Five Things

I Will Not Buy the Library

I only want to be where I’m wanted

Ashley C. Ford
8 min readDec 6, 2020
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.


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. I don’t write in any one publication, for any one editor, or maintain an exclusive working relationship with any one company.

Honestly, I wish that wasn’t the case. Even though I very much like, and work hard to maintain the way my life currently operates, I wish there was a place where I could stand still. I would love to build those consistent professional relationships, my writing could truly benefit from such a thing, and there’s so much I want to do aside from writing.

I want to make more podcasts. I want to work on documentaries and with video again. There are so many things I want to try or learn to do better where a professional learning environment could really take my shit to the next level. I’m not sure that place exists for me. Not that I’m special, I just don’t thrive under the authority of corporate environments, like a lot of people.

It’s usually not the workload as much as the constant need some bosses have to feel like Bosses. Every once in a while you have to let them step on you a little so they still feel like their job is worth having, their next promotion worth seeking. What does the hierarchy mean if there’s no one to step on? A promotion means being able to step on even more people! And that’s how you know you’re successful!

For a certain amount of dollars per hour, day, week, or year, I feel like I’m supposed to be okay with being stepped on. Well, I’m not. I know that’s not always actually how it works, but that’s how it usually felt to me. I also always want to work on a different kind of project, or in a different medium. Sometimes that opens up my options. I don’t think many employers like…