To Whom It May Concern —
I am formally requesting your regards on the subject of my presence within this blogosphere.
Just kidding. This isn't that serious.
Let me introduce myself. I’m Ashley Dylan: a 27-year-old woman who uses she/her pronouns; a die-hard Supernatural fan; and a budding singer-songwriter with a theater degree from UC Irvine who currently works in fintech.
Whew. Trying to say that all three times fast.
Anyways, you’re probably wondering what I’m doing here blabbering away at you all. Well, I’m the new copywriter and social media coordinator for Strive To Learn! I’m working with your Strive faves to bring you inspiring, entertaining, and informational content that will keep you in the loop regarding all you need to know on your journey to college (or simply post-high school life). I can’t wait for all the fun we’re going to have!
Here’s a bit more about me in the meantime.
I grew up in a smaller Northern California town and graduated from high school ten years ago. I went straight from high school to UC Irvine where I earned a degree in theater. While there, my studies included courses in different types of stage acting, stage management, and stage design. I also tried my hand at a jazz dance class. I'll be the first to admit that my aspirations of triple-threat-dom were instantly squandered after that one and only jazz class. Thank goodness I can at least fall back on my acting and singing.
After graduating from college in 2015 I immediately found myself immersed in a world of magic: I was hired into Disneyland! I spent three years telling jokes on boats at Jungle Cruise, helping brave explorers escape from The Temple Of Doom with Indiana Jones, and whisking people around the resort as a conductor on the Disneyland Railroad. Not to brag, but I was the conductor with the loudest All Aboard during my tenure. It’s still an accomplishment I hold near and dear to my heart.
In 2018, the magic of Disney began to fade, so off I went on a new adventure to a faraway land called The Fashion Island Hotel.
I quickly learned hospitality is most definitely not my calling.
During my eight months in that space, I did meet quite a few fabulous people and gained a lot of valuable customer service experience that I am immensely grateful for! I also have some pretty wild stories from my brief stint there. All in all, though, the hotel life wasn't for me.
I switched jobs again in November 2018 and found myself working for a small fintech company intent on changing the world, one loan at a time. This job was a far cry from any I ever expected to take. I had no prior work experience in finance OR tech, and the thought of a 9-5 desk job honestly terrified me at first. I'm happy now to report that it's been one of the best decisions of my life. The job has awarded me invaluable growth and insight into my career goals; plenty of time away for travel, music, and mental health breaks; and some of the best friends I have known. While there have definitely been some bumps in the road, this job field switch-up honestly has led me down one of the best paths I could have taken. If you were looking for a sign to take a chance on something new, this is it. Do that thing and take on the world!
Throughout the last decade and all the changes I've been through, one big thing has stayed constant in my life: music. I have been singing and playing piano since I was in elementary school. I started regularly writing my own songs on guitar in 7th grade. I've performed at hundreds of shows between high school and now: talent shows, open mics, full-band gigs, etc. I currently play four different instruments and annoy my housemates with random vocal exercises at odd hours of the day. Basically: music is my life. Telling stories through melodies and lyrics is one of my favorite ways to make sense of the world and connect with others. If I may be vulnerable for a moment, I never grew out of that phase where I pretended to be a famous pop star and sang my favorite songs into hairbrush microphones. The only difference is that I sing into real microphones now (although my hairbrush comes in clutch when I need it). My ultimate life goal is to write and share my music on big stages with hundreds of people every night.
Until then, though, I'm happy to be right where I'm at: regaling you with long-winded stories about my life thus far.
Thanks for letting me ramble at you. See ya at the next blog post! I'll bring snacks.