Family Magentas

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on January 1, 2011
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It’s New Year’s Eve. Ever since I’ve been on this Earth, I’ve spent every New Year’s Eve at church. This holds true with maybe an exception of 2. This year I’m spending a quiet evening at home. Well, it’s not really all that quiet. The neighbors have been setting off firecrackers for the past two hours. Throughout the day I’ve been thinking back to past New Year’s Eves. Sometimes the day was filled with shopping for an outfit to wear to the evening church service. There was always a day time nap. Eating chicken and waffles became a ritual maybe 10 or so years ago.

When I think back to those times, I don’t get sad. That’s why I can’t say that I get the blues. I get kind of a fond, warm feeling. It’s more like magenta. Mind you, I wasn’t always fond of dragging myself to church or mixing up waffle batter or deep frying chicken. Still, the memories are there. The events were my constants.

Obviously, I’m not at church today. Do you know where I did go? I went to the mosque for the first time since I got married. That was earlier this evening.  Overall, it was a good experience. I may talk about it more in another post.

Another reason that I can’t feel blue is because I don’t feel lonely.  I really have nothing to be blue over. My time is occupied recalling and looking forward to making more magenta moments.


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.

My sibling circle

Posted in Life by Ashley Franklin on October 22, 2010
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I have a complex family tree. I would not be able to fully map one out without a white board and a wide assortment of colored markers. It’s full of chaos and confusion. One of the harder things I’ve found to explain is my breakdown of siblings. I have half siblings, step siblings and (regular?) siblings. I only ever put the extra label on if I’m talking about more than one sibling at a time to someone I’m not related to. It’s just easier  for them to keep tack of.

Want to see if you can follow along?

I am the oldest child in 2 out of 3 of my familial situations. My mother and biological father have two kids of which I am the older. My mother remarried, and my stepdad already had 2 kids. I am older than both of them. They eventually had two kids together. That leaves 1 familial situation in which I’m not the oldest. Ready? My biological father has 5 kids total, and I’m the second oldest.

My younger sister just turned 17 (this would be my sister from the mom+biological father deal). Her birthday always makes me feel weird. I remember the day she was born. I was at the hospital for what seemed like forever. I could’ve gone to school, but I didn’t want to go to violin practice. Don’t judge me! I was a little excited to be missing school. It was right up there with the excitement I got when I could skip church. At 9, I wasn’t too excited to be getting a little sister. Actually, I specifically telling my mother no thank you when she asked me if I wanted one. It was obviously a rhetorical question. Selfish much? Yes; yes I am. Give me a break though. At 9, I pretty much had my own routine. I was accustomed to being an only child. It was me and my grandparents. My cousins were siblings enough. I was also supremely bitter that her birthday was only seven days before mine-stepping on my turf already.

The idea of being a big sister grew on me when I first got to hold her. She was still a little crusty looking, so I was a little grossed out. She did, however, open her eyes for me. AWESOME! She has given me that same goofy look throughout the years. I’ve come to the realization that either she’s goofy or she thinks I’m a weirdo. I’ll be honest. It could very well be both.

I don’t have lots of heartfelt memories about all my siblings. Some I don’t really know at all. One I’m pretty sure I met by opening the door and she was standing on the step looking back at me. That’s another story. For the most part, my siblings are friggin awesome! They range from 8 to 26 years old. Out of 8 of them, I talk to 6 pretty regularly. That’s not too shabby all things considered. Getting to know them is something that has become increasingly important to me as I hit my mid-twenties.

Hear the tick? It’s my biological clock.

Posted in Aging,Life by Ashley Franklin on August 17, 2010
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Occasionally, I feel like there’s a time limit on my ovaries. Sometimes it’s due to my own power of suggestion. Other times, life sends me a small dose of sarcastic hilarity. Recently I got one of those Gerber life insurance things in the mail. Gerber, apparently, thinks that I should be planning for the future of my child (and preparing for its death as an adult). First, though, shouldn’t I have a child?Surely, I should at least be pregnant. And that got me thinking: Am I late?

Isn’t the double meaning of that question fantastic? I love it. Facebook constantly bombards me with ultrasounds, baby announcements, and chronicles of parenthood. It’s not that I don’t care. But, are you more special than I am because you’ve decided to reproduce at this time and I haven’t? Where’s my list of congratulations for still choosing not to be pregnant?

