#365 The End (?)

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From very early on, I knew that I wanted to end Scare Yourself Every Day with a big party. I always envisioned it as a huge event. Renting out an entire bar. Hundreds of people. Everyone who supported the blog and everyone who was a part of it. The Scientologists, the Mormon Missionaries. My psychic would be telling fortunes at a table. Magic Mike would be doing card tricks for everyone. There would be pole dancers performing. A buffet table full of weird and gross foods. I would make an announcement that I had a book deal. And everything would resolve to a slow motion scene set to music.

Now that the day was here, I knew it wasn’t going to be like that. I didn’t have the money to rent out a space or hire people to do fun activities. Let’s face it, even if I did invite the Scientologists and Mormons they wouldn’t have come anyway. I didn’t know any pole dancers. Weird and gross foods still cost money. I didn’t have a book deal. And life doesn’t resolve to slow motion scenes set to music.

But if I’ve learned anything from a year of doing scary things every day, it’s that even though things rarely go as you imagined it, they can be just as good or more often, better.

When I was sitting by myself in The Alibi room in the lounge area before anyone showed up, it reminded me of when I started this blog. I started it completely alone. I did a week of scary things before I even told anyone about it. It was my little secret. But when I revealed it, I was terrified nobody would read it. Now I was terrified that no one was coming to the party.

Then Andrzej and Christi walked through the door and I started to relax. This party wasn’t going to be an embarrassing failure.

That’s also how I felt when the first few people started reading my blog. Relief my blog wasn’t going to be an embarrassing failure. And just as more and more people began reading the blog, more and more people showed up to the party.

At one point in the night, I went over to the bar and looked back at the lounge area. A couple of hours ago it was empty. Now it was overflowing with people.

Good friend Bob was there. Nate and Andrzej of course. Nate’s girlfriend Caity who I played D&D with. Christi who was there when I rode the mechanical bull. Casey (aka Susan aka The Brownie Girl). Magic Mike who did his own scary thing by showing up to this party alone. Tim, my camera guy for the Awesome foundation. Kristina aka Kate from dining in the dark.Β Chris from the Barmuda Triangle. His wife, Yael who who took me to The Landmark Forums. Erin who encouraged me to write my press release. Matt who suggested a bunch of things to me like writing a letter to my future self. Roy’s who’s kitchen I worked in. And friends who were just readers and supporters of the blog in general.

Maybe the party wasn’t like the fantasy I had imagined early on. But it was better. Because it was real. I used to spend a lot of time creating fantasies in my head. I’d make plans that I’d never go through with. I was always a dreamer and not a doer.Β But over the past year, I’ve become a person that does things. Because I had to.

I used to always put things off until a “better” time. I learned there never is a “better” time. And if you put something off, it’s as good as never doing it.

I thought of everyone else who was a part of the blog but not at the party. Everyone who read the blog. The people who wrote me emails. Gave me encouragement when things were rough. Told me how I inspired them which is still amazing and unbelievable to me. Even the people who would just ask me casually, “What scary thing have you done lately?” The people who I wouldn’t even have met if not for this blog. They were all a part of this.

I discovered how much my family means to me. I feel closer to them than ever before. My mother and I especially have been through a lot this year but I think our relationship is the strongest it’s ever been. I told my Dad all the things people normally say when a person has passed on and it’s too late. I did a few scary things with my sister.

I feel closer to my friends too. Even though the blog is so one-sided, just knowing that my friends were reading it was a connection between us that we never had before. And that they read it all means so much to me.

I was like Charlie Brown before the blog. Depressed, no self-confidence and always lamenting on what he couldn’t bring himself to do, like talk to his little red-haired girl. But because of SYED,Β I finally talked to my “little red-haired girl“.

There’s so much satisfaction from confronting your fears. It’s something you have to experience for yourself. It makes you think anything is possible. When you do a scary thing, you discover you’re stronger than you thought. Much stronger.

And those scary things? They’re almost never as bad you think. Except if you get colon hydrotherapy. Then it’s much much worse.

SYED has also helped me find the joy in life that I never did before. It’s an amazing thing to be excited about the future.

