One of my really good friends has a blog that is the opposite of this one, AKA it’s deep and consequential. I wrote an entry for it (yet to be published) and I strongly recommend you do too. I am putting the rough draft of my entry at the bottom of this post because what’s more vulnerable than a rough draft of your attempt to be deep. You can find my friend’s blog here: Water The Roots
This is the About Page:
The title of this blog is based on the metaphor that we spend our whole lives watering our leaves and flowers, but rarely our roots. As in, we try to facilitate outward growth towards success — in our careers, relationships and nearly all that we do. But of course, the growth has to start internally, and at the root. If you only keep watering the leaves, they’ll dry up eventually, along with the rest of the plant.
At some point during the crisis that ensued after graduating from college and moving back home, I started thinking about the media and values we’re force-fed by society, as well as the social networks we force-feed ourselves. None of them necessarily encourage this type of thought process and reflection. We’re a generation obsessed with ourselves and with our friends’ lives. Through a combination of Twitter, Facebook and blogging, we can practically map every one of their movements and our own. Yet, very little of it forces us to say something real about our lives.
That’s where I want “Water The Roots” to come in. I want to display stories from people all around the world each week, and they can be about ANYTHING as long as they’re honest, personal and required some thought to write. The purpose is to use the constant updating and curiosity harnessed by our social networks for good. By getting a glimpse into others’ lives and thoughts, maybe we, as the twenty-somethings, can be encouraged to take a further reflective look at our own.
This is what I wrote:
So, here’s the deal: my life is pretty awesome. I am pursuing my ever-evolving dream of being a comedy writer, which was preceded by dreams of being a journalist, and of being a pink flamingo. I love my job, my friends and where I am at in life right now. Basically, I appreciate everything and it makes me super happy.
If I were religious, I would probably be an “everything happens for a reason” person, but since I’m not, I am more of an “I don’t know where the heck I am going, but I’m fucking into it” type. You get into a lot of adventures and very strange situations that way. It’s like, I may be poor, but at least I am not old man who eats pie alone at DuPar’s every night at 11, hilariously incompetent lady who sells sheets at Macy’s, or drunk guy that yells out “I am going to have butt sex on YOUR front lawn” when he gets angry. I love those people, creepily, from a distance. Heck, sometimes I even talk to them to find out what their deals are.
It’s hard to get down on yourself for trivial things when you enjoy everything around you. Yeah, I have days that suck, I just think it’s a waste of time to wallow in self-pity about them. Seriously, don’t do that, it’s pointless. What follows is an attempt to make everyone feel as happy as I do, because I am self-important like that.
Ashley’s Tips to Happiness:
-Actively seek the weirdness in your environment
-Build real friendships, life is too short to waste time hanging out with people you only kinda like.
-Don’t commute. Seriously, my life got so much better once I moved three miles away from where I work.
-Don’t make Kim Kardashian jokes, no one thinks those are funny
-Be fearless. This drunk british dude who was wearing a fisherman hat and a suit (just, for the record) once told me I was fearless. Sure, that was in the context of a poker tournament at a seedy hotel in Las Vegas, but I’ve been going with it as a life motto and it’s been treating me very well.
-Be open-minded about where life is taking you. I had a really specific environmental major, and now I work in advertising – and I love it.
-Do something you’re good at, be it painting, marathons or improv. It will make you feel awesome about yourself.
-Don’t define yourself by your 9-5, you’re a whole lot more than that. And if you are just that, you probably need to reprioritize something.
-Take some “me” time. IDK, I enjoy very few things more than reading a good book while sitting at a diner counter and sipping mediocre coffee.
-Don’t sleep too much, wasting a whole day sleeping is hella lame
-Have a really specific collection. It makes it easier for people to buy you presents. Mine is “weird wood things.”
-Be passionate about something. Cool points if you’re passionate about something weird.
66 thoughts on “Water The Roots”
You’ve inspired me to write a story thank ! I like you advice but I still like the kardashian jokes. Do you have a good on to share?
that was actually a meta Kardashian because it was a joke about Kardashian jokes. Basically, it’s the closest thing I have to a Kardashian joke.
Excellent essay! The real challenge is maintaining your wonderful attitude about life as you age and deal with what life and the accumulated responsibilities that occur over the course of your life throw at you. I’m raising my glass of wine to you and toasting you. May you always be fearless and keep your mind open!
Don’t commute! You hit it. Think how much quality of life people could reclaim if only they could relocate. Wish it were easier to do.
my mood significantly improved when I stopped commuting. I went from one hour and 45 mins to 15 minutes. That made life a whole lot more beautiful.
I’m passionate in my unadulterated hatred of television laugh tracks…doesn’t that count?
Also, while we’re at it: If you’re ever forced to drive through Texas, I suggest you stop at Taco Cabana. Their coffee is so mediocre it’s funtastic.
I haven’t really explored the area of mediocre coffe at taco places. There is a diner/fried chicken place by my work that also sells lotto tickets. They have excellently mediocre coffee.
That is quite an assignment and you did it well. Keep the attitude and you will go far.
I wasn’t sure if I did it well, but I figured I was at least being honest. Thanks for your kind words, as always 😀
wooooooo weird wood things!
