I'm Gonna Be a Brooklynite

It has taken FOR-EV-ERRRRR to secure a place, but the time has finally come...to announce I'll be living in Brooklyn! Let me tell you all something: the NYC rental market was a major pain in my ass. I've been staying with my friend for a whopping 1 and 1/2 months! He never asked for rent (of course I paid it anyway), and I'm not even sure how I can PROPERLY repay him.

Of course, not having my own home totally affected my blogging schedule. As in, I HARDLY blogged. That will be fixed soon. I'll buy my bed, duvet, etc...start feeling settled...and then start blogging like normal. I move this WEEKEND...YES!

THE CAMERA IS COMING OUT, FOLKS! Not my iPhone camera, but my real camera. Bloggers know what's up with that!

I'll show some pictures of where I'm living soon, stay tuned! 


In Love with a Dirtbag (named NYC)

I've been here almost a month and I can hardly believe it. I am living in New York (I always feel that one month makes it more official). I'm here, guys.

Confession: when I first got to NY, I didn't miss San Diego that much; however, I found myself weirdly missing London. Yepppppp. Hello, my name is Ashley, anglophile and more specifically, London addict. In true Ashley fashion, comparisons between the two cities flooded my mind. I was missing some major things about my old home across the pond, such as:

  • The Tube: Prettier, easier to navigate, and more efficient than the Subway. 
  • Clean Streets: London is pretty damn immaculate for such a big city. New York, you are a dirty, dirty place and you should be ashamed of yourself (ok, you have some pretty areas). 
  • Being an Expat: I loved being the American in a sea of Brits and other cultures; here, I'm not special. Just another transplant living in the citayyyyy...nothing to see here! 
  • Reserved Culture: That extremely reserved culture in London meant less crazies/cat-calling/annoying people on a daily basis.

Before you roll your eyes and tell me to "Move on from London already, you pathetic baby!" I must tell you this: 

NYC offers community like no other. More than San Diego, more than London. And this is the most important aspect of any city. 

I know my claim is completely unscientific, but based on my personal experience I have never made so many friends so fast and so easily. I attribute this to four things: 

1. I'm better at meeting people now than when I was a more shy, more awkward 20-something girl. 

2. New York makes you talk. You sit down at a bar here and someone's gonna talk to you. Heck, you stand at the subway platform, and sometimes someone will talk to you there, too! I'm not sure shy is a word here? And reserved...uh...fuggedaboutit! 

3. This city knows how to have fun. It gets an unfair rap for being rude; on the contrary, it's just a city of honesty--honest in it's sadness, grumpiness, happiness, etc.

4. There are so many transplants here, we all band together because who else will take us?!?

I'm embracing this place as home. I have a community already, and it makes my little heart so happy! I'm falling in love with a dirt bag, and his name is New York City. 


What I've Been Up To (Going Crazy, But Having Fun)

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Oh heyyyyyyyyyy everyone...remember little ol' me?

The reason I have been majorly absent? Finding a place in NYC has been taking up all of my sweet, sweet time. Well, ok, not ALL of it. But quite a bit. It's a little exhausting, but the quest must continue and I will find my home! Either that, or I'll become a Woody-Allen-level-of-neurotic homeless person (we can't have that).

Until that happens, let me show you what I've been up to:

1. Staying with this Amazing Friend

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Meet Christian. The kind of guy that lets you stay at his place while you look for apartments. An encourager. Will give you the clothes off his back and pillow from his bed (he actually gave me his pillow and didn't tell me, and when I found out, promptly bought my own pillow so he had something to rest his head on!). Your gay date to a Roaring 20s birthday bash. An outstanding human.

2. Using Trusted Housesitters, Again

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To give Christian a break, I utilized trustedhousesitters.com again and watched a little pooch named Snickers for 5 days on the Upper West Side. The picture above was the view from the studio I was staying in. I lucked out majorly!! I'm really learning to love this useful website. This is the second time it's saved my ass! Oh, and two pictures of Snickers (I miss him ALREADY):




3. Hanging Out in Central Park like ALL THE TIME


I can't get enough of Central Park. It's gorgeous and sometimes I forget I'm in the city when I'm there (a different dimension?).

