Attempting Expression

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit…what a ride!"
-Hunter S. Thompson
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Strange title?

This is in fact a story about a spider named Norman, but it’s also a story about his untimely death, with a comparison to the most recent Boston events.

Norman was a daddy-long legs spider (or Pholcidae if you will) who lived in my bathroom for two weeks. One morning I woke up, got out of bed, began my normal morning ritual while getting ready for work, when all of a sudden, a very large black cluster caught my attention above my mirror. Sure enough, there sat the biggest spider I have ever seen in person. It was like he was watching me, just hovering above my head, waiting to pounce. Now, I’m pretty positive the dude wanted nothing to do with me, he was just building his web waiting for some his breakfast to get caught in it, but his over-sized, menacing appearance suggested otherwise.

I have had a similar spider experience before, Herman. Long story short, Herman lived in my dorm room junior year of college. He lived there for almost a month. I let him build his web in the corner of my room where my lamp sat. He hardly ever moved and wasn’t invasive. I figured we all need shelter sometimes, so I let him stay in my abode. It was smooth sailing the entire time. Herman never fussed, he never bothered me, we just co-existed under one roof, both simply staying out of each business. Then one day Herman left and never came back. It actually felt pretty nice not being afraid of him, and I felt much better not killing him. Usually spiders don’t freak me out (though they are freaky looking) and when they’re small/medium sized like Herman, I have no problem with them as long as they’re not poisonous.

But back to Norman, I figured that this was Herman Round 2, so I let him stay above my mirror. He stayed there for a couple days, moving only ever-so-slightly to finish his web design. However, one day I walked into my bathroom and he was gone. I figured he had moved on like Herman had, and to be honest I was glad to see him go. This particular spider gave me the heeby jeebies, even though his breed couldn’t hurt me if it tried.

BUT, after another five days, Norman returned, but to a different spot this time. He was now migrating around my bathroom, making multiple webs on my ceiling. Hold on brother, I never said you could redecorate. Now I was frustrated. And creeped out that a very large spider was able to come out and in without me noticing. I waited a day to see if he’d leave, but he ended up just going back to his original spot above my mirror. I had finally had enough of his shenanigans and was able to “cup him” on my counter (cup over spider). I was in a rush so I left the cup on the counter. When I returned home and lifted the cup in attempt to transport the eight-legged critter outside, to my shock he wasn’t there.

Norman escaped and I had no idea where he went. More frustrated with the situation, I decided to leave it alone and deal with it another day.  Four days later, he shows up again, IN A DIFFERENT SPOT. I again was in a rush, so I Eagle-eyed him while I was in the shower, making sure he made no sudden moves, got dressed and left him in his new spot. Today, I finally acted.

Norman had made his way to my shower. Oh no buddy, not going to fly.

I attempted to cup him again and missed twice. He kept finding corners where I couldn’t get the entire lid to trap him. I finally gave up and asked my brother to help me. His idea of helping however, was killing Norman. A normal human reaction, killing a spider, and that’s what he did. Before I knew it, Norman was dead, wrapped in tissue and flushed. In a blink of an eye.

Now, I am sitting here writing a blog about a spider I named and am feeling really guilty. I just aided the killing of an innocent critter who was just trying to live. Sure, he was taking my hospitality for granted (yes I know he’s a spider not a human), but he could never hurt me. So why was I so anxious around him? I helped kill out of fear, but fear of what? A bug about 1/1,000 the size of me…

I couldn’t help but relate this to Boston. That 19 year-old kid who caused all of this chaos. That 19 year-old kid whose friends and family talked about what a wonderful person he was before all of this, and how he was destined for great things. Honestly, I almost feel bad for him. Don’t get me wrong, what he did is unacceptable, sad, destructive and plain wrong. Not to mention he messed with my second home, NOT OK. But, what if he was afraid? What if something/someone else that COULD actually hurt him forced him to commit these acts? He could have killed because he was afraid, not because he wanted to. I could absolutely be wrong, it could have been a mental thing, but I couldn’t help but draw a comparison this evening.

I feel such a strange amount of guilt for conspiring against Norman, I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if I ever killed another person. And if this boy is in fact sane, I can’t even imagine how he is handling killing more than one. 

Part of me hopes this whole thing is over and that it was just the two brothers, but another part of me hopes someone put them up to this, and that they’re not as mental as we think they are. Almost like how a part of me wishes Norman were alive, even though he’d still continue to freak me out every day. At least the guilt wouldn’t be there. 

As for now, I hope Norman rests in peace and is finding more luck finding food than he did in my room. I also hope Boston can finally sleep tonight after this long week.


I voted for Regina George because she got hit by a bus.

1. It’s a sad day when we forget about the popular vote.

2. It’s even sadder when you find out that political parties are spending upwards of 6 billion dollars on CAMPAIGNS, and NOT our country’s needs. 

I have final reached that moment in life, where saying that graduation scares me really means something.

I am terrified. My stomach is in knots, my mid is reeling at 60 thoughts per second, I want to burst out into tears like a weepy little child but won’t because I’m too proud. I have NO CLUE what I want to do, and when I think about what I might want to do, it just upsets me because I know how near unattainable those positions are, or I know the path to get there would just murder me.

I don’t want to sit behind a computer and a desk for the rest of my life and call it a day. I want to be creative and active and constantly exercise my mind, body and soul. I don’t want the same old routine every day. I want to wake up in the morning and jump out of bed because going into “work” makes me so happy. I want to love what I’m doing and hopefully make enough money to survive and live healthily while doing it. Or doing THEM. Maybe even multiple jobs. 

