Hey now, what’s this all about?

After a long hiatus, I’m back to the keyboard, punching out a few thoughts and getting posts up (hopefully) more often than I did over at un.determined. Life is still just as undetermined as it was seven months ago, but moving the blog for a fresh new start seemed like a great way to reopen the creative floodgates.

Oh and obviously, the coolest part is that I’m here, at allymanet.com. Arguably not the most creative of site names, but I see it as an opportunity to develop on the web the person I am in the real world. Seemed only fitting that the internet me would have the same name as the real me, no?

I’ll spare you the explanations of why it’s been so long and instead tell you why I’m back.

I realized over the past few months that while I love to write, what I really enjoy is reading. I love telling people – namely, my husband – about the random pieces of information I garner throughout the day. I’m constantly soaking it all in, bursting at the seams to tell someone, anyone, whatever remarkable or ridiculous tidbit I stumbled across.

Who knows why I find learning new (and mostly useless) things so fascinating. Maybe it’s because we’re the internet generation. Maybe it’s because my parents bought a full set of encyclopedias. Or maybe it’s because I’m a complete and total nerd.

Either way, I’ll be sharing it all with you here, and I hope allymanet.com introduces you to something new, something interesting, something completely Ally, nearly every day.

Random thought about this post’s title: as soon as I typed it, I starting singing “Hey now, heyyyy nowww, don’t dream it’s over!” You too? No? Just me then…


The Dream Drain

At least, that’s what this place feels like.

I can’t tell you all how often I open up this site, intending to write something – anything – but leave with the cursor still blinking over a blank page.

I write over here for school of course, but so does everyone else in my class. I post my articles over here, but I don’t particularly want the depressing research I’ve been doing on animal rights and other topics to clog up this page.

So what’s up with the whiteout over here?

20-Something Mind Games

Mostly, I feel like I have no idea what direction I want to lead you in.

Heck, I don’t even know what direction I want to lead myself in.

I don’t know what to write or what to tell you because it seems like everywhere I look, I see people who are following their dreams and making things happen. They’re off finding careers, finding their callings or simply finding themselves. People have what would appear to be the job I’ve been searching for since graduation, leaving me to wonder exactly which step I took was the wrong one.

Granted, I have a wonderful life as-is; I have a husband I love very much, who still laughs at all of the weird things I do from day to day. I have a family nearby and a new(ish) nephew who – when he’s not spitting up on me – is just about the cutest thing to ever lay in his own poop.

And I’m lucky enough to be employed and own a home when so many people in this world do not. Don’t get me wrong. I realize all of these blessings and I’m thankful for them every day.

But here I am, four years later without so much as one position with the same title as subject printed on my degree, while people I know are running off being artists and photographers, doctors and lawyers and discovering their dreams and pushing them to reality.

And me?

I feel like I was out sick on “discover your dream” day in elementary school.

(And did I mention I had excellent attendance almost every year?) 

The Curse of the Over-achiever

I should mention, of course, that I realize I’m only 26 and that I should chill out. But if that’s your advice, you can go ahead and leave it somewhere else. Why?

  1. Because I did what I was supposed to do through school, getting good grades, carrying a part-time job and earning the respect of my teachers, professors, employers and peers.
  2. Because I’m really, truly smart and a hard worker and those are supposed to be my keys to opening whatever doors I so choose.
  3. Because this is my blog and I’ll complain if I want to.

OK, you probably didn’t need that third one, and I really don’t mean to complain, but let’s be honest – when you grow up hearing you can be anything you want to be, you kind of start to believe it.

Maybe it’s because everyone in my generation was told the same thing, and we need to realize we really aren’t that special.

Maybe it’s only those who have a true, live-or-die-by-it passion can really make something of themselves.

Maybe some are just luckier than others. Or maybe in this über-connected world we just see more of the bright and shiny sides and it’s hard to remember we’re all in this messed up world together.

But tell me: how are you doing it?

How did you know what you’re doing is what you’re meant to be doing? Or are you like me, wondering when that big, fat, passionate something will come around and smack you in the face?

In school, problems have solutions, questions have answers and there’s a right and wrong way to do things. In life, we’re not that lucky.

I’m just hoping to figure it all out someday.

‘Til then.


Surely at some point, everyone who writes anything has written those four letters.

TGIF. Thank God It’s Friday.

I’m definitely feeling that today – the idea of having a weekend ahead of me with no plans outside of getting homework done sounds so supremely satisfying that I could not wait for it to be here.

So yes, TGIF. And TGIS tomorrow with another TGIS after that.

After all, it’s been a tough week. Work has been hectic and school is really starting to get the best of me. But I heard a song today that reminds me of all the wonderful things that I am completely lucky to have. And just hearing those words – or the words of many other songs with the same effect – really helps put things in perspective.

(If you’re wondering, it’s Lucky Man, by Montgomery Gentry – very country but makes a very good point; plus, there’s a Bengals reference!)

So in light of seeing how lucky I am, I’m very thankful it’s Friday and that I have an entire weekend to enjoy the lucky life I live.

I hope you’ll all do the same.

My Hero.

OK. We’ve discussed my inability to embrace free time.

Unfortunately, that means I often … well … over-book myself.

This week has been a prime example. Somehow I thought being a graduate student, a (fairly) new employee, a wife, a housekeeper and a dog-mom was not enough. Nope – I had to add home remodeler to the list.

Yep. That’s right – we’ve begun the remodeling on our retro bathroom. The pink tile is gone (GONE!), the bathtub is in place and the room is taking shape. And if there’s anything I can share with those looking to remodel their own homes, it’s this:

  1. Homes built in the 60’s were NOT built to be remodeled. They were built to have ugly pink tile. For.Ev.Er.
  2. Swinging a sledgehammer is SO MUCH FUN.
  3. Dads are awesome.

I’d like to focus on that last one, for a minute. As stressed out as I’ve been this week, I am so grateful that my dad has been as helpful as he’s been in helping us with the house. It’s a mess and it’s tough work and he’s gone along like it’s nothing. I’ve never been more thankful that Daughter is perpetually on my list of roles.

Today is my dad’s 59th birthday. He’s counting down the days to his retirement from GE where he’s worked for thirty-some-odd years. He’s strong and thoughtful and smart. He has the largest most loving heart of anyone I’ve ever met.

He’s amazing. And while he’s stubborn and bullheaded and downright impossible to disagree with, he’s my dad.

And he’s awesome.

Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.