Another year has come to an end, which means people all over the place are summarizing the year. Media companies are recapping the big stories, friends and family are sending annual letters, and social media apps are generating personalized highlight reels.
When I think back on my 2013 (without the help of third-party generators), my first blush impression is of a year that sort of washed together in a “same shit, different day” kind of way. Give me time for reflection, and I can identify stories and memories that highlighted the year. The trip to Havasupai with 2 friends and 160 strangers. A spontaneous July road trip to LA. Time spent with my parents in southwestern Colorado. Learning to ride a motorcycle. Dying my hair blue.
There were 365 days in this year. I feel like there should be more. Getting back into hiking. Saturday morning breakfasts in the company of a good book. Facing my fear of water. A school-girl crush so encompassing that I had to embrace my inner crazy.
These were great moments. I don’t want to underplay them. But that “same shit, different day” feeling lingers. Part of me certainly feels guilty for letting life pass me by, for succumbing to a gray monotonous lethargy that has shadowed me much of the past three years. But another part of me questions whether I failed to grasp the beauty and the intrigue that pervades my inclinations, my routines, my everyday life.
I want 2014 to feel different. I want to reverse the sentiment so that even if each different day does promise more of the same shit, it’s really good shit.
I am fascinated with “Day in the Life” exposés because they set aside the big standout events to better highlight the routines and the in-between moments – in other words, the good shit – that when strung together can weave a rich tale of how a larger entity comes to be.
So I am giving myself a project for 2014, to document a day in my own life. Not just once, but once each month. The goal is to tell the unique story of each day and to highlight the routines of necessity and enjoyment that I return to everyday. I also hope to evolve my storytelling skills, so that I am better equipped to tell the tale of a day next December than one next month.
On these days, I am going to try to throw the doors and windows into my life wide open. I will try to share honestly both what I am doing, what I am thinking, and what I am feeling, even if I feel those things are uninteresting or unbecoming.
And now some guidelines, constraints, and caveats (because creativity emerges from the challenge of creating with constraints and because I don’t want to half-ass the project).
- I will attempt to share what I am doing or thinking at least once an hour, even if it means setting little alarms to remind myself.
- Documentation will occur via social media channels. I’m thinking Instagram will be my primary platform, but Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms will undoubtedly come into play.
- Posts will be tagged #dayinthelife.
- I will produce a wrap-up of each day, aggregating all content produced that day into a single summary here.
- I will do my best to honor the privacy and social sharing preferences of any person or party that I may be in the presence of on these days.
- My thoughts regarding project are still evolving, so it’s possible that these guidelines and constraints will change.
What questions or suggestions do you have as I embark on this project?