ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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For a Long Time I Secretly Worried: What If I Was Screwing Everything Up?!

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

 

We’re on a transatlantic flight to London.

I just bite into the kind of sausage one should never bite into, and now that we’re exactly 552 miles away from our destination, I realized that my eyes were less than sprightly and my hair looked like Fiona fucked a bird’s nest. So I did what any resourceful woman on a transatlantic flight to one of the most fashionable cities in the world might do:

I brushed it.

With a toothbrush.

In my seat.

In front of people.

Now, to reassure you I’m not a total heathen, this was not MY toothbrush; it was the miniature throwaway one the airline gives as a way of saying that a 10 hour plane ride + mystery sausage can really do a number on your mating potential. AKA British Airways is trying to save the human race.

So anyway, the moment I start combing through that one oily locket that always separates from the rest and dangles in front of my eyeball—you know the one—my fiancé, THE LOS (as my girlfriends call him) doesn’t just make a face of disgust; he actually kind of admonishes me. In an oh my god WHO ARE YOU kind of way. And that’s basically when we both knew we were in big trouble:

The girl who has a blog called The Middle Finger Project was going to London, land of the proper.

A decade and a lifetime ago—the last time I was here—proper was my still middle name. In fact, my entire life, by that point, had been the equivalent of a fourteen year old girl in an Easter bonnet, posing with her hands tucked properly underneath her chin. I was the model child, the model student, the model employee, the model adult, the model friend, and even the model apartment complex resident (the first time I put a black mark on the wall, I promptly reported it to the leasing office, hanging my head in shame). But somewhere along the way—somewhere in between all the deaths, all the loss, and all the disappointment— I became numb from caring. And by the time I turned twenty-five? I was numb from not.

I didn’t rebel with drugs, though. Didn’t do any of the typical stuff that the broken-hearted might. Hell, I was such a good bad girl I never even mooned anybody. But rebel I did, and in a myriad of ways that, if you weren’t looking closely, might have been mistaken as bravery.

One of these ways was in snubbing convention.

Any convention; all convention! Why bother following the rules of life when life itself hadn’t bothered?

And so you saw a young me do the opposite of all the people my age. Instead of finding a nice young man to settle down with, I found plenty of nice young men—and then left them standing there with their hearts beating in their hand. Instead of decking the halls with familiar faces, I found new ones around the globe—and decked entire cities. Instead of spending years secretly talking behind my boss's back, I decided to simply became my own. (I still talk behind my own back, don’t worry.) Instead of wedding proposals, I was the one doing the proposing—to companies, decision makers, other bosses. And, of course, instead of having children, I was trying hard to nurse the child inside myself, first. The one who was hiding in a corner with her eyes all wet, refusing to join the world that had betrayed her so.

For a long time, I secretly worried—what if I was screwing everything up?

What if most people were on these trajectories for a reason? What if the world did know better than me? What if I would end up in a nursing home someday without a single visitor and the day I died no one came to my funeral because I had never put down “roots?”

Roots were the things I saw my friends having. Regular Sundays with their newly formed families. Habits that turned into traditions. Traditions that turned into loyalty. Loyalty that turned into love. And love was something I was so sad not to have—not the real kind of love, anyway. The unconditional kind that came from being unconditionally there for people. Because unconditionally there for people I was not. I was rarely anywhere for too long.

Sure, I was there for the biggies—everyone else’s weddings and showers and celebrations and divorces. I’m very good at being there during the critical moments, of course. But at some point, the critical moments become superficial; a routine that you do when you know you’re expected to be there. Rather, I had missed out on all of the non-critical moments—the Saturday movies in sweatpants, the “meet me at the malls,” the bonding that comes from telling your secrets in real-time, instead of two months after the fact via Facetime.

For a long time, I worried.

But roots were what I forfeited in order to have wings.

And as I stepped down off the plane onto British soil with my toothbrushed hair, and my childlike sense of wonder, I could not help but notice that wings were pretty great, too.

And maybe in all those years of turning up my nose at convention, I had accidentally pointed my face toward a direction I liked. Maybe instead of growing roots, I had grown shoots. And maybe my rebellion was not an act of war, but one of peace; a way for me to find the things I still admired about the world, and clutch them to my chest like a tattered, beautiful doll.

 


 

Announcement!

I’ve recently been honored by one of the hottest new websites to hit your screen, Vendeve, who has dubbed me one of their select few “Queens of the Internet,” which is a VERY fitting for my London trip, in fact. If you’re anything like me—and I’m guessing you are if you were nodding through my blog post just now—then maybe you sometimes find yourself worrying, too. That you don’t have a network, you don’t have a support system, you don’t have anyone who can relate to your “crazy” ideas. Well, good news, shorty McFly: After checking it out, I happen to effing LOVE Vendeve, and I think you need to:

a) Go visit my Queen page and follow me there (it’s free, yo).
b) Sign yourself up as a user while it’s free, because this dazzle gonna be big.

Vendeve basically lets us all connect with other women money makers and idea shakers….and even hire one another on the spot. It’s like going to an online marketplace full of only the freshest blooms and artesan coffee and smart women…where you exchange conversation, upvote questions and earn credibility points for answering them, which gets you listed higher in the search to get hired. Cool, huh? It’s like Clarity.fm for services, instead of consulting calls, with a twist of Quora for business chicks. Keep your eye on this one, ladies. I’m predicting it’ll become one of the new “it” platforms, and even has potential to become the next Linked In for freelancers & business owners.

Sign up & follow me here—or take their online quiz that helps you decide what to do next in your business (where I even pop up AS AN ANSWER. Whatttt!?!)

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Where’s Your God Damn Pineapple?

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There’s always a reason why you shouldn’t. Shouldn’t spend the money. Shouldn’t be so frivolous. Shouldn’t miss work. Shouldn’t be irresponsible. Shouldn’t act so hastily. And a million other reasons why you shouldn’t do what you’ve been wanting to do. The real question, of course, isn’t whether you should or you shouldn’t. Because when it […]

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May 4

2010

Shattering the Current Model of Reality

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Most of you reading this website are here because you want more. Tried and true may be comfortable, but boring.  The traditional life path may be safe, but uninspiring.  The status quo is average, but nothing extraordinary. You know there’s something missing, but you can’t pinpoint what, exactly, it is. We’ve essentially been told for […]

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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