My Female Role Models

My Female Role Models

Mindy Kaling - Female Role Model

My Female Role Models

~ 6 Minute 30 Sec. Read
I spent the entire day from 11:00am – 9:30pm watching Anna Akana‘s YouTube videos.
This is not something I am proud of admitting but it’s better that I soak in all of her beauty, knowledge, and inspiration as soon as possible rather than living any brand new day without having her wisdom and humour in the back of my mind.

I had a plan for the New Year. It’s funny the way people make resolutions and wake up on January 1st with a bank slate and open mind about what’s to come. Or when people decide they will start the diet on Monday because it’s easier to accomplish when it’s the beginning of the week. I made the decision that I was going to quit my part-time design job and try to find somewhere more suitable for me in the “new year”. That way, I was able to go to the Christmas staff party to say my farewells; have enough time in December to gift shop; spend some much needed, quality time with friends and family; and then return to a full-fledged job in January. Sounds like a fair enough plan, right?


It is now the 12th of January and I have yet to even apply for a new job. I will admit, I liked the free time quite a bit in the beginning. It was nice resurrecting my social life for a bit and catching up with my friends and getting to know exactly what is going on in their lives. I even got to catch up on some video making.

I made myself a goal that I would film four Christmas videos for December AND IT WAS A SUCCESS. I made one video a week and even in those brief videos, there were things I learned. Things I wouldn’t realize until I actually did them for myself. For example, getting an echo in my microphone when I did a voice-over in a closed, empty room. It was great to spend time on something I like doing and didn’t have much time for before. I was still on a roll with my videos, I had filmed my TMI tag during the day of New Year’s Eve and obviously didn’t have time in the evening to edit it because of the holiday. I was busy during the weekend afterwards and when I came back to it Monday morning – the worst happened. I was about a third-way through my edit when my MacBook glitched, split-screened, and suddenly time traveled – telling me to restart in what looked like the interface of a 30-year-old Macintosh. Slightly worried but knowing my laptop is only 2-years-old I still had hope. I restarted it and… sigh of… relief? The Apple logo appeared.

Nothing more. The screen was grey and never reached the log-in prompt. No matter how many times I shut it on and off. Long story short – my laptop has been taken away from me for 2-3 weeks which means I don’t have any of my work for my Freelance job, I don’t have my resume to apply to any new jobs, and I don’t have my software to perform at a Graphic Design job even if I miraculously received one.

So you could say recently, I’m at a bit of a stand-still in my life. What else to do in this situation? Try to motivate yourself to work even though you don’t have your routine materials. I decided to spend my time trying to make some title sequences for the questions in my TMI Tag so that when I get my baby back, I can add them for some extra dedication to my video. IF MY VIDEO STILL EXISTS, MIND YOU {Input uncalled for devastation and trauma of the thought that I might lose my data}. It was nice to draw my focus onto something off the computer for a change.

After that minor detachment, I started getting into a “what do I do with my time” phase. (Keep in mind it has only been about 3 days since my laptop has been officially shipped off). So, I started where everyone else is these days – on Netflix. After recently reading Mindy Kaling’s book, I took my mom’s laptop and binge watched The Mindy Project. I am so attracted to Mindy’s mentality and confidence. Next up, Lena Dunham. I finished her book a couple days ago and yesterday was the premiere of GIRLS season 4. Now, I have watched about 10 hours in 2-5 minute increments of Anna Akana‘s YouTube videos.

I have been mentally stuck in a rut and these girls have become my motivation in, what I believe is, exactly what I needed before preceding to any job application. You know how they tell you to surround yourself with people that you want to be like? That’s true for those of us that live on the Internet as well. Surround yourself with positive influences even if it is through a computer screen. That’s what I have been doing. Additionally, watching these girls has seriously made me question my sexuality.

I’ve always found myself to be a bit of an odd one out. Not in the conventional way, as people will see me as a blonde with blue eyes and automatically think I would’ve been the popular type. But, by the way I handle myself and think out loud to people. I have been called “weird” many times. These are the thoughts of my sister, the girls I work with, my mom, and even some guys.

Things people point out that make me different me:
*Disclaimer: These are not all 24/7, can’t break this code of behaviour ever in your life; but more of a personal guideline I’ve lived by for most of my years.

– I don’t wear make-up (this is more lenient as I got older and was asked to wear a dress for work but still: only mascara and on occasion a smidge of concealer under my eyes)

– I don’t swear (okay, I swear when I rap my favourite Eminem songs or if I drink too much and become an emotional drama queen)

– I love scary movies (I have twisted thoughts and I like seeing other people’s twisted thoughts so I know I’m not alone)

– I don’t clothing shop often (I spend most, if not all, my spending money on food)

– I forget about my eyebrows (I will maintain them when they cross my mind with the odd plucking session but I don’t get them done professionally and I do not fill them in)

– I don’t like playing “the game” (At one point in my life I was a flirty texter or a game-playing high schooler but it got old, fast. What’s the point of making yourself wait to reply to someone you really want to talk to? You want to come off as hard to get? On the other end, who wants to try and keep conversation with someone who takes 10 minutes to answer minuscule questions. Be yourself. I promise you won’t scare anyone away by answering a question THEY asked you to begin with. When I started being myself and replying to people, I actually became closer to them because we learned about each other and relationships would grow at a quicker pace than being reserved and uncertain. The only way to know if you like someone or if they will like you back is to learn more about them. You can’t do that if you don’t give it a shot.)

