Sunday, November 2, 2014

100 days of new things

The 100 days project was born in a moment of rage. Someone had hurt me badly, and while I was angry at them, the impetus for this was rage at myself that I had let it happen. I had changed my life and fallen into a rut for someone who wasn’t worth it. Me! I was the one who, as a young child, always voluntarily tried new foods at restaurants. I moved across the country for college alone. And here I was spending my weekends sleeping in, going to brunch, napping again, and then, if we were feeling adventurous, watching a video. Something had to change.

New thing: Performing sea lionsI decided to do something new every day for 100 days. While the new thing could be something big like skydiving, it didn’t have to be. After all, I wouldn’t have time for that every day. But it had to be bigger than a new restaurant with familiar cuisine,

Over 103 days (including three rest days), I tried things I liked (glitch hop music) and things I didn’t (Insane Clown Posse). I shot a gun and smoked pot (in Colorado), but I also read Harry Potter fanfic and tried coco helado on days when time was short.

I tried a lot of new foods and cuisines. The best was Taiwanese from a food cart in Midtown, but the most surprising food was ramen. It turned out it didn’t have to be the dry-packet experience I swore off after college.

New thing: Building a rock-lined ditchI consumed some new media and art forms. The dinosaur erotica was far and away the best conversation starter, although Straight Stuntin’ magazine was more educational. The Mary-Kate and Ashley movie proved to be un-get-through-able, while listening to ragas led me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole.

And Wikipedia - I edited a Wikiepedia entry, one of several technological new ventures. I also made a vine, tried Pinterest, and used an iPad in the classroom. And in the classroom I also tried polling software, took my students on a field trip, had a guest via Skype, and made an video with iMovie (not new - but not swearing at it was).

New thing: Hiking above 12,000 feetI hiked above 12,000 feet for the first time, took barre, Brazilian jiu jitsu, TRX, high intensity interval training, kettleball, and burlesque classes (where I learned to fan dance and chair dance). I went to capoeira classes at Joao Grande’s and the LIC Palmares groups, and I went to my first open roda.

I led a Ramblers hike, made a snow angel in July, and brushed my teeth with baking soda. I helped build a rock-lined ditch and opened a Smarty Pig account. I bought a lottery ticket (not a winner) and hiked with the Catskills 3500 club.

And there were a few things that required actual courage, although not as much as jumping out of an airplane. I talked about one of my goals that I tend to keep to myself on Facebook. I went a day without complaining; that took two tries. I wrote up a business plan. I opened up to my capoeira Mestre. And on day 99, I finally forgave the person who had hurt me in the first place.

New thing: Crossing the Henry Hudson BridgeTowards the end, it became harder to find truly new things I could fit in around a busy day at work. There were also things I wished to try but couldn’t. I never did get that pickleback or try that taxidermy class. But I still can. To the extent I’m still in a rut, it’s only to the extent of having a regular job and activities I enjoy, and that’s okay with me.

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