I’ve never been more proud of anything I’ve ever done in my life. Whatever happens, I can look back at SYED and say I did that. One day, I said I was going to do something scary every day for a year and I did it. Nobody can take that away from me.

What are you going to do now? It’s the question everyone’s been asking me. Scare Yourself Every Day as we know it is over. The goal was to do something scary every day for a year and I’ve done that. There’s a beauty to something with a start and finish. It makes this past year so special. BUT…

I’m not going to stop scaring myself. It just won’t be every day. I can’t tell you how much SYED consumed my time, thoughts, energy and even money. It’s time for a break. But I’m going to keep writing in my blog and I’ll hope you’ll continue to follow me.

I want to make a SYED community where people can talk and share stories about scaring themselves. A place to trade ideas and scary things to try. To give support to each other to do things they never thought possible.

So today is both an end and a beginning at the same time.

And just because life doesn’t have slow motion scenes set to music, doesn’t mean I can’t make my own…

17 Comments to “#365 The End (?)”

  1. Will F. 4 March 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Congratulations! You really have been on an incredible journey, and it’s been great to have followed along the whole way!

    • karen 5 March 2012 at 12:49 pm #

      Congratulations, Greg!! It took balls of steel to commit to SYE — I’m really looking forward to you sharing your upcoming adventures. Best of luck! πŸ™‚

  2. Vivi 5 March 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    I’m a little sad it’s over, but I guess it’s not completely over =) Don’t take too long a break!!! I can’t wait to read what happens next!!!

  3. Sling 6 March 2012 at 7:55 am #

    You’ve lived more this past year than most of us. The montage really shows that. Congratulations finishing your marathon of scary things. Terrify Yourself Every Week? Anyone? Anyone?? Bueller?

    • Greg 6 March 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      Thanks man. Yeah, something weekly at the most! And thanks for being such a supporter of the blog. Means a lot to me.

  4. MayorToby 6 March 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Congrats on doing this a full year! Not gonna lie, a bit sad it’s coming to a (somewhat) end. Sorry I couldn’t make it to the finale party. See you soon.

    • Greg 6 March 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      It was fun! Sorry you missed it. I really wanted to thank you in person for supporting the blog like you did. I will buy you a drink at your engagement party!

  5. […] so much satisfaction from confronting your fears,” Tung wrote at the conclusion of the challenge. “It’s something you have to experience for yourself. It […]

  6. Barry 6 March 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    I wish I had found this site earlier so I could have followed the entire trip, now I have to spend the next couple days reading posts. Good job tho man

    • Greg 7 March 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Catch up on it and now you’re at the start of my next journey. It will be fun!

  7. Jami Sue 7 March 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Holy cow, Greg! I just saw your story posted on Yahoo! and immediately had to check out your site! What you did is so inspirational! I’m sure so many people out there agree with me on this. πŸ™‚ I, too, wish that I would’ve found out about your journey earlier, but I look forward to following you now to see how the journey after your 365 days plays out. I’m sure you won’t disappoint! πŸ™‚ I commend you for being brave enough to face so many of your fears and for sticking to it. One year is a long commitment, and not many people could have done it, so the fact that you did, is very admirable. πŸ™‚

    • Greg 7 March 2012 at 11:20 pm #

      Thank you and yes, now you’re at the start of my next journey and you can say you were there in the beginning! And that doesn’t mean I have to go alone. You can start your own!

  8. Kellie 7 March 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    I found your blog through Yahoo and haven’t stopped reading it for hours. I wish I had known about this a year ago as I would have been a follower. It motivates me to find 365 awesome things to do…but maybe take the rest of my life to do them. You really put yourself out there and I’m inspired. Congrats!!! πŸ™‚

    • Greg 7 March 2012 at 11:25 pm #

      If you make a list, I want to hear about it!

  9. Allen 8 March 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I just found your blog just recently on Yahoo and I’m looking forward to reading it from the start. This is a great inspiration for me to get out there and do something too!

  10. Bif 20 March 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Wow. Just plain wow. You are the kind of brave I wanna be. So inspiring. Amazing. Thank you.

    • Greg 28 March 2012 at 7:18 am #

      Thanks! Now go and scare yourself!