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For My People-Pleasing Babes Running Themselves Ragged (In Which The Phrase “Suck an Eggplant” Totally Makes an Appearance)

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life

There’s a dirty little question I’ve been asking myself a lot, lately—and some might condemn me for it. In fact, this question is so controversial, I suspect 50% of the population may show up at the door with axes and sledgehammers, knives and crowbars.

It is not a very Christian thing to think—then again, I’ve never been much of a Christian. (Just ask the girls who cornered me in grad school once and told me, with sweat upon their brow, that they thought the devil was in me—that cheeky bastard.)

It is also not a popular thought, judging by the societal emphasis on charity and goodwill and unselfishness and giving, giving, giving. (Like, sorry dude, I am not giving you my hamburger.)

However, it is a thought that has helped me a great deal, over the years—especially when I am anxious and angsty and constantly preoccupied with doing “the right thing.” THAT phrase. The right thing! Aren’t we quite the noble bunch. I have found myself trying to do “the right thing” far more than I’d like to admit.

I think that whole notion is one big, giant mindfuck. The right thing for whom? Who is to say what is right? Is there some universal true & just meter that I should know about? I don’t think one size fits all, and it is a fool’s errand, trying to do right by everybody. There will always be someone who will tell you that you are wrong, even when you are doing what you think is right.

I prefer to ask myself another question. Not what is right, but—are you ready for this radical shit?—but what is right for me. Oh, GOD, there it is, I did it! I uttered the word you get crucified for daring to utter aloud: me! What is right for me? ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, ME, MEEEEEE. What a selfish psychopath I am, daring to put my own needs first. Alas, there is a reason why I am not strung up in a cubicle, quietly rotting to death.

What is right for me?
What do I need, right now?
And is that different?

It’s too easy to get swept away by the drama of everyone else’s needs and wishes and wants and demands. We think, with a head full of anxiety, about how to please Susie and also Barb and then there’s Lacey, and her stupid chihuahua, too, and oh my god, how am I going to do it all? How can I be in all of these places at once? How can I make sure everybody goes home happy?

The first person who needs to go home happy is you.

(Everybody else can suck an eggplant.)

OH MY GOD, I’M JUST KIDDING, WHO WRITES THAT? We’re not complete barbarians, around here. Jesus, what do you think I am? Trailer trash? What I meant to say is that everybody else can suck a dick.


It’s not that no one else matters. Of course, lots of people matter, and you are doing your best to be a great human being to all. But there is one person who you’ve been leaving behind, over and over and over again, who doesn’t deserve it one bit. In fact, you should shower her with cookies and champagne and lavish trips to the Bahamas this year (even if it’s only on Netflix). There is one person who deserves your absolute best, every single day, and who you really do need to do right by.


You, you, you, you, you, you, YOUUUUUUU.

Goddammit, did you hear me? YOU. What do you need to do today for you? What do you need right now? What do you need this week? What would make you happy? This is a different question than asking what you need to do in order to (a) Get it all done; (b) Make it all work; (c) Not disappoint anybody; (d) Not drop any balls.

And guess what? If the question is different, the answer is likely to be, too.

You are not a call girl for the world’s expectations.

Your primary duty is to yourself, to create and enjoy a life that you are overjoyed to be living, to nurture your headspace and your environment and be at peace with your own efforts.

But you can’t do that if your efforts are constantly being hijacked by others.

Feb 8


I Hate Mantras, And YET—I Love This One for When You’re Kinda Sorta Shitting Your Pants

Feb 8, 2019

I have a mantra (despite wanting to slit my throat upon hearing the word “mantra.”) Are you ready? My mantra is this: WHO CARES HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT? GO ANYWAY. Which sounds really kinda wrong, right? We’re a culture based on f-e-e-e-e-e-e-l-i-n-g-s. But sometimes, you have to override the ones that I call false […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


Sep 7


One Big, Sexy Question for Instant Clarification On: What the Hell Do I Want to Do With My Life?

Sep 7, 2018

I was reading something on the Internet yesterday that was praising this woman’s work, and I thought to myself: there’s such a difference between doing work and having work. (And yes, I italicized “such” in my mind.) To do work is to take on a task, whoever’s task it might be. To have work, though—work […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


May 10



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


Jul 23


Prayer for a Modern Girl

Jul 23, 2017

Her face is soft and at ease; serene and unhardened. She looks at the world through fresh, rosy eyes, while her lips unravel themselves easily at the sight of a stranger. Who are those who hold bitterness in their hearts? She walks past Round Pond, befriending the crisp July air, twirling twigs between her fingertips, […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life


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


May 12


Pleasure Doesn’t Need an Appointment

May 12, 2017

In the mornings, I let myself linger underneath the covers, twisting the full, fluffy comforter up and around my face, letting my feet dance in the cotton. It feels so good, to slide your soles through the cool material—almost sinful. When I shower, I surrender to the warmth of the water, letting it caress my […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life


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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