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).

 

Making a GoFundMe Account was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Posted in Family,Life,Life changes,Random Experiences by Ashley Franklin on March 14, 2016
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Let me say this: I don’t come from a lot. In regards to a conversation I had with my grandma one day about our family not having much, her response was this: “Much? All most of us have is our blackness!”

Obviously, my grandma is a tiny comedian. This basically means that working hard and doing what we need to do to get things done is a lesson that we learn early. It’s not a lesson that was lost on me. I’m someone that stretches every penny to make it go further. I stalk sales and coupon codes. I don’t believe in paying full price for anything.

Last week, my home was flooded and we had to evacuate. The flood water wasn’t just around our home. It was coming in, so we had to get out. We got out with a plastic bin, a suitcase, and a couple of trashbags of assorted things.

When you live from “check to check and a half,” as I say, missing days of work are few and far between. When the breadwinner of your household can’t get to work for a spell, that puts a major wrench in things.

I don’t like asking for help. I’m one of those “If I’m supposed to have it, I’ll work for it until I can eventually get it” types of people. You’d be surprised how quickly you go through money after staying at a hotel, buying essentials, and buying food to support a family of four (w/ 2 kids under the age of 5) without depleting all of your host’s resources. My mother-in-law has been wonderful, but this is all still unexpected.

I’d had several people suggest that I make a GoFundMe, and I didn’t like the idea of seeming like a beggar. Is that pride? I’m not sure. I don’t consider myself to be a proud person. I am blessed that I am still able to do a little online work, but reality set in that this is bigger than me. There’s that old saying that “Into every life a little rain must fall.” I just got a lot of rain at once.

 

 

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #3–Getting Married

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 31, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #3-  Getting Married 

Ah, marriage. What a joyous occasion, right? Well…maybe. All of the plotting, planning, prepping, and primping that goes into pulling off a wedding takes a team effort. Who better to help you through such a joyous time than your family? The months of anticipation lead to such a big build up of emotions! Yeah…who’s really ever in the mood for all of that? 

Having already known we were going to get married, my (then soon-to-be) husband and I asked ourselves one crucial question: Why wait? After all, who is a wedding for, anyway? Let me rephrase that, who is a wedding supposed to be for? I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “The marriage is for you; the wedding is for them” (them meaning your parents/ family).

So, how much of a ripple will it make in the family pool if you decide to forego the long wedding planning process? Probably a tidal wave. How much bigger of a ripple will it make if you decide to get married whether the majority of your family can make it or not?  I’m not even sure of the proper weather category to use for that one!

You robber of memories and destroyer of social envy! Despite the fact that you saved everyone from being forced to travel, dress up, possibly buy new clothes, eat questionable food, and socialize amongst rogue relatives, it wasn’t your choice to make. Family first, of course (Not your new family, your old family-duh.) By all means, go into unnecessary debt to impress your friends. As a matter of fact, go all out if the marriage doesn’t work out to well either! Throw an even bigger get together. After all, you owe it to them. Since such a big deal is made about the beginning, surely everyone should be there for the end. Bring gifts! After all, where’s the fun in a quiet, successful marriage? I’m all for it, but maybe I’m just lame.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #2

Posted in Family,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on October 17, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #2-  Not including them in your relationship

Do you remember the day you were born? I dare you to lie and say that you do. You know who does remember the day you were born? Your parents. At the very least, your mother does. (She is the one parent who HAS to be there by default.) Maybe it was after this moment of your grand arrival that your future flashed before her/ their eyes. See, you were screwed from the beginning. 

Maybe that defining moment came later in life, like after your first crush, first date, or first whatever it is seemed supremely important at the moment. Whether you like it or not, your ideal spouse has likely been a fixed vision in the minds of your parents long before you even thought about it.

Imagine the day they realize you have been stealthily chipping away at their dreams by 

  1. Being in a relationship they know little to nothing about and
  2. Declaring that this same UBR (unidentified blossoming relationship) is serious.
My friend, you are now in trouble…uber trouble. How serious could the relationship be if you never made it a point to divulge pertinent details? Perhaps you wanted to make sure the relationship would last before involving the parental figures. Once it proved to stand the test of time, perhaps you didn’t want to involve the parental figures for fear that they would now scare the person away. Regardless of the reason, you have prohibited your parents from the right to grill your significant other, tell you all the things they don’t like, question your taste, project how well your life could possibly turn out with that person, or  find a potential person of their approval to usurp that person’s place. How dare you! 

