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Always Do. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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 can't remember. I was too young, barely a pre-teen, the night we got the call. But I know you'd laugh and hug me back, saying in your exaggerated Italian style, “Hey, what's all the commotion?” And I'd just look at you in awe, studying every feature of your face and burning it into memory.

This time, I wouldn't forget.

I'm imagining you wearing your purple tank top with the yellow letters that said JIMMAYS. The letters were worn but it was your favorite shirt. You'd have your gold chain on, too, or maybe your silver wizard necklace. Yes, most definitely your silver wizard necklace. You'd be clean shaven like you were the time we tried to go to church on Easter–but missed mass because we forgot to change the clocks. Instead, we grabbed an ice cream cone and cruised around Pennsylvania's dirt roads, observing the spring blossoms and discussing what my life would soon be like as a high-schooler. (Hint:   + boys, – pants = bad)

You'd be wearing your “spectacles,” as you jokingly called them, and you'd look everything a proper stud. You'd definitely be wearing your moccasins, and your faded “dungarees.” Your style was chic sports hunter–clearly all the rage back in the 90's. (Sweet trout tee-shirt, man.) I can picture your hands–your fingers were short and thick, but manly and authoritative. I've seen others with similar fingers, from time to time, and I can't help but stare.

Your motto was everything in moderation, and you certainly meant it…particularly when it came to working too much. Closing down the barber shop to go fishing and do what you wanted. I got that from you. Well, maybe not the fishing, so much…but does shoe shopping count?

Some people never take time out to enjoy. Im glad you did. I know mom would nag at you about it–but, Im glad you did. Your customers would even nag you about it, but Im glad you did. You never know how much time you're going to have–you didn't know, and it turned out to be less than you thought. Fifty eight. Im so glad you did. In the name of enjoyment–in the name of living. For every afternoon you spent in the Delaware river, lazily casting your line….to every evening you spent watching movies with me, and trying to convince me to dip my pretzels in vanilla ice cream. (I still don't, by the way.)

I'm so glad you did.

Someday, I hope to be as memorable as you. As loved as you were. You were the life of the party–“Mother Ambirge,” as your friends would joke with you. Everyone was always so happy when you showed up–everyone waited to have the main event–the lighting of the cake, the setting off of fireworks, the toast of the night–until Jimmy got there. And there I was right next to you, your little sidekick, always in awe of your presence. It filled the room. There were always jokes. Always laughter. Always, “Remember the time when's?” And always the notion that life was meant to be lived.

I think you'd be proud of me–you'd probably tell me to work less, for christ's sake, but you'd be wildly proud. Hell, all I had to do to impress you in middle school was win the infamously generic student of the month. You wore every single school pin I ever received on your vest–and I know you tortured your customers who would come in for haircuts, telling them endless stories of what a good kid I was. I used to pretend to be embarrassed by your praise–but secretly, I craved it.

I liked being a good kid. I liked being your good kid. And, I guess this Christmas, I just want to let you know that I still am.

Good, and yours.

Mar 9


Blow Off Work Today. That’s An Order.

Mar 9, 2012

I’ve been thinking about joy lately. I don’t particularly care for the word; every word has its own personality, and the word joy seems to conjure up an image of an old lady with dentures and pearls. The word just feels outdated. Mothballesque, if you will. Nevertheless, the concept remains. It’s stuck in my mind ever […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Jun 22


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.) 

Jun 22, 2018

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


Jun 23


Why Rule Breakers Run the World

Jun 23, 2010

I’ll admit it–I’m a tad embarrassed. I can’t decide if I’m embarrassed in light of the nonchalant display of nudity that is currently lounging alongside of me–quite proudly, and with reason, if I do say so myself–on this clothing optional beach, or if I’m embarrassed for another reason–perhaps at my own relative prudishness, something that […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Oct 23


How to Be a Human.

Oct 23, 2012

I sat in a plaza yesterday, behind La Moneda–Chile’s version of The White House. Diagonal paths come from all directions and meet up in the center, before darting off in opposite directions. People walk gruffly, generally ignoring one another–cell phones, busy faces, stern looks, fast paces. And just like in plazas everyday across the world… […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Jul 18


The Real Value of Travel (Come Sneak Away to the Beaches of Costa Rica, If You Dare)

Jul 18, 2010

A Sexy Story With a Lesson We sit in near silence, the only interruptions being an occasional mojito-induced outburst of nervous laughter, the sound of my silver chandelier earrings gently clinkering together, and the relentless tropical rains that steadily pelt the top of the canvas roof of the 4×4 automobile we are in. It’s shamelessly […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Dec 20


Always Do. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

Dec 20, 2012

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


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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