ASH AMBIRGE

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Look, We’ve All Got Our Faults. *Stomps Cigar*

In: Finding Your Voice

Look, we’ve all got our faults.

I, for one, have a wrinkly ass neck. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it happened. But all the sudden there are lines as deep as the Panama Canal cutting across my trachea.

Fortunately, all the resveratrol I’ve consumed over the years seems to have spared my face…so far. Or, I don’t know, maybe I should be thanking Laura Mercier for that. Ever since I was twenty one, I’ve been wearing tinted moisturizer with SPF, and apparently, SPF ACTUALLY WORKS. Who knew?

But, SPF can’t save me from everything, you know? It can’t save me from my total lack of ability to love email. It can’t save me from getting hot and bothered when customers are jerks. It can’t save me from overextending myself on the regular—despite knowing better.

But that’s okay. It doesn’t have to.

Because you know, these things called faults are nouns for a reason—because they exist.

You got ‘em. I got ‘em. We’ve all got ‘em.

And sometimes, you’ve gotta learn how not to give yourself such a hard time about them—and start getting curious about them, instead.

This is the only way we get past ‘em, people.

For example, when I know I’m writing a crap book chapter, I could spend the rest of the day being an asshole to myself about it. Why couldn’t I think straight today?! Why couldn't I come up with the perfect ending?! Why do I write at the pace of a geriatric?! FML!

Or, I could choose to get curious about it.

I wonder why I couldn’t think straight today—what didn’t I give myself? What nourishment am I missing? Did I get enough sleep? How can I make sure I do better today?

OR

I wonder why I couldn’t nail that ending. I must need a break. I’m usually really good at endings, so maybe if I take a time out, I’ll do better when I get back.

OR

I wonder why I write at the pace of a geriatric. It must be because I love to get every word just right. It’s one of the reasons why I’m great at what I do. It’s what people pay me to do. I should be so grateful that I have the patience to get it right.

I guess the woo woos call this mindset. (Or some other equally annoying word.) And maybe that’s exactly what it is, but you know what?

If I hadn’t gotten curious about my weaknesses, I wouldn’t have known to exercise those muscles in order to grow.

And grow I have.

Just this past Friday, the literary agency of my dreams sent over an official author/agency agreement (yes, I DID run around telling everyone I know), and you know how I made that happen?

By getting curious every time I didn’t want to write.
By getting curious every time I resisted sending the pitch.
By getting curious every time I tried to talk myself out of it.

I could have faulted myself from here until the day I die for not doing it. But you know what I did instead? Figured out what was stopping me…and then figured out a way around the detour.

In other words, I got curious about myself.

And then, I got real.

Because turns out, curiosity didn’t kill the kat—it killed your excuses.

And then all you’re left with?

Is yourself.

Perhaps both the scariest, and the most exciting, place to be of all.

 

Aug 25

2017

The Competition Doesn’t Have Sh*t On You

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

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Apr 5

2012

Fuck Plan B. You’re on the A Team.

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

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Dec 12

2017

To The People Who Keep Asking Me When I’m Having a Baby

“When are you having a baby?” “You’d be a great mom.” “You’ll regret it later if you don’t.” “You HAVE to have kids!” …and I used to think people were pushy about making me try seafood. Though the decision not to have children actually reminds me of that: people are really convinced you’re making a […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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Dec 30

2015

On Becoming Unfuckwithable

Unfuckwithable. If you’re contemplating themes for the New Year, I highly recommend borrowing this one. Rolls right off the tongue and deep dives directly into your ovaries. But more importantly? We need this. We need this because there are always going to be days—weeks, months, years—where everything feels hard. There are always going to be […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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Jun 11

2016

When You Feel Worthy of Being Seen…It Shows

  Let me tell you what: American women may have Victoria’s Secret, but Italian women have another secret altogether. You know it by the way she holds her head a little higher than yours, eyes on fire, gliding down the god damn sidewalk as if her and Mother Nature were tag teaming. It is not just […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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Dec 31

2010

Resolutions Are For Chumps. I Choose Revolution.

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

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Nov 22

2017

There’s No Such Thing As An Idea That *Isn’t* Offensive

You know what I’m grateful for? Fucking. NOT LIKE THAT, SICKO. Although, I mean, I guess…wait. Let me start again. I like the word fucking because it’s representative of something so much bigger than that, which is the real thing I’m grateful for: freedom of expression. Remember that cute little First Amendment? It says that the […]

In: Finding Your Voice

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