Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's a 500 Days of Summer Day

This is a story of boy meets girl. 
The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met "the one". This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie 'The Graduate'. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parents' marriage she'd only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and feel nothing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This is Not a Dream

Seriously thinking about getting an airplane tattoo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When Two Don't Become One

So, I kinda figured out that if I want people to continue following my blog, I proooobably should write about things other than Alpha Delta Pi and my life as a Leadership Consultant. I am definitely passionate about those two subjects, but there are so many other topics that I light a fire inside of me. 
In the past few months I've spent a lot of time alone, whether it's in the airport, taking a walk, meditating, etc. and luckily that means a lot of self reflection has been done on my part. Yet with all the millions of topics I could be reflecting upon, I keep coming back to this one topic. That one argument, that one continuous thought I just can't seem to get off of my mind is...How much is too much to give to a relationship where you are not receiving anything/0.05% back of what you are giving?
Now if you know me at all, I don't have the best luck with the men I've dated, so when you read this, it would be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if you did not automatically think I was complaining about my love life/lack of love life. This can relate to any relationship you have ever had with anyone: father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, boss, friend, colleague, professor, and the list goes on and on and on. As human beings, relationships are how we thrive and they bring out who we truly are, whether that is good or bad. But although relationships are the essence to life, as human beings it is exhausting, and it certainly can't be healthy, to exist in a relationship where only one person is trying to make the relationship successful and the other is constantly relying on that person to make it work. It's detrimental, unfair, and frustrating
But what if you've decided it's time to cut the cord and see that relationship fizzle away? Is it hypocritical to talk about how that person devoted 0% to the relationship, yet discontinue to talk to that person and discontinue to put effort into the relationship? I mean to constantly say, "He or she doesn't call me/he or she doesn't reach out to me," but to not be the one calling or reaching out to that person, is that hypocritical? How do you justify that you've done enough and tried as much as possible? I suppose it is a reoccurring question in my mind and I know there is not a solid answer, but all I can do is keep referring back to the above quote.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love My Job?

Finally! Finally I have time to give a little update on my lifesie! I hope this lack of blogging does not damper my relationship in the world. I promise I have been keeping so very busy that unfortunately I have to put some priorities in my life on hold, and sadly this was one sacrifice I had to make. But lucky for you all, I have been adding pictures on Facebook and pretty much blowing up your FB newsfeed with my status updates and mobile picture uploads. So for anyone who is not friends with me on Facebook, I'll be giving you the cliffnotes version of visits 2-6! 
Tref's Daily Affirmations
I love my job; I am just as in love with my job as I was when I first began; I love feeling like I am always surrounded by family and sisters; I can do anything good; I love the house moms I meet-it's lonely on the road without a mom, and these lovely women make me feel like my mom is traveling with me; I love getting surprised each month with new places I'll be visiting; I love the airport; I can do anything good!
Aaaand now it's time for my Oscar/Emmy/Tony/Grammy/MTV Movie Awards speech.

