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Never Ignore a Gut Feeling - My Apartment

Posted by ashlybauserman on October 16, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (1)


I just found this sketch that I made of my apartment the day that I saw it for the first time and where I imagined to put the furniture if it happened to become mine. The first moment I walked in I got that crazy "gut feeling" that only comes so often in your life which was telling me that this place was "the one." It took years of building credit and constantly working out my finances, a crazy amount of preparation to get everything in order to qualify for a loan, tons of research to find the right location and real estate agent, and tons of patience to work through the insanity that is buying a short sale. It's incredible to find this drawing and see that almost 100% of placement of furniture and what I ended up buying matches and even more so that I could see myself in this place so much. Today marks 6 months since I walked in the door and 3 months and 3 days since the keys were handed over to me and it was officially mine. It was so worth it.


I still have so much to do with the place, but things are coming together.  As the rooms get nicer, I will post more picture :)

 

“Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe that it's enough.” - Robert Heller



Blogging - Finding -the- Voice

Posted by ashlybauserman on April 5, 2012 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I haven't written at all for the past few months as I've thought further about how much to share.  There is a difference between being very open and being open minded and I've had to consider what I'm comfortable with.

I'm pretty sured I've decided what direction to take.  Stay tuned :)

Top 10 Places I want to Visit

Posted by ashlybauserman on January 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)

I've had the great fortune of having lived in 4 continents by the time I was 16 in environments that were completely unique from one another.  I'm also lucky to have been able to travel more than the average person as well as spend an extensive amount of time in several locations. My parents did an amazing job choosing the right country during the right age range. 


I was actually born in Alexandria, VA in the same house that I currently live in.  Phil was brought to this world about a year and a half later and we ended up moving to Guatemala right after.  Guate was a great place to spend the first part of my childhood as we had my mom's family living there, El Salvador where she's from was right next door and more than anything, our latin side was very much instilled in us.  We then moved to Africa; first to Zambia for 5 years and then Ghana for 2 where we learned what it really meant to live "organically."  Playing meant playing outside - always.  We made our own soccer balls out of plastic bags and string, we made games up by digging holes in the ground and using little pebbles, we made golf courses near the trash area, we climbed trees, ran a whole lot, found insects and gecko's and took care of them and just used overall used our imaginations to entertain ourselves.  It really was a beautiful way to grow up.  No pretences and very little interest in the material world, but instead in the secrets of nature. 


By 12 we had moved to Germany for the next 4 years allowing my teenage mind to be shaped by art, creativity, different European cuisines, languages and more than anything it provided the greatest platform for an open mind.  People in Europe grow up and mature faster than anywhere else in the world - that's for sure! 


The first time I actually have a memory of living in the U.S. didn't come until the age of almost 17.  It was incredibly strange to pick a bedroom in the house I had been born in and go to school in a country that I had always considered myself a huge part of and realize that I didn't fit in AT ALL.  There's something really mind-boggling about being the child of a diplomat and experiencing more comfort in foreign countries than you do in what is supposed to be your own.  It has taken me a good 8 years (even though I studied abroad in Italy, did a summer internship in Guate, visited my Dad in Prague several times for extended periods of time and even lived in Guatemala in 2010) to finally feel at home here in Virginia. 


People ask me all the time where I'm from and ironically I always feel like I'm lying or short-changing myself by saying I'm from Virginia.  I've thought about this a lot the last few years.  I think I would say I consider myself a citizen of the world at this point.  You know that saying, "Home is where the heart is?"  What if pieces of my heart are scattered everywhere?  That's a huge part of the reason why I travel so much; it gives me access to so many parts of myself that I need to continue to nurture and feed or else I end up feeling like something is missing.  That's another reason I tend to gravitate so much towards people that have a deep appreciation for cultures other than their own; that's what I connect to.


