Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Kelly Project

A while back, I got around to reading Eat, Pray, Love (By Elizabeth Gilbert) and I really enjoyed it. (No I'm not planning on running off to Italy, India, or Indonesia). I decided I wanted to find more books about peoples' personal soul-searching journeys for my own personal inspiration.

The next book I picked up was The Happiness Project (By Gretchen Rubin). This story of one woman's quest to be happier over the course of year did not involve traveling around the world. Instead it focused on finding the happiest version of oneself in everyday life.

I appreciate both books and methods of self-discovery - and I would not say that one is better than the other. Both have inspired me equally.

Unfortunately, I'm not in the position to run off and travel around the world (yet.... ). So I've decided to give Gretchen Rubin's "Happiness Project" a try. (She is quite encouraging when it comes to others starting their own versions of the project. And I love the fact that she acknowledges that everyone's Happiness Project is different.) I'm calling this "The Kelly Project" though (how deliciously self-centered!). I plan on using aspects of Rubin's project, as well as take inspiration from Gilbert's journey and find more stories to help motivate me in my attempt to be... well, Kelly.

I love Rubin's 12 Commandments. So I will start with my Commandments (some I have borrowed from Rubin or others, some are my own):

Do it now.
Greet anger with understanding and serenity.
Get out of my cave and cast a net into the ocean.
Act the way I want to feel.
Make mistakes.
Help is everywhere.
Minimize clutter.
Soak it in.
Be silly, be light.
Be Kelly.

Rubin also has a list called "Secrets of Adulthood." I have yet to really think about this in terms of my life. BUT I do have a very important personal statement that I have kept in my mind for a long time.

First, the back story. My final year of undergrad, I had the fortune to take a Graduate level class. My mentor in the Department of Anthropology happened to be the Director of Graduate Studies as well and she felt that I would benefit from one of her Grad classes (the topic of the class was Immigration... Of course). I loved the class and the discussions with these "older" people. But sometimes I felt very small around these Grad students with their more "adult lives" and their "real jobs." One day during a class discussion I made a statement - just one simple sentence - and I knew that I had never felt more sure of anything I had ever said before. This sentence hung in the air for a moment and I could see it sinking into the minds of my classmates and my mentor. "I think you've really hit on something important there, Kelly" my professor said. And it was extremely important. After class, I wrote the sentence down on a scrap of paper and hung it on a bulletin board in my room. I kept that scrap for a long time and read the sentence over and over.

The scrap of paper is long gone (lost in my multiple moves around the world), but that one single sentence remains clear in my mind:

It's not about how much you know, it's about your willingness to learn.

So simple. So true. And yet it's something I struggle with everyday. Why is it that as adults, we all want to pretend to be experts about everything? Like if we admit that we don't know something that it makes us LESS of an adult? This is truly idiotic. And yet, I fall into that trap constantly.

Well, no more. This is my year of learning. Of admitting there is SO much I don't know. Of asking people to explain new things. Of just living MORE.

And with that. Cheers!

(Oh yeah, and it's my Birthday today. Perfect time to start this project).

1 comment:

  1. I think I also want to add "Unplug" to my commandments. Too often I am plugged into something -- like the computer, television, or my cell phone. Using technology has it's benefits but there is always a limit. At some point it becomes unnecessary and harmful to just keep surfing the internet or watch one more episode of Law&Order SVU or check those text messages constantly.
    I will learn to turn things off. And with that, I'm off!