Quarterlife+


My last post

Posted in Aging,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on July 4, 2016
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Okay, well this is my last post. This is my last post here anyway (kinda). I started this blog when I was at the peak of not having a clue as to what I was doing with my life. I didn’t know what I wanted and I didn’t know myself. Talk about a being a warm body of confusion, huh?

At the ripe old age of 31 now, I am happy to say that I do have a few more things figured out. I am most proud to say that I have grown a great deal. One of my cousins once told me that being in my 30s would be so much better than my 20s. I think I’m starting to see what she means. In my 20s, I was trying to see how and where I fit in. Now, I’m more focused on trying to see what makes me happy and how I can make that a constant.

With that shift in mindset, I feel like this blog doesn’t quite fit where I’m at anymore. For this reason, I’m starting a new one that more closely reflects where I’m at right now and where I see myself going. The timing just seems right. Everything was turned upside down in my life thanks to that March flood where my family pretty much lost everything. (And yes, we do have flood insurance at our new place.) I’m also into a few new things (that I will discuss as soon as I can, I promise).

So, for those of you who have been following my journey, thank you. I ask that you please stay with me as I enter this next phase of my life. My new blog will be as follows:

ashleyfranklinwrites.wordpress.com

When everything is up and running, I will post there (and cross-post here for a bit).

 

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It’s my birthday

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley Franklin on October 28, 2015
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IMAG1319Today, I turn 31 years old. Every year, I find myself reflecting a great deal as my birthday. This year was no different. So, what were my revelations this time? I’m becoming increasingly low maintenance. Also, happiness is something you have to choose on a daily basis.

The happiness thing has been a lifesaver all the way around. I”m kind of a spaz. See, I have no problem admitting it. I can go from calm to freaking out in less than 10 seconds at any given time. That’s stressful for no reason.

See that cake? That’s pretty much all I wanted to happen on my birthday. Well, that and a good nap and to not cook for an entire day. That sounds like happiness to me! It’s looking pretty good, but I’ll let you know how it pans out.

What’s funny about the cake is that my sister got the same one for her birthday. Obviously, the Monroe Dairy Queen was stingy with their cheesecake bits, but it was still tasty. I think it was fun that we discovered that we were plotting on the same cake weeks before our birthdays. Ah, the power of kinship. Here was her cake from last week:

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Dear Albright College

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley Franklin on June 28, 2015
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Dear Albright College,

Yes, I know it has been quite some time since I’ve strolled through your campus. Still, you’ve been on my mind quite a bit lately. That tends to happen when you’re seeking employment. Am I unemployed? No. Am I underemployed? Perhaps, but that’s neither here nor there. What I want to talk about is us.

As with any past relationship, I cannot discredit the benefit of hindsight. My thoughts of you from when I attended at the tender age of 17 until now are vastly different. To be honest, I feel different about you now than I did even a year ago. Has being 30 given me a new perspective? It has on a few things, actually. You indoctrinated me with the concept of possessing a different way of thinking. That is the path that you set me on, and I have yet to diverge.

Having changed my degree focus an ungodly amount of times, I quickly realized there was no way I could afford to stay in our relationship beyond the time we’d mutually agreed upon. It would have been unhealthy, unwise, and under no circumstances economically possible. To the surprise of many, even myself, I cranked out enough credits for an English degree and nearly a minor in Women’s Studies (pure happenstance).

I thought that you would like to know that I’ve been okay since our breakup. I’ve heard about you, and I know that you’ve been flourishing. You’re not the only one who has grown. You see, I did learn a great deal from you. I received my M.A. and believed that I was headed on to a Ph.D. Imagine, I would one day be a colleague of the fine professors who helped me grow as an academic and a person. This was thrilling to me until I reached the final months of my 2-year Master’s program and realized I couldn’t care less. That different way of thinking came back to bite me in the butt. I suddenly had no desire to turn into my peers-rapidly approaching 30 having no life experience outside of cranking out papers and grades. I at least wanted to have one real non-academic job under my belt.

