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This is a Rant. About Freedom.

So last night one of my teenaged girls said, "I'm gonna move to New York."

Inside, my reply was Hahahahahaha!

Outside, my reply was, "There are only 3 reasons to live in New York-"

Before I give you the 3 reasons, let me express to you how much I would LOVE- would love more than I love the Wynn buffet in Vegas- to live in NYC.  Or even just East.  I prefer East over West as far as the US goes.

Back to the 3 reasons, "#1 If you're a student, #2 if you make a crap ton of money, #3 if you have a very generous friend who agrees to let you stay on their couch for several months because you're trying for your big break as an artist of some sort."

I read somewhere this summer:  'Don't expect anyone to support you.  Maybe you have a trust fund.  Maybe you have a wealthy spouse.  But you never know when either one might run out on you.'

During the summer, I had serious talks with both of my teenage girls about Education/Money/Adulthood/Career Paths.  I like to call these talks "Freedom Talks".  I used all my passion to express to them with great emphasis the necessity of an advanced degree.

Just seems in today's world, a Bachelor's doesn't mean much anymore.  Work experience means infinitely more.  So, the next thing I conveyed to them was the necessity of consistent work experience, and if you aren't able to get a job for whatever reason, volunteer.  And put that shit on your resume.

They listened intently.  I explained to them my struggle with employment and being employable since my split with husband.  Since the days of raising kids and relying on Matt's income.  Period.

"You can't EVER rely on someone else to take care of you.  You MUST always be able to take care of yourself. And the amount of education plus work experience you can accrue equals your freedom."

That means do what it takes to be a professional, and, HELL, if you have a Master's you can always teach.  And, sweet Lord, teaching usually means health insurance!


Back to the idea of living in NYC… I've lived in Southern California, an hour away from L.A., for a year now.  Cost of living isn't as nuts, perhaps, as New York, but it's up there.  I've been living here in SoCal with none of things that I'm pushing for my girls.  And y'all know it's been hard.

I never ever ever want my kids to feel that fear and, sometimes, hopelessness that I felt.  Mouths to feed and where's the next meal?  What account is going to collections next?

(I have somehow made my way into retail management after only 2 years of really being in the work force.  This was a feat.  And it took caring about my job and not just a paycheck.  I'm unspeakably proud of myself and shamelessly sing my praises.  So, don't count me ungrateful.  I'm feeling a new sense of freedom that is brand new to my repertoire of emotion.)

I'm not sure if my "Freedom Talks" sunk in…

A couple days ago, I was talking to another teenaged girl about how next year is the time to make decisions about what schools to apply for.

Her reply, "I don't know if it's really worth it."

"UM, WHAT???!!!!!! What is the IT you are referring to????  School???????????"


"What is your plan to be successful??"

"Open a bake shop."

So that was the highlight of that conversation.


  1. I'm happy to back you up on the freedom talk if you need an "amen"--Heather T.

  2. Ashley, I love this. I love it. My parents just had to file bankruptcy. And it's been hard on all of us. They lost the house I had lived in since I was six. Home now, just doesn't feel like MY home. I miss my old house. You can always says "Home is where family is." But I disagree. Home is where your memories are. Neither of my parents went to college. Since losing their house and filing bankruptcy my parents have been scraping the barrel for money. My mom is stressing because it's becoming the colder season in Southern Utah and they can hardly buy my little sister warm clothes such as jackets, shoes (She wears sandles with socks), and pants. I know that if my mom would have gone to school she probably wouldn't have such a hard time finding a job. The school district won't even hire her. She's now looking at going back to school just so she can get a degree to get a job to raise my younger siblings. It breaks my heart to see her struggle.

    I dropped out of college 2 years ago. However, I am going back. I should be a junior this year but instead I'm a lousy Freshman. There are a lot of non-traditional students kicking themselves in the rear for not going when they had the chance when they were younger. Like the girl you talked to they relied on dreams of "opening a bake shop." Most are single moms going back to school. Moms who had relied on husbands that are gone for income. It breaks my heart to see them struggle.

    The more schooling I do, and as much as I hate it, trust me I HATE it, I realize the importance of it. I am valuing education for what it is going to give me in the future. Not for an instant gratification.


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