. having a tumultuous year last year and experiencing the car accident and what revelations that brought me, I’ve felt much more in touch with and more confident about the side of me that feels the need to share with others what i may be feeling. almost losing those opportunities makes someone reassess if you should keep your mouth shut – i mean cmon, we’ve all heard the clichés. TELL EVERYONE YOU LOVE THEM YOU NEVER KNOW WHATS GONNA HAPPEN. and they’re clichés mainly because, well, it’s true. but what about the tough stuff? what about telling someone something that makes you feel really vulnerable? it’s one thing to text your sister (like i did today – whats up James) and say “hey! love you!” out of the blue so you give them a smile. its another thing to share and open up…to say, listen i am just going to put this out there but…xyz. whatever you’re “putting out there”. maybe you miss someone that used to be a beautiful figure in your life. maybe you need to tell someone that they really hurt you with something they said/did. maybe you want to take a relationship to the next step or even tell someone that you have feelings for them and want to see where it goes.all of it is tough. i mean hell, even texting someone you just met and saying “hey! how was your day?” can be analyzed to death in my group chat with the girls. i can’t imagine what kind of inner dialogue happens when we have to be actually vulnerable. i don’t know about you, but my mind tends to just shut off. the only way i can really figure out what i truly want to say to someone is to write it down – to write a letter. then i edit it down, and edit it down again, until i have a few concise sentences that very clearly illustrate what i feel. you really hurt my feelings when you said that.
i really wish things had gone differently.
i feel like we could have something really special.
i don’t think this is working for me anymore.
i miss you every day.
do you think we could mend our friendship?
are you sure you don’t have any more blueberry donuts? just these 14?^^this is me giving myself side-eye for that last one. not funny.
ok anyway, my point is, i had a conversation with someone a bit older than me where she was sharing a story about someone she dated 30 years prior. THIRTY. she said she still regrets not telling him “listen this really hurt me” which truly blew my mind. i mean, what good would it have done to say that? she was very happily married to someone else for decades. she wasn’t going to change someone’s mind. she didn’t come from a place of wanting him to hurt. she genuinely regretted still to this day not expressing how she felt to someone else that was involved in the situation. she bore the burden herself. and it’s made me think about difficult conversations that i may be dying to have also but don’t have the nerve to share.there’s a tough and all-bearing conversation i definitely need to have at some point myself, i’m not setting the best example ever here because i also have times where i need that extra push of courage. but i think at the end of the day, i’d rather be someone filled with nerves before saying something vulnerable than someone filled with regret because i kept my mouth shut all those years ago. so i’ll be vulnerable if you promise to try with me.
but first, lets have some blueberry donuts 🙂
I have no idea how i’ll leave New York.
Nobody’s making me, or asking me to, or presenting me with additional options, but over my head looms this end date I always assumed would come to me as clearly and loudly and as bright as a Times Square billboard saying “TIMES UP”. Such a time has not come yet. I moved here almost 7 years ago, which to this day blows my mind. Even more insane to me (and most people in this always-needing-a-change city) remains that I’ve had the same apartment almost the entire time I’ve been here, making my apartment and NYC as a whole the 2nd longest place I’ve ever lived outside of my childhood home.
I moved to New York “for one year”, to knock it off my bucket list, to say I did it – “it” being something I made a promise to myself to do when I was approximately 12 years old when I came to visit with my family for the first time. I just felt at home here in a way I didn’t really in St Louis. I liked all the different types of people, of dress, the languages, the neighborhoods, the *difference* in general. St Louis has changed and grown so much and I am proud to be from that city but growing up I saw it as such a boring and bland place — too cookie cutter even for my 12 year old eyes.
let me paint a picture for the kind of kid I was growing up. I remember hanging out at the mall with my friends and walking past a Limited Too (age appropriate for me at the time) and seeing these pair of patchwork blue jeans. my friends at the time made fun of them and said they were dumb or ugly or whatever they were saying and i INSTANTLY needed to own them. OMG i found almost an EXACT picture of them!! here:
i was obsessed with making things that people thought were ugly into something cool and pretty. the girl on the playground nobody was hanging out with? let’s see what her story is. this creepy necklace with a spider on it? i bet i could make this look feminine and pretty. give me $50 and set me free in the mall and i could find an enormous amount of “Buy One Get One” sale items that nobody else wanted and rock them.
did people thing i was weird or different? totally. and i was bullied for the second half of grade school. but i did not GIVE. A. SHIT. about what these annoying girls thought of me. i dont know how i knew at 12 years old that doing what i wanted was more important than their approval but i love myself for it (and totally give some credit to my parents as well). visiting New York made me feel like EVERYONE in the city felt like they needed those patchwork jeans too. everyone marched to the beat of their own drum, they fought for their passions or careers or their demo or their fashion line and everybody around just let them be. “Do You” should be the slogan of the city, if i could be in charge of making one. I’ll talk to Cuomo about that.
i have never been in a 7 year relationship with a human but i have with this city, and i feel like this city is prepping me for the time when i am that committed to someone i love. i came here for fun, realized it’s actually a pretty cool place to be, made a home for myself and have decided i will stay here until it no longer nurtures me. the past 2 years have been years where, honestly, I’ve reeeeeeeeeally had a hard time loving it here still. i would say to people “i think i’m done with New York” and they’d say “but you’re still here! you’ve gotta love it in some way!” a valid point to which i’d respond “i hate it 49.5% and love it 50.5%” – i said this A LOT and really truly felt like it. but where would i go? what if this had to do with my job? my relationship? if i changed one of those would i like the city more? what if i went to more local NYC spots around and grew a new appreciation for the city? i didn’t really do any of that to be honest but i did do one thing – i rode it out.
if life is about peaks and valleys and ups and downs and intermittent stagnancy, after 2 years of being in a valley with how i feel about NYC, i’m back to being at a peak. everything here to me looks like a postcard i want to frame. i take internal pictures of everything – the obviously new couple holding the subway pole together and flirting; the skateboarders in union square; the chaotic traffic around Columbus Circle which nobody seems to know how to navigate; the feeling of telling a cab driver which route to take so he doesn’t screw you over; ALL of it has returned to being magic to me, and i don’t know how i could ever leave this place.
i do take it for granted. i mean, when i want to go to the art museum, my local spot is the Met – one of the most famous in the world. going to a play doesn’t mean visiting the local theater of hardworking neighbors but Broadway, the best of the best. the oysters are from a mere few miles away. my favorite restaurants where i kick my feet up and order a “usual” are lauded worldwide for their unique takes. THE PIZZA I MEAN DEAR GOD.
all the time i wonder when i’m going to leave and where in the hell i’d go – and i’m asked this consistently. i have no fucking idea how to live anywhere else. i joked with my friend who asked where i would move and said, “if i could find a place where i didn’t have to drive with incredible food and interesting people and unique things to do and it was on the East Coast (or at least the Eastern Time Zone) i would probably end up there”. her response? “Oh yeah, you’re never leaving New York”.