At the time of this writing, it is Day #840 out of 1,000 days. And I have yet to take my picture of the day. Hopefully will soon I will take it. "I can't mess up and miss a day now."
Those have been my thoughts over the last couple of months as I have continued my trek to a 1,000 days. Here's some background on how this crazy journey started.
It was in late December 2015, that I decided to take the simple project of a 365 photo project and go for the highlight of 1,000 consecutive daily photographs. Now, if you asked me back then in 2013 that I would be embarking on a 1,000 day photography project, I most likely would not have been interested or I would have been stressed out about it.
But that hasn't been the case at all. And I think it has to be due to the fact that I didn't make that a goal from the start. Rather I changed the goal during the project. The realization or thought of 1,000 days didn't come until later. And over the coarse of doing this project, I discovered that it is okay to change the goal and that change WILL happen no matter what.
Another factor with this project that kept me going and my nerves rested was that I was not doing it alone. I had a great group of friends that help me along the way. My friend Justin made a Facebook group for this project in 2014. The group became a support system. It was the place were we encouraged each other and shared our photography daily or weekly. ;) Doing this kept me and my friends accountable to the project. I can honestly say that without them there, the 1,000 day journey would not be happening.
Here's a side note with the 1,000 day project. The 1,000 day project is happening because of my friends that I mentioned above. It started out originally as a 365 photo project. It was supposed to be only one year. But when some of my friends didn't get to finish it their first year and wanted to do it again, I jumped in to help them. And again, some didn't finished. But instead of not completing the second year, I decided to go for it and complete year two. It was then that I decided that ending at year two didn't seem like anything special. 720 days seemed basic and nothing incredible. So I thought hard and long about what would make it seem like something special. And that's when the lightbulb went off! I'll go to a 1,000 days. Hence the 1,000 journey was born.
So if it wasn't for my friends not completing their projects, I wouldn't be on this journey. After writing that, it seems a little weird. However, the case, they are a vital and important part in this journey.
Another reason that I haven't been stressed out about going to a 1,000 days, is that it has become a learned habit. With any project, persistence and habits play a major role to its success. During year one of this project, it took me a good two months to make it a habit without a daily reminder. Once it became a habit, it become second nature and the stress of thinking, creating, and taking a photography of the day went away. I knew without thinking about it I had to do it. So with that out of the way it was painless.
I will also like to note that there have been some very close calls with me missing a day. The worst was when I took a photograph at around 11:56pm. That was cutting it close. The beauty of this project that it does push your limits, creativity, and goal setting to an extreme. But like I like to stay if it doesn't kill you it will only make you better.
In top of having friends and it becoming a habit, the journey to 1,000 days has taught me the valuable lesson of taking time for yourself daily. If not daily but at least weekly. I have known how easy it is to not take care for ourselves. Life happens, we get busy, and we become complacent, especially with ourselves. It is highly important that we take the time to devote to ourselves. To some, it can feel selfish, I too felt this. But I have changed that stance. And now self care is my number one priority. It is above all else.
The reason, I change my opinion on this is because I realized that not taking care of myself is not going to do anyone any good. And that I would not be able to accomplish all the things that I want for myself. It has been a long road for me to see this but it is solely the truth. I realized that at the end of the day, only you can devote the love and care to you. Only you know what makes your tick, what drives you, and what makes you happy. I understand now, that we can not make the way we feel about ourselves based on how others view or think about us. Only we can make ourselves happy and sad. It is only us.
The 1,000 day photography project has been a journey were I can tangibly see where my highs and my lows have been. It is the place were I can see the people, places, things, and experiences that have highlighted my life. Looking back at the days I've photography so far has been a way for me to travel back in time and re-experience the moments, memories, and feels of those days. I can't think of a better project to all you to do that.
Even though, I only share 1 photograph to represent that day. The photo, that represents the day helps me remember the moments and things that occurred during that day. It is a cool thing to have.
So now with me closing in on a 1,000 days, it is coming apparent and this project is coming to a close. Will I finish off the 3rd year? Who knows at this point? But in all likeliness, I will continue the project in some form.
And how will I celebrate this milestone? Well I don't have anything concrete yet but my vision is to have a photography show to showcase all the photos from this journey. I know for sure that in some way I want to show what 1,000 days in a life is like. So off, 2.5 years of photography. And I would also take this opportunity to show other works that I have yet to highlight. So stay tune for the details as they become more concrete. Until then, I still have 160 days to go.
Thanks for reading.
Keep up with the project here:
Photo 365 - Year 1 - 2014
Photo 365 - Year 2 - 2015