ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

Learn More >>

If you’re terrified you’ll be judged online, then you need to slow down, have a vodka & read this immediately.

In: Finding Your Voice

Ohhhhh, fucking shit.

Those are kind of the words I want to say all the time, except if I did say them all the time, I’m pretty sure I’d start to get sick of them, like one does after eating tuna fish every day (not like I’d know anything about that) and that’s really my greatest fear, really: Lackluster profanities. I mean, talk about losing the will to live.

And then there are other reasons, of course, like the time two scary twenty-five year old women cornered me after a workshop in Philadelphia—Philadelphia, of all places!—and told me they thought the devil was inside me. At first I was really confused, seeing as I hadn’t blurted out “ohhhhh, fucking shit” even once, but apparently someone whispered that I had a blog called “The Middle Finger Project,” and clearly that’s a sure sign.

I definitely blurted out some great profanities while twenty of my Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends were here with me in Costa Rica this past week. No one seemed to mind. After all, they had come all the way to Central America because some girl on the internet (ahem—me) said she was renting an ocean villa and there would be plenty of wine, at which point they promptly gave me their credit card and booked a flight, because as it turns out, sometimes people with blogs called The Middle Finger Project are more trustworthy, not less. That, or all twenty of those women also have the devil inside of them, which could get really awkward really fast.

 

But, you know, it depends on who’s reading, doesn’t it? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say, and that’s one of the things we talked about a lot while kicking our feet around in an infinity pool this week: Being judged. Because you’re always being judged, aren’t you? And that knowledge is enough to make brilliant people with brilliant ideas shrink into a tiny little soggy pieces of paper. And I hate that. I hate that because feeling safe enough to be yourself “IRL,” as all the kids say, is hard enough, but if you don’t even feel safe alone by yourself in front of a screen? The bullies have won. The trolls have had their way. And they’re all currently walking around with a torch in their right hand and a Pop Tart in the other, having a grand old time at your expense. The expense of your voice. The expense of you being allowed to be you.

What’s helpful to remember, at least for heathens like me, is something I profoundly call The Principle of Prissy Ass Pink.

Some women love the color pink—pink, pink, pink everything!—and some women vomit at the thought. (“I’d rather kill myself.”) But neither opinion changes the color itself. It simply is what it is. It doesn’t try to become more purple the minute a forty year old woman approaches and snubs its nose, saying that pink is “too juvenile.” Or “too girlie.” Or “too cutesy.” Similarly, it doesn’t become more hot pink anytime someone loves it so. It just is what it is. And opinions abut the color are completely independent from the merits of the color itself.

And it’s the same online, really. Something as simple as the title of my blog will make people claim the devil, while others will breathe a giant sigh of relief. Everyone’s going to think something, but their opinions about the style of my work are independent from the merits of it. And as hard as it is, you have to try so, so, so hard to not allow those opinions to change you or your style, because then there’s no more pink—only shades of purple. And that’s when you start to drown in what I’ve historically called “the dreaded sea of sameness”: It’s the echo chamber online where every website and every person starts to look, sound, and talk the same. And it’s not doing anyone any favors.

You have the right to exist, and you have the right to be pink without apologizing to the world about it. And while some people may interpret that to mean the devil is inside of you, there are just as many people who will think the same shade of pink is the work of God. Because that’s the thing about living a creative life and doing creative work: If it were objective, it wouldn’t be creative. And then you might have the luxury of not being judged, but you’ll have the burden of never being yourself.

And I guess the real question is: Is it worth the murder?

Dec 31

2010

Resolutions Are For Chumps. I Choose Revolution.

Dec 31, 2010

All the things you think you need this year, you don’t. You do not need more determination.  You do not need more discipline.  And you certainly do not need more diligence. Are you kidding me? You are a Westerner–you’ve got plenty of that.  Why else have you gotten up every single day and begrudgingly gone […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Sep 1

2017

The World’s Funniest Fucking Soaps, Uh, Ever

Sep 1, 2017

You should know that I have officially discovered THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER BEEN MADE (after Cards Against Humanity, of course) and I had to share with you because I don’t keep anything from you (except for that one thing) and because we could all use some inspiration and also because CAN WE JUST LIGHTEN […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Dec 28

2012

Forget Your Manners.

Dec 28, 2012

It’s polite to: …fulfill your obligations. …answer them back right away. …nod in agreement. …go with the flow. …do as you’re asked. …drink because they are. …take their call. …give your undivided attention. …fill the silence. …and always be there when they need you. Then again, no one’s ever done anything remarkable by always being […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Sep 15

2015

Plan On Being Nervous, Brilliantly

Sep 15, 2015

Being nervous sucks. Your pulse races. Your brain blanks. Your hands shake like little assholes. You tell yourself to take deep breaths, but the minute you do, you then worry that the entire room can see the fact that your heart is, in fact, doing the electric slide up and down your rib cage. (God […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Oct 26

2017

Sometimes, Being Difficult Is an Act of Devotion

Oct 26, 2017

Nobody wants to “be difficult.” Those words have stigma tattooed right across their rear. Just hearing them makes you think of that psycho in line at the grocery store, berating the cashier for not accepting her expired coupon. (She’s also wearing Uggs, for the record, and DEFINITELY has a soggy cigarette hanging out of her […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Apr 5

2012

Fuck Plan B. You’re on the A Team.

Apr 5, 2012

His name is Oskar. He’s Rastafarian. I met him when I first came to Costa Rica in 2004 and watched him trying to sell his paintings day after day on the beach, sweating, struggling to speak English to the tourists who passed by, working from dusk until the wee hours of the night to make […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Jun 3

2012

Battle Cry of the Crazies: For Anyone Hustling for MORE

Jun 3, 2012

  You aren’t crazy for wanting what hasn’t even occurred to them to want. You aren’t crazy for needingwhat they would only deem a luxury. You aren’t crazy for demandingthat circumstances yield to you, instead of the other way around. And you aren’t crazy for taking what it means to be human, and turning it upside […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Oct 21

2010

The Greatest Form of Suffering of All: Inaction

Oct 21, 2010

Once upon a time, I was feeling stuck. If my suspicions are correct, many of you reading this might feel the same way right now. You can’t get motivated. You aren’t excited about anything. You’re tired all of the time. Lifeless. Indifferent. Apathetic. You’ve stopped caring—about yourself, about your goals, about the things you used […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Aug 15

2014

How to Be the Most Confident Person At The Table

Aug 15, 2014

When somebody doesn’t buy from you, which are you thinking? “Man, I’m a loser”  or “Man, they’re a loser.”  Getting cocksure is the very first order of business. And if you don’t feel sure of yourself, you know what you need? Not more clients. You need to sit your ass down, read 100 books, grovel for the […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Aug 25

2017

The Competition Doesn’t Have Sh*t On You

Aug 25, 2017

There’s never been a person who went to school for accounting and said: BUT WAIT, I CAN’T BECOME AN ACCOUNTANT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE ARE ALREADY DOINGGGGG THATTTTTTTTTTT. There are plenty of people out there doing exactly what you want to do—times eleventy thousand. “But there are already so many writers / designers / candlestick makers” […]

In: Finding Your Voice

READ ME >>

Exclusive VIP Access

Enter your email to start your own middle finger project and get all sorts of colorful inspiration + know-how straight into your inbox to help you quit your job, do what you love, and start the side hustle of your dreams.

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of f-bombs.

Privacy Policy Info Here