ASH AMBIRGE

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

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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 Andrés would be checking me out–hopefully in more ways than one.

Andrés isn't actually his name, as far as I know, but I've secretly dubbed him that because I imagine that if he were on a soap opera, THAT WOULD BE HIS NAME. Not to mention that…the time he did tell me his name? I was arriving from a classy evening of champagne slugging. Champagne slugging with a bunch of old Argentine men at an impromptu backgammon tournament, mind you.

So, I've forgetfully forgotten his name.

Which means I can't ask for it again, because then it'll be one of those awkward moments where we both know we've been over this–but Alzheimer's over here can't remember which end is up.

So I decide to imagine that I am Angelina Jolie–ignoring the fact that Angelina Jolie would have so known his name–and, instead, try to hit the right note of I'll-do-you-with-the-lights-on, and I-wear-gingham prints-and-strawberry-lipgloss-and-will-pack-you-a-picnic.

Andrés and I make wonderful, banterey love small talk as I await my taxi.

He asks me about my favorite part of Buenos Aires.

I bat my eyelashes, attempt a witty remark, and then patiently wait for the moment when he, Andrés, would beg me to stay, proclaiming I must be his, and tonight we would tango!

Or maybe he'd just ask for my contact information. (And while he would never do that for professional reasons, for the sake of argument, let the record show I would not give him my middle finger project email. Oddest thing–when men learn my business name, they seem to get the impression I'm a little less Angelina, a little more Courtney Love. Haven't the foggiest*innocently looks around room* I may be wearing red lipstick at 5am, but Courtney Love is never, ever the look I'm going for. )

But before he could whisper the sweet nothings my fantasy world would have had him whisper…

…the taxi arrived.

And he did not proceed to do any of the above.

And I said goodbye–despite wanting to say so more.

And walked out.

I plop down in the taxi.

Next thing I know, the scenery is whizzing by, the taxi driver is trying to make small talk, and all I can think about is how un-Angelina Jolie that was of me. How averageHow commonplace. How gutless.

Where had my nerve gone? Had my backbone taken an unannounced leave of absence? The same backbone that had once prompted me to take a sharpie and, without saying a word, write on the back of some cute guy's hand, “Hotties belong together. 570 465 7321.”

I decided, then, that if my backbone had taken a leave of absence–it would damn well be a temporary one.

And so right there in that taxi, I declared vacation over.

“Sir,” I interrupted the taxi driver. “What would you say if I offered to pay you to return to the hotel, with a note for reception?”

Just as I expected, he heartily laughed and agreed to help–latinos love a good love story.

And so I took out a piece of paper, and in my best, most elegant handwriting, wrote in big letters:

“I did some thinking, and as it turns out, the best part of Buenos Aires was you. Call me?”

And as I walked into the airport, I smiled.

Not just any smile–but a smile that foolishly, haphazardly stretched the length of the Sahara across my face. In fact, I smiled for at least 26 minutes.

It felt good.

Whether Andrés responded didn't matter. What mattered was that, at the very least, he would smile, too. And what mattered is that, while perhaps fleetingly so, two humans aimlessly fumbling around in this giant, scratched up world of ours might have connected, just a tiny bit more than they would have otherwise…through a piece of paper that almost wasn't.

Whether we're talking about work. Your marriage. Your friends. Or the off-chance you say goodbye to someone you like, one fall morning in Argentina–the choice is always yours.

You can be the girl that laughs carefree with her wind in the hair, says to hell with it, takes a chance, and pays the taxi driver to bring the note.

Or you could be the girl that doesn't.

Either way, one thing is certain:

Those who do?

Not only attract more opportunity, have more self-esteem, and have more confidence.

They get more ass, too.

And that, right there, is enough reason for me.

May 31

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Aug 31

2010

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

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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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Mar 30

2017

When Following the Crowd is GOOD FOR YOU.

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So the other day, it happened. There was one person stubborn enough to finally coerce me into doing the one thing I’d promised I’d never do. I’d hedged for many painful weeks. (Okay, fine, months.) I’d squirmed and I’d squithered (new favorite word) and I’d writhed and I’d wriggled. And yet, she kept asking. “Today […]

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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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