Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Anyone who truly knows me, knows I have a thing for quotes. It could possibly be considered an obsession. A good song lyric can be a quote I hold on to, a simple yet poignant idea heard from a stranger or line from a movie or book can draw the biggest breath of air from my lungs. I’ll write quotes on margins of books or magazines and when I get really desperate (and my Iphone battery has died) I’ve been known to steal pens and napkins or toilet paper just so I don’t loose the quote. Words are huge with me, so when I hear a group of them formed into a wonderful quote I have to have it documented and stored in my vault.

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I started my blog exactly one year ago today, and I’ve acquired so much. The only way I can truly express what I’ve come to find within the year is by writing about it with quotes that I’ve saved. These quotes pinpoint who I am, how I feel and what I have come to find. So here it goes…

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In 2015 I’ve come to terms that I really, really, like to write. It’s very therapeutic and as Ernest Hemingway said “my aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” I plan on continuing writing for this blog, but also for myself. I love writing short stories and vow to take time in 2016 to continue to write stories on my vintage sea foam green typewriter I’ve named Steinbeck. (If you don’t know how I came up with the name my only advice to you is…read a book.)

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I’ve found that if “I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.” [Lord Byron]

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I have grown immensely this year learning about the different people that surround me each and everyday. But mostly I’ve learned about myself, and “like wildflowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” [E.V.]

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I’ve learned about the law of attraction and successfully put it to use, as funny lady Amy Poehler said, “you attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.” I was told continuously this year that I’ve always had “that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.” [Joanne Harris] and have come to realize that my heart swings back and forth between the need for routine and the urge to run.” [Unknown]

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Thank you to the people who have allowed me to whisper and at times shout my dreams into their ears; always willing to listen to every detail I divulge. To all of you who have stood by my side and have help me grow, even if infinitesimally, thank you for opening my eyes when I’ve wanted to walk blindly onto roads that I didn’t see were that scary. As R.M. Drake wrote; “she could not make sense of the things that were meant for her, but she was drawn to it all, and when she was alone, she felt like the moon; terrified of the sky, but completely in love with the way it held the stars.”

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“I’m very picky with whom I give my energy to. I prefer to reserve my time, intensity and spirit exclusively to those who reflect sincerity” [Dau Voire]—to all those who I’ve spent time with in 2015, thank you. Thank you for simply letting me be me and sharing wonderful experiences and creating lasting memories I’ll cherish forever.

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I’ve learned that “I’m a simple person with a complicated mind”[Anonymous] and sometimes it just easiest to let go because “overthinking kills your happiness.” [Unknown]

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Like everyone in this world, I’m human; imperfect. I’d be lying if I said 2015 has been a year of daisies, cupcakes and rainbows. My road, like so many others, has had some dips and windy curves but they have all become lessons that I will never regret. I can proudly say that in 2015 whatever I’ve done I’ve given it my all and tried my best. As my ultimate heroine of 2015 Ronda Rousey said; “you have to be willing to get your heart broken. That’s just what fucking happens when you try.”12.30.15_019

Looking back there are so many things I wanted to happen that didn’t and vice versa- things that happened that I didn’t want or expect. I’m quite glad things played out the way they did because now I “consider that maybe God closed that door because he knew [I was] worth so much more.” [Unknown]

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So as 2015 comes to an end all I can confess is that it’s been a WILD ride; and as 2016 quickly approaches I can honestly say that it will be year unlike any other, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. So many firsts, so many opportunities; I hope I take each given to me.

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An open road awaits me…cant wait to see what landmarks I hit, hidden treasures I stumble upon, U-turns I face and exits I’ll take. My wild ride continues and my car is loaded with fuel that will last until I reach 2017. “A lot can happen in a year!” [Anonymous]

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As a writer I’ve learned this year that “ some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity…” [Gilda Radner]

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 So long 2015! … 2016 I’ve buckled my seatbelt and am ready! Take me where you may. I’ll follow, but I’ll tell you now ahead of time, it’s not in my nature to always obey. 😉

 -xo ash

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Road Trippin

8.15.15-JOSHUA TREE
108 degrees Fahrenheit
1 RV
2 rescued dogs
3 desert dwelling darlings that inspired

8.21.15- SAN FRANCISCO
64 degrees Fahrenheit
8 hour drive
1 trusty 2006 Toyota Corolla
5 minutes of uninhabited dancing at fisherman's wharf

Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It’s time to leave this town
It’s time to steal away
Let’s go get lost
Anywhere in the U.S.A.

Two girls in search of adventure. It’s how every one of our trips starts out. But we’re not just two average girls that have a set itinerary and clothes laid out for each day. No; we dance to the songs in our head, over pack as if we’re leaving home for a few months and always tend to meet some crazy characters along the way.

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Life throws us curve balls and usually we hit them out of the park; that or we at least get on base and hope the next at bat brings us home. Our go to road trip snacks include but are not limited to pretzels, chocolate, flaming hot munchies, caffeine of any form and of course vodka (for the Moscow mules we make in celebration of making it to our destination).10.8.15_027

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We each have our distinct roles on the road. I can always count on Meghin to have researched our destination with cool places that we could hit up. A crumpled up piece of paper (our version of an activity sheet) is always on hand. Outdoor swap meets, vintage clothing shops, free musical festivals, food truck gatherings…anything off the grid is written on the paper and stuffed in a purse, always at our disposal.

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We both have similar taste in music but I can always count on Meghin to bring along jams crossing all genres. Everyone knows that an epic road trip cannot be achieved without an outstanding playlist. Our eclectic playlist includes but is not limited to The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Taylor Swift, The Mamas and the Papas, Beyonce, Sublime and many more.

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I am always ready to document our experiences with at least two different types of cameras on hand. I try to shoot anything I find interesting and different; specific things, things that will evoke a memory when I look at them once the trips have ended. Poor Meghin usually has to wait for me to get the right shot and the right angle and heaven forbid someone get in the frame at the wrong time. I “take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone”.

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Big Sur: Bixby Bridge

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When you road trip you find out a lot about the person you’re with. Not everyone makes it out alive. Does the person you’re traveling with sing really loud and off pitch? Do they need to take a million bathroom stops? Can they only stay at five star hotels fit with valet and room service?

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Lucky for Meghin and I we both have perfect pitch (…well almost perfect); we only stop for gas, bathroom stops that are absolutely necessary and in-n-out; and as long as we feel safe and there’s a soft pillow under our heads we’re pretty much fine with staying at any hotel or hostel.

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While road tripping I love to always keep my eyes open. I try not to sleep. You never know what you’ll see. I encourage every wandering soul to drive out onto an open road with a great playlist, a true friend and a mind that is open to whatever the road brings your way.

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good shoes take you good places

Remember it doesn’t matter what road others take, what short cuts they find and how long it took them. Your road is just that: it’s yours. Some people will hop on your road and ride along side you for miles, some for a few short yards. When it’s their time to exit be grateful for your time with them and send them off with positive vibes; who knows you might see them down the road. When you have a hunch listen to it. Stop when you feel you need to. Forget what the right thing would be for someone else and do what’s right for you. Go your own way.

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-xo ash

ps: Meg thanks for being my ally on the road, keeping me awake with deep conversations as we drove down the 1 and for always reminding me to live fearlessly.