ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

Fuck Shit Balls I Didn’t Finish Those Edits, Yet. And Other Stuff That Doesn’t Matter. (In Memory of Enrique.)

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

So I'm not sure what you did yesterday, but I, for one, witnessed somebody drown.

You're probably thinking I'm joking, because who mentions something like drowning so nonchalantly?

But I am not, unfortunately, joking. And while I'm calm now, yesterday I was anything but.

It was sunset, and I was with my Costa Rican girlfriends at a rustic beach front restaurant, slurping margaritas. They had coconut flakes. It was delightful.

Here is an extremely blurry, non-professional photo I snapped with my ancient, pre-paid Costa Rican cell phone, pre-tragedy.

And right as we ordered our second round, suddenly an ambulance zoomed down the sand. There were police. There was a boat with a spotlight. And family members running toward the commotion at full-speed, crying.

My friends knew the victim.

Of course they did.

Here in Costa Rica, no one is anonymous.

As I watched from a distance, in shock, I was suddenly overcome by grief.

In the name of my own past, in the name of this young, 20-something boy whose life had just ended, right there before my very eyes, and in the name of the fleeting nature of it all.

THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.

No promises.

No rain checks.

No “see you laters,” or “let's catch up soons.”

Because your future does not exist.

It's nothing more than a hopeful projection. A prediction. A mental concept. A figment of your imagination. A wish. And a gamble.

We assume the future exists, but we have no way of knowing, or assuring, or even buying our own bus pass there.

We can only roll the dice.

As I sat there with tears streaming down my own cheeks, silently witnessing the volatile nature of this life making itself known, I was reminded, yet again, that nothing we tend to spend the majority of our time worrying about REALLY MATTERS.

I try to keep this in mind all of the time, but admittedly it's all too easy to get engrossed in the trivial bullshit of everyday life.

The credit card payment.

The student loan.

The fact that you've run out of deodorant.

And the ever-prominent fear that you'll never really like cooking, and maybe–just maybe–no one will ever view you as “marriage material.”

Originally I wasn't sure I was going to attend happy hour that night.

Client work to finish. Books to write. Big plans to be made. Eyebrows to be tweezed.

But as I looked around at my precious friends, I knew I had made the right choice. Those are the times that matter most. Those are the things that matter most. Those are the people that matter most. And the moments that DEFINE YOU.

And I'm pretty certain that if it were me drowning in that ocean, about to take my last breath? My last thoughts wouldn't be, “Fuck shit balls, I didn't finish those edits yet.”

IT'S ABOUT PERSPECTIVE.

I got a good dose of it last night.

And here's some for you, too.

…His name was Enrique…

Jun 25

2012

A Tearful Birthday

Jun 25, 2012

Yesterday was my birthday. I flew from Ecuador to Chile on Friday so I could spend my birthday with my best girl friends in the whole wide world. Sure enough, they surprised me in the airport with glittery welcome back posters, prompting me to scream like a hyena. I had no idea they were coming. […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

READ ME >>

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

READ ME >>

Jun 22

2018

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

READ ME >>

Nov 18

2010

The Woman Whose Ass We All Should Be Kissing

Nov 18, 2010

If I had a foghorn, do you know what I’d shout? (Besides how I’ll never understand why so many people think that God is actually a compelling justification for their particular policy preferences. /rant) What I’d really shout—what I truly believe our people desperately need to hear—is this and this alone: The well-being of our […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

READ ME >>

Aug 30

2015

Big Things Don’t Happen in Big Ways

Aug 30, 2015

. That dot is where you are. ——–>           . This dot is where you want to be. (Which makes me sound like a woman named Bonnie with big hair in a cheesy 1985 Visa commercial, but alas, I’m just a woman named Ash with big hair in 2015.) People have […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

READ ME >>

Oct 22

2013

You Think The Stakes Are High Now? Please.

Oct 22, 2013

I wonder about people. Specifically about the 50-something woman speaking softly at the table next to me, telling another woman how she desperately wants to go abroad—because, verbatim, it would be the opportunity of a lifetime—but… And her words trail off. JUST LIKE HER DREAMS. Kidding. Dramatic doesn’t look good on me. But, really. What […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

READ ME >>

Mar 25

2012

Why Moderation is for Losers.

Mar 25, 2012

Growing up, my dad’s favorite line used to be, “Everything in moderation.” What a riot. One would assume that, after having those particular words-o-wisdom jack-hammered into my brain at least once per week, that I would have turned out, well, moderate. I’d think moderately, I’d travel moderately, I’d love moderately, and I’d live moderately. And […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

READ ME >>

Jul 13

2010

Is It Your Own Fault?

Jul 13, 2010

I’ve been meeting a lot of truly smart, savvy, remarkable people lately. So many are saying to hell with the safety net, and are leaping toward their passions, and haven’t looked back since. On the same token, however, so many of those smart, savvy, remarkable people are not. Frankly, this makes me want to burst […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

READ ME >>

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.

Privacy Policy Info Here