So, I've been thinking of where I'd love to go next in the next few years to keep expanding on what my parents instilled in me - deep curiousity for what else is out there.  I made a list of the top 10 places I'd like to go and hopefully one day I'll have a photo album for each :)


1.  Argentina

2. Thailand

3. Morocco

4. Chile

5. Maldives

6. Japan

7. Ethiopia

8. Papua New Guinea

9. Madagascar

10. Australia


If any of you have been to any of these locations, I'd love to hear about your experiences and recomendations :)

The Puke Story

Posted by ashlybauserman on January 18, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (1)

If you don't like a good projectile vomitting story, I'd recommend that you stop reading right about now!


GOD - I wish I had pulled out my i-phone today to film the insanity that happened on my way to work, but I was too busy trying to make sure that I didn't join in during the hurling game and crash into someone else.


This morning Phil (my brother and best friend) was complaining that he didn't feel well and spent a little extra time in the toilet.  When we got into my car to drive to work I thought I was helping him out by giving him a few of those colorful Tums that help settle your stomach.  Boy, that was the first mistake.


About 20 minutes later, I could see Phillip was struggling and tried to drive a little bit slower to see if that would help him at all.  I heard him cough up some phlegm and scramble to find somewhere to spit it out in.  My car is basically a haven for empty bottles so that wasn't too difficult and luckily he reached out for a bottle that had a greater diameter (thank God Chris drinks gatorade!).  All of a sudden I heard the hurling noise that is all too familiar to us college students!  I look over and there is Phil trying desperately to puke into this bottle meanwhile obviously managing to spray it all around as well.  And he keeps trying to make it into that poor bottle as it keeps filling up more and more and the sprays get worse and worse.  I scream "MY PURSE" which was by his feet and he bigns to projectile vomit like a true warrior seemingly using every muscle in his body and this loud grunting followed by sprays of disgustingness.  Pure chaos.  Do you look?  Do you breathe through your mouth?  Do you roll down the windows?  Do you just focus on getting to the.... BLEEEEEEARRRRRRREHHHH=.  I'm on auto pilot just thinking, "Ashly, you can do it - you can make it to the closest gas station!"  You have to imagine that I couldn't look to my right really because I knew I would witness this dude just covered in tums, old pizza, rice and chicken.  That's the thing about living with someone, you even know what they're throwing up!  Out of the corner of my eye I see the next "intelligent" thing that Phillip does which is use his jacket as a shield!  He covers his head and as much as he can to make sure to contain all the puke even though that just makes him puke even more as the nastiness is all over him!


Finally on my rearview mirror I caught a glimpse of an emptier highway and went straight to the gas station.  As soon as I parked the car I heard Phil get out and the sound of puddles of vomit drip from him to the ground and make that final plopping sound.  The poor thing went to the bathroom to keep up the momentum and then to wash himself off meanwhile I did what I do best, made friends with the guys working at the station and smoked one of their cigarettes.  I was so caught off guard and confused by what happened that I just found myself laughing hysterically as I played everything back in my mind.  I couldn't help but die of laughter when Phil came out with his winter jacket bundled up, his shirt and pants covered with stains of the evidence and a look on his face like he had been through the battle of all battles.  He just smiles and knows everything is fine.  The first thing he says is.... "Ashly, I hope I didn't devalue your car."  It still makes me crack up just remembering the look on his face and the fact that that's the first thing he thinks about!  He's a sweetheart.


Needless to say I had to drop him off at home and go get my car totally shampood.  It cost $80 and 3 hours of my time, but it was totally a bonding moment for Phil and I!  The best part of it all was when I told my Dad what happened and he just responds with..... "alrighty, yup" and that's it.


Every day I literally fall more and more in love with my family and give thanks to God for putting us all together again so that we could have so many unique experiences together.  So the moral of the story is that even moments that seemingly are more difficult can be filled with tons of love and make for a great bonding story :)  For anyone who knows Phil, wish him well as he's still in bed at the moment!


