ASH AMBIRGE

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Would We Have Known These Were The Best Moments of Our Lives?

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

“She's so proud of your traveling. She wants you to live the life she was afraid to live, but always wanted. You were always her greatest work of art.”

Those were the words she said to me.

She was my mom's friend back in the moments of white Mustang convertibles, flirty bell bottoms, heart-filled hopes and dreams laced with determination.

At a time when my mother, a free-spirited artist and renaissance soul, first began to lose who she was.

At a time when her nervous excitement slowly began to transform into debilitating anxiety.

At a time when she was suddenly left broken-hearted and broke.

And at a time when she became a victim of her own self-doubt and self-consciousness, that slowly, but surely, gnawed away at any last bit of nerve she had.

You were always her greatest work of art.

Her anxiety disorder murdered her coldblooded. It murdered her while she was alive, and it murdered her the day she took her last breath.

She later had become sick with a physical ailment that needed treatment, but she was too anxious to fight.

Eventually, she stopped taking her medication.

The medication that was keeping her alive.

She couldn't take the pain anymore.

The physical pain, the mental pain.

She quietly tucked the pills she was given into her mattress, where she lie wishing for a revolver.

I know she wished for a gun because she told me so, through tears of agony and shooting pains in her legs.

You were always her greatest work of art.

They were the same tears I dismissed as being overly dramatic, as I pranced back to my dorm room an hour away, hopelessly naive and foolishly anxious to meet up with a group of fair weather friends–our last night of freedom before the final semester of our college career got started.

I got the call the next morning at 8:17.

“Your mother is unresponsive,” said the unfamiliar voice of authority.

I arrived to our house an hour later, unsure of what I was going to find.

But by then, there was nothing left to find.

Just a hastily written yellow post-it on the door.

“Call me. Signed, The Coroner.”

You were always her greatest work of art._

I wish I had known her when she drove her white Mustang convertible, golden blonde hair waving in the wind, signature neck scarf tied just right. I wish I had known the woman that winked at sailors, sipped on Brandy, breezily splashed paint on canvases, and entertained guests with salami sandwiches made with fresh cut Italian bread.

I didn't know that woman. But I do see playful glimpses of that woman everyday, in everything I do.

Yet I wonder—

Did she know those would be some of the best moments of her life?

And furthermore, if these, right now, are some of the best moments of ours, would we know? Or would we just let them delicately slip through the cracks of time, forever chasing after tomorrow and the promise of nothing?

With our heart-filled hopes and dreams laced with determination…

Her moment was then.

…But our moment is right now.

Your moment is right now.

This very minute.

Wherever you are.

And whoever you're with.

Now is yours.

Because as it turns out, you never know when the moment will arrive, when it won't be.

You were always her greatest work of art.

May 11

2010

2 Minute Guide to Reclaiming Your Life

May 11, 2010

If you clicked on this post, you either: a) Need to get a grip. b) Want to reclaim your life. c) Have no time to do either. d) Googled “mating habits of porcupines” and this just came up. e) You read everything I write because you’re secretly plotting my demise. With the exception of letter […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired

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Dec 20

2012

Always Do. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

Dec 20, 2012

If you walked in the door right now, I don’t know if I’d run and hug you hard, or if you’d seem like a stranger now. I’d like to think that I’d hug you. I’d like to think that I’d bury my face into your chest and you’d smell like your old cologne–which kind, I […]

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Jul 8

2010

When Being in Control is a Disservice

Jul 8, 2010

I’ve got little patience for excuses. I proactively call myself out whenever I catch myself making excuses in order to either procrastinate or invent reasons why I shouldn’t put myself out there. Why? Because sometimes, putting yourself out there is nail-bitingly, blood-curdingly, will-drive-you-to-drink, flat-out terrifying at times. It’s far easier to continue doing what we’ve […]

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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, […]

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Oct 26

2012

I Need Help. (Not That Kind of Help, Jerk.)

Oct 26, 2012

In preparation for my upcoming trip to Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia, I spent $258.92 at Zara Chile yesterday. I walked out with three new pairs of daisy dukes that I will inevitably think look better on me than they actually do, as well as a ripped up white-washed jean skirt, and a top or […]

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Mar 30

2017

When Following the Crowd is GOOD FOR YOU.

Mar 30, 2017

So the other day, it happened. There was one person stubborn enough to finally coerce me into doing the one thing I’d promised I’d never do. I’d hedged for many painful weeks. (Okay, fine, months.) I’d squirmed and I’d squithered (new favorite word) and I’d writhed and I’d wriggled. And yet, she kept asking. “Today […]

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Oct 22

2013

You Think The Stakes Are High Now? Please.

Oct 22, 2013

I wonder about people. Specifically about the 50-something woman speaking softly at the table next to me, telling another woman how she desperately wants to go abroad—because, verbatim, it would be the opportunity of a lifetime—but… And her words trail off. JUST LIKE HER DREAMS. Kidding. Dramatic doesn’t look good on me. But, really. What […]

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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 […]

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