The journey from 25 to 50 days of confessions was a spirited test of endurance. The continuous momentum I was able to gather at the beginning of my challenge with lining up subject after subject, who readily respected deadlines and the collaborative creative process, vanquished and I was left stuck and muddled in a path that only seemed to lead to frustration. I agonized about whether my questions were engaging enough…I wondered if I was too passive or assertive with follow-ups…I pondered about whether I was crazy for taking this task on in the first place…
Yet, every time I questioned whether my project was effective with my initial intent of connecting, inspiring and redefining cultural norms through shared travel experiences, I was reminded of its significance via little nudges in the form of a kind note of appreciation from one of my subjects, inbox inquiries from strangers wanting to be part of the project and general enthusiasm over the idea popping up in water-cooler conversations. It became apparent that I didn’t have a choice but to keep going…no matter how long the project takes me. #100DaysofConfessions is no longer a singular idea for the sole purpose of fighting a battle against procrastination and perfectionism. It has become a united, multi-dimensional effort between my subjects and I to include the many shades of grey that naturally revolve around the topics of identity and finding a sense of purpose.
In fact, evaluating the notion of identity was the greatest recurring theme ebbing and flowing throughout many of the stories from this segment. There were tangible reflections of childhood wonderment that would later shape career paths. There were abstract discoveries of significant colors, auras and environments that ignited passions of feeling present and alive. There were also painstaking moments of acceptance that a concrete sense of self would always be elusive in some form or another and finding solace, humor and strength within this truth.
For what it’s worth, it has been such a remarkable honor to share every single story and glimpse into the 50 dynamic explorers I have been lucky to profile. Their openness and creativity continues to inspire me. I have to recount the sentiment of one of my most humorous subjects during this stretch, Larry Smith, “On the road, my brainwaves explode…In a good way of course!” This journey has been mind-blowing and motivational. I’m certainly tightening up my bootstraps and abandoning all expectations regarding process for the next run!
KO #100daysofconfessions ✈️
Illustration by Elle Luna