4. Working like CRAZY

I'm loving a lot of things about my job. It's hectic, it keeps me on my toes, and it's just what I needed.


Things are going pretty well, overall. How blessed am I that I already have friends in the City?? While not having an official place to live can be stressful, I know that will come very soon for me. I always say I'm a girl that likes challenges...well this is certainly a challenge! So cross your fingers for me and send good thoughts my way...

...and now it's time to read some of your lovely blogs that I have missed dearly! 


NYC Beginnings

I'm sitting in my friend's hot apartment, looking up places to live, downloading NYC subway apps on my phone, and having it start to hit me that NYC is my new home.

The body always goes through an initial shock with a move--physically I am in this new city, mentally I am catching up just a little.

Some things I've learned about life in the city:

  • Carrying around a bottle of water with you at all times is necessary in the summer, unless you like fainting! 
  • New York may have the most crazies out of any city I've been to, like the guy who spat and screamed at a police car riding by, "F**K the police!" 
  • The energy in this city is contagious. You almost believe you don't need sleep. 
  • Everyone has a story about how they got to NYC. I haven't met that many born-and-raised New Yorkers. 
  • So many karaoke bars to go to, so little time. 
  • New York may have the best food (and most choices) of any city I have ever been to. 

I'll feel very settled once I secure a place and set up my room, which should happen in about a week. That's when mentally I will know--this is home, now. 


Do I Dare? (It's Moving Time)

"Do I dare disturb the universe?" --T.S. Eliot

Yes, I do dare. I really love the quote above. It's the idea of leaping forward into the unknown, so much so that it puts (your) universe askew. I won't lie, I've had a knot in my stomach for about a week and a half. Right before a move, I always want to hold on just a little longer to that comfort zone, while wanting to let go at the same time. 

Over 3 years (!) ago I wrote this blog post when I first arrived in London, titled "Getting Lost in a Good Way." I'm ready to get lost again, this time in my own country. This will be the first time I'll live in a different state than California! I'm excited to explore. I'm excited to live. I'm excited to dare.

^ And that is the reason for all of this.


I don't leave until Saturday, but I felt like posting this blog now because my nervous energy is THROUGH THE ROOF! So sending positive vibes my way will make me smile (hint, hint). Plus, I'm sure I won't be blogging too much this week. Why are there always 5,867,456 things to do before a move?!? 


Let's Talk About the Hardest Part of Leaving

Picture from my Goodbye Picnic. 
I'm just one of those people: someone who always knew that living in one place, one city, for the rest of my life would be suffocating for my personal growth. And so I'm going to embark, yet again, on a new life somewhere bold and big. Because I know that this kind of challenge brings out the very best in me (and boy does it soothe my little travel-loving heart). 

BUT...it doesn't make it any easier when I have to say goodbye. 

I am a big believer in doing what's best for yourself. You can't bend backwards making everybody happy but yourself. However, when the depth of pain in my parents eyes permeates through the sliding airport doors I'll be crossing through...I know I won't be able to help but feel selfish

Moving forward often means leaving something else, or someone else, behind. This includes family and friends I have known for over 10, 20, 30 years--people who know me inside and out, want the best for me, support me to the fullest. And I am leaving them. It is a selfish act, and there is no other way to really put it. 

But sometimes, we do have to be selfish in order to actually contribute something in this world. I would be useless if I gave up true authenticity in exchange for making others happy. Authenticity, being true to yourself, is the best thing you or I can do to really leave a worthwhile mark in this world. When I know I'm living my authentic life, I am able to give myself more honestly, more openly, and with more passion than ever. I work harder, I love harder, and I create more.   

