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Time Doesn’t “Get Away From You.” Your Dignity Does. BE SOMEBODY, DAMMIT.

In: Confidence, Life,

Can we talk about the fact that I dislocated my thumb this weekend while trying to pull up my pantyhose?

Who does that happen to?

Surely Princess Di never had these types of problems.

But me, certainly, and I’ll tell you why:

Because those pantyhose were way too fucking small for that thing I got back there called an ass. Pair some stubborn pantyhose with an even more stubborn wearer, and you’re bound for injury.

Despite saggy pantyhoe syndrome (you can’t really say pantyhoe, but WATCH ME SAY IT ANYWAY), cute guy whose facial hair makes him look a little bit like Colin Farrell approaches.

He’s standing front and center, inches away from my face.

He looks at me.

I smile.

Before I could extend my hand, he startles me by saying, “Ashley, right?”

I mentally flip through my register of Chilean men I’ve met, seen and/or spilled vodka on, and this was not one of them.

“How’d you know?” I respond as casually as I can muster, while awkwardly shifting my weight from one leg to the other, because HIGH HEELS ARE THE DEVIL, and you know how you have to keep doing the shift so only one foot at a time is throbbing with unbearable, excruciating pain? Yeah, that move.

“I know you from the airport,” he says, as if it were the most normal thing in the world. “I work there.”

I lose it, immediately.

If this isn’t a sure sign I spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME AT THE AIRPORT, I don’t know what is. I couldn’t catch my breath, I was laughing so hard. Apparently, Colin Farrell had met me once when I was flying to Spain last year. Apparently, I KNOW PEOPLE WHO WORK AT THE AIRPORT.

I couldn’t have been more pleased.

In part because this just happened, in part because he was way cuter than I remembered, and in part because it’s a funny story.

And it’s all about the stories.

Not just having them to tell–but having them to live. They’re the currency of life, stories. And we live for them–not just our own, but those of others, too. Because stories help us feel not so damn alone.

For every one of you ladies who nodded with empathy when I mentioned saggy pantyhose, or the high heel weight shift–you felt that much more understood in this big, fucking world of chaos. And if something as simple as that can make us feel more understood, imagine the effect of the bigger stories we tell? The ones from down deep. The ones we’re most scared to tell, but the ones that make us most human.

The problem, however, is that many of us don’t have the stories to tell, because many are still waiting for their story to start.

We’re always still waiting for our real lives to begin–after we’re in a good place with our career, after we’re married, after we’re settled down, after we drop those last 20 pounds, or after we finally write that book.

But there’s only one problem.

Your story is already rolling.

Lights, camera, action began the day you were born.

And while your parents might have been the directors for the first part of your life, it’s your turn, now.

And one day, when you finally get the chance to press rewind, I hope that you’ll be downright aroused to watch what you made.

And I’m not even talking about the porn segment.

This post was inspired, in fact, by a guy named Robert.

Robert is a TMFproject crew member here. And at the beginning of the year, when I ran a challenge called INTOXICATE YOURSELF WITH POSSIBILITY, I asked folks to bare their souls, and tell us: What’s the one thing you feel like a total asshole for not having accomplished yet?

In the comments, this was Robert’s response:

So I want to ask: Robert, have you made any new stories?

And for the rest of you who commented that day, what stories are you busy writing? Have you followed through with our vow to keep the pages turning? From our Intoxicate Challenge:

Megan–Have you started your baking company?

Shannon, Meredith, Otiti, Jessica, John – Have you been WRITING?

Janine – How’s the training for the 5K coming along?

Margaux – Learned any fun new Quechua words?

Kimberley  – How’s progress going on your art studio you wanted to open?

Bradley  – Are you drawing?

Lisa – How goes the quest for balance?

Sara – What’s the status on the recording of a CD of all your original music?

Magen  – Are you doing any book binding?

And to everyone else who commented–are you doing what you wanted? What you hoped? What you NEED TO DO?

We’re a short few months from the end of 2012.

Do NOT let this be another year that got away from you.

This is your year, god dammit.

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65 thoughts on "Time Doesn’t “Get Away From You.” Your Dignity Does. BE SOMEBODY, DAMMIT."

  1. Liz Seda says:

    Oh Ash the way you put these thoughts on paper (screen?) is orgasmic.
    I have an obsessive compulsive, risk averse, and very safe husband. Whenever I want to do something just a little bit off-the-handle, I tell him it’s because I want to have another story to tell, to live. Maybe that’s why I tend to get myself into ridiculous situations (I was once stranded on an Island for 4 days). It’s because, when everything goes as planned, the story is less interesting. So I quit planning SO much, I quit adhering to strict rules, and I quit laying down bricks on my yellow brick road. My road is made up of gravel and dirt, and sometimes asphalt, but mostly just dirt. And I like it that way. Dirt’s more flexible when I need to pivot.