You gave me the courage to walk away despite hearing that “We need more Black academics.” We also need more people who don’t hate what they’re doing everyday.

What did I do? I really thought out of the box. I started working at a daycare. I wasn’t even sure if I liked kids! There I met some of the nicest people. They were adults who had lived outside of academia. They were real life. They were what I was missing. I miss them, though I am still in contact with a couple of them. Did I apply to Ph.D. programs? Yes–in another field. Did I get in? Yes. Did I go? No. Another lesson that I learned from you was a financial one: Don’t do things you can’t afford.

As much as I love you for training me to be a critical thinker, oh how I wish someone had helped me to think critically when I took out $30,000 in loans from Sallie Mae. When I sat in the Student Accounts Office, desperate not to abandon my academic journey, why didn’t someone say that I was making a huge mistake? Why didn’t someone tell me that just because I could take out those loans without a co-signer didn’t mean that I should? Why didn’t someone level with me once I did stay with a major in the humanities and tell me that I could get an English degree anywhere? Instead of the shock that I had been approved, why not tell me to immediately give those funds back and make a smarter decision that would benefit me later in life. It would’ve hurt to hear, but it wouldn’t have hurt nearly as bad as my current monthly payments to Sallie Mae–I’m sorry, Navient.

The irony is that if I don’t somehow make it big as a writer, I’ll go to my grave with these debts. Do I blame you? No. While you did have a part in it, as we were in this together, I was the one who signed on the dotted line. I was young and in love with the idea of all that you could offer.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to think my way into a better economic situation. It’s funny. That’s actually the mindset of most people nowadays. Many of us yearn for economic stability. Time will tell how many of us actually achieve it. That’s why I’m counting on you, Albright education, to help me to stand out from the pack. That is what you do owe me.

Love Always,

Ashley

5 things I’ve learned from my baby&toddler

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley Franklin on May 25, 2015
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5. Jumping up and down on a bed never gets old.

4. My toddler is the grand interpreter of all the baby’s needs.

3. To a toddler, sharing means letting you play with whatever he doesn’t want at the moment.

2. The child equivalent of walk it off is run faster like it never happened.

1. Fight or flight occurs whenever they get a whiff of any time of sleep or rest.

At the ages of 10 months and 3 years, my boys keep me busy. Keeping these moments of truth in my back pocket helps to keep me sane.

What child truths have you stumbled upon in this crazy journey called parenting?

When a Swiffer just ain’t a Swiffer

Posted in Life,Writing by Ashley Franklin on April 8, 2015
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I love my Swiffer. Ever since I worked at a daycare and found myself using one daily, it’s like my bestie. (Looking back at that sentence makes me a little sad.) I love the scent of Gain, which makes Swiffering (Is that a word?) that much more fun for me. The only cleaning supply I love more are my Lysol disinfectant wipes. I will wipe down something in a  nano something. I literally freak out if I run out. To me, the ideal marriage would be to have the little Swiffer refill pad things with Lysol. I think it’s a no-brainer.

Sorry! That’s enough about my unnatural love for a mopping instrument. Well, kind of. Let’s talk about the fact that I”m the only one that uses it as a mop. I regularly have to save the Swiffer from my kids. No matter where I put it, they find it. It’s like they have a tracking device on the thing. In what situations would I need to save the Swiffer from a 3-year-old? Here go a few:

(charging towards the chandelier with the Swiffer high in the air) “That’s not a piñata; Swiffer down!”

“Get it off the edge of the sofa! It’s not a slide!”

“Don’t charge at closed doors with it!”

I’ll spare you any more. Now, the baby is much kinder to it. He takes the handle and just shakes it up and down at different speeds. I don’t know what it is to him, but he gets a kick out of it every single time.