Gerber thinks I’m late. Sometimes I feel late when the same people I used to party with in college are spitting kids out left and right and announcing it to the world on Facebook. But, then I see all their griping in their statuses and I feel better. Last time I had “that yearly checkup,” the gynecologist said “Oh, so you’ve never been pregnant?!” Is that like a “Way to go!” or “Wow, that’s surprising!”? Either way, I gave her a good guffaw.

If I should happen to embark upon parenthood in the near future, will I make grand announcements on Facebook? I doubt it. But, whether I do or don’t, it won’t make me any more special than you.

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.

Life choices.Basic addition.College reflections

Posted in Aging by Ashley Franklin on November 10, 2009
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rubik's cube startrubik's cuberubik's cube finishedMy little brother came home with this Rubik’s cube from the dollar store. We all love the idea of being able to get things cheaply for a dollar, but the key word to keep in mind is cheap. He’s all excited about this Rubik’s cube he bought, and I couldn’t understand it. I don’t know why it’s ever a good idea to buy a toy that is utterly frustrating, but he thought it was a good idea.

Maybe three days went past and the cube was in pieces. He’d turned it one too many times and the whole thing fell to pieces. My sister, who likens herself to a Mr. Fix It, dedicated her time (really the time it took us to get to church-about twenty or so minutes) to fixing it. She did succeed in putting it back together. All the pieces were there, and you could turn it without it falling apart again. Was it really fixed though?

Rubik’s cubes can be solved mathematically or by sheer luck. I’m pretty sure if math is involved that there’s a certain way it should be done. For that reason, I highly doubt that the cube is fixed. It looks fine on the outside. It’s functional. However, it will never be quite right.

Life is about choice. We all make choices knowing that there is going to be an outcome. My days of high school physics told me that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Yet, in life it seems like sometimes the reactions aren’t equal. They seem a great deal bigger than those initial choices.

Let’s take college, for instance. The first choice is whether or not you choose to go. Where you choose to go largely depends on your finances, your major, location, the school’s reputation, and parental opinion. For some, parental opinion doesn’t weigh in big. For others that may be under eighteen when going to college, parental opinion can turn into parental control. Once you’re in college, you make and lose friends, add and drop classes (or in my case majors), pick and choose advisors, etc. There are tons of choices leading up to the day you earn your degree, which you receive if your choices add up correctly.

I went to a small liberal arts college, not fully by my own choice. I had almost every major in the catalogue and sported several matching advisors. Some days I went to class, and some days I didn’t. (I’ll admit I usually didn’t go to class if it was raining. I’m not a fan.) I teetered between being insecure and overly confident on a daily basis. I made good friends, and I pushed away great ones. I’m glad to say the best ones are still around. I laughed. I loved. I cried. I hated. I picked a major I was good at. Many things fell apart in college, but I got through it. I graduated.

I was functioning. I even went on to graduate school with the major I’d picked basically during my junior year. How I graduated in four years is still a mystery to most. Things were looking good on the outside. I guess I hadn’t put the pieces back together as well as I’d thought. Things just wouldn’t add up. I was pursuing a graduate degree in a subject I was good at. I was completely unhappy. It didn’t make any sense. Reading and writing was no longer fun. It was mechanical. It was methodical. It was uninteresting.

I was in a two-year program, but the expectation was to continue to the Ph.D. I just had to get through the first year and everything would fall into place. The second year came, and midway through I realized I was wrong. I was in the midst of budding scholars housing a passion for their interests. I hated teaching. I hated the classes. I wasn’t too fond of some of the professors. It looks like I didn’t put things back together correctly when they had fallen apart.

My brother made the choice to spend his dollar. He may have felt that the would find a great bargain if he went to the dollar store. He chose the toy. He chose when and how to play with it. In the end, he lost. He now has a toy that looks good on the outside but can never live up to its full potential. These are the results of the choices he made. That’s life.

Birthday blues and quarterlife arrival

Posted in Aging by Ashley Franklin on November 1, 2009
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The weeks leading up to it were rough, but it finally happened. I turned 25. The world didn’t end, and a giant stamp didn’t come from the sky simply to stamp me with a label of “You Suck!” Bad things usually happen on my birthday. If a bad thing doesn’t happen, a disagreeable thing usually happens to take its place. It usually takes the form of my being sick, a family member being falling ill, dying, or being near death, or some other form of bad news. Every year I tend to just wait around and see what will happen.

