One year (and three months) ago, I wrapped my upper body in duct tape for the first photograph of my 365 project. After tearing it away from my hair and skin, I lay in bed with the most agonizing headache I’d ever suffered.
And that’s what the 365 has been for me ever since. The most terrible, excruciating headache.
I can’t begin to describe the hatred I had for this project, the tears shed, the hours I’d spend with this awful squirming in my guts that could be cured by nothing less than fleeing to the woods in search of that day’s concept. So many days, I told myself I would quit, and an equal number of days, I would fight against that urge, because I knew it was only a temporary ache.
The 365 project is hard. But it’s also one of the best things to ever happen to me, if not the best. I’m not going to get into the ways it has changed, improved me. The evidence is there. And if it’s not, then it’s a personal change that is important only to me.
It’s... crazy thinking back to when I began. I would think of all kinds of things that I would say when I finally got to the end, so many funny and inspiring words for everyone, and throughout the year, that list would grow, and I’d have all these victorious lines memorized. And now that I’m finally done, I can’t recall a single one. It feels different now that I’m done. I’m not satisfied and excited and relieved like I always thought I would be. I’m actually kind of sad and nervous, the sorts of emotions I always associate with change. I fell into a habit this past year. It was an everyday routine, and no matter how much I despised it, no matter how good or bad it was for me, I’m going to miss it, and I’m not going to have a clue what to do with myself.
But I’m still happy, because I’ve achieved something I always hoped I would.. which is a pride in what I’ve done here. I can look back at any given photograph and feel proud to have taken and posted it, even the ones that make me cringe and at the time of their posting had me burying my head in my pillow, wishing that nobody would ever see it or judge me for it.
I’ve never finished anything in my life before, and it feels so good to say that I’ve completed the 365 project. I’m not going to pretend that I did it perfectly. Clearly the additional three months speak for my failure to update every day. But the fact that I finished at all is enough for me.
To all of you that have watched and supported me, I say a massive thank you. You made this project both the hardest, hardest thing and the most rewarding. A gigantic thank you to my family for being there to help at any given moment, for putting up with my crap and my yelling and bossiness and frustration, and especially my mom for enduring the “I don’t know what to shoooooot today” whines that occurred literally every day.
I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, when I am no longer plagued by the worry of creating a concept. Maybe I’ll catch up on some reading or some sleep or try to revive my social life, haha.
The photograph above didn’t turn out anything like I had hoped it would, but it’s okay, because that makes it a part of the other 364.