So, you may have heard that it snowed this past week. I hope and pray that all of my fellow southerners had enough milk and bread to keep them safe from any and all treacherous weather!
We didn’t really get much, round my neck of the woods – just enough to make me fear for my sanity and get an insane case of cabin fever (I feel it is important to reveal that I was only truly stuck inside for one day, but damn, did it feel bleak). By the time I woke up on day two of the promised snowpocalypse, everything had already started to melt. Such is life, as a southerner.
The older I get, the more “typical adult” I get about snowy weather, wherein I am bothered by it and cursing the weather man and generally just being an overall curmudgeon (side note – thank God for spell check, because I DEFINITELY did not know how to spell curmudgeon) about it all. I hate that. We should never age out of being awed by nature. I stepped outside pretty late at night (or early in the morning, however you want to look at it) to watch it coming down, and it truly was beautiful. There’s just such a peace to witnessing snow falling. 2016, moreso than any other year of my life thus far, has felt so hopeful and promising – I couldn’t help but take a nice blanket of pure, clean snow as a good sign of things to come for us all.
I kinda loved how this picture almost looks like lights or fireworks.
So, while the snow came just as quickly as it went, and while I did complain about it for nearly 80% of its short-lived stay, I was ultimately glad to see it. I guess you could say it made me feel snow-peful. You know, like hopeful, but with snow. And that is sort of a new way for me to feel (both hopeful and snow-peful), and I want to hold on to that feeling for as long as I can, because it makes everything feel fresh and clean and new – sort of like a snowfall. Damn. What a full circle moment.
PS – Nothing – and I do mean nothing – can beat a South Carolina sunset after a snowfall.
I guess I should explain, for starters, why I felt like it was time to find a new space to begin with. I have been writing as Minxual/at Minxual for nearly six years now, but recently have made the decision to shut that site down and move on to bigger and brighter things.
Nothing really happened that triggered this move. There was no big scandal or need to flee from my former internet home. I guess the long and pretty boring short of it is that I just sort of outgrew Minxual and what it represented to me. With Minxual, there became a sort of underlying dread, or maybe it could even be classified as a fear, that I felt when it came to producing content. There was no fun in it anymore. I felt a lot like I was being controlled by a space that was supposed to be a space that I was in control of. I felt typecast and stereotyped (completely by myself), and could not separate myself from a feeling of failure or disenchantment that came every time I posted.
There was also just the want to shed skins, to move away from past lives. The person you are at 23 and the person you are at 29 are complete and total strangers to one another, and that became more and more apparent whenever I would log in to post something. It is also important to mention that at its origin, Minxual was a retaliation blog. I had my little wings crushed by a boy who treated me badly all those years ago, and Minxual was my soapbox, my way of harnessing that pain and shame and trying to make a revolution out of being scorned. Like anything that is born from a place of malice or bitterness, it’ll never really get off the ground, and it will never really do anything much besides fester. Not to say that I feel that I’ve spent the past six years festering at Minxual- I am and will always continue to be really, really proud of the work that I did there, and proud of the fact that I tried to turn something painful and ugly into something bigger and better – but I’m definitely not the same girl that I was back then, nor do I want to be. I had a lot of fun for a lot of years being a minx, and a minx I shall always be at heart – but the past is in the past. She is in the past.
What I really craved, at the end of the day, was just a blank canvas. No expectations. No forced deadlines. No constant want to apologize if what I posted was sad instead of funny or felt unimpressive. Just my own space for me to share whatever I want, whenever I want to, for whomever might be passing through. Read it, don’t read it, I don’t care. I’m posting for me. And I’m really, really excited.
Lastly – the name change?
Well, that’s pretty easy, of course. Ashley in Wonderland is a spin on a few different things – my love of whimsy, my love of Disney, and my fascination with the concept of “Wonderland” itself.
The thing that I’ve always found really interesting, about the concept of Wonderland, is how much and how little it can be at the same time – somehow both beautiful and sinister, a lot like life is.
I remember being a kid and seeing the Disney film and wanting to go there SO badly – but as an adult, you look at that movie and you see it all completely differently. Wonderland is beautiful, but terrifying. Fantastic, but dangerous. And that’s sort of how my life feels right now. Everything is so very exploratory, and I think Wonderland is just the place to do some really good investigative work about who I am as a person and what the world around me means. Because some days, my wonderland is just as it sounds – the beautiful reality of every day life, when things are so bright and so intense that everything feels just like a dream that you don’t want to wake up from. And at other times, my wonderland is a warped and twisted creature, a living, breathing, all-consuming thing – and those times are just as important to acknowledge.