ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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When Faith Has an Affair And Walks Out On You–And Doesn’t Even Have the Decency to Look Back.

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

My mother had severe anxiety disorder. Diagnosed. Verifiable. Psychiatric level.

She'd sit in the living room, what iffing life as it passed her by out the window. What if that check doesn't come? What if that bill is high this year? What if I can't go? What if it snows that day?

My 16-year old go-to response was always, “Mom, everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. Don't worry.”

And at the time, I truly believed it. Whether out of necessity or naiveté, every tattered piece of my teenage heart believed it. I had to believe it. Believing it was our only hope. I was a cross-that-bridge-when-you-come-to-it kinda gal, razored deep with faith. Probably my only faith.

But then, of course, as the years went on and the disappointments stacked up–death, money, betrayals, life–I became bitter. Hostile. Hardened.

I saw first hand that sometimes things don't work out. Sometimes faith has an affair and walks right the fuck out on you. And sometimes, you can't simply cross any ridiculously proverbial bridges “when you come to them,” because the path you're on is so uncharted, a bridge doesn't even exist.

During those times, those moments, those years, I would lie awake and try to convince myself of my former ideals. Everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. Everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. 

But somehow, it wasn't the same.

Somehow, I had stopped believing it.

And this is the moment in the story when I take a puff of my pipe and casually pull a wrinkly newspaper from a crevice in my brown leather couch. The date reads October 2010.

Headline: Foolish girl sells car, takes meager savings in approximate amount of zero dollars and four cents, and randomly flies to the country of Chile to start life anew. (Remember that?)

Okay, so the headline didn't say that, because there was no headline, because there was no newspaper, but just GO WITH ME HERE.

In October 2010 I had had enough. Enough of the fears. Enough of the what ifs. Enough of the disappointments. I would not watch life pass me by from the other side of the window.

And it was the year that followed, as I explored a country that wasn't my own, building my life–and a new business–when I realized what the caveat was.

Everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. …when you stop waiting for someone to build you a bridge, and figure out a way to build your own motherloving bridge, instead. 

Because things don't just work themselves out.

Nothing naturally falls into place. (Not even toupees, you guys.)

And we can't bet our lives on “what will be, will be.”

The trick is that you can't have faith in the universe, because the universe is an unfaithful brat, and that Secret guy can send me ALL THE HATE MAIL HE WANTS.

Because the only thing you can have faith in?

Scratch that–MUST have faith in.

Isn't your ability to cross any bridge,

but your ability to build one.

May 25

2010

The Lost Art of Quitting

May 25, 2010

“Quitters never win & winners never quit.” Excuse me, divine gods of all Protestant work-ethic-inspired proverbs, *takes drag of imaginary cigarette* but I beg to differ. *Apathetically exhales and flings cigarette to ground before grinding it with the ball of not-so-imaginary fire engine red high heel.* We’ve heard these types of statements all our lives:  […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Nov 6

2011

It’s Okay If You Suck At This. Otherwise Called, “Permission to Suck.” Otherwise Called, “Longest Blog Post Title Ever Because Obnoxiously Long Blog Post Titles Are Funny.”

Nov 6, 2011

It’s okay if…you’re drowning in self-doubt. It’s okay if…you don’t know where to start. It’s okay if…you started, but want to stop. It’s okay if…you sometimes mix up your priorities. It’s okay if…you didn’t say the right thing. It’s okay if…you really fucked up the first time around. It’s okay if…you fucked up the second time […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Mar 30

2017

When Following the Crowd is GOOD FOR YOU.

Mar 30, 2017

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 […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Jan 15

2013

Your Life in 6 Words.

Jan 15, 2013

Remember that one time I got loose, drank too much eggnog* and packaged everything together in the TMF store for a wild, wild west of a discount–and then told all continental U.S. buyers that I’d even take it a step further and send a surprise to their doorstep? Right. That time. Just last month for […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Apr 30

2018

If You Feel Like a Big, Fat Imposter Who Doesn’t Deserve Anything and Worries About EVERYTHING, Read This. It’s a GOOD Thing.

Apr 30, 2018

I’m writing this from a place that could almost be mistaken for the Italian countryside, were I not surrounded by lizards and toucans and bullfrogs the size of a fucking dinosaur. Rather, I am high up in the hills of Central America overlooking the Costa Rican valley from my squishy, pancake lounger—it sort of reminds me of […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Aug 28

2012

Are They Telling You You’re Crazy?

Aug 28, 2012

My best friend since the first grade (a brilliant graphic designer) just surprised me with this ever-so-cool poster, out of a post I recently wrote titled, “Battle Cry of the Crazies: For Anyone Hustling For More.” Had to share. And now, it’s Tuesday afternoon. I have a meeting with Miss Lit Agent (big plans coming […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Jul 18

2010

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

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May 10

2018

WE ARE WASTING OUR BRAINS ON BULLSHIT (And Other Darling Sentiments)

May 10, 2018

You know those creeps who never drink any water and you’re all, “BUT YOUR CELLS! YOUR CELLS ARE SHRIVELING LIKE LITTLE CALIFORNIA RAISINS!”  (Unless this is the kind of thing that only goes through my brain, in which case, welcome to my inner landscape, ya’ll.) I feel the same way about time. There are so many people who aren’t drinking […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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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.

Enter your email address and I’ll send you my advice column every week sharing everything I’ve learned—and so much more.

But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

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