ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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On Getting Old, Having No Idea How to Make a Soufflé & Consciously Choosing to Do What You WANT.

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

It's 2:42 in the morning and the reason I'm awake is called CHARDONNAY.

People talk about getting old—buying crock pots, nonchalantly cutting your spouse's armpit hairs, relating more to The Golden Girls than The Gilmore Girls—but they do not prepare you for the one thing that will change your life even more than tiny packets of GrillMates:

Insommeliernia.

Which is obviously an evil-adult-spelling-bee hybrid of “insomnia” and “sommelier,” which if I'm being honest I still really don't know how to pronounce. (Note to self: Rhymes with last name, tart.)

Such are the first world problems of not being able to pronounce sophisticated words, after not being able to sleep, after guzzling an entire bottle of wine, because it was Friday, because I spent 53 hours writing this one thing, because I am a writer, because apparently there are deadlines, and because apparently run-on sentences are totally okay at 2:42 in the morning. STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.

I'll admit it: I'm bad at this whole getting old thing.

For the decrepit thirty-something bitch that I am, there are still lots of things I don't know how to do yet. Things that normally might be considered ill-mannered—or at least overwhelmingly oafish—that one might prefer to tuck under a carpet to hide evidence of their shortcomings, rather than blast it from a loudspeaker on the internet. (Because holy wow, this thing is on.)

  • Things like soufflés. (Apparently if it's French I know nothing about it—which probably also explains why I went ten years pronouncing “chic” like “chick” like a total asshole.)
  • Or downward dogs. (Are there an abundance of sex jokes related to this term?)
  • Or even how to properly bandage a wound. (Alcohol? Peroxide? Last year's bottle of Listerine? Seriously, do not ask me to babysit.*)

*Unless you're Maria. I promise I'll learn!

This is definitely why I resent those wizards over there in Portland, Oregon: These are the kind of people that know how to do things. And really, probably so much more! The people of Portland, Oregon have, like, PTA meetings about downward dogs. Hell, they probably organize Super PAC's around these kinds of topics. How can we raise enough money to bandage ALL the homeless and feed them ALL the yam soufflés followed by ALL the hot yoga?!

In other words, what I'm basically trying to say is that I'm a horrible person. So much to see / do / care about / pretend to care about. You've probably seen the whole “Life is a series of choices” thing on Pinterest five hundred different ways. (Actually I don't really know if that's the exact saying or if I'm confusing it with “Life is a box of chocolates,” but just substitute any hippy dippy phrase in there and we'll be fine.) And sure, to some extent, life is nothing more than one hot ass, Sierra Nevada, desert-desolate shitstorm of choice after choice after choice after choice after choice. I mean, surely the fact I have no idea how to make puffy little muffin eggs is because I've never chosen to learn how, isn't it?

But, this whole “life is a series of choices” thing—it’s so much more complicated than that.

If you've got to choose between spending 53 hours writing a manuscript, or spending 53 hours writing the content for a new class, and both will benefit you in different ways: How do you choose?

If you've got to choose between speaking at a big conference in Spain or running a small conference in Italy, and both will benefit you in different ways: How do you choose?

If you've got to choose between a silver Porsche and a black one… Ha. Kidding. Yours is totally going to be white.

It's not so simple as making the right choice or the wrong choice, because sometimes, there are many right choices. The abundance of right choices, not the wrong ones, are where we tend to go, well, wrong.

So if life is a series full of perfectly wonderful RIGHT choices, how do we choose?

In my experience, the answer to this question is simple: To what end?

To what end is this “right” choice?

You might make all the “right” choices in the world, but if they aren't helping you get to do something you actually WANT to be doing….then all that “right” was in vain.

What do you really WANT? Have you thought about this? Like, really, really thought about this? Sure, speaking at a big conference in Spain might be “right” for many reasons, but…do you really *WANT* to go down the public speaking path? To what end?

Writing that book…to what end?
Giving that webinar…to what end?
Collaborating with that person…to what end?

Is it the end you really want? Or are you too busy thinking about getting started?

Knowing how to prepare a mack daddy soufflé might be wonderful. But if choosing to spend my time learning that takes away from my time learning how to write the perfect narrative arc, then it might be righteous…but it isn't right.

Not for me, anyway.

And that's really the point. When you know who you are and where you're going, you don't have to do so much choosing.

The real right choices reveal themselves on their own.

Jun 14

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

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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 […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life, Hate Your Job?

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2010

Slugs, Angel Hair Pasta & Vespas, Or, The One Thing That DOES Define You In This Life

Aug 31, 2010

So, I’m sitting in the bar at this restaurant. I’m lovingly twirling my fork into a steamy, lemony, buttery, most delightfully angelic heap of angel hair–the creamy, makes-you-throw-your-head-back-with-glee kind of pasta that, I was thinking, should probably be forbidden for nuns, because, I swear, this pasta is far more decadent than the best sex you […]

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Sep 7

2018

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

Sep 7, 2018

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 […]

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Mar 25

2012

Why Moderation is for Losers.

Mar 25, 2012

Growing up, my dad’s favorite line used to be, “Everything in moderation.” What a riot. One would assume that, after having those particular words-o-wisdom jack-hammered into my brain at least once per week, that I would have turned out, well, moderate. I’d think moderately, I’d travel moderately, I’d love moderately, and I’d live moderately. And […]

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Jul 25

2019

The 1% Rule for When You’re Feeling Rather “MEH, SUCKS” About Everything and Everyone, Even That Hot Pastry Chef

Jul 25, 2019

Well it’s Thursday and for everyone’s delight, I’ve compiled a random list of shit I absolutely should not know, but do: That you should photograph interiors with a wide-angle lens, set to 20mm instead of zoomed all the way out. (Otherwise you get distorted walls that curve in.) A ball of wool is technically called […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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