So why am I the only one not having that kind of fun with the thing? Did my kids steal my imagination? I promise you that i have not looked at it once with a “What if?” I know for a fact that I used to ooze imaginative chaos. I mean, I’m the same person that once drew up the 10 Commandments on a whim out of stick figures. Now my ideas come out like brain vomit. I’ll have nothing for the longest, and then all of a sudden it’s flowing out of me for like a solid twenty minutes. And…then we’re back to nothing.

Maybe I”m thinking too hard. Maybe I’m not thinking hard enough. Maybe it’s time for pie and ice cream. Yeah, I’ll contemplate over the first two while I get a bowl for that last one. Now there was an idea that I was quick to put into motion.

There goes a spanker!

Posted in children,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 4, 2011
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To be completely racist and unintentionally racist at the same time, I’ve always found white people amazing for the most part-particularly white parents. Here’s why: I’ve never known any white people who got spanked as a child. I’ve been around white people my entire life-moreso than black people. While I’m sure that are some white parents who spank, just as I’m sure there are some black parents who don’t spank, I have not come into contact with any of them. How do they do it?

If you don’t know, I LOVE Katt Williams. One of my faves is when he says maybe black folk should stop beating their kids… publicly and does a bit about a mom beating her kid over the kid wanting some skittles.  (I’m telling you now, don’t click on that link if you’re sensitive to foul language. You’ve been warned.)

So my overarching question is this: how do you discipline your kids if you don’t spank them? Like, if you and your spouse both come from homes were spanking (or beating) was okay but decide it’s not for you, how on earth do you discipline your kids without going back to what you’re accustomed to? Having worked at a daycare, I’ve seen many a child laugh at time out, come out worse from it, and even give thankful praise for the privilege of having time to sit alone (that’s another story). 

So dear reader, were you spanked as a child, and if so, did you decide to spank your kids as well? If you’re not a spanker, how do you go about disciplining your child?If you haven’t had children yet, what’s your take? I’m just a little curious. 

Thanks, Facebook, for proving I’m not a nurturer

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on February 11, 2011
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Every few weeks, I say to myself, “Maybe it’s time to start a family.” I mean, I”m not getting any younger. (Don’t get me wrong; I’m not super old either.) It never fails that in ten minutes or less, something happens to quickly make me rethink it. Sometimes it’s a snotty-nosed child throwing a tantrum on the floor for no apparent reason. Sometimes it’s an awesome moment with my husband that makes me think that I’m not quite ready to share him yet.

When one of those type moments are scarce, all I have to do is log in to Facebook. Remember when the “Make a Baby” app was popular? Hunny, I had like 5 kids. They were well fed, nicely clothed, and I worked hard picking out their names. I was in close contact with all of my “baby daddies.” My fervor lasted all of maybe 3 months. The ease of clicking the kids to happiness was short-lived. They grew up. They were temperamental. They took up more and more time. They were expensive. They were a pain in my butt. They ended up on doll mode.

Much, much later, I boarded the Happy Aquarium bandwagon. Every few hours I was cleaning, feeding, breeding, and decorating. My tanks were immaculate! I trained fish. I bought fish. I sold fish. I bought them larger tanks. Then the app got fancy. I was supposed to go on a treasure hunt, do something with shells, help out neighbors, etc. I was supposed to care too much for fake fish. I’ve had many a betta over the years that didn’t require as much effort. It’s been easily 4 months since I’ve logged into Happy Aquarium. I see the new gimmicks they regularly come up with, and I’m momentarily intrigued. Then the realization hits me that I”ll have to clean ALL of my tanks and feed ALL of those fish.  Yeah…no thanks.

Perhaps I should have known better. The days of my always-dying Little Mermaid Tamagotchi are definitely in the not-so-distant past. Maybe I should start on a Baby Alive, lol. Do they even still make those?

My grandma is my best friend

Posted in Aging,Life by Ashley Franklin on January 29, 2011
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What makes your best friend your best friend?

A couple weeks ago, I was on the phone with my grandma (mom-mom as I like to call her). The fact that we were on the phone wasn’t anything special. I talk to her everyday-at least twice. She works part-time. I work from home. I didn’t realize mom mom was my best friend until this particular conversation. It went something like this:

Me: Mom-mom, you’re the only person I talk to everyday. Well…that I don’t live with.