Nevertheless, there may be one all-encompassing reason why this is so disappointing to some parents. They may feel like they had no active role in making a decision that may very well change the dynamics of your relationship for the rest of your lives. Some may be able to get past this; some may not. Whatever your case may be, good luck with that.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #1

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 10, 2011
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As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure that there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, I’ll just give you one.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #1- Not making money after college

 

They throw you a huge graduation party, brag to all their friends about scholarship offers, dutifully boast about your grades each semester, and now what? You’re sitting at home on their couch. Way to go, you! 

So, what went wrong? You picked a major you loved (likely where you went wrong if you chose something from the liberal arts), went to class (whenever you weren’t hung over and had actually done your homework), and participated in campus activities (that happened on nights when you had nothing better to do).  Is it possible that you did the college experience wrong?

If your parents sent you money during college, co-signed for student loans, or helped you to perpetuate the look of a self-sufficient adult, they’re probably disappointed if they haven’t seen a return on their investment.  After all, how well can their conversations go now? There’s nothing to brag about if you have a low-paying job, are employed in a job that has NOTHING to do with your degree, or are creating an unforgivable indentation in their furniture. At least they got their money’s worth from the furniture. You-not so much. 

Until you once again prove to be worthy of tabletop discussion, you might want to look into getting those shingle-looking gadgets that are supposed to give new life to droopy furniture. But, then again, that would require money.

Good luck with that.

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. 

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.

 

My god-awful in-laws

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on January 14, 2011
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They have yet to appear. I know it’s not the norm, but I’m so not even lying. Think about all of the movies, TV shows and friends’ stories that you’ve seen or heard. How many of them are about wonderful in-laws that take the person in as their own and never made him/her feel the least bit uncomfortable? Don’t worry; I’ll wait.

My husband and his mom are so close that I was honestly expecting a monster-in-law situation (good movie by the way). This woman was so nice when I first met her that I thought she was playing mind games. Well over a year later, she hasn’t changed. Either she’s a diabolical genius or she’s authentically this sweet of a person. The same goes for the rest of my husband’s family-from his aunts to his cousins. They’ve been amazing about welcoming me into their family. I couldn’t have asked to be connected to a greater bunch of people.

I know many people who aren’t too fond of their in-laws, so I consider myself to be quite fortunate in this area. My first Christmas away from my own family went pretty well too. Of course I missed doing some of the things my family usually does on the day, but I got to see how another family does the holiday.It was fun. My father in-law has always been a gem, holiday or not.

I don’t really like the term though. “In-laws.” It makes me think of outlaws by default. How could I not think of folk in cowboy hats, spurs? Well, maybe that’s just me and my imagination.

Miss me? Yeah, I’d like to miss some of me too

Posted in Diet,Life by Ashley Franklin on December 29, 2010
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Yeah I’m talking about being overweight again. It’s my blog. I can do what I want. Actually, I’m only going to talk about it for a second. Let me tell you that I was on a roll with Kickboxing for Dummies. I was kicking, sweating and punching to my heart’s content. Then I got sick; then that time of the month came. Can you say motivation over?!

I must admit, I’ve missed the chipper lady that encourages me to punch and kick to the best of my abilities. Now, if only I could get the encouragement to get up in the morning and pop the DVD in. That’s the beauty/beast of working at home. My day is quite flexible, but that means didlysquat if I don’t schedule my time correctly. If I get up too early, I’m going to need a nap. If I try to push past a nap, I’m going to either crash unexpectedly or have to go to bed earlier than expected.

I’m not going to lie to you or myself. I’m not doing a stitch of exercise or changing my eating habits for the remainder of the month. My first reason is because it makes a hell of a New Year’s resolution, and my second reason is because I’m currently too hormonal to commit and mean it. Yes, I just bought a cherry pie today. Yes, it will be gone before January 1st.My husband and I will tear it down. That is a fact.

In all seriousness though, I can honestly say that I am ready to make a few changes in my life. My work habits and my health are my primary focus. I don’t expect everyday to be smooth sailing. I expect some days to be better than others. In the new year, I want to miss some things about me-the less than positive things. I don’t want to miss them as in year for them. I want to miss them as in be able to recognize that I have moved beyond them. Maybe it’s me moving past my quarterlife qualms, or maybe it’s embracing them and taking them for what they are: Life.

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.

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