Day #3: Tenderfoot

Is it fair to be told you don’t know much about life until you’ve been in love? Is it true? I was certainly stepping out of tenderfoot territory in learning varieties of onion, paper good brands, and produce codes. Bananas: 4011 Onion, Vidalia: 4159 Endive/Chicory: 4543 Onion, White: 4663