Phil, I love you buddy!



Growth - It is the simple things that matter

Posted by ashlybauserman on January 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Growing up with a father who's job is to consantly travel the world definitely leads you to having what I call "the itch."  My genetic make up definitely doesn't help either as I definitely inherited the curiousity and drive from my father and the artistic and dedicated side from my mother.  They are both in their 50's and still wake up extremely early and have rediculously productive days.

I have always been somebody who just couldn't sit still for too long thanks to both nature and nurture.  I needed to be active in as many classes as my schedule would allow, I had two majors and a minor in college, took dance classes, art classes, piano classes, had an active social life, had significant others, traveled endlessly, taught four languages both in college and in Guatemala, wrote and patented a grammer book by 22, got obsessed with photogrpahy and the list goes on and on.  I was and have been a classic "over-achiever."  What they don't go on to tell you is that the classic over-achievers also tend to suffer from some amount of anxiety and are so competitive with themselves that nothing is ever really good enough.  My question is, is there enough energy to be both an over-achiever and be happy? 

In 2011 I was determined to discover what "balance" and being "happy" really meant.  I decided to go to work and spend my 8-10 hours there working hard.  I was lucky enough to get a job in a Language Company called Diplomatic Language Services where I could get my fix for all things international and still feel productive.  The only other thing I focused on was traveling (both because it's an integral part of who I am and also I am in a long distance relationship).  If I wasn't traveling or working I decided that I was determined to learn what it meant to be STILL. 

For the first time in my life I watched TV for hours, took showers until the water went cold, didn't do laundry until my underwear ran out, didn't make my bed for months at a time until my sheets needed to be washed, went on walks to absolutely nowhere and listened to my ipod on shuffle, stayed in bed for 3 extra hours as often as I could to transition between sleeping and thinking and just didn't force myself to do anything I didn't really want to.  I released myself from the pressure I had previously put on myself.  You have no idea how amazing it is to do absolutely NOTHING for 365 days if I wanted to!  

The biggest outcome for me has been a growing sense of appreciation for what I have versus what I haven't achieved.  I have an amazing brother, two dysfunctional yet very loving parents, a too good to be true boyfriend, an incredible job that gives me the ability to travel - and more than anything I have learned that I don't need to do absolutely anything to be "worth it" like I had convinced myself.  All I need to do is be greatful and have enough energy to give and receive love in order to find the type of happiness and balance that isn't fleeting.

I photographed the tree below while exploring Great Falls last year.  It managed to have so much charachter while maintaining it's simplicity.  The tree represented to me the type of -growth- I would like to continue to achieve.


How things have changed....

Posted by ashlybauserman on January 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The last time I wrote (and only time on this blog) was back in 2009.  I was about to embark on an amazing and extremely difficult journey. It has been way over a year and so many things have changed, just as they should when you're in your early twenties and on a mission to discover who you are and take risks.

I moved to Guatemala for two reasons: 1) Desire to discover a part of myself (the hispanic part which had also experienced the first 5 years of her life there) and 2) I loved him.

I moved in order to realize what was important.  Family/community and Money.  I know that everyone always tells you that money isn't anything that we should aspire to have, but when you live without it- you realize how important it is.  It isn't that money itself is essential, but more the power is.  It isn't just any type of power, but it is the power to choose. 

I choose to travel, to try something new, to help, to save.  I love having the ability to do the following and for no one to take it away from me.


Guatemala is truly beautiful - but it is one of the most dangerous places to live in.


I am thankful for what I learned - for how thankful and appreciative I have become - for how centered I have become - for how much I value family and a good and productive life. 

We are always evolving and I just happen to be someone who is absolutely curious about most things in life.  I am curious about love, love lost, taking risks, finding happiness, following my heart, being passionate, meeting new people and most importantly I am curious about what it means to live a full life.

I will write again tomorrow as I have so much more to catch up on -

Hope you are all enjoying your new years!