My family likes to joke about how much I travel. “Where’s Ashley this week? Paris? Turkey? Nigeria?” The truth is, I have yet to visit anyplace outside of the continental United States. My family just laughs about my tendency to leave the state without telling them. Which I often do. My impromptu wanderlust scares them, but they can’t stop me from going.
So, they laugh about it instead.
I was born and raised in Fort Wayne. Ninety percent of my entire family lives in the same neighborhood. They take vacations, but never out of the country, and certainly, never alone. It was a big deal when I moved a whole hour and fifteen minutes away for college. My grandma insisted I was too young and too friendly.
“You always see the best in people, Ashley. Not all people are good people.”
She’s right. I am a realist who errs on the side of optimism. I regularly say things like,
“Let’s just let a little more love in today,” or “We are all more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
Sounds cheesy, but I say these things in all sincerity. Traveling teaches empathy and how it’s the most important thing you’ll ever learn. It teaches you how to enjoy what makes us different while recognizing everything that makes us exactly the same. It makes you grow up.
That’s why I choose to live in Indianapolis. This city is rapidly growing, becoming more and more supportive of the arts, and best of all, open to new and exciting ideas. You can learn to be a grown-up anywhere, but if you can do it in a vibrant developing area, not too far from family, and close to an airport like ours, why would you ever want to leave?
I’ve recently committed to a non-traveling adventure and started working as the Office Manager and Project Coordinator for Pivot Marketing. I’m here in Fountain Square with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met, eating the best food in town, and spending a few quality minutes every day with a Business Cat. So, it’s a happy adventure.
My sister is planning to drive on the highway for the first time and let me show her around. She’s been here before, but this time she’ll see Indianapolis through my eyes and experiences. She’s going to do a lot of walking and even more eating. We’re going to make each other laugh hard and loud. She’s going to ask me about Boston and where I plan to visit next. I’ll tell her there’s a list, but I’m in no rush.
I’ll tell her that I’m happy. Right where I am.