I have trained my entire life to do more than one thing at once, and picking one job at one company with one specific task list makes me flip my head in the other direction.

What if the job I really want requires a Master’s? What do I do then? Go back to school and kill myself for three more years and throw another $100,000 dollars in just to get another piece of paper that tells me I’m qualified??

Oof, I feel like I’m giving myself an aneurysm. 

Sometimes it just takes a moment; just one moment to get you out of your head. One moment to stop your head from spinning and sweep you off your feet.

Today’s moment, was preparing for a handstand lift during rehearsal, hooking my knees over the guy’s shoulders, being hung upside down, and when my hands finally found a place to wrap around for support, one of them just happened to fall in a perfect grab around an ass cheek. 

The rest of the rehearsal was simply a blur of outstanding laughter, tears of joy and a horrible case of post-hilarity hiccups. 

Granted, I had to come back to real life after those two hours and face the problems in front of me, but the fact that I got to spend two hours of my life, laughing and dancing with people that I love and adore…I just need to stop taking these moments for granted.

Today was one of those days that left me alone with my thoughts. It left me alone a little too long actually. Alone time is treasured, but too much causes my mind to run ramped with interpersonal debates over life and over-analyzation. 

Though, today’s little thought escapade was both enlightening and heart-numbing.

Recently I have felt as though I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about soulmates. Wikipedia (the most reliable source) identifies the term: “a soulmate is believed by some to be the person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity, similarity, love, sex, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality or compatibility.” All of these conversations I have  had centered around the idea of finding one’s soulmate; finding one’s perfect match. Almost like fitting together two pieces of a puzzle, different patterns that come together and match along the cut lines. Almost as if there is a magnetic force pulling your bodies together. 

My mind ran through a lot of different opinions on the subject: I believe that everyone has a soulmate, I believe soulmates do not exist, I believe people have multiple soulmates…etc. I was never actually able to fully commit to just one theory. The dangerous part however, is I began using my life as a medium through which to analyze these theories. Very dangerous.

A day in the life of an Ashley soulmate story actually has no relevance, so I spent the better part of my day trying to convince myself of such. Unlike many of the people I know (not all, but a good sum) I have yet to be in love. I have loved, but “being in love” is not something I have had the privilege of experiencing. So me trying to work “soulmates” into the talk of my life is a bit absurd—of course my outlook on that comparison is entirely cynical. 

But objectively, my observations began stirring.

If soulmates exist, what happens if you never find yours? What if you have your perfect match (and a perfect match does not need to exhibit perfect qualities per-say, just qualities that fold excellently with another’s), they are real, but they happen to reside in a country you never visit in your lifetime. Or you walk right past them a thousand times on the same street but no collision of worlds occurs and you never actually meet. Or worse, you know them well, but you never stop to take the time to think about the possibility. Are you then completely unsatisfied emotionally for the rest of your life? We as humans are just about programmed to crave love and companionship on some level, but if you can’t find that flawless fit, are you forever kicking yourself in that department, do you give up, do you settle for someone else?

Wouldn’t it be unfair for soulmates to be created, but there was no guarantee you’d find them? I understand life isn’t always fair, but that would be a big gigantic kick-tease to the hormonal gut. That lead me to the thought of having multiple soulmates. More chances to feel fully connected to another individual not of your kin. That would make more sense right? Having multiple chances to find that happiness would make the odds a bit more favorable (unintentional HGames reference). Same question though, what if you still don’t attach to them? What if you have horrendous luck and you just can’t seem to get it right?

It all lead me to my final theory of soulmates not existing. If soulmates didn’t exist then, pressure’s off! Maybe you’ll find someone you fall in love with who clicks with you somehow, maybe you won’t. Maybe you can find the craving for companionship in other ways, or give into the temporary aspect of love…the fleeting kind. It seems to open up a lot of doors, this theory. I want so badly to fully believe in this.

However I am learning very quickly that I cannot.

It’s the prick that steers me from it. The ever-popularized, world-renowned spark. That thing that sends sensations through each and every nerve when you make a connection. It’s the one that begins at a point of impact and spreads within a millisecond to the rest of your body. The cold tickled tingle that resides upon your fingertips when watching a scene you fully connect to in a movie, or the shockwave that sends a pulse from a kiss to your toes. It’s like a jump-start to your nerves, muscles and even bones. That’s what convinces me otherwise. You feel it when things are right, and it doesn’t present itself when well…things aren’t right. When you make a connection with another person, regardless of what kind (love, friendship, etc.) your entire body ignites, and it causes you to remember them. Many people refer to this moment in a first kiss. They see “fireworks”

But the absolute selling thought on this, was realizing that you can feel that prick at different levels of intensity, and with and/or without an actual physical impact. Maybe that’s a soulmatic connection. Having both with such an intensity you can’t move your mind away from it…magnetics. 

So what happens if one person feels this rush of prick, and who they have “chosen” does not? Unrequited love is proven easily in life, but something of this strength? The final resolution I came to in this outrageous rant is “Why?” 

I think we’ll always ask ourselves why, and honestly we may never know. We may never know why things tease us and mock us for things we have no control over. Soulmates being the most frustrating—at least in my personal opinion. 

I think I’ll always be asking myself why, and honestly, I may just drive myself crazy waiting indefinitely for a concrete answer.