Introducing Me!

I'm Ashley, aka A.Smith. I got that nickname (can you call it a nickname?) in college. My sophomore year I spent a lot (really, all of...) of my free time with a group of 3 other girls and all of our names started with A.

I'm currently seeking a professional degree in a helping profession: counseling. A few days ago a friend of mine unearthed some things I'd written at 16 years old. I was a typical angsty teen. I hated life, people, the world. In my teen mind, the world was surely ending. It just couldn't get any worse. Essay after essay, poem after poem, she read aloud the mind of me at 16 and I wanted to reach back in time and choke myself for being absolutely ridiculous. At one point she read a line where I'd written something like, "I just really want those around me to be happy." "Ahhh," she said, "so Ashley's a people pleaser..." Those words struck me for some reason. I'm not a people pleaser. I could care less if people like me; but of those who do seem to like me and of those, the ones I call friend and like in return, I do want them to be happy. That matters to me. My biggest fear for self is that while I'm called to a helping profession, I don't want to give so much of myself. My friends are always telling me to take time for myself and focus on me -- ironic since they are often the reason I don't. Not really their fault or problem, but they are the catalyst all the same.

I really love the color purple. It's one of the first things people seem to learn about me. I love the book, the play and the movie -- but most of all, the color. My car is purple, my mom painted a wall in my room (which, since I was in college when she bought it and about to graduate wasn't REALLY my room) purple and I'll purchase almost anything that's purple (that part is a real problem).

I like to explain myself by telling stories. I'm definitely all about a good parable. Tell a story AND make a point? Share myself AND be profound? Why yes, yes I will.

I have a short term memory problem. If I don't get it done right then, I will forget about it. However, I have an AMAZING ability to remember things long-term. I can remember the most mundane things about events gone past. Not sure at what point the short-term becomes the long-term, but this is my life.

This is me. Not all of me, by far, but a lot. The rest of me oughta be apparent in the next 30 days. Yay!!


Jasmin said...

Great to see you blogging again!

I'm about to graduate with a Bachelors in Spanish and Psychology, and one of the reasons why I decided to go on and get a PhD in Spanish instead of Clinical Psych is because I think I'd be one of those people not good at separating work from personal. My university is also very research-oriented, so a lot of profs have encouraged me to go on in Psych (even the department head, which surprised me because he's the resident misanthrope here), but I ended up liking Spanish better. Funny, given that I was set on being a counselor when I came into college.

CareyCarey said...

Well Ashley, aka A. Smith, I see you're doing the damn thing. 2 thumps up!

On the issue of counseling, as you and Jasmin spoke of, it can be a burnout profession, especially if one is a compassionate person.

Seeing pain and misery on a constant basis is not for the weak of heart. Granted, there are several avenues/areas of counseling, and depending on the level of ones degree, the road can be somewhat smoother. Nevertheless, for those that work on the "front lines" the statics say a person will take the problems of their clients... home with them. Consequently, it will affect their lives, and most end up leaving that profession. Or, they try to find a comfortable place in which they are calling all the shots, and not working for/under someone else.

A.Smith said...

Jasmin - Thanks...I missed it. I tell graduating high school seniors all the time, "I won't ask you what you're majoring in until you're about to graduate, because you should feel free to change your mind..." We don't always let people explore in college and that's what undergrad is all about!

Carey - Thank ya kindly. I've told many friends I don't think I should have children. I could see them growing up and ending up in counseling themselves complaining of how their mom seemed to care more for the kids she worked with than them. It's definitely something I think a lot about: how a helping profession effects you personally... I already struggle to draw lines.

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