#LemonadeLesson: Life Is Chucking The Most Frustrating ‘Lemon’ My Way

Photo: Tyler Moncrief
Photo: Tyler Moncrief

Today has been a tough day for me in the mounting pressure, impatience and unhappiness I’m experiencing with where I’m at in this point of my life. I’m ready to be on my own.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with my story, I’m Ashley! I’m 24-years-old, quickly approaching 25 (Jan. 6) and I’m living at home with my parents post college, broke, and working two part-time seasonal jobs when all I want to do is to be a full-time professional writer and living in a city where I can bloom.

My ongoing relationship with retail and all of its trappings.

For weeks, I’ve been scouring the jobs sites of Indeed, Linked In and Journalism Jobs to find that right job for me because independence has been calling for some time and I’m going to need a little thing called health benefits before I’m cut off of my dad’s insurance at 26. So, yeah… no pressure.

A big, hot pink sticky is on display on my vision board where I scribbled one goal: “Out of the nest  and into my own place by 25! Jan. 6, 2016.” And then I started getting a few responses from potentials out of Michigan. From phone interviews to Skype sessions, everything went well and I impressed the editors, with one offer and others leaning towards yes! “Oh my God. It’s finally happening,” I thought.

My mom brought up my need to have a plan and the core of it is money! Which I’m scrapping to get. The majority of money I’ve managed to save has been sucked into my gas tank for travel and good ol’ relentless student loan payments. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break to save my life. The resistance I’m bottling inside of not wanting to be in this position boiled over and in a rare moment, I vented my failure on Facebook, which stunned my friends to respond to my angst.

 

Facebook

Curled up in my bed, my room entirely black with just the illumination of my computer, I started to cry and become miserable. I think at the core there’s shame for still living at home and trying to launch myself out of this into a space where I can finally grow. I didn’t imagine that my 20s would be this way, honestly. I’m still growing up and I feel my gut telling me to push out passed my fear of failing when I get out there.

So far I’ve had a few job interviews for positions that’ll take me out of the state, something I’ve been wanting for years. I live in a small city with scarce opportunities and want to be in an environment where I can thrive personally, professionally, artistically, religiously and beyond. I’ve claimed it, prayed for it and slapped the message on my vision board.

That moment of crying out, I needed that. But what this ‘lemon’ thrown at me showed a message that I need to stop stressing over my plans and feeling disappointed when things don’t turn out my way. I thought that these job offerings would be my one shot out of Michigan…but it’s not. I’m a work in progress, still, even with stop trying to help God lead my path. I can be so frustrating even for myself so I can imagine how I frustrate the man up stairs. I ask him for patience but one thing I know, even with that breakdown I had, I have so much potential and promise ahead of me.

This is why I decided to start this blog and reveal myself, good and bad, because I don’t know everything and don’t act like I do. One thing I do know is that my purpose is my voice and the stories I have to tell. Hopefully this one in particular has reached you. If it has, I’ve done my job.

#LemonadeLesson: “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.” – Anonymous 

Those Times I’ve Had Numerous Celebrity Interactions

Amber Nash screenshot
My Skype interview with voice-actress Amber Nash, voice of Pam Poovey on Archer! | ASHLEMONADE

One question that I get all of the time from my friends, “How in the hell are you talking to all of these famous people on Twitter?” Or  in general.

I wish I could just say “I don’t know” but it just seems to be a law of attraction or as Amber Nash (“Archer”) put it during our interview when I told her the woman who voices Siri follows me, “You have a gift!”

Soon as I get a tweet, I screenshot it and save it for the memories and the sake of bragging.

I know a dream of mine, in the spirit of Oprah Winfrey, is to interview celebrities whose work I love and  admire in some way or fashion. I’ve declared that and the universe seems to be pushing people in my direction. I’m a storyteller at heart and I love getting to the essence of a person and making that shine when I tell their story.

I got to meet and shake hands with Angela Davis at the UM-Flint in Feb. 2015 (I had a dream once that she touched my afro and complimented it). Days later I met, took a picture with and ask a question to Orange Is A New Black star Laverne Cox during her visit to Saginaw Valley State University — who called me her “OG fan” for mentioning her appearance on I Want To Work For Diddy in 2007. I was in a “Hi!” distance of Gayle King and several feet from  Oprah at The Life You Want Tour in Detroit last year. Plus I shook hands with Sheri Salata, president of the OWN Network.

I have at least 450 followers as of now and I’m very active on Twitter. I tweet during Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday nights with other of fans, so much so that Kerry Washington responded “YES!!!” and retweeted my photo of me with a glass of wine and popcorn.

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O’Shea Jackson Jr. (son of my favorite rapper Ice Cube) who starred in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton was tweeting fans one night and in a sea of thirst filled women tweeting their sexual desires and MapQuest directions to their home, I leaned on my humor to be different and he hilariously took notice:

I tweeted my favorite gif of Ann Perkins from Parks & Rec holding waffles and he dug it. | @ashlemonade
I tweeted my favorite gif of Ann Perkins from Parks & Rec holding waffles and he dug it. | @ashlemonade

I found that just by being myself: funny, real and a little offbeat sometimes works in my favor. And taking a chance. I’ve envision myself wanting to rub elbows, whether interviewing or working alongside celebrities, and the universe decides to have Missy Elliott favorite my tweet or Reagan Gomez send me heart emojis because I told her that her tweet helped me in some way.

I’m confident that it’s a sign of what I’ll be doing someday but until then, I’ll still be sending these love messages until Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson responds.