Ashley Nicole Hunter

Editor, Author, Priestess

Begin Again

School of Athens by Raphael

School of Athens by Raphael

 

My first attempt at college was pretty disastrous. The year before I had been kicked out of my father’s house shortly after turning eighteen. My fiancé had just been arrested (I had never known that he had ever been in legal trouble) and placed in prison. My mother was having another struggle with her alcoholism. A good friend no longer wanted to speak to me after I turned down his offer of sex. I was broke and without a job. Altogether, it was very hard to focus on my schoolwork, and after that first year I decided that my life wasn’t stable enough yet for college.

It’s been ten years since then. I bought a house, got married, and moved to two different states before coming home to Arkansas. My husband was lucky enough to secure a position at the University of Central Arkansas working in the Torreyson library. It’s his dream job, and apart from being a great source of income and benefits, it also allows the both of us to return to school at a sharply discounted rate. We’ve decided that it would be best for me to go back to college, first, to try and begin again academically. Between Jeremy’s job and me doing part-time cashier work on campus, we should be okay financially.

Faced with the exciting prospect of obtaining a degree, I’ve had to decide what exactly I want to major in. I knew going in that whatever I chose, I wanted it to be something that glorified the Gods and went towards my dream of opening a temple dedicated to Them. I had to ask myself: what sort of priestess do I want to be for my Gods? My answer: whatever sort they need me to be.

I decided to get a double-major in religious studies and creative writing. This summer has marked the start of my first semester back in college, and it’s been challenging but rewarding. I’ve had to balance a tremendous writing load with personal writing goals of my own, and above all, my commitment to the Gods and Their people. My absence the past few weeks is due to that…I needed time to find what schedule would work for me. It was rough at first…I’m a night owl, but my classes were first thing in the morning. Sometimes this meant going with very little sleep, but I’m proud to say I got the work done…on both ends. I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts just what that work has been.

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"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

***Oscar Wilde

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”

***Neil Gaiman

“Stand at the crossroads if you will, but if you'll not choose, I'll move on without you.”

***Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Dart

"The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery."

***Anais Nin

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