ASH AMBIRGE

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A Tearful Birthday

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

Yesterday was my birthday.

I flew from Ecuador to Chile on Friday so I could spend my birthday with my best girl friends in the whole wide world. Sure enough, they surprised me in the airport with glittery welcome back posters, prompting me to scream like a hyena. I had no idea they were coming.

Champagne followed in the taxi, of course, but then I, however, had a surprise for them: I had hired one of Santiago's most talented hair and makeup artists, Rodrigo Farah, to come and make all three of us look red carpet glam for our big night of celebration with the rest of our friends here in Chile.

It was one of the most fun afternoons I've had in a while:

And there we were. A writer, a photojournalist and a top secret governmental worker getting our makeover on, with every intention of wowing all of our friends we'd see that night.

After that point, we had plans to meet up with the rest of our friends here in Santiago around 4 for afternoon cocktails and welcome back birthday shenanigans to follow. And I couldn't have been more excited.

Until I wasn't.

Until I received a call from Felipe, telling me he couldn't make it.

Until the hours on the clock passed, until it was night time, and I slowly but surely realized it wasn't just Felipe–no one was coming.

Until the tears started streaming down my cheeks–partly out of mortification, partly out of devastation.

I never had birthday parties growing up as a child, because I was always so scared that no one would come, and it would confirm my darkest suspicions: I wasn't important enough.

As I grew into an adult, most of those insecurities disappeared, as I became well-liked and well-respected among my peers and friends.

Until this past weekend, when my greatest childhood nightmare finally became a reality.

It made me hurt like I haven't hurt in a long time. It made me feel more lonely than I have in a long time. It made me regret having ever invited anyone to celebrate with me.

And it also made me angry; angry that I give and I give, flying in between countries to appease friends who have long been asking, “When are you coming back?” I do all of the flying. I do all of the work. I spend all of the money. And I do it all in exchange for love–for the friends that I count on as family to think of me as the same.

As someone without any family in this world, my friends are, quite literally, all I've got. And when I lose faith that I've even got them, well, then, what more is there?

This birthday was a blow to the ego-that's for sure. But when I took a step back, I remembered that the most important people were there–my two best girlfriends–and I had plenty to be grateful for. Good food, good drink, the comforting feeling of being home in Santiago again, and some sexy ass makeup that will forever be one of my favorite afternoons. That's not even counting my amazing business, my ideal lifestyle, and/or the beautiful new boots I bought for myself as a present.

I'm also grateful for you.

For the fact that you're reading this very line, and for the fact that you'll probably read the next one.

THANK YOU.

Because, honestly, I count you as a part of my family, too. I know that if something were to happen to me, many of you would worry. I know that if there were an emergency, many of you would reach out to help. And I damn well know that many of you, if given the opportunity, would not just show up to my birthday party–you'd bring the biggest damn bottle of rum you could find.

So thank you.

Oct 15

2010

A Conversation With An Immigrant on U.S. Life

I had an insightful conversation with a Mexican immigrant the other day. We also might have had a round of margaritas, which could have enhanced the perceived value of the conversation, but nevertheless, I wanted to share it with you. It went something like this: ME: So, I imagine you came here with some expectations […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Dec 20

2012

Always Do. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

If you walked in the door right now, I don’t know if I’d run and hug you hard, or if you’d seem like a stranger now. I’d like to think that I’d hug you. I’d like to think that I’d bury my face into your chest and you’d smell like your old cologne–which kind, I […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Sep 5

2012

Are You Going To Be Someone Who Does? Or Doesn’t? (Warning: Contains Least Amount of Swear Words Ever Written On TMF)

It’s 5am. I’m checking out of my hotel in Buenos Aires, and I’m hoping the $80 eye cream I bought is ACTUALLY HELPING ME NOT LOOK LIKE I JUST CRAWLED OUT FROM UNDER A MOSSY, EARTH-STENCHING, FUNGI-COVERED ROCK. Mostly because I knew AndrĂ©s would be checking me out–hopefully in more ways than one. AndrĂ©s isn’t actually his name, as […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Jun 22

2018

Sometimes You Fall Into Things. You Fall Into People, Fall Into Places, Fall Into Patterns, Fall Into Deep Dark Obsessions With Red Velvet Cake. (AHEM.) 

The other day I tweeted about how I watched The Notebook and so CLEARLY I was living my best life. And then I started thinking about how much I love that phrase, because it’s a good reminder, isn’t it? Am I really living my best life? What does that even mean? Sometimes you fall into things. You fall into people, fall into […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Jul 30

2010

On NOT “Following Your Dreams”

You know, this whole “follow your dreams” thing is getting a little old, right? Coming from me, that’s probably surprising. But the problem is that so much of it is fluff. So much out there encourages you to start “living the life of your dreams,” while frolicking on a big white puffy cloud and nibbling […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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