“roots” = a scary word for a blonde inciting the nervousness that is having a pay a few hundred dollars every 6-8 weeks to keep up the appearance that you’re not a brunette. why do I do this to myself? sorry this is not the point of this blog.
i moved to NYC with a life i very strongly felt rooted in:
- I was a Pollard, which meant i had a close knit massive family of inviting warm hysterical aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings etc. with parents and a family home i grew up in and that was who i was – a Pollard.
- I was also an Ajemian, my mom’s family with strong and proud Armenian roots that I’ve always felt passionately connected to – as the Armenians are a people with a history i cherish, especially as close to home as it is.
- I was an ambitious and hard worker – always having multiple jobs through college as well as an internship and full time student hours, involved in community organizations and social groups. I loved being busy, I knew my career path and I was laser focused on making My DrEaMs CoMe TruE. moving to New York was a clear part of that plan.
once i moved here, my life took on other “branches” let’s say, just for the sake of this metaphor:
- I met someone and we fell in love and were together for a few years, 3 i guess. He taught me so much about myself (being older than me…much older actually), about experiences he’d had, about what i wanted, how to communicate, how to be in a strong happy relationship. We had our ups and downs but we were a place that felt stable and consistent and lucky.
- I met new friends, my city friends, and we became inseparable – always at happy hour, brunch, and any free event we could find in the city to maximize our dwindling bank accounts. We were our home away from home, each others “rock”. Accepting, loving, and I was thankful for that.
then 2015 happened and decided to punch me in the face. not metaphorically, literally. ok fine metaphorically…nobody punched me in the face, don’t worry.
i woke up January 1st with all of the above perfectly in place and tucked away in it’s neat little compartments exactly as they should be. Come April, every one of those identifying factors would have changed in my life.
I lost my job – the fashion industry is a tough place right now and it’s impossible to know if you have job stability anymore. being on of the most recent hires, I was one of the 20 people who sadly had to go. No more job.
My close sister-like friend and I had a falling out over what we deemed as necessary or good in regards to how people treat each other in a friendship. She felt I should be acting a certain way, I completely disagree. We went our separate ways. No more close friend.
My then-boyfriend had moved to Philly for family reasons and it made us have difficult talks about us and our future together, one that didn’t seem so sure anymore as I wanted “kids” to be an option in my future whereas for him it was a hard no. So we ended abruptly and didn’t speak again for years. No more boyfriend.
The biggest one was the announcement that my parents separated, or announced a divorce, i don’t remember the process to be honest.. In order to spare their personal lives on the internet, I won’t get into the details. But this one tore me apart the most, and quite honestly was most shocking. Seeing other friends’ parents getting divorced, I had thought about what I would do in the same situation and I always came back to the thought of “well if they want to be happy, they should have that right” – a thought that still rings true in my mind, but that doesn’t always ring the same in how someone feels. and I felt shattered. Maybe it was how it all went down or maybe it was the fact that it actually did that changed my perspective on it , but I felt like I lost a major part of my life. I felt like I had “no more family”.
All of this loss and change happening in a 3 month period to someone nearing their 27th birthday can really rock someone to their core. I needed to catch a break, I needed something stable. I had my apartment and quite honestly, probably became the homebody I now am because it was my consistent in this whole transition. A proverbial tornado had come through my little world and uprooted all the anchors that I had in my life.
I couldn’t classify myself as part of the unit that was our little family because it didn’t exist anymore. I didn’t have my job. I lost one of my best friends. I wasn’t “his” girlfriend anymore. What are you when you lose all of the things in life that you feel all of your connection to? I have never felt so lost in my life, so confused, so alone. Thankfully never suicidal, but definitely depressed. And I was always the stable unemotional one so I didn’t feel like I was allowed to be anything strong and unaffected, but whattttt a façade that was. Simply, I was a fucking mess.
I didn’t resort to drugs, or sleeping around, i probably drank a little more than i should but to be honest i still do that and i’m a happy functioning adult so that’s probably never going to change much sorry mom. I don’t think I really did this because I knew at the time that I needed to re-create my own foundation, but moreso that I needed a distraction, but that’s when I really threw myself back into work ( i thankfully found a job very quickly) and soon later this blog/my podcast (RIP). Looking back, it was the best coping mechanism – the creation of my own outlet. First it started as social media where I found i’m fascinated by how people interact on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter, the differentiations of them all, how to create engaging content and creative stories and I found that i love that tool of marketing – and still do. I love to share, I love to create, both things that have made my blog and podcast so successful.
Throwing myself into these channels after losing the “tree” of what I once was allowed me to re-plant and re-grow. I was forced to ask myself “who is Ashli when she’s not a part of this family unit, when she’s not his girlfriend, when her friends change, and when she isn’t defined by her career?” A necessary question and one that maybe we should all ask ourselves to get to the core of you’re TrUe SeLf. God I hate corny things like that. but really, i challenge you to ask the same things. Who are you if you woke up tomorrow and lost everything external you tie yourself to?I am a goofball. I’m an oversharer. I love connecting with people. I like to hear peoples stories. I LOVE FOOD. Cooking is my happy place. I live in organized chaos. I would eat carnitas tacos and cinnamon sugar donuts every day for the rest of my life if i had to pick one thing..or i guess two. I truly believe you can laugh your way through everything. Communication is key for me. I believe genuine apologies show strength and character, never weakness. I am sooo in love with my college friends. Travel is vital to my happiness. and sometimes it’s better for everything to rain at once than to sprinkle it through a lifetime. Losing it all felt horrific and … honestly i can’t put it into words. But i’m thankful for the opportunity it gave me to figure out who i am without those things, because who knows if i would have otherwise.
Love you all