The beginning of the end but the start of something new…
Wow, this is the 100th mini-essay, the final of the initial intent I started out with. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would make it this far, and there were definitely moments of berating myself for committing myself publicly to this experiment. I got the seed of this idea from writing a little retro for my 24th birthday, reflecting on my 2021 theme of gambling and what direction I want to take my life and where I draw energy from. That reflection became the first mini-essay because it was shorter than what I normally wrote, conveyed a concise idea, and felt refreshingly honest. My gamble theme pushed me to commit to the idea—to lean into my fears instead of letting them control my trajectory, and so my journey began.
Looking back now at the artifacts and the adventure of creating them, I’m amazed at how effective writing something down is at creating spaces in your mind to house ideas. I like the phrase we use to describe ideas “living rent-free” in our minds. It brings to mind cheeky idea squatters taking up precious mental space to simply vibe and radiate their identities. It’s how we get immersed in culture and beliefs and values—these kernels of thought and feeling claiming mental land (mindshare) for their cause.
By writing these kernels down, giving them a dedicated space to live, evolve, and flourish, and sharing them out into the world, opening the window to the public to eye and interact with, I’ve opened up portals to my inner mind. Personal creations are one of the most effective gateways to intimacy. Because they’re so personally meaningful, there might be layers and meanings in between the lines that people won’t understand, but that quality of being layered and textured is in of itself so compelling. By consuming these deeply personal works of art and excavations, we get to relate in our own experiences and prod deeper into our own layers. In this experiment, words were my building blocks for meaning, and through that meaning, connection. By sharing my mini-essays, I gave others a pathway to take a tour through my mind and see not just the dazzling finished skyscrapers that people normally share but also the decaying neighborhoods and unfinished construction sites and unkept streets.
This experiment was a practice in being shameless1 , embracing authentic weirdness, and building a quiet confidence in my ability (and actually building the quality of my ability) through quantity. In the spirit of gambling, I bet on my personal experiences being meaningful for no reason other than their meaning to me and bet on myself as someone interesting and valuable and thoughtful and worthy of sharing what I think and create. I’m so grateful for how this has forced me to grow more comfortable with being fearlessly myself, urgent in my preservation of ideas that give me energy, and dutiful in my sharing of those ideas with others.
I’ve been thinking about how there’s so much inherent value in these sorts of one-a-day or regular time interval practices and gardening a collection of them. I’ve released other projects in this spirit like my live monitor, my fits stream, and my idea around time capsules, and I want to dig even deeper into this concept in the new year… More to come here.
I feel so energized right now, like a tightly winded piece of yarn. And I feel grateful, to you, reader! Wherever you are, whoever you are. Thank you for reading my words and joining the tour through a piece of my mind and stepping through the portals that I’ve planted across the web. I love how these mini-essays and my writing and creations in general have been this opportunity for intimacy and allowed me to be more vulnerable with so many friends and strangers too. Thank you for those that have stayed with me and dedicate precious time to reading these kernels.
This may be the end of one experiment, but it’s only set the stage for so much more. I haven’t decided what to do about the experiment now that I’ve reached my initial goal—I do want to continue a practice of sharing raw thoughts in some form, but I like the idea that this artifact snapshots in history as 100 pieces as I normally intended to complete. More thinking on this after I spend some time relaxing for the new year…
LET’S GO WE MADE IT!!!! — excuse my inner monologue for having a moment of celebration, carry on.
This is the 100th installment in my experiment of publishing raw, lightly edited mini-essays every day towards achieving 100 public pieces. Check out the rationale and the full list here.
both shameless and being weird were mini-essays that didn’t quite make it over the finish line because I hesitated and wanted to do them justice. Maybe I’ll release them as bonus ones in their raw draft form after :) ↩︎