Hi. I’m Ashley. A 23, (soon to be 24) year old woman with a life I never thought would be my own. Sounds cliché I know, but hear me out.
In the Fall of 2003 I left my small hometown of Santa Ynez, CA and moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, or as the hip kids call it, UW. I had the typical college experience, lived in the dorms, lived in a sorority for a nano-second, drank too much, and learned about enlightening topics such as a squirrels ability to calculate which fallen nuts will provide optimal energy. No seriously, squirrels can count. I kissed boys, I fell in love, I fell out of love, made friends, lost friends, went to class, skipped class, basically, had a blast. I was dedicated, always had a job, even an internship or two, and when I graduated my dream job was mine. I was a 22-year-old college graduate living in the city of my dreams working in book publishing as a publicity and marketing assistant. Score one point for Ms. Ashley.
Then something happened. I got laid off. Laid off two days after I had a conversation with a coworker how I didn’t think I had yet to personally feel the affects of our failing economy. I actually told her I thought it was more hype than reality. HA! Jokes on me. That life-changing day was December 5th, 2008.
I assumed that although my world seemed to be shattered, I would carry on without much of a hitch. I mean damn it, I’m mother fucking ASHLEY. I get every job I’ve ever interviewed for. I have jobs created for me out of thin air because I’m that good. I am God of the Work Force and I will have a new job by the end of January, I told myself.
Three full months of hitting the pavement and there was still nothing. Zip. Zilch. So, like any jobless fool would do, I weighted my options and realized it was time to make a change.
When it looked like my options were become a prostitute or move home, my boyfriend offered to let me join him on his relocation journey to Olympia, WA. After much wavering, some tears, and many many moments of confusion I finally said, “What the hell,” and jumped.
Now I’m here trying something new, starting over, and discovering what it means to live in Olympia with this freakishly foreign life.
But Ashley, what does that even mean? I mean what’s this blog really about?
Well I guess it’s about me, moving here, about what it means to find your life shattered in a moment, about redefining yourself, about relocation, about the pain of the job hunt, about starting over, the struggle of being bone crushingly poor, about making friends, and mostly about watching as one scared/confused/lost/excited/bewildered woman tries to reboot and rebuild.
My message might get lost sometimes, and my spelling will ALWAYS be questionable, but it will always be me, the Accidental Olympian.