I didn't post very much in 2013. My blogger is full of half-done, choppy, unpolished drafts which is quite indicative of how my year went. So to flush these thoughts from from my blogger and to do some mental housekeeping, I've created a post for the end of the year comprised of these 'partial posts'.
January 3, 2013 on Divorce
The effects of divorce are like the ripples from a disturbance in the water.
February 8, 2013 on Mormonism and Prop 8
I remember back in '08 or '09, when I was still going to Relief Society on Sundays at the Mormon church, a friend of mine gave a lesson based on a recent talk by a general authority.
In reality, her lesson was the talk. She spent most of the lesson time (roughly 40 minutes) reading right from it, because, to paraphrase her words, she just couldn't say it any better than than him.
The gist of the lesson, I believe, was for those of us members who were not in favor of the Prop 8 festivities, which in essence was 'let's not forget who we are'.
Obviously, that was a hard one for me to sit through.
I remember my friend, the giver of said lesson, was blushing and not looking up at us very much at all as we listened.
She confessed to me later that she purposefully didn't look at me.
February 10, 2013 on Ada and Baptism
I'm at church per Ada's request.
She asked me to be present at her It's Great To Be 8 meeting for kids turning 8 this year and their parents.
In the Mormon church, you are typically baptized at the age of 8.
My ex husband was.
My boyfriend was.
All 3 of my other kids were.
My brother. My sister. The list goes on.
June 19, 2013 on Work, Daughters, and Lack of Sleep
I can't sleep.
Having work dreams. Retail dreams.
I have a new boss. I have the same job, just new boss. I feel like I'm auditioning for him.
My stomach is in knots.
Not just because of work, but tonight there was something nagging me, in the back of my mind. Then it surfaced... It was Hana.
I haven't seen her in 3 days. My daughter. Then I thought about how 'normal' that has become.
Then I thought about Emma...
Emma needs glasses.
Emma is in Utah.
Emma... tall and beautiful and... well, that's about all I can say for sure right now.
I haven't been eating.
How can I eat when I have a new boss and daughters floating around in the ether and... oh yeah, I applied for grad school.
July 17, 2013 on Being Unfriended
It happened again.
Was a BFF during adolescence.
But here's the thing- I haven't been blogging that much lately. That's usually been the culprit.
But I HAVE been posting lots on FB about Love, Equality, and Acceptance.
Too bad she didn't see it that way.
Well, okay, to be fair, I have no clue why we're not FB friends anymore. I haven't asked her. I guess because I don't care enough. Haven't seen her since I was 15.
September 7, 2013 on Men
On trying to get to know a man for the first time: Men seem so interested until you show them your personal power. Bless all their little hearts. There is an epidemic of massive insecurity among men.
On unhappily married men: Men who don't love their wives still make babies with them. Surprise, surprise, their misery continues. Then, they will usually start looking elsewhere for love...typically while still married.
September 16, 2013 on Luxuries
Right now, I'm sitting on a couch. I love it. I did not have a couch in my apartment till last week. 8 months. No couch. Can I tell you how luxurious I feel at this moment?
The thing is- couches are a luxury. You don't know this until you go without one for 8 months and realize, 'Huh. A couch is not a necessity. I'm grateful for the half gallon of milk in the fridge and the 1/4 tank of gas in my car.' Necessities.
I'm grateful for this couch. Thank you Gina and Jerry.
I'm grateful to have all my kids live with me again.
I'm grateful for my job.
September 16, 2013 (yep, the same day as the last one) on Identity
Who am I?
I thought I was on the fast track to this epiphany.
I'm lying in my redundant king-sized bed with my 8 year old daughter next to me.
Before Ada drifted to sleep in a Benadryl-induced slumber, I taught her that no one can ever make you happy- not a boyfriend or husband... At best they can only ADD to your joy. You MUST be happy and content on your own first.
I married Matt with the hope of finding completeness. That's what I had understood to be the idea due to my upbringing.
How can two incomplete people make two complete people? I know what you're thinking... 'Well, you're like puzzle pieces, Ashley. That's how.'
What I found to be truer was we were like 2 half-baked cakes. Two half-baked cakes do not a baked cake make.
November 3, 2013 on Being a Mom
I've never enjoyed motherhood as much as I do now...having been a mother for 15 and a half years.
I was a lost girl when I started out. And the journey of finding myself and my womanhood was exceptionally stunted. I look back on that past life, and I see a girl in her 20's who was narcissistic and depressed.
I also see little ones. Precious, perfect, angelic, indescribably astounding little human beings that were mine. Who did and said the most wonderful, cute, adorable things.
But I was in a fog.
Now half my little ones are teenagers and there's a 3rd one on his way to middle school next year. The fourth still cuddles with me and her stuffed animals.
Regardless, I'm 38 and starting to figure things out.
December 28, 2013 on Providing
Earlier this year, I was standing in a food line at a local Baptist church. And, of course, I had the thought, Hmmm, if I'd stayed active in the Mormon church, I wouldn't have to stand in a food line... I could just sit across from my Bishop in his office and hand him copies of my bills...
But whenever I have that thought, I quickly remember my last Bishop rolling his eyes when I asked for rent help for the 3rd or 4th month in a row. And yet, my single-mom friend who lived literally down the street from me, who did not work and got to be a full-time mom, was told by her bishop that he would provide her with anything and everything she needed.
And there I was working two jobs...
It was just the rent. I could pay for everything else... The utilities, the internet, food (made too much money for food stamps), endless toiletries, car insurance... You get it.
Not gonna lie- I had regular lunch dates with a friend I consider a soul mate. $6 lunch specials at our fave Mexican spot in Cedar. Weekly. There were weeks when looking forward to that planned lunch date with her helped me survive. Unequivocally.
In a way, since that time, I've come full circle. I make twice what I did then, working just as hard as I was before. And gladly, I do not need a bishop or a food line. Guess what else... Through my job, I can now provide health insurance for myself and my children.