To the University of Nevada Las Vegas
The Welcome sign taken by yours truly.
Thank you for letting me laugh until my stomach hurt and tears rolled out my eyes. Thank you for taking me to the Bellagio water show. Thank you for allowing me to sway back and forth in the middle of a circle acting like the Bellagio water show. Thank you for showing me such amazing sisterhood, as exemplified from your violet circle. Thank you for making me feel welcome so quickly. Thank you for taking me to the Strip and inside the hotels. Thank you for taking me to get Mediterranean food when I hadn't had it in weeks. Thank you for being such a wonderful chapter. <>Pi love<>
 To the University of California, Berkeley
Look what Psi Chapter gave me after Recruitment!!
Thank you for taking me to Yogurtland for my first time. Thank you for letting me stay in the President's Suite. Thank you for letting me watch 45 movies with you. Thank you for talking to me all day during brunch on my second day at your house. Thank you for holding your Bid Day at Sky High. Thank you for working so hard during Recruitment. Thank you for making my first visit to California a wonderful one. <>Pi love<>
To the University of Washington
Throwin diamonds up at Counterbalance Park
Thank you for everything. Thank you for helping me to forget about something difficult I was going through when I first arrived at your chapter. Thank you for making me feel like a sister of Alpha Theta. Thank you for letting me laugh and cry with you. Thank you for watching Harvard Sailing Team Boys Will Be Girls 10,000 times. Thank you for letting me teach you the Jenna Marbles' "The Face." Thank you for taking me to see the wonderful sites of Seattle. Thank you for asking me to be your house mom once Carolyn steps down. Thank you for making me want to make Seattle my future home (hopefully I will be there within the next year and a half...fingers crossed!!!) <>Pi love<>
To the University of California, Santa Barbara
Seriously my favorite picture I have ever taken
Thank you for persevering. Thank you for letting me stay in your lovely beach side home. Thank you for being so open to suggestions. Thank you for taking me to the beach, tar and all. Thank you for watching YouTube videos every day and being just as scared as I was when watching Old Greg. Thank you for working so hard during Formal Recruitment (your hard work showed when you made quota, plus 15 quota additions!!) Thank you for taking me to In and Out Burger...aaaaand taking 25,000 pictures of me eating a hamburger. Thank you for being such wonderful hostesses and making it difficult to leave. Thank you for taking us to Free Birds! <>Pi love<>
To Allegheny College
My first College football game everrrr...thanks ladies!!
Thank you for making me breakfast for dinner. Thank you for allowing me to get to know 99.9% of your members in only 4 short days. Thank you for taking me to my first college football game. Thank you for being with me when I tried my first pulled pork sandwich (it was just as delicious as everyone built it up to be). Thank you for driving the hour and a half to pick me up and drop me off. Thank you for my sign upon arrival at the airport. Thank you for talking to me in the student center between meetings. Thank you for watching Glee with me. <>Pi love<>

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let's Roll for Freedom, Let's Roll for Love

My life is pretty much go-go-go right now and I am operating on about 5-6 hours of sleep each night, but it seemed appropriate to slow down my crazy life and reflect on this memorable day.

I don't want to write a long post about where I was on this day, how I felt when September 11th occurred, or how I feel now, because let's face it, that doesn't really matter nor does anyone want to read about that.

This post is meant to pay gratitude to anyone who helped our country in this time of crisis.
This post is meant to remember and respect all those who lost their lives in this tragic incident.
This post is to meant to send thoughts and prayers to any family member, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, or coworker who suffered a loss of someone they knew.

9-11-2001. We will never forget. Our country was shaken, but never defeated. God bless America.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First stop--WSU

