Category: When You’re Stuck

Listen: Do What You Crave Without the Guilt. Travel to Italy. Enroll in That Workshop. Make Your Art Every Afternoon. And Hurl Yourself Into the Unknown—For This Is The Best ROI That Money Can Buy.

My almost-mother-in-law gets really fucking nervous when I travel—especially when I bomb off to South America for a month by myself to drink ALL THE WINE and celebrate ALL THE BOOK DEALS. But she doesn’t get worried in the typical way a mother might; not the way my own mother would have been worried, which would have sounded something like: “Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph, Ashley, you think they won’t kidnap you and rape you and leave you for dead?

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The Commitment-Phobe’s Guide to Making a Decision When The Grass is Always Greener and YOU CAN’T STICK TO ANYTHING.

You ever do that thing where you’re fidgety and restless and the grass is always greener and you’re never really content with what you’ve got so you’re constantly searching for some legendary “BETTER” that will make you rich! and skinny! and HAPPY! and one of those people who never craves pizza and always irons their shirts and arrives everywhere on time and even knows what their budget is? (People who have budgets dazzle me.) I used to be one of

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If You Ain’t Feelin’ Your Work Anymore: HONEY, BURN THAT ISH DOWN.

So, here’s an idea: making money is not courageous. Anybody can ring a bell for twenty years. “Look, ma—I’ve been standing over here ringing this bell for two entire decades—durh, durh, durh—and I finally got a sticker!” Making money is a relatively straightforward consequence of showing up to breathe in the right place. Cause and effect. We’re lucky to live in a society that affords us that luxury. But I would argue that society has the upper hand, for it

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I Hate Mantras, And YET—I Love This One for When You’re Kinda Sorta Shitting Your Pants

I have a mantra (despite wanting to slit my throat upon hearing the word “mantra.”) Are you ready? My mantra is this: WHO CARES HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT? GO ANYWAY. Which sounds really kinda wrong, right? We’re a culture based on f-e-e-e-e-e-e-l-i-n-g-s. But sometimes, you have to override the ones that I call false positives. Like, even if your bitch-ass is scared to do something as simple as go to a SoulCycle class, where you will definitely not know

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OH, NO, SORRY TO DISAPPOINT. All Fucks Are Currently on Backorder. We’ll Alert You When This Item Is Back in Stock.

So there’s this tall, spiky, sassy-ass house plant on my balcony—the thing looks like a punk rocker troll, or maybe a pile of swords, planted upright. (Scratch that, it’s definitely a pile of middle fingers. Oh, how apropos! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.) Anywauurrrrryyyyy, if I don’t water this motherfucker for just one day. Just ONE day. All of the leaves lose their erection. Talk about needy, am I right? It’s as if someone Chernobyl’d the whole thing. I swear I get

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For My People-Pleasing Babes Running Themselves Ragged (In Which The Phrase “Suck an Eggplant” Totally Makes an Appearance)

There’s a dirty little question I’ve been asking myself a lot, lately—and some might condemn me for it. In fact, this question is so controversial, I suspect 50% of the population may show up at the door with axes and sledgehammers, knives and crowbars. It is not a very Christian thing to think—then again, I’ve never been much of a Christian. (Just ask the girls who cornered me in grad school once and told me, with sweat upon their brow,

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Be Brave, Courageous, Interesting, Crazy, Difficult, Weird, and Downright Complicated. But Don’t You Ever Be Normal.

You know what’s fucked up? Normal. Normal is so fucked up. For example, it’s normal for expats to drink daily in Costa Rica. This is a terrible idea, and yet, because it’s done over and over again, it’s become normalized. NO ONE WILL GIVE YOU THE STINK EYE FOR SLUGGING A BEER AT 10AM, Y’ALL. It’s also normal to check your phone as soon as you wake up, answer texts as soon as they’re received, and assume, wrongly, that you

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Sometimes Wonderful Can Still Be Heavy

I love throwing sh*t out. Love, love, love, love, LOVE it. I throw out high heels and curtains, jewelry and fine china. (Okay so I don’t actually throw it out. I donate it. But the point is, it’s goneeeee.) It isn’t just the physical stuff: I’m also (creepily) good at throwing out old ideas, old identities, and old dreams. It’s all holding me down. Even the nice stuff. Even the wonderful stuff. Because sometimes wonderful can still be heavy. I’m

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One Big, Sexy Question for Instant Clarification On: What the Hell Do I Want to Do With My Life?

I was reading something on the Internet yesterday that was praising this woman’s work, and I thought to myself: there’s such a difference between doing work and having work. (And yes, I italicized “such” in my mind.) To do work is to take on a task, whoever’s task it might be. To have work, though—work that belongs to you, that you have taken upon yourself to explore, that you call your work—that’s something entirely different. You don’t hear much praise

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What Does It Mean to Take Care of Yourself, Right Now?

A question I ask myself often: What does it mean to take care of myself right now? It’s FREAKING TERRIFYING how much we do on autopilot. We order the second glass of wine. Stay to be polite. Agree to help! HELPING EVERYBODY! Eat what everybody else is having because you don’t want to make a fuss. Let them talk and talk and talk and monopolize all of your time. Give up your nights to things you don’t care about. Spend

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