Mom-mom: Yeah, well why do you think that is?

Me: I don’t know. (long for no reason pause) Wait….Mom-mom, are you my best friend?

Mom-mom: You’ve got it! (insert grandma chuckle)

I’d never given it much thought. My grandma–my best friend? How does that happen? I started to wonder if this was normal. Then, as fate would have it, I saw a Humana commercial. If you haven’t seen it, it features a bunch of kids hanging out with their grandparents. And as you can imagine, at least a few make the same declaration about being best friends with their grandparent.

And why wouldn’t she be my best friend? We talk all the time, she gives me encouragement, she tells me when I suck, knows me better than practically anyone else on Earth (versus the other planets, right? lol) and is just plain awesome. Mom-mom has always been my favorite person on the planet. Maybe that’s why I’m so surprised to realize the extent of it. Maybe it has taken me just this long to come to the realization of what a best friend really is.

It used to be someone I shared a bff bracelet with. Then it changed to someone I could convince to go along with any foolish idea I had. Now, it’s someone I know cares for me beyond a shadow of a doubt, wants the best for me, won’t hesitate to tell me when I’m wrong, and pushes me to become a good person. Add a dash of a few decades of wisdom, and that has Mom-mom written all over it.

 

Hold Up! Am I about to be in my late twenties?!

Posted in Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on October 25, 2010
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I created this blog around this time last year. I was in an awkward state of mind. I was restless, discontent, and unsure of myself. I’ll be honest; I was a mess! My friends sympathized. I don’t know what my family thought. My not-yet-but-soon-to-be husband listened without making me feel ridiculous.

Now we’ve come back to this point. My birthday rapidly approaching. This year, I can honestly say that I am excited. I’m trying my hand at freelance writing and a few other Internet gigs, and I’m having a good time doing it. My dreds are still a fun experience.  I moved halfway across the country. I am happily married. A lot has happened in  one year! I feel emotionally stable. Don’t judge me. I know I’m not the only one that has had an emotionally sketchy time when I felt lost and that I should be more accomplished at my age.

I need a bit of clarity. On Thursday, I will officially be 26. Now, here’s the pressing question. At 26, will I be in my late twenties? Do the rules of rounding apply? 24, 25 and 26 could be mid while 27-29 late, right? It seems like a pretty good breakdown to me! What do you think?

I remember my college days. They seem so far away now. I look back at some of those days and think “God, I was an idiot!” Hey, it’s the truth. I chalk it up to the reckless abandonment of my youth. Well, my earlier youth I guess. The fact that I was 17 when I started college may have a lot to do with it. Maybe there is some truth to becoming older and wiser.

Almost 30

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley Franklin on July 15, 2010
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I started this blog because I was a little panicked at turning 25. In 3 months, I’ll be turning 26. For me, everything past 21 has been almost 30. What’s the big deal? I’m honestly not even sure. It’s not like I look my age. I still get carded when going to rated R movies (which my husband finds hilarious). Last year I got carded at the Christiana Mall, in Delaware. They have a rule where you have to be at least 16 or with an adult to be there on the weekends.  Don’t quote me on that, but I’m pretty darn close if not exact about that. The funny thing about the mall situation was that I was with my younger sister and her friend–neither got carded. I’m 9 years older than my sister.

felt like I was at a club

Recently I thought about turning 30. Instead of freaking out, I pulled out some paper. I wrote down some goals I want to accomplish before I hit the big 3-0. While I was at it, I almost made 1-month, 3-month and 6-month goals. Many of the things on my smaller lists lead up to 30 list, of course.

As long as I am steadily accomplishing things, I should welcome each year as a new opportunity to continue my growth. It has taken me a long time to come to that realization. I can’t take all the credit for it though. My husband is an awesome talker but an even better listener. He moonlights as my personal sage.