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

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

I have a mantra (despite wanting to slit my throat upon hearing the word “mantra.”) Are you ready? My mantra is this:


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 positives. Like, even if your bitch-ass is scared to do something as simple as go to a SoulCycle class, where you will definitely not know how to clip into those death traps, and you will definitely put your lack of physical fitness on display, and you will definitely be exposed as Someone Who Does Not Know Anything. Who cares how you feel about it? Go. Anyway.

And even if you’re doing that thing where you don’t want to go to that very fancy restaurant with those very fancy people because you are imagining The Worst Case Scenario and all you can picture is ordering a martini and the waiter asking you if you want gin or vodka and you’re all like, oh shit, and then the very next question is, “which kind?” and you have no idea and then you’re sitting there stuttering and then you think that everyone is looking at you, wishing you and your basic self had never slithered in. But, guess what? All of this is an entire fictional fairytale made up in your big, fantastic head. It doesn’t actually exist. Emotions are irrational little fuckers. So, who cares how you feel about it? GO ANYWAY.

Another example. Because I am an example whore. This summer, I’m going (back) to Scotland. Because apparently, I am also a Scottish whore. Which doesn’t sound right at all, but at the same time, sounds delightful. If you could be any kind of whore, it should definitely be a Scottish whore. Anyway, where were we? Oh, yes. I’m going (back) to Scotland because I, greedy wannabe kilt-wearer that I am, have decided to enroll myself in an intensive summer course @ a jewelry-making studio, for three whole weeks, where I’m going to learn how to solder silver and set gemstones and probably engrave secret messages in EVERYTHING (which is now basically my M.O. in life, get ready) and you know what’s great about this? Nobody cares if I’m bad! Nobody! It’s a school. It’s for bad people. Otherwise, schools wouldn’t exist. SCHOOLS ARE THE ONLY HOPE THAT BAD PEOPLE HAVE. And by bad, I don’t mean naughty, unless we’re drinking whiskey after school, in which case hide your children. And probably the rest of your whiskey. But, to be clear: we can all rest-assured that my rings are going to come out looking like tiny little drunk octopuses, oozing all over the place, not smooth or glorious at all, and then I am going to force you all to stare at awkward pictures of it all on Instagram. So even if I am kinda nervous and even if I am like, “what have I gotten myself into?!” and even if I worry that maybe the teacher won’t like me and maybe I’ll come across like one of those overeager little American twats, and maybe everyone will secretly talk about the overbearing broad behind her back, I remind myself to stop caring how I feel about it—and go anyway.

There is such a fear of looking like a complete incompetent a-hole, that we often don’t do the things we really, really want to do—and how sad is this? This is so sad. I realized years ago that I had to completely ignore myself and go anyway. Who cares what you think about it? Who cares how you feel about it? Feelings are overrated. GO ANYWAY. Go, despite fearing that you will be bad. Go, despite every self-doubt. Go, despite all of the agonizing overthinking.

Ignore yourself once a day as a rule.

Because, I can promise you this: you might not like how it feels. But it's the only way to like who you become.

Nov 5


Where’s Your God Damn Pineapple?

Nov 5, 2012

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 […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Oct 25


Be Brave, Courageous, Interesting, Crazy, Difficult, Weird, and Downright Complicated. But Don’t You Ever Be Normal.

Oct 25, 2018

You know what’s fucked up? Normal. Normal is so fucked up. For example, it’s normal for expats to drink daily in Costa Rica. This is a terrible idea, and yet, because it’s done over and over again, it’s become normalized. NO ONE WILL GIVE YOU THE STINK EYE FOR SLUGGING A BEER AT 10AM, Y’ALL. […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


Jun 25


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


Oct 15


A Conversation With An Immigrant on U.S. Life

Oct 15, 2010

I had an insightful conversation with a Mexican immigrant the other day. We also might have had a round of margaritas, which could have enhanced the perceived value of the conversation, but nevertheless, I wanted to share it with you. It went something like this: ME: So, I imagine you came here with some expectations […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


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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