Ashley Renee Huff, M.A.

(Previously posted on the blog I created dedicated to the love of my life. She is the most remarkable person I have ever known, and I know she will be truly great one day.  Not like the rest of us marred by our belief that our blogs stand out.  From Something to Make Ashley Laugh)

It is unbelievable.

After everything you faced, everything placed against you, everything that set you up to make it so tempting to fail, to give in –

– you succeeded.

I can’t even begin to describe how amazing you are, and how amazing this is.  You took a great, great risk coming to a place in order to make your life better.  A place completely unknown, a place filled with people completely unknown, with so many questions left just weeks before you moved here (like, where we were going to live for example), and you beat it all.

Remember when we first came here?  The struggle you had to go through, making the decision on your own to leave home after years away, working do get your degree?  You didn’t want to leave, you didn’t want to move so far away from home.  Away from the people who loved you and supported you, just so you could take a risk on a program you didn’t know much about, at school you knew nothing about.  It wasn’t your first choice –

– 50% would have given up there.  Stayed at Sherwin Williams.  Kept looking for jobs.

It wasn’t your second choice –

– 80% would have mailed it in there.  Stayed at Sherwin…maybe imagine thumbing through the classifieds.

It was your third choice.  Remember what happened next?

You still came to Michigan anyway.  You knew then that, in order to do anything you wanted in your life, to even have a chance, you had to do it.  There was no moving forward UNTIL you did this.

Then…the program sucked.  It wasn’t what you wanted at all.

…and this place was filled with idiots.  Do I smell bacon???…
                                                            I’m a fly-ass-bitch…
                                                               Two-fifty a CAAAEYYEAYYYNNNN…
                                                                   She is…impossibly ugly…

– I believe 100% of the rest of the world would have, after they burned this place to the fucking ground, quit and went home.  And you know what?  I wouldn’t have blamed them.  I wouldn’t have blamed you.  You had endured more than anyone else would have through only the first year, and going home would have been a fine option.  You could have tried to go to school somewhere else.  You could have just washed your hands of this experiment, these Michighingherans, and went on your merry way.

After all, people were still looking at you like you were from Mars.  It’s like they didn’t understand the language you were speaking.  Their mouths were half-open, their brows were furrowed…they’d never understand you.  Friends?  Try having a normal conversation with anyone.  It didn’t seem possible.

And yet.

Never did you seriously waver.  Sure, you said you wanted to go home, but you knew what was waiting for you if you did.  So you did what no one else – no one else – would have done.

You pressed on.  You tried harder.  You made people see what a good person you were, and they had no choice to become your friend. 

You worked harder than anyone else in your class, and your grades showed it. 

You fostered more good will than anyone else could have in your place.  Christ, you led a student organization here!  Who the hell else would have worked so hard with so little in your place???  Honestly, I guarantee you can’t think of a single other person.

Even still, after that – when no one lifted one fuck finger to help you with anything in AMP – you didn’t quit.  I don’t know how many times I told you to tell those dumb, lazyasses to go fuck themselves when you told me your horror stories, and you would have been fully justified in taking my advice.

Lots of people would have.  But you knew better.

You always knew better.

You kept us here when things seemed at their worst.  Your sheer determination even kept me going.  I know it doesn’t seem like I worked hard enough, and I haven’t finished in time when I definitely could have –

– but no one.  No one in my life has helped me get farther than you have.

And I’m going to finish college.  It’s all because of you.

It’s because of your perfect example.  Your optimism that you were going to make a difference in this world.  You are definitely going to do that.  I know you will.  Nothing will hold you back.  You’ve shown me that these past two years.

And now, because of all that:  because of everything you endured, everything you faced, every challenge you have risen to here, in Michigan –

– you have your Master’s degree.

You, Ashley Huff, are now:

Ashley Huff, M.A.

(I hope I’m spelling that right.  Haha.)

I love you.  I am unbelievably proud of you, and I am honored you are a part of my life.  You are the greatest person I have known, or ever will know.

Thank you for being my role model my love.

With all my love,

Me : )
     (and Bryn!)

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