So when I got to the Philadelphia airport and my 6:45 am flight was postponed an hour for what I think was due to a shortage of flag people to direct the plane to where it needed to be, to me. My layover in Memphis was for a little over an hour, so I’d nearly lost hope of making my connecting flight.

Where was I in such a hurry to go? Well, who wants to spend their birthday without their boo? Certainly not me, and I didn’t. I made my connecting flight, and got to where I was going safe and sound.

The days I spent celebrating my birthday went off without a hitch. However, I will be completely honest. The thought did cross my mind several times that the plane was going to crash just to spite me and prove my birthday sucks. I’m so pleased to have been wrong.

So it looks like I’ll be taking this 25 year-old thing one day at a time, just like any other year. What have I learned so far? To not put such stringent limitations upon myself. The things I thought I would have accomplished by now, quite honestly, I haven’t accomplished many of them. But in that same sense, lots of things have happened that I never counted on. I never thought I’d be living in Delaware. I had imagined myself living the vicarious lifestyle of a writer in a big city with no strings attached. Then, the attached strings were relationships and children. My priorities have changed drastically, so why have I been holding myself to the same expectations?

Life Questions, No Answers

Posted in Aging,Kid Stories by Ashley Franklin on October 16, 2009
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What time is it?
What’s that mean?

If anyone knows the proper response I should have given this child, please let me know. I had nothing. I had no witty remark or logical response for a five year old, and I have nearly a twenty year advantage of thinking  on him. I took many college courses before I got around to questioning the meaning of time and its relativity. Some questions are just harder to answer than others.

It’s kind of like “What’s good with you?” What kind of question is that? First of all, let’s come up with a standard definition of good as it’s used in this question. This isn’t your regular good. This is good as a life qualifier. How are you supposed to quickly come up with a response for that in everyday conversation?

“What have you been up to?” is just as bad. You try not to panic as you come up with a response that makes it seem like you don’t suck as much as you think you really do. It’s one thing for you to think it about yourself but another to give someone the ammo to think it about you.

I guess what I’m starting to realize is that  maybe the problem is with the questions and not the answers.

Quarter-life Crisis

Posted in Aging by Ashley Franklin on October 15, 2009
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I wasn’t sure what I should call this post, so I did a keyword search at the WordPress homepage. I put in aging and anti-aging and posts about the elderly came up. (Is saying old people offensive?) I tried another search, putting in twenty, and lots of posts about twenty-somethings came up. Apparently, I’m not the only partially neurotic woman in my twenties. It’s good to know that I have company at this time in my life. Before today, I had never even heard of the term quarter-life crisis.

Is it a crisis though? What exactly constitutes a crisis? To me, a crisis is something huge that alters your whole life. Aren’t we in an energy crisis? That seems far greater than my current woes of turning twenty-five. Energy issues seem more deserving of “crisis” at the end. If it’s not a quarter-life crisis, what is it? A quarter-life meltdown/ tantrum/ panic attack?

I remember teasing my dad when he turned forty. He went out and bought a motorcycle. I’d teased him about having a mid-life crisis. He laughed it off  but later asked if I really thought he was having one. I’m not going out and making flashy purchases. I’m just overanalyzing most of the things I’ve ever done and hope to do. That’s normal, right? I guess it’s normal if you don’t do it every single day for the majority of each day.

How are you?

I walk into work yesterday, and I’m greeted by a little boy. I asked him how he was doing. His response: “I’m five.” It was his birthday. Will I have the same response when I turn twenty-five in a couple weeks? Will I declare my age to whomever  will listen? I doubt it. I don’t look my age, so that’s not the issue. I still get carded at the movies. I also got carded at the mall a while ago. You have to be eighteen or with an adult on the weekends.


As if I’m not struggling enough coming to terms with being twenty-five and not living up to my own expectations, life sends me a slice of comedic relief.I received an offer in the mail for a magazine for women in their forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond. Way to kick me when I’m down, life. Way to kick me then point and laugh. I should rephrase that. It’s not that I’m down. I’m in a state of deep contemplation, reflection, and projection. As it is, I could be in my forties, fifties, sixties, or beyond feeling the same way. Now that would be reason enough for a crisis. I am very grateful for life. I just need to figure out what I’m doing with it. Hmmm…maybe the quarter-life crisis is really an overwhelming state of indecisiveness.

random magazine offer

random magazine offer