So as I roll my suitcases away from my parents' loving arms, as I send goodbye messages to the dearest of friends, as I start packing up this Southern California life I have known for so long, I will be walking into a new chapter that is true to who I am, and I'll rest in the comfort of knowing everyone I have to say goodbye to will be a mere plane ride away. 


For Shits and Giggles

I've been a bit absent from blog world because:

1. I went to a training in Canada last week.
2. I started my new job.
3. I'm gearing up for my big move in about 2 weeks and there's a TREMENDOUS amount to do!

So to escape from reality a bit, let's all laugh at the internet, k? Things that made me laugh (I'm obviously addicted to Instagram):



A Three Sentence Movie Review

1. Trainwreck

Pure Amy Schumer, unfiltered, and thus, not-your-average romantic comedy. It's easy to see this is the first movie script she has ever penned; it's clearly novice in some areas. However, it matters not--there are enough shocking, sweet, hilarious moments to make up for any lull in the script.

2. Timbuktu

This movie stayed with me for several days after the credits rolled. The serenity of the desert contrasted with the harshness of the religious extremists occupying Timbuktu is so very striking here. I like how the movie explained the mindset of both the captives and the extremists, somehow allowing the audience to understand the humanness of everyone involved--this is a must watch.

3. Something, Anything

On Netflix Instant
I think there will be two conclusions from viewers after watching this movie: one, that the lead character (Peggy) is selfish, and two, that Peggy was on a quest for truth. I could see both sides; however, I think I ultimately sided with the second conclusion, mostly because I truly believe we are a society brainwashed, and Peggy was simply battling with the undoing of that brainwashing. The movie has got a slow pace, but like a slow epiphany I like how Peggy's end decision is revealed (you're gonna hate her obviously fake wig, though).

4. Hector and the Search for Happiness

On Netflix Instant
Even though Simon Pegg is in this (who is as charming as he is hilarious), I just couldn't get on board with Hector. While the questions asked in this film were generally quite profound and a good foundation, the actual film couldn't answer such questions in an equally profound way. Some people on Netflix seemed to love it though so maybe it's worth a watch to draw your own conclusion.

Image credits: 1/2/3/4


That Moment When You Buy a One Way Ticket

There is nothing more symbolic of a life change than the moment you hit the "confirm" button on a one way ticket purchase. This is the 5th time I have bought a one way ticket. Each time I've had a different feeling about the act. 

The first and second time was when I tried to live in Turkey. I didn't have anything planned. I didn't have a job in place. Through this, I learned I'm totally not spontaneous. I can't just go "where the wind takes me." Because of my lack of planning, I lasted all of a month before running back home. I happily bought a one way ticket back, back, to Cali, Cali. 

The third and fourth time were going to and coming back from London. Going to London, I was majorly excited to hit the confirm button and live a new life abroad. Nearly a year later, I was unsure if a one way back to the USA was what I wanted, but I hit confirm anyway. Through this, I learned that my instincts have always been on point and I should listen to them more often. 

The fifth time I bought a one way ticket was all of 5 days ago. SAN to JFK. All I can tell you is this purchase feels right in every way possible. My head, my heart, and my plane route are all aligned in the same direction. And that's a good feeling. 


Have you ever bought a one way ticket? Did you end up staying or did you turn back? 


I Have a Crush on the Boston Public Library

If you're gonna visit Boston, I IMPLORE you to not skip this little gem. It's free, it gorgeous, and it was one of the highlights of my trip (although, admittedly I always fall in love with public libraries). This place most definitely rivals the New York Public Library, although I'm pretty sure it's a bit smaller.

 But really...can I live here? I truly do have a "crush" on this place, if it were possible to have feelings for inanimate objects (it is). That's because this place feels very much alive, a breathing piece of architecture with a vast collection of knowledge at its fingertips...er, bookshelves. I've always been attracted to the smart guys. Boston Public Library, can I have yo numba?

I really don't know WHY we have steered so far away from such gorgeous architecture in 'Merica. I think EVERY building should look like this, starting with my future home! That's totally reasonable, right?  
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