ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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WE ARE WASTING OUR BRAINS ON BULLSHIT (And Other Darling Sentiments)

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

You know those creeps who never drink any water and you're all, “BUT YOUR CELLS! YOUR CELLS ARE SHRIVELING LIKE LITTLE CALIFORNIA RAISINS!”  (Unless this is the kind of thing that only goes through my brain, in which case, welcome to my inner landscape, ya'll.)

I feel the same way about time. There are so many people who aren't drinking enough time; they're spending it, they're bleeding it dry, they're “making the most of every moment,” but they aren't retaining any of it for themselves. Time, like water, is a nutrient. It is sustenance. It is motherfucking health food for your brain. And we're so damn depleted.

A couple of years ago I was having a conversation with a girl in a hotel who wanted to give up her current life, switch careers, and start fresh. She didn't know what she wanted to do, so I asked her a simple question:

Well, what do you like? 

She stared blankly. Sadly, she didn't know. She could not answer this one simple, fundamental question of the human experience. She hadn't had time to really think about it, she said. She'd been so busy trying to get ahead, all these years, that she'd left herself behind.

This is the greatest tragedy of our time.

WE ARE WASTING OUR BRAINS. We're using them as storage units, there to process practical day-to-day tasks, but never something that nourishes us from the inside. Instead, we run our brains as if they were a factory, with thoughts rolling by on conveyor belts in order to be as productive as possible. Forget idle hands—our generation is terrified of idle brains.

But the idle brain is sorely underrated—and in fact, it's fucking fundamental when it comes to creating a creative, pleasurable, meaningful life.

How else will you engage in the deep thought necessary to understand yourself on more than a superficial level? (Likes: the color red, pizza pie, and board shorts, durrrrrr…) How else will you reflect on what you really want from your life? (Because you're allowed to want things from life, you know.) And furthermore, how else will you ever be able to give your brain the space to roam? To wander? To contemplate the array of beautiful, endless options this world affords us?

To my future artists, and writers, and creatives, and travelers, and dreamers, and big thinkers:

Guilt is a hologram.

Make space for yourself.

The only thing that matters is not what you did with your days, but that you deeply enjoyed living them.

Nov 18

2010

The Woman Whose Ass We All Should Be Kissing

Nov 18, 2010

If I had a foghorn, do you know what I’d shout? (Besides how I’ll never understand why so many people think that God is actually a compelling justification for their particular policy preferences. /rant) What I’d really shout—what I truly believe our people desperately need to hear—is this and this alone: The well-being of our […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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May 31

2018

If Somebody Told Me to Pick a Husband at Age Twenty-Three, I’d Likely Be Waking Up Next to Some Guy Who Can’t Spell “Lemon.”

May 31, 2018

You know why we’re all unhappy and restless and jaded and depressed? LIFE IS BORING US TO TEARS. Boredom is the devil, but most people don’t realize they’re bored. They’re busy working. They’re busy running. They’re busy doing ALL THE ERRANDS and keeping up with those fucksticks, The Jones’. It doesn’t feel like they’re bored, […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Apr 17

2017

Change Is Fucking Messy (Thank God)

Apr 17, 2017

Change is fucking messy. You’re effectively molding yourself, and re-molding yourself, the way a sculptor would a piece of clay. And yet, nobody says to the sculptor: Shame on you, butter fingers, for not having it perfect the first spin. Rather, there’s an expectation of process. Of trial, of error, of slow transformation; of forming, […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Oct 25

2018

Be Brave, Courageous, Interesting, Crazy, Difficult, Weird, and Downright Complicated. But Don’t You Ever Be Normal.

Oct 25, 2018

You know what’s fucked up? Normal. Normal is so fucked up. For example, it’s normal for expats to drink daily in Costa Rica. This is a terrible idea, and yet, because it’s done over and over again, it’s become normalized. NO ONE WILL GIVE YOU THE STINK EYE FOR SLUGGING A BEER AT 10AM, Y’ALL. […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Apr 30

2018

If You Feel Like a Big, Fat Imposter Who Doesn’t Deserve Anything and Worries About EVERYTHING, Read This. It’s a GOOD Thing.

Apr 30, 2018

I’m writing this from a place that could almost be mistaken for the Italian countryside, were I not surrounded by lizards and toucans and bullfrogs the size of a fucking dinosaur. Rather, I am high up in the hills of Central America overlooking the Costa Rican valley from my squishy, pancake lounger—it sort of reminds me of […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life

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Nov 13

2013

You Know You Need a Change When…

Nov 13, 2013

The year I tried to juggle 1,407 balls in the air and still be nice to strangers in the super market taught me an important lesson: Busy isn’t a synonym for happy. Full doesn’t mean fulfilled. And people are pushy assholes in line at the deli counter. All of us are busying ourselves to death—sometimes […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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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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But no serial killers. I promise I won’t send those.

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