I should have added “have friends who inspire you” because I love you and you inspire me a whole lot ❤
Your points, ‘Do something you’re good at’ and, ‘Be passionate about something’ really struck a chord with me.
I’ve recently struck out on my comedy career and – dude – I’m loving every friggin’ minute of it.
I was always doing things that I was good at, but wasn’t passionate about. I was good at relationship-building, so I sold shit. I was good at finance, so I helped people with their money.
But what I would do for FREE, what I was GREAT at, and what I was DEEPLY PASSIONATE ABOUT, was comedy.
Now that I’m pursuing it, life couldn’t be better. The successes are coming quickly because I’m having fun and the people around me can see that. What’s even cooler is that I’m meeting people who have the EXACT same passion that I do about comedy, from sketch to blogging to stand-up.
At a funeral, the Greeks would ask just one question about the deceased, ‘Did he have passion?’
I’ve found mine, and Ash: it sounds like you’ve found yours.
– Michael Jagdeo
@JagdeoComedy on Twitter
“Actively seek the weirdness in your environment” – I absolutely love that!
warning: it’s hard to turn off
Sadly, 9 times out of 10, I’m the weirdest thing in the room.
Fortunately, I am learning to filter my words on the path from brain to mouth.
Love the post, and the meta-Kardashian crack. Because if we didn’t laugh at them, we’d have to cry at us…
there is a difference between weird and crazy.
Nice blog, Funny Girl! As a 40+ chick finally trying to finally get something going, I’m totally routing for you to make it before your hair grows gray! My daughter also wants to be a comedy writer so we’ll be following your adventure closely. Good luck!
awww thanks! My parents are both in their 50s and neither of them has grey hair. So I think it will be quite awhile before I grey.
great post- minus the “don’t make Kim Kardashian jokes” bit. I’m beginning to think you have a bit of a personal vendetta against me Miss Ashleyjillian…..
I am probably just projecting my hate of Kardashian jokes onto everyone else. my bad.
Those are quite pithy! Love the one about seeking out the weirdness. I don’t have to–I’m a magnet for it. Heck, I’m part of it!
me too, it certainly finds me. I really think it’s an awareness thing, though.
nice work, you’re wise beyond your years
I don’t know about that, I think I just have “moments”
Ha Ha I Have the “passionate about something weird thing” TOTALLY down. Your writing gives me hope for the next generation, as I become an old fart. (not one eating pie, tho.)
You da Bear.
Passionate about Pandas. (especially cartoon ones!)
pandas are awesome, and cartoon pandas are way lower maintenance than real ones. And probably more legal to have, too. And like, less deadly.
Love your attitude and outlook.
😀 😀 😀
Ashley, this is a great a post. I have two loves, things that make me very happy, writing fiction and reading. Nothing comes close, not even my near-love for scientific research. These two things, I never let go of no matter how crazy my academic career gets. Thanks for this and reminding me that this is a good thing, no matter what my advisor might think.
you’re a badass!
LOVE this. I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂
Desiree’s website sounds amazing, and def. something I would consider being a part of. Thanks for sharing, and I’ll try to take your tip about not sleeping too much. But I won’t feel bad for spending 10 hours online today, because I was catching up on writing and reading– things that give me joy. Can’t let go of the simple things that give you joy!
I mean, I guess you technically could be passionate about the internet — or sleep
If only half the people in the planet follow your tips, then all of us will be happy in a whole new level!
Great post! More power!
IDK, the world would probably be a lot less interesting
I usually lose patience reading long blog posts, but I read and enjoyed this one to the end. You’ve got a great outlook on life. Merry Christmas!
yayayay. Merry Xmas!
Fearlessness is everything. Fear nothing…gain everything.
yup. Except I am probably still not going to skydive because I don’t think I would enjoy it enough to justify the cost of doing it.
thank you, you too!
I think you are meant to be a comedy writer. You are a natural. But, uh, this was pretty damn deep, so don’t discount that side of yourself, either. Just sayin’
Well put. Too much time is wasted on crap that doesn’t really add up to much and passion about something…….so important.
Water the Roots – so true! what a great idea -thanks for sharing. And love your list. Fearless is important – Maybe add “be sure to take care of yourself, Ashleyjillian” as you are just too valuable to lose.
awww I wish people were this sweet to me in real life O.o
Thanks for sharing! I need to follow some of your tips!
no problem! 😀
I tries, I tries
I couldn’t find you friend’s blog, Water the Roots. Can you send me her blog address?
I am a very weird person, so I guess I have a lot of cool points. Also, good call on the Kim Kardashian jokes — they’re only funny when Rob Schneider makes them.
I love the Water the Roots idea. I’m going to read more.
“Actively seek the weirdness in your environment” — best advice I’ve heard in a long time.
Great post on a great blog. Keep it up!
Okay – well I’ve read several of your posts now and I’ve got to say – you are extremely comical. You’re definitely going on my Blogroll. Seriously – this is going to add, 5 or maybe even 6 people to your following. 😉
Thanks for brightening my day with a few laughs!
thanks for your super sweet words! 😀
I loved youuuuuuuuu!! it was great..Keep writing..I think I am going to follow your post daily..:)