Fight, fight, fight for Washington State! Win the victory! Win the day for Crimson and Gray! 
Yep, definitely taking a break from, what seems to be my 945,339,458 page, Leadership Consultant report to FINALLY blog. The post is soups overdue if you ask me.
Formal Recruitment is over before it even began. Cah-razy. Also, my first visit as an ADPi Leadership Consultant is over in less than 19 hours. Even more cah-razy. Even though everything is happening so fast, the thing that is not so cah-razy: what the women of Upsilon chapter taught me about sisterhood. Unfathomable is an understatement.
Yeah, you could say I was as nervous going into my first visit just as a Potential New Member is on her first day of Recruitment, if you may. I mean, you open the door to a house where you know absolutely no one, unaware of what you are going to see, and completely clueless as to how the members are going to treat you. Who would not be shakin in their boots? Well let me just say, if I was a PNM, this is THE house I would be so grateful to enter into.
Whenever someone would ask me what I was most excited for during my time as a LC, and I would always answer with something like "I can't wait to see all of the different Greek life throughout the country," ooooor "I can't wait to see other houses," ooor another shallow comment was said on my part. After visiting Upsilon, my answer has totally changed. Actually, I don't have one answer, I have multiple.
1) Seeing women gain confidence in their roles as an Alpha Delta Pi member.
2) Seeing how proud members are of their accomplishments.
3) Encouraging women to run for Leadership Position because you see potential in them that they may not see in themselves
4) Empowering leaders in the chapter and reassuring them that they are excellent leaders and that everyone elected them for a reason
5) Sharing ritual with other chapter members and actually participating in ritual with my sisters from all across the country
 So long WSU, Pullman, and my Upsilon sisters. You treated me with the utmost hospitality and you will greatly be missed. You will always be near and dear to my heart.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Toto, I Feel Like We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Yes, I don't come from Kansas and yes, I don't have a dog named Toto; but one thing that is for certain: I am surely NOT in Michigan, aka "The Mitten," anymore. Yes, it's FBO--I am a resident of Atlanta, Georgia (or as some folk call it, "Hotlanta"). 
I must admit, this time last year I never would have envisioned living my life this way. Yep, one year ago, I knew I would be preparing for graduate school; I knew I would be preparing for an intense internship; and finally, I knew I would be preparing to live my life according to the expectations that society deems appropriate for us
  1. You attend college. 
  2. You graduate college.
  3. You become a student who now attends grad school. 
  4. Once grad school is donezoh, you attempt to get a job. 
  5. You get married/begin a family.
I am most definitely not knocking the expectations that humanity has created for us, I just know that my life is destined to be lived differently. A new and exciting opportunity, a challenge if you will, has sprung up into my life I am so thankful that my entire life plan does not follow society's course.
I am moving onto day four of living in Atlanta and also day three-ish of training as a Leadership Consultant (today we were so very privileged to visit Macon, where Alpha Delta Pi began), and I already feel as though I have learned so much about myself and have already begun the metamorphosis process of who I will evolve into this year. I know that I am going to grow into an even more independent, knowledgeable, accepting, adventurous, and resilient woman than I already am. 
As I sit here at night in this beautiful house, I couldn't help but wonder where I will be this time next month. I will not be sitting in this familiar house or this familiar/not so familiar city of Atlanta, GA. The thing is, and to quote my blog title, "I don't know where I am going to be tomorrow, and that is ok with me." I still have three weeks left in this beautiful historical district, so technically I do know where I will be tomorrow. But irregardless, I live for the unknown and I live for new opportunity. After all, isn't not knowing what makes life exciting? 

Monday, June 20, 2011

And So It Begins...

In less than 5 hours, I will be waking up to get ready for a drive down to Detroit Metro Airport.
In less than 7 hours, I will be getting dropped off at the airport to board a plane that will take me to the hot, sunny, and beautiful state of Arizona.
Finally, in less than 8 hours, I will be boarding a plane to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the 160th Alpha Delta Pi Anniversary Convention. 

This plane ride will be unlike any other plane ride I have ever been on. As I am departing Detroit, I am departing a familiar life that I once knew. A life of living in Rochester, a life of having a job at a golf course, a life of a recent college graduate.
When my plane leaves the ground at 8:42AM, I am leaving that life and beginning a new and exciting one. In this new life, I will be living out of a suitcase, traveling to more colleges and universities than I could even imagine, living in more buildings than I will ever accumulate in my entire lifetime, and I will be working for an organization that I so strongly believe in.

Yep, my job as an Alpha Delta Pi 2011-2012 Leadership Consultant begins this week at The Arizona Biltmore.
My home for the next 5 days!!!

begin training with my 6 fellow LCs and I get to meet all the big wigs who are the brains behind Alpha Delta Pi. 
I will be participating in some of Alpha Delta Pi's traditional Convention events.
I will be eating some of the most amazing food that could ever be served (I really need to start practicing my dinner etiquette-good thing I have plenty of time on my plane ride.)
I will be seeing my grandparents on Friday during free time!!
I will be wearing a super fancy dress to a super fancy dinner.
I will finally get to meet my fellow LC sisters!!
I will be engulfed in Alpha Delta Pi pride and I could not be more excited!

Let's just say, this time last year I never imagined this is what I would be doing with my life. I have got to say, I hit the freakin jackpot with this job. 