I could go on but I think you get the point. I am not your typical girl – and discovering these new role models for myself, I found; neither are they. Both the books I read include a hint to this resemblance in the title. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling… suggesting she doesn’t get along with everyone else in a way that would make them invite her to social outings. When she does go, it would be that feeling of out-of-place. Out-of-place is how I feel when girls try to include me in a circle of debating the best new bronzer. And then, “Not That Kind of Girl” by Lena Dunham. Which is a statement that pretty much sums up of everything exemplified above.

From my list you can tell that I don’t mind being myself. I can go nude face out in public no problem; I can call someone a “jerk” instead of a “mother fucker” without being afraid of being laughed at or being seen as an “innocent prepubescent tween”; and I can leave my eyebrows to grow without even actually considering them. Sure, this is a type of confidence but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own set of insecurities. They just don’t stem from my appearance.

I am insecure about most of the decisions I make with my life. I have so many spurts of uncertainty if I am going in the right direction or if I will make the right choices. It truly frightens and panics me from time to time. It shouldn’t. Even if I AM uncertain, I need to take my own advice like I gave to the “game playing” girls. You will never know you don’t like something until you try it. You won’t know if it is right for you until you’ve participated in it. That’s how I need to feel about my work, my art. Also, take time to focus on bettering one thing at a time. There are so many mediums that I want to try but I can’t do them all and I can’t learn to grasp any of them truly unless I take time for one specific focus at a time. Choose one and learn it.

These girls that I have mentioned: Mindy, Lena, Anna, and many more have awakened me to pursuing ventures that I would normally be reserved or insecure about. They make me feel proud to be my own person and even if I do have oddities that don’t relate to all the other girls in a conventional way – other parts of me do. For friendships, and for work, I now want to throw myself out there 100% and be myself. If I don’t appeal to a potential girl friend because I don’t wear make-up but I’ve made conversation in different ways – I’ll know I at least tried. If I don’t get a call back after an interview because I didn’t know how to do one type of medium when I have progressed in many others – I’ll know there’s more options out there for me.

Throwing my work and art into this epiphany may seem like a bit of a jump but if watching, reading, and listening to these girls has improved me in more ways than one; that’s worth mentioning. My whole life growing up, I’ve had three huge obstacles in my self esteem. I had been the type of girl who always had guy friends because I couldn’t connect with girls. I’ve been that person who was terrified of sharing anything I had ever made. And I have always had reservations about trying something new. Know that when you start something, you start at the beginning. You suck at the beginning. The only way to move past that, is to keep going with it and the only way to keep going with it, is to in fact start it.

When you find those people that impress you because they know 4 languages, play a selection of instruments and keep in shape; they all started from the beginning. They once only knew how to say “Hi, bonjour, hola, and konichiwa”, have held down that extra guitar string by mistake, and have ran so quickly after eating that they farted.

Time, experience, and dedication is what it takes to improve and if I have discovered that now, think about what I’ll have accomplished by the time I’m 25… 40… 60! It was these girls that I needed to persuade me with a boost of real talk and inspiration. So, it is them that I thank for re-evaluating my thoughts on being myself mentally. Which is just as important as physically (which they all individually represent too).

Funny how learning to love myself involves so many other people. Find someone you’ll listen to and hopefully they can impact you the same. Maybe this blog post can be that voice for you. Hint, hint: I like to share my life learnings. Be my friend. Girls only.

Just kidding, you are all the best.

PS. I intend to write more informative posts coming up and less about me but if I experience a personal revelation it helps me soak it in by writing about it and I feel like I’m serving a justice by informing others. So, enjoy these posts. The moral has taken me a long time to learn and I get to sum it up for you to consume instantly. Lucky bums.

2 thoughts on “My Female Role Models

  1. omar

    Good post, when I originally clicked on this post I was quick to judge it as a chick only post and moved on but until tonight I came back around to it and read most of it I even watched two of Anna’s videos cause, I’d figured if Ashley is a good writer well I bet this Anna is too. Great stuff Ashley consider me a fan. Hope your computer is back running soon so you can chop chop on that job search.

    • admin

      Wasn’t sure I would see a comment from you on this one. I’m glad you gave it another chance. Thank you for calling me a good writer – I’m always awaiting your comments as my first fan. I hope you liked Anna’s videos as much as I do.

      I am counting down the days until I get my laptop back. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get organized and write out some cover letters for a start.

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