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The Surprising Reason Why I Decided to Buy My Own (GASP!) Apartment—As an Independent Woman With Her Own Money and Her Own Mind

In: Finding Your Voice


That’s what the subject line read as I cozied up with a glass of red wine, last night, nervously awaiting the news. And when the email came through? I almost choked.

“Omg, I have tears in my eyes!” I wrote in response. (Along with a shit ton of other capital letters and exclamation points, my favorite.)

Because here is what I learned on March 7th, 2019, just in time to celebrate International Women’s Day (hooray, it’s TODAY, darling!): that you, as a woman, on your own, with your own money, and your own mind, can have the entire world, if you so choose. You can do anything you damn well please, and you don’t need anybody’s permission to do it. You don’t need a husband. You don’t need a second income. You don’t need anyone’s blessing or their opinion, or their worries, or their fears, either. You do not need to conform to anyone else’s ideas of a well-lived life but your own. You can start revolutions and you can start fires and you can start being the kind of woman who trusts herself NOW to know what she needs, and what excites her—and then goes out and pursues that very thing.

Excitement is always a sign that you’re being true to yourself.

Which is why today? I’m celebrating Women’s Day as—drum roll—the proud new owner of my very own apartment in the birthplace of American Independence: Old City, Philadelphia! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT NONSENSE? Me! A homeowner. Which used to feel all so anti-freedom to me, in another lifetime. Like something that conventional people did because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives. There’s even a line in my forthcoming book that mocks the herd mentality: “No, you take out a mortgage for thirty years. No, you!” 

BUT HERE’S THE THING. It’s not about the action itself; it’s about the intention behind it. Throughout my twenties, the idea of buying a home made me roll my eyes: I had way better things to do, like vineyards in Argentina. (I said “vineyards,” not “men.” Stop giving me that look.) The idea of home represented a kind of complacency that I didn’t want. A ball and chain, with dollars. And probably roof leaks. I feel like there are always roof leaks. But most of all, it represented safety.

Women who trust themselves wholly trust everything else much less: including time-tested ideas about what is “right” and what “makes sense.”

Until you hit thirty-four. Until you have spent your entire existence thinking thoughts that are your own, and suddenly, you find yourself with a clean slate. You are no longer poisoned by other people’s reasons for doing anything: you’ve got your own. You can now view things more objectively in terms of how they would benefit your life…or not. And for me?

The idea of owning an apartment in the place I was born makes me feel happy and joyful and creative and grounded. Which is different from feeling safe. Feeling grounded is about having your feet planted firmly on the ground so you can leverage your power and multiply your strengths: feeling safe is about letting someone or something else take over so you don’t have to.

So today I will submit a deposit toward my own joy and grounding: which happens to come in the form of a giant and historic sunny space spanning the entire top floor of the building, with fireplaces and hard wood and oversized windows looking out over the cobblestone, leading out to the design district’s tree-lined streets full of creativity and art and boutiques and entrepreneurship. (And, like, the cutest floral designer ever: Petit Jardin en Ville, a husband and wife team that exclusively specializes in Parisian garden design and floristry. For everybody who is like, “But I can’t niche, I’ll turn people away!” Think about how these guys are KILLING IT—and then maybe cry that you are not a Parisian garden designer, because that’s what I did.)

BOYYYYY do I have plans for this space: which is now basically the new TMF headquarters. An interior designer will be first, because mama knows her strengths, and paint selection ain’t one of ‘em.  Sound proofing will also be top of mind, because I’m going to make and create the hell out of things in there—and maybe invite you along, too! I’m hoping to turn the space into a digital creator’s paradise, with microphones and diva lights and cameras all on hand, and plenty of writing and brainstorming nooks, too, so when I’m not there, you can go use the space to write your book proposal, record your course, spend some time away from home, focusing hard on what matters in a place full of inspiration and good fucking juju. (I have to add the word “fucking” to “juju,” otherwise it’s too soft.) Or maybe even while I am there: there are two bedrooms, you know, and I could see me offering some special VIP days. (Omg, am I starting an entrepreneur's brothel? I’m totally starting an entrepreneur’s brothel.)

So, happy International Women’s Day to US. To you, and to me, and to everyone else out there who is being brave enough to cause problems. That’s the cornerstone of my most important work: helping you do exactly that. Because in order to do big things, you have to do brave things: and sometimes that includes quitting your life as you know it, or quitting a role you’ve played too long, or quitting your marriage, or quitting your old thought patterns, or quitting being the kind of person who is too fearful to do anything wonderful.

Be brave enough to cause problems, my love.

And I’ll be right there alongside you, rooting you on all the way.



P.S. On Tuesday I’ll tell you how I won the apartment over the other buyers: WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR WHAT I DID.

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The Surprising Reason Why I Decided to Buy My Own (GASP!) Apartment—As an Independent Woman With Her Own Money and Her Own Mind

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“WINNER, WINNER! OFFER ACCEPTED!!!” That’s what the subject line read as I cozied up with a glass of red wine, last night, nervously awaiting the news. And when the email came through? I almost choked. “Omg, I have tears in my eyes!” I wrote in response. (Along with a shit ton of other capital letters […]

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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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