Peace, love, and Alpha Delta Pi. 
See ya kiddies when I come home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bonnaroo: Yeah, It's Better Than Christmas

This is better than a game of Where's Waldo.

"The time has come," the walrus said...
90 degree weather. 95,000 people. 80,000 tents. Porta potties. 12 stages and tents. Camping. Mosquitoes and Chiggers. Thunderstorms. Swollen ankles. Over 200 musicians. And other things that shall remain nameless.

The previous statements all lead up to 4 days of pure magic, happiness, peace, and love.


As I sit in my living room, glancing over my Roo schedule, for the 90th time, to make sure I have it absolutely and 100% right, I can't help but remember how I was feeling this time last year.
Last year was my first Bonnaroo experience. The day before I departed for this magical weekend, I was sick and actually didn't care if I ended up going or not. Thankfully, I pushed that devil off my shoulder and followed what the Bonnaroo angel said to me. This weekend was hands down THE BEST weekend of my life. Besides my sorority sisters, I live for music and it is my one and only true love. Leaving the camping grounds of the Manchester farm, I couldn't help but feel sad even though I had experienced the most epic 4 days of my life. I was sad because I had to wait an entire year until I could feel the joy that Bonnaroo gave to me. Nothing can top seeing 30 concerts in 4 days, while experiencing it with 80,000 other music lovers who are just as passionate about sweet, sweet tunes as I am.
Finally, after 365 days of patiently waiting, Bonnaroo is back. See ya on the flipside kids.

Welcome to the gates of Bonnaroo. Some say they're more lovely than the gates of Heaven.

The above link is my Bonnaroo schedule. It is for your viewing pleasure. Warning: This link is not intended for those who experience extreme jealousy or who become easily jealous. 29 amazing artists and shows will be seen by Ashley in only 4 days. Proceed with caution. But it is okay to feel a bit envious of her awesome weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Lesson to Learn from Mumford and Sons

Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free.
Be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be.

Monday, May 9, 2011

You Know How to Cut the Core of Me, Stumbleupon

So anyone who knows me, knows that I have a redonkulous obsession with Yes, I have the stumbleupon toolbar. And yes, on that toolbar, I have 240 favorites (and the list keeps growing daily). 
Last night was a particularly good night for stumbling. Pretty much every site I stumbled upon, I became obsessed with; I wanted to post every single one to my facebook, buuut I figured anyone who is my friend on FB might give me a virtual smack against the head. So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: "Ashley's Favorite Stumbleuponed Websites that the Internet Threw at Her Last Night."

Numere Uno:

Bob Marley knew how to treat a lady; aaand, somehow, BM also knew that this is exactly everything I wish that a guy would do.

Numere Dos:
A Website that Calculates and Compares the Cost of Living in Over 520 Different Cities 
Isn't is obvious why I fell in love with this site?!? In just three short months, I will be jetsetting across America and parts of Canada ♥♥ How perfect that I stumbled upon this website that compares the cost of food, clothes, entertainment, etc., in different cities and countries?!?

El Número Tres:

How could anyone NOT fall in love with this amazingly cute and sweet video?!? I mean come onnnn, the kids are beyond adorable and does anyone ever remember getting that excited when getting kissed or kissing someone? I. just. love. this. video.

El Número Cuatro:
Mark Twain's Top 9 Tips for Living a Bomb Life
These 9 tips will enrich your life with joy and help you to be happier on a day-to-day basis. And isn't that what we are all striving for in our lifetime? Why would you not want to live the best life you can?

El Número Cinco:
Abbey Road...Need I Say More?
This is a site for some true Beatles fans. It's the shizznizzle. From the courtesy of your own home, you can watch Abbey Road in London 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

El Número Seis:
This picture is impossible to read, due to the tiny font and tiny size of the picture. For those curious as to what it says, continue reading.

"Left brain. 
I am the left brain. I am a scientist. I am a mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am."
"Right brain.
I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be."

