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Storm Down The Door of Life With a Hatchet + Some GUMPTION.

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

I always wanted to be the woman with the white floppy hat.

The one with the easy laugh, where time had not made her older, but all the more delightful.

The one who carries a basket of strawberries wherever she goes, the one who frolics in fountains, the one who holds his gaze just a little too long, who doesn't care if her hair gets wet in the rain, and whose signature scent is mystery–the straight up parfum version.

For the record, more people should carry baskets of strawberries, don't you think?

The woman with the white floppy hat knows her likes and her dislikes, as well as her great loves–and never apologizes for any of it. She radiates don't-give-a-damn bravado, while at the same time, manages to be elegant, ladylike, and effortlessly cool.

She can have a temper, however, because all great women also have their fire. And with good reason, because these kinds of women have their convictions about things. They've drawn their lines, they've taken their stands, they've dug up the unapologetic confidence to embrace their beliefs–the ones that make them who they are.

I recently posted a quote up on the TMFproject Facebook page that said:

Would Cleopatra have become a legend if she doubted her beauty and power?

And as I read that quote, I thought of my woman with the white floppy hat.

The one who's only a figment of my imagination, but who is always whispering into my ear, lulling me to lean into life just a little bit more.

::  It's because of her that I started my first copywriting company, without enough money in the bank to do so.

::  It's because of her that I found the nerve to leave the house, the relationship and the stability I built, in a comfy development in Philadelphia–in favor of my pleading heart, begging me to GROW.

::  It's because of her that I first left on a whim for both Costa Rica and later Chile, not knowing who or what I would find there.

::  It's because of her that I started TMFproject–this site–almost four years ago.

::  It's because of her that I dropped everything and pirouetted across the United States in a two-door car with nothing but my music and my gumption.

::  It's because of her that I found my strength again after The Mexican.

::  It's because of her that, the following year, I showed up to live in a never-before-seen apartment in Barcelona to live with people I'd never-before-met or talked to–and ended up rekindling a romance with a Spaniard I once met in London, many years earlier.

::  It's because of her that I then took the money that friends are putting down on houses and spending on car payments, and instead, went with Kyle to France. To Patagonia. To Ecuador. And soon, Colombia. (Click on those links for scandalous photos of us at each place.)

::  And weaved throughout it all, it's because of her that I love when I am not sure I should, and love even more when I am sure I shouldn't.

::  It's because of her that I've learned to have faith in the process. Faith in the unknown. And faith in knowing that when I put my mind to something, I will succeed.

::  It's because of her that I survived.

::  It's because of her that today I thrive.

:: And it's even because of her that I sometimes work far too less, and attend happy hour far too much (that troublesome bitch), because at my god damn funeral, I don't want them to remember what I did; I want them to remember who I was. The laughter, the good spirits (no pun intended), the connection we had, and the way we felt ALIVE.

It is she who guides me.

Who helps me remember to only do the things that would make me proud of my future self; the future self who carries strawberries, and few regrets.

I'd say I can't wait to meet her.

Except I know that, deep down, she's already arrived.

Minus the floppy hat, of course–those bitches were on backorder.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

-Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver

Jan 30


The Numbers Don’t Mean Jack.

Jan 30, 2013

Hi.  It’s me, Ash. Was that obvious? I’m sorry to pardon your regular programming, but today we’re going to talk numbers. I hate numbers–you can go square root your mom. But sometimes, you’ve got to look at ’em. You know…like when it’s tax season. As you may remember, in 2011 I publicly showed the world how to make […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Mar 25


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


May 4


Shattering the Current Model of Reality

May 4, 2010

Most of you reading this website are here because you want more. Tried and true may be comfortable, but boring.  The traditional life path may be safe, but uninspiring.  The status quo is average, but nothing extraordinary. You know there’s something missing, but you can’t pinpoint what, exactly, it is. We’ve essentially been told for […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


Aug 30


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


Jun 9


The World Isn’t Your Mommy

Jun 9, 2017

You know what’s crazy? There’s not actually a team of people assigned to your life, sitting around monitoring your blood work, and your bank accounts, and the health of your relationships, jotting down notes, circling areas of concern. There’s no supervisor. No one checking your progress. No one setting quarterly reviews. As a result, we […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


Nov 6


It’s Okay If You Suck At This. Otherwise Called, “Permission to Suck.” Otherwise Called, “Longest Blog Post Title Ever Because Obnoxiously Long Blog Post Titles Are Funny.”

Nov 6, 2011

It’s okay if…you’re drowning in self-doubt. It’s okay if…you don’t know where to start. It’s okay if…you started, but want to stop. It’s okay if…you sometimes mix up your priorities. It’s okay if…you didn’t say the right thing. It’s okay if…you really fucked up the first time around. It’s okay if…you fucked up the second time […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired


May 3


Listen: Do What You Crave Without the Guilt. Travel to Italy. Enroll in That Workshop. Make Your Art Every Afternoon. And Hurl Yourself Into the Unknown—For This Is The Best ROI That Money Can Buy.

May 3, 2018

My almost-mother-in-law gets really fucking nervous when I travel—especially when I bomb off to South America for a month by myself to drink ALL THE WINE and celebrate ALL THE BOOK DEALS. But she doesn’t get worried in the typical way a mother might; not the way my own mother would have been worried, which would […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, 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.

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.

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