It’s hard to believe that just over three months ago, I was sitting in my basement apartment among a mound of boxes that, just days prior, had been my life. Everything I owned except the essentials was packed away.
My mixing bowls, measuring cups, baking pans. A set of vintage ceramic jars that hold dry ingredients. All of it was packed neatly into a box labeled “Goodwill.” Even my full-sized bed with the flannel sheets and the big down comforter and the rocking chair and my little wooden desk (damn, I miss that thing) were among my giveaways.
But that’s just it. Those things were all things. I didn’t need them per say, and that’s what I wanted to see for myself – just how much I could do without. I packed all that crap (and much, much more) into my minivan, parked it in my very patient parents’ driveway, and said hasta luega to my former self, that former life.
Even once the project launched, it didn’t seem real. It’s taken nearly every single one of these past 90-some days for this lifestyle to sink in. In the first month alone I must have done three additional purges before I truly felt like I was operating on the bare necessities. But now, it doesn’t feel so strange to be using the same spork (yes, spork) and bowl every day, the same coffee mug, the same Eddie Bauer outfit. If anything, staying in a house where my glass gets used once before ending up in the dishwasher seems much stranger.
I’ve spent a lot of hours sifting through video footage both old and new this past week to pare down into three minutes just what’s been going on these past three months (that’s no easy task, by the way). There have been times that were particularly rough, sleepless nights I was sure my Go would get blown away in a storm, or mornings I would awake to the mess a raccoon made of my week’s worth of food.
But as I was replaying interviews and browsing through videos, those moments didn’t surface. What I thought of, instead, were the incredible people I’ve met and reconnected with along the way. From the Carolina coast to the highlands of Pennsylvania, I’ve met people from every walk of life who have inspired me in ways I’m sure even I can’t fully grasp right now.
This video barely even begins to scratch the surface of showing just who those faces were, but they, and ultimately you, are the ones who make this project what it is. Without the support of our readers and people who want to help me fulfill this crazy dream of mine, I would never be able to swallow my self-doubts and press on.
So thank you to all of you amazing people out there who let me bum on your couch, eat your food, wash my stinky synthetics in your washing machine, hang my paddling gear up in your front yard, and plug 4,032 different cables and cords into your power outlets. Thank you to the strangers out there who have welcomed me with open arms and shown me a little glimpse of your backyard adventures. Thank you, Panera, for letting me poach Internet even though I usually only buy one cookie.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.