Actually an Adult.

Can’t you tell?

This blog was born out of a desire to…actually live.

For a long string of months I had accidentally taken on a passive approach to the every day and starting this blog was the first steps of credibility to change.

Then everything started to be wild and colorful. I knocked out a 25 by 25 list and found myself exploring, trying new things, adding up travels and embracing new hobbies. Really evaluating where my heart was at led me 1,000 miles from home to graduate school and an adventure in Boston.

I had an open heart to where God wanted me to go and who He wanted me to meet — and I even fell in love.

Actually on the Line went from a way to talk about a new approach I wanted to try — to that “approach” becoming the very heartbeat of my routine. Everything was always on the line and everything was constantly changing.

Two years ago I was working in Winston and feeling like things weren’t quite where they were supposed to be.

Today I’m fully where I want to be–and exactly where 14-year-old Ashley might have guessed:

Living in Atlanta. Working for CNN International. Going to Braves games. Loving living in the South. Seeing my family and friends all the time. And breathing journalism all hours of the day.

It’s incredible how much can change in less than two years.

But it’s not PERFECT. Is it ever?
One thing that’s been missing is this blog. (The other thing is my Bunky who lives 2,000 miles away. But that will be shared more about along the way….#LDRexpert)

But where do you go from an epic 25-by-25 list, I have asked myself? How do you “revitalize” life again when you’re pretty much living as fully as you can handle right now? The Ashley that started this blog and the Ashley that picked it up today are the same; even though situations may have changed.

So, this blog is evolving. I want this to stay a place that I can come and share. So, it needs to get on the same page as my current life.

For the first time…ever…I feel like I’m “actually an adult.” I’m not constantly thinking about “what’s next.” I’m not tracking the “next chapter.” Because, honestly, I feel like I’m in the next chapter in some way. Really though, how is that different at 26 years old than 24 years old?

Here are 10 random instances I have been hit with this realization in the last three months:
  1. Two words: Student Loans.
  2. Moving an apartment full of furniture that’s mine with only one thing from Ikea.
  3. Shopping at Forever 21 only to feel incessantly 26. RIP ability to rock $8 one-season dresses.
  4. Taking out a bank loan for moving expenses…
  5. …and subsequently realizing the importance of savings and serious budgets.
  6. My five-year plan involves figuring out how much I would be approved for to buy a house.
  7. Working out is a weekly requirement. Seriously. There is no choice. Ask the cookies lingering from March.
  8. Being in a relationship that can stand the text “I’m being REAL grumpy and irrational.” And having that person say “That’s all right, I understand. I love you!!”
  9. I am not good with cars. But yet I have, against all odds, learned finally how to put air in my tires.
  10. Realizing…I may need to consider under-eye cream. WHAT? I know. Insane. But I have some. TBD on results. I’m still battling denial before trying.
Maybe I’m no less or more an adult that I was two years ago when I started this blog–but I certainly feel like I’m in a more adult place. Battling adult challenges.
Today Actually on the Line is an effort to continue being real, of course, but it’s evolving into a look at where I’m actually at with connecting my roots and my visions.
My life is a navigation of balancing the past and future — melding that into what I want today to be.

Keeping up with those who got me to Boston.
The life I created in Boston.
The new life I’m making in Atlanta.
My life is a juncture of old coworkers, high school best friends, grad school buds, and family. It’s a smash of West Coast, East Coast, down South and New England. It’s frequent flier miles to see my love in Portland, Oregon every week I can steal away from the newsroom. It’s constant miles logged on I-85 to see friends and family in North Carolina.

All of these things are helping me learn an abundance about what I want to create now. And who I need to make sure is there with me in the process.
Here, you’ll see a return of my weekly music posts, there will still be faithful reflections and then the overdose of personal details you may or may not care about. Travels around the country. Restaurants I drooled at. Bars I shared beers at. Hikes I recommend and wanders I’m lusting after.
Actually on the Line is definitely growing with me, so there may be some experimenting. While I can’t predict fully exactly where this journey will go next or what you can expect to read in the next post — but — I can promise that there will be life here again.

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