From my own experience doing projects that people have said are “cool” and “inspirational,” I’ve learned one big thing: it isn’t all cool and glamorous.
When you look at projects like the Before I Die wall you see the awesome final product: a huge chalkboard wall filled with the aspirations of peers. Or the Looking UP project, a huge bulletin board of the names of strangers who’ve made a huge impact on another stranger’s life. What you don’t see is the lengthy meetings that involved discussing (sometimes aggressively), “How big should the arrows be? What color? What phrases should we use?” What you don’t see is the time spent building the panels and making mistakes and having to go buy more wood and more screws and having a panel break the night before the project launched.
A lot of un-fun work goes into making something awesome.
Which is a good thing.
My expectations were to be an oddball as one of the few non-technical attendees. Well there were a lot of non-technical, first-time attendees and I knew a few of them. Although I didn’t have a lot of experience in market research, business concepts, tech, or entrepreneurship in general, the skills I had which I considered “not-so-useful” or “common,” like team coordination and focus were skills I realized that not everyone actually applies.
The expense of such a valuable experience was a mentally draining weekend consisting of coffee, pizza, pasta, bagels, and whatever else they served that I shouldn’t have eaten. I even unintentionally ate during my fasting period. I didn’t realize I was eating a bagel until I was halfway done with it. It was a high-stress weekend.
What I didn’t expect was to have my values even further engrained into me. I thought I already knew these things, but my first Startup Weekend made me see these values in a new light. In 54 hours, the lessons I thought I knew were refreshed and even more deeply engrained into my philosophy. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to force a narrative of struggle and hardship into my life when the reality is I’m extremely privileged.
As stupid as it sounds, in the past year, I chose to not move back home and I didn’t allow my parents to pay off my student loans or car insurance because “I can pay it off on my own.”
People actually have to live through things like having no roof over their heads and not knowing where their next meal will come from because they have no other choice. Yet there I was. A 22 year old from a middle class family who graduated from a prestigious university and has a job (actually, two now) trying to force such struggle into my life.
Pride was the biggest factor in my reasoning, but I instead accredited my attitude to being about “developing persistence” and “building character.”
I just wanted a story to tell. “I was homeless. I had loans to pay. I didn’t have a job. I couldn’t afford to eat. But I got out of it fine.”
I felt entitled to an underdog story. One about survival and conflict and, eventually, overcoming adversity.
Rroutinely starving yourself will make you healthier.
This sounds more like torture. More like a test of wits. Can you withstand not allowing your body to have food when it’s it’s begging for a double double or some pasta or some ice cream?
It’s called intermittent fasting (IF)–it’s not a diet plan, it’s an eating pattern which involves cycling between periods of fasting and feasting. There are varying schedules, but I’ll be sticking to a cycle that involves a 16-hour fast (9pm-1pm) and an 8-hour eating hour frame (1pm-9pm).