Shades of Home(lessness)

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I was talking to Janeen the other day about a matter completely unrelated to this post, and she told me–with all of her Janeen-like kindness that honestly makes me crazy sometimes–that I don’t need to be so hard on myself. Of all the nerve. I mean really, what kind of empathetic and compassionate person looks at someone they love making mistakes and says, “Don’t be so hard on yourself”?

I thanked Janeen very kindly and then proceeded to be very hard on myself. Adding a bit of extra cruelty just in case her soft words had softened me!

Which brings me to my post.


I wish I could say that the move to Bangkok has been smooth, but it’s more cobblestone lane than carpool highway. After absconding from my previous employer and landing this job in a new city on a new continent, I was really hoping for a little public success. The prideful version of myself wanted to show how quickly I could get settled, how quickly I could make friends, how quickly I could see exciting places, how quickly I could update my wardrobe. I’m realizing that this blog post, nay this entire blog, is a way for me to tell everyone not just that I’m okay, but that I’m doing well. If the objective is to show that I’m doing well, then I have to be beat up on myself or else I won’t achieve it.

Cue fight music.

In this corner, you have Ashley. In the other corner, you also have…. Ashley.

Cue cheers from the Facebook and Instagram audience.


For the past few weeks, I have been hurling myself against myself. Trying to change the Thai perception of time. Trying to advocate for myself with my boss on issues that really don’t fit into my big picture anyway. Trying to project calm via social media. I’m doing all of this just so I can say, “Look people living across the waters, I have a great place to stay and a very settled life. Look! I’m stable. I got my act together. I’m doing well.” And if the avoidance of public shame isn’t motivation enough, my hotel bed feels like a piece of wood with a sheet stapled over it. So, I’m calling realtors, chatting with my colleagues, scouring the interwebs. Because I, Ashley the Unvanquished, is going to make it happen. In three weeks. In a country where I do not speak the language. Even if I have to pulverize myself.


But, Ya’ll. The world doesn’t work this way. And honestly, when I think about my values, I know that’s not how I want home to work either. Home takes time. So I needed to decide if I wanted to enter into this part of my life in a storm and a whirlwind, or if I wanted to listen to the still, small voice.

You might be interested to know that the still, small voice said, “Hurry up, bitch.” But then I realized that was still me, so I listened to the other still, small voice and decided to settle down for now. Okay. So I won’t be in my new place come August 1. Praise God. Amen. My hopes of playing the lead role as a stable and responsible adult have been delayed. Praise God. Amen.

So to recap: Right now, I am living in a hotel refusing to unpack my luggage until I find a permanent home. The ONE GOAL I set for myself I have been unable to achieve.  But I am…okay. Happy even. I love my new job and my new colleagues. I live in BANGKOK for the absolute love of all that is holy.

Praise God. Amen.

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