Do one new thing every day of 2014.
Lu Ann Cahn was a comfortably established middle-aged woman when she began her year of first experiences. She had money, a good home, and a secure life. Yet she was still disappointed and unhappy. She felt hopelessly stuck until she decided to have one new experience every day for an entire year, as she describes in her book I Dare Me.
I began this project because I am not middle-aged, I do not have any money, a family, a career, or a reputation. As a young college student, my life right now is filled with many new opportunities and experiences. But regardless of my youth, I was still feeling stuck.
Age means so little. How I live today as an eighteen-year-old is how I will live when I am thirty, fifty, and one-hundred years old, if I never make an effort to change. So in this peak of opportunity, I will use my time and resources to establish a routine of radical living. This year I refuse to become bogged down in Netflix binges and Friends reruns. Rather than flitting away my youth in mindless time-wasting, I will habitually challenge myself to eradicate destructive patterns, to improve myself, to be inspired and hopefully inspire others.
It is easy to allow my ideal self to remain reachably in the distance, to dream about her, plan how to be her, and incessantly wait around for her. It is difficult to value this very moment – right now – and use it effectively to incite change.
In 2014, I refuse to spend a single minute waiting.
Unacceptable First Experiences:
1. Something lame.
“I brushed my teeth with my eyes closed this morning.”
2. Something that’s a small variation from an otherwise perfectly normal day.
“I brushed my teeth this morning, and I listened to a song on the radio I’ve never heard before.”
3. Something that costs me a lot of money.
“I brushed my teeth this morning with a golden toothbrush encrusted with diamonds.”
4.Something that compromises my good hygiene
“I didn’t brush my teeth this morning.”
5. Something that could kill me.
“I brushed my teeth this morning while walking on a tightrope and juggling fire.”
If I ever have a first experience like any on the list above, please virtually slap me in the face.