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Five Things

The person I want to be asks for what they need. I’m getting there.

Photo: Jasmin Merdan

One.

I’m less afraid of deadlines now that I don’t believe they offer any particular insight into my worth as a human being. That’s a new feeling. I mean, I’ve known it was true for much longer than I’ve felt sure. Teaching myself to do things differently — to see myself differently — always includes this gap in understanding, these long stretches of time where my mind is convinced and my body is not. I’ve learned not to be too angry at myself for this process. I’ve learned to talk and self-soothe my way through it. And I’ve learned that I’ll…


Five Things

We can’t always help what speaks to our hearts

Taken by me at Midland Antiques in Indianapolis, IN

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’ve moved back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

When I have nightmares, I sweat in my sleep. There are few things I dislike more than waking up to find my t-shirt or the bed sheet stuck to some exposed, damp portion of my skin, but it happens. It used to happen all the time, but now, not so much. The sweating makes the nightmare worse, like I…


Five Things

Why did I want a birthday cake I didn’t want to have to eat?

Photo Taken by Me on Whidbey Island

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’ve moved back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

Desperate for a sanity-maintaining joyous task, I started looking for my birthday cake this week. The actual day won’t come for a few weeks yet, but I thought it couldn’t hurt, especially if I decided I wanted to order something special. I didn’t end up ordering anything. Half an hour into the search I remembered I don’t actually like cake. We didn’t have cake at our wedding. We…


Five Things

I only want to be where I’m wanted

Photo taken by me from my hotel in Miami

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’ve moved back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

Naming what I want, and actually following through, feels like I’ve gotten away with something. It’s fascinating how attempts at centering myself feel like stealing. I’m still getting used to getting my way sometimes, for asking for what I want and unburdening myself from what I don’t. I have all of this creative freedom right now. …


Five Things

There are all kinds of conflicts, and they’re not all mine to solve. Who knew?!

Five of Wands, Photo by Me

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’ve moved back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

I’m a hard sleeper, but that hasn’t always been true. For most of my childhood, I struggled to sleep. For various reasons, I either laid awake in the dark, or woke intermittently through the night. I had to search for and practice experiencing the kind of rest that actually restores you, instead of the kind born from psychic exhaustion. The kind that forces your eyes closed after a…


Five Things

History is public, but the past is personal

Drew Barrymore on the cover of the August 1998 issue of ‘Seventeen’ magazine in costume from the cinematic classic ‘Ever After.’

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’ve moved back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

Nothing about money was consistent when I was a child. So when my grandmother gave us an allowance for two or three months, I took my purchasing power seriously. Grandma was living with my mother for a bit, as she did from time to time, and every Friday, just after depositing her check, she would give me a $10 bill or two fives, then do the same for…


Five Things

…belonging is another one.

Photo by me, taken in Austin, TX (2019)

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’ve moved back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

Earlier today I tweeted that every version of me I’ve been so far would be proud of who I am now. This occurred to me yesterday, after Kel left for a hunting trip, and I found myself pattering around the house, doing small chores, and letting my mind run wild in the silence. …


Five Things

Who knows what I’ll do next?

The last photo I took in Manhattan pre-quarantine

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances. Here are five things I’ve considered since Joe Biden was elected President of the United States of America.

One.

Buying a house.

Two.

Having a baby.

Three.

Running naked through the forest. (Except for airpods playing Kate Bush and a napsack full of candles and cut fruit)

Four.

Going back to school.

Five.

Writing a poem about babies, houses, forests, fruit, Kate Bush, and the woman with the smallest yard I’ve ever seen, tending to her grass, smiling at her neighbors, and talking to the dogs in the…


Five Things

Who knew you could miss the smell of a rogue skunk?

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances now that I’m preparing to move back home to Indiana after years of living in New York.

One.

I’ve spent the last month preparing for the move from Brooklyn to Indianapolis, but didn’t stop thinking we wouldn’t make it there until the second we pulled into my in-law’s driveway. As I’ve mentioned before, this move is something I’ve wanted for a long time. Nothing against Brooklyn. I just know where I belong, and I couldn’t lie to myself about that anymore. That’s not fair…


Five Things

Death makes up most of what I think about these days

Moody photo of the ocean on the left & apartment buildings on the right, separated by a strip of sandy beach at Coney Island.
Moody photo of the ocean on the left & apartment buildings on the right, separated by a strip of sandy beach at Coney Island.
Taken by me at Coney Island on Christmas Day 2015

Five Things is a weekly essay of five short thoughts inspired by my own life and observances.

One.

It took me so long to write this first post because I don’t want to talk or write about death, but death makes up most of what I think about these days. I’m not quite arrogant enough to believe I’m alone in that during a global pandemic/climate emergency/racial uprising, but that shit don’t make me feel better. When I was a kid, I comforted myself by making up last minute survival scenarios in imagined, sudden, life-threatening situations. The school bus crossed a bridge…

Ashley C. Ford

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