    1. TMFproject says:

      Oh god, this ANALOGY is orgasmic! “My road is made up of gravel and dirt…dirt’s more flexible when I need to pivot.”

      You need to be a poet.

      I loved this comment with all my heart, Liz!

  2. Jessica says:

    I can relate to the shifting too. Stupid high heels – Y U so sexy? And I love that you sent a note back to reception. Love.

    I am here to sheepishly say no, I have not been writing like I want to be. I’ve been DOING THINGS and GOING PLACES and DRINKING WINE and getting swept up in the flow of life, but sadly not writing about any of it. I just got back from a week in England – how do I not have pages upon pages of journaling about this!?

    Thanks for holding me to the fire and reminding me of my own words. This begins today.

  3. I fucking LOVE your promise!

    The “drink too much” addition to the list reminds me of something that happened just a couple of months ago.

    My baby brother came here to Vegas with an entourage of 8 women and the minute I met up with him which was around noon, we sought out a drink. Now I’ve been to Vegas a jillion times and now I live here and never once have I bought one of those stupid tourist tall cups filled with slushie liquor but for this occasion, this is how we set it off at Fat Tuesday’s with one of those big ass Hurricane drinks topped off with an extra shot of Ever Clear.

    Now I have to insert the fact here that I’m a drink one beer a week kinda guy for 48 weeks out of the year. I like drinking but I hardly ever do it. For me, if I do it too much, it ceases to be a treat. And I like treats so that’s how I roll with my drinking.

    So, we walk over to his hotel, big dorky drinks in hand, and get to the suite they’re staying in and I walk in to see the biggest bottle of Belvedere Vodka you can buy and the biggest bottle of Patron you can buy. Well, being that we’re in party mode, we dump vodka into our tourist cups. I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusting the bottom of that drink was. And what’s crazy is that it sneaks up on you – one minute you’re drinking sweet slush and the next minute you’re sipping straight liquor – EEEECCCCH! DOUBLE FUCKING EEEECH! Straight liquor was never meant to sipped through and 24 inch straw.

    So of course being that we were in the company of fine young women, they were anxious to get to the Wynn pool party. I’d never been to a pool party before at one of the casinos and I’ve all I’ve got to say is that it was INCREDIBLE (only to be eclipsed the next day by the Rehab party at the Hard Rock Casino).

    This party combines two things I ABSOLUTELY LOVE – women having fun and fun music that’s playing loud as fuck. Well, of course, we get there and proceed to start downing Red Bull and vodkas while splashing and dancing in the pool.

    Needless to say, at this point in the day, I was FUCKED. UP!

    As we’re walking to gather our stuff to leave I lose it. No, I didn’t puke. No, I didn’t black out. I just out of the blue while strolling along in the throng of people, I lost my balance and FLOP landed ass first right on some dudes lap. Hahaha

    And what’s crazy is I got up just fine, walked all the way through the casino to the limo just fine, did everything else just fine as a result of me paying closer attention to my balance, and I never even got sick or even spun. And we went back to the room, took a little snooze and proceeded to set it off all over again with one of those 64 ounce Vodka and Redbull drinks in the plastic champagne bottle with the plastic chain on it that they sell out in front the Planet Hollywood casino right before going to one of the funnest clubs I’ve ever been to, 1Oak at the Mirage, where we we proceeded to dance our ass of on the furniture. (this club is a MUST experience while it’s still at it’s peak for anyone coming soon)

    Yeah, I drank too much, but I was never annoying, never a burden (surprisingly I never puked the whole weekend) and best of all, I was FUN to be with and contributed everyone else having a good time. If this hadn’t been the case, I would have definitely classified this as an experience to never repeat.

    I took myself out of serious mode for a couple of days and let myself have balls to the wall
    fun for the first time in years and I will never forget that
    weekend for the rest of my life. Never. I’ll always hold it near and
    dear to my heart.

    And I thank you Ashley for being a person in my life who reminds me that having meaningful and special story books like this on the book shelf of our mind is what contributes to a life well lived.

  4. Esha Addy says:

    Ash I love this post.
    My live has really become more like a cesspool. Deep down i’m advantageous, balls to wall, let’s try something for the hell of it, A/B personality type. I love skydiving, i want to travel the world, roll a car, start a business. Shoot i once did a 50 feet cliff dive just for the thrills and i can’t even swim. Dumb, i want to travel the world, roll a car, start a business. Fast forward i’m now in the dread cesspool routine of just surviving, go home, don’t cause any waves father of 3 boys. When I look at my boys I don’t want to be anything like the person i’m now allowing other people wishes, attitudes, desires or will to Trump my own. I feel like B.B King’s – The Thrill is Gone. I know the passion is inside-just need to unleash it on the world.

    Ash you are one of kind.

    The TMFP is truly an inspiration work of art.

    Time for me to be Epic!

    New motto: Smash the fear, pursue the passion & Live Epic!

    Dam as i write this. I see have become an EPIC WUSS. Dam time to be that Alpha of live.