I am the right brain and proud of it. Who are you? And whoever you are, I hope you are proud of it, too!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bittersweet: Is That the Only Word We Can Use to Describe Graduating College?

Well would ya take a look at that :D :D :D
Seventeen years of writing papers, test taking, group projects, and coloring (of course, coloring is only in the beginning of school), and that ("that" referring to that portrait to your left) is the result you get. I must say, I am proud and 110% satisfied of the outcome 17 years of school has produced.

Yesterday, 4/30/2011, I became a Bachelor of Social Work, a graduate of college, and alumnae member of Oakland University. When conversing with friends and family yesterday, I noticed a reoccurring trend in the many conversations I partook in; the reoccurring question of "isn't graduating college bittersweet?" My immediate answer was "no," because I was beyond thrilled to receive my degree and proud of all of my accomplishments. But later, as I was laying in bed, preparing for the best nap of my life, I really dove into the question of, "Is graduating honestly and truly bittersweet?" Well, first let's define "bittersweet," shall we?

Bittersweet: (adj) both pleasant and painful or regretful.

Sure, a 33 page macro change paper, an 18 page thesis plus an e-portfolio, 10+ all nighters, 60 hours without sleep, 5 years of summer classes, 150 note cards for a biology test, and my first patch of gray hair, may definitely constitute for the "bitter" aspect of my college existence. On the contrary, when I sincerely look back at my golden grizzly experience, the "sweet" outweighed the "bitter" by a long shot.

My "sweet" experiences in college were so amazing and rewarding; they were so joyous that I believe I could have given up cheesecake for the past 5 years and still felt as though my sweet tooth was being satisfied.  I mean, what other type of happiness can come from:
  • Belonging to such an accepting and loving organization, also known as Alpha Delta Pi
  • And representing that astounding sorority by serving as President from 2009-2010
  • Meeting sorority sisters who became friends, then best friends, and eventually my family
  • Venturing to Georgia to immerse myself in Alpha Delta Pi history, while soakin up that sassy Georgia sunshine
  • Switching my major three times, finally to find a subject that I am so passionate about, and then being rewarded for my hard work by receiving my Bachelor of Social Work
  • Being able to perform Verdi's Requiem at the Detroit Opera House
  • Randomly going on an impromptu trip to Michigan State
  • Having a water balloon fight in my dorm room
  • Living at the student apartments, when my room was actually located in the dorms
  • Being blessed with belonging to two honor's societies, earning the Michigan Campus Compact "Heart and Soul Award" for excessive community service, and being recognized at OU for a silly amount of community service hours (411.25, the highest amount of logged volunteer hours at OU)
  • Moving more times than you can count (dorms to home, home to dorms, dorms to the sorority house, the sorority house to home, home to the sorority house, the sorority house to home, home to an apartment, and one apartment to another apartment)
  • Spending four days in the south on a boat, having the best time of my life with amazing people, even if it rained 3 days out of four
  • Venturing down to Manchester, TN in 120 degree weather to surround myself with every type of music genre imaginable, getting weird tan lines, and having swollen ankles from standing for 18 hours, only to anticipate returning to Bonnaroo the next year
  • Going on the most crazy, memorable vacations with those I love more than life
  • Living for stories
If you find yourself hating college and finding it more "bitter" than "sweet," please do yourself a favor: live in the dorms (even if only for one semester), join an organization that you honestly take pride in, say "hi" to everyone you know (even if you don't feel like making conversation at that moment in time), say "hi" to people you don't know, smile at those you pass, study a subject you are truly passionate about, take your time deciding your major, switch your major, take a road trip with those you love, go out of your comfort zone, have confidence in your decisions, take classes that interest you (even if they don't count towards your major), and get your heart broken and even break a few hearts (college is about being single, dating  people, and seeing who you are compatible with). You should never have more "bitter" than "sweet" feelings leaving college, and when you find yourself dancing in line waiting for your diploma (i.e. what I was doing), you will know that you made the most out of every moment.