People

100 Days

Say you were to travel back in time to a small town in central Maryland to a house with faux wood paneling and afghan throws on chairs. Why are you traveling back in time to some little town where people spend their weekends either in their homes with curtains drawn or riding lawn mowers? Well since this is my story, you’re stuck with me and this is where we’re going.

In the corner of the living room sits an old worn lazy boy. A ceiling fan moves air slowly around the room and thick yellow-gold curtains hang stiffly from the windows.

Sitting at the dining room table covered with half-finished projects, including a science project that is due tomorrow, you see a brown-eyed girl with blunt brown bangs that kiss the top of her eyebrows. She’s wearing a bright yellow zip-up jumper and a multi-colored button down shirt that screams 80s. It’s her most favorite outfit ever.

She’s running fabric through a sewing machine, but she can’t seem to make it work. She’s tried a couple times but all she winds up with is a mess of thread in the fabric. So she gets up and leaves everything behind. The light on the sewing machine is left on and the project she started never gets finished.

That kid goes by the name, Jenny.

Jenny has problems committing to things. Years from now, Jenny will look back on this moment and worry that she’s never been able to commit to anything. She’ll be wrong, but that’s the story she’ll tell herself. For a little while at least. And that’s a story for present day.

Years from now, Jenny will look back on this moment and worry that she’s never been able to commit to anything. She’ll be wrong, but that’s the story she’ll tell herself.

I read somewhere, probably on the internet which is where I pretty much read everything, that the stories we tell ourselves are the stories that become real. Which is a strange segue to this next thing about 100 day projects, but stick with me. Let’s commit to this post.

I have seen the incredible things 100 day projects have done for friends. I’ve marveled at their commitment. Sure it’s a commitment to whatever form their project takes—painting, poetry, meditating, working out, etc—but more critically, they’re making a commitment to themselves. At their core, they’re saying, I’m worthy of investing a little time in me.

Maybe their project will lead to a great body of work. Maybe it won’t. But it will absolutely lead to a self-discovery. Over the course of 100 days, I have watch friends find a piece of themselves they can fall in love with. And usually, it was something that was there all along just waiting to be loved. It’s a deeply beautiful thing to watch.

Inspired by others, I did end up starting my own 100 project, although it’s not limited to 100 consecutive days. And just to break another rule—because I’m all about pushing boundaries—I went the extra distance and added an extra 1 in there making it a 101 project. I can tell you that so far, it has changed the way I think about things, including that scene above.

Over the course of 100 days, I have watch friends find a piece of themselves they can fall in love with. It’s a deeply beautiful thing to watch.

Like little Jenny, I may still be a work in progress. But unlike little me, I know it’s okay to let go and walk away from things that simply don’t work no matter how hard you try. Like stories that only leave you feeling hurt and depressed, some things are best left behind.

So if you’re feeling stifled, or unsure of which direction to head off to next try committing to something small once a day for a 100 days. See where your journey of self-discovery leads.

I’m betting it’s going to be awesome. Just like my yellow jumper.

*ps. Those shots up there are of me and video producer Caroline Gravino who is a total badass.