Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Dare-to-Be-Great Situation

Everything happens for a reason, right? That's what I keep telling myself lately, and I know that there's a lesson to be learned amidst the changes I've been experiencing this year.

Let me back up and say that today's post is a bit more about me, and less about decor. I hope you'll humor me and read this, especially because I want to offer a more comprehensive view of my life that extends far beyond my decorating, hopefully you're all game to hear more about Ashley, the whole person.

Now, back to the matter at hand. I am convinced that there is a purpose and season for everything. As I mentioned in July, I confronted the career dissatisfaction I was experiencing by quitting my job; it was a tough but good decision for me in the short and long term. Having peace about my decision is a great thing, but it doesn't mean that I'm not a wee bit anxious about the limited job prospects out there.

Like many people of my generation, we went to college (and perhaps even graduate school) with the assumption that the pricey student loans we were obtaining would somehow guarantee a fulfilling, high paying job. Such is not the case, or certainly not the guarantee. I can tell you that my job was not fulfilling nor was it particularly lucrative. I won't divulge exact numbers, but approximately 50 percent (!) of my monthly income is spent repaying student loans. I am fortunate, however, to have no other consumer debt. But let me tell you, a few special letters after my name name cost quite the pretty penny.

So, it's perfectly logical for you to question my sanity when I announce that I've quit my job without securing a new one first.

Before you jump all over me and say, "Quit your bitching. You did this to yourself," just know that I'm not complaining. I don't have the audacity to sit here and complain because I know so many more people have it much worse--having to scrimp and save for necessities rather than the frivolities that I'm concerned with (i.e., Sister Parish fabrics). Instead, what I'm acknowledging is that this transition, this crossroads, has the makings of a dare-to-be-great situation.

Leaving a job, making difficult budget decisions, deciding on a path for one's career--these are all complicated issues when taken individually. Here I am challenging myself by experiencing all of these issues simultaneously.

All that said, I hope you'll support me in this new's a bit shaky and uncertain. I'm not 100 percent sure that I'll be gainfully employed when I exit my current job in October. I'm using this as an opportunity, as a challenge, as a dare-to-be-great situation where I consume less and create more; where I rely less on material comforts and rely more on the comforts of family and friends (blog friends included!). I'm putting all of this out there publicly because, regardless of whether or not you know me in 'real life', I want to be accountable for the direction my life takes from here on out.

What does this mean for the blog? Well, you'll see more posts related to me improving what I've already got and fewer posts where I pine for expensive new items. Sound good?

Thank you for reading all of this. These kinds of personal reflections don't make for exciting design fodder, I know, but this is my life. And, most sincerely, I appreciate your support and kind words.

P.S. I've included one of my all time favorite movie clips (from "Say Anything..."), which nicely captures how I feel right now. I suppose I could have easily included the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony video for "Crossroads," but I'll leave you to find that one. 


  1. Hi Ashley- I did the same thing 2 years ago..completely is hard to go through transitions...but worth in in the long run! I look forward to hearing all about it! Take care, Caroline

  2. Ashley, I love this post and just adore you. You are so honest about your life and I so respect that. And I was so excited you included a clip from Say Anything. When I read your blog post title I hoped that's what you were referring to - love that movie! I can't wait to see where your journey takes you, and I think you are very brave to set out on this path. I prefer blogs that share more than just design thoughts - yours is always one I enjoy reading, that will be true no matter what. Best wishes to you!

  3. Wow - this looks quite familiar to me. Good for you for taking the leap of faith and things will work out in time. Being in a job that makes you miserable is not worth it. When I decided to quit working and stay home to be a mom, it took a lot of financial juggling and was well worth it. Best of luck to you as you find your new way.

    By the way, Say Anything is one of my faves.

  4. You should be so proud of yourself for giving up safe to go after what's important, and that always starts with you :) Good luck! xoxo S

  5. Hey Ashley. I love you even more than before for this post! I admire your candor and I celebrate your tough decisions. Here for you always!

  6. Somehow I missed this, so I just wanted to give you a virtual hug right now.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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