My brother recently took up an experiment: do something scary every day for a year. These scary things included talking to someone new (we’re both very shy), going to a party by himself, and telling his friends about his blog.
Then he did number 15: post an embarrassing video of himself on YouTube:
And he has become, for at least these 15 minutes, an internet sensation.
Over 100,000 views. On the front page of Reddit. Mentioned on The Daily What and Buzz Feed.
It’s a hilarious video and really well-edited. At times I thought, Is that my brother? Most of the time I was laughing. But more importantly I was thinking, I want to scare myself too.
I probably won’t be posting any videos of myself, but for the past several days, I’ve sort of been quietly keeping track of the “scary” things I’ve been doing. When challenged or nervous about something, I’ve thought, Just do it, you can cross off the scary thing you have to do today. Here they are thus far.
3/16: Speak in a meeting. I have to do this three times a week, and every single time, I get nervous. For some reason this time, thinking, This is my scary thing, made it less scary.
3/17: Be in the front and middle in yoga. I’m not as bad as I used to be, but I still prefer to be near the middle and hugging the wall or a pole. On this day, it was either squeeze in the back, or head to the very front, smack in the middle. Scary thing be damned! Front middle it was.
3/18: Yell at large. Again, at work. We were in a meeting, trying to start, and people were still yakking. I yelled, “We’re starting now!” They didn’t listen, but at least I tried.
3/19: Let myself leave at the last minute. Normally, I’m anally early, but on Saturday, I let myself leave at the very last minute to meet MB at the airport. His flight was delayed, and I could have left sooner, but I waited till he texted me that he had taken off. And when he did, I wasn’t even ready yet, and usually I’m ready waaay beforehand. This time, I purposely waited, got the text, threw on my clothes, and ran out the door. Was still 30 minutes early though.
3/20: Play piano (not scales) at full-volume at a music store. MB and I visited a music store so that he could drool over the electronics. Bored, I fiddled with the synthesizers. I don’t usually play anything, mostly because all I can remember are scales, but that day I played an actual song. Well, part of a song, but at full volume. Then I wished I remembered more.
3/21: Question the boss. This was probably the scariest thing I’ve done so far. It was a small question, but I always worry about coming off as insubordinate or bitchy. Then I thought, Fuck it, the worst he can say is no. But he didn’t! Not entirely. We reached a compromise, which we wouldn’t have if I hadn’t asked.
(Ha, you know, my boss says, “How do you know when you’ve crossed the line? When you cross it.” Then hopefully you’re in good enough standing to reel it back in case you’ve gone too far.)
3/22: Be pushy. Rather than waiting, I went ahead and demanded of my brother, “Blogroll me!” Call me opportunistic. Of course I also linked his site – and wrote an entire post about it!
While I’m glad to have done these things, they’re small scary things. What about big ones? Like reading my work in public? Or taking a cooking class? Or (gulp!) a dancing class? I’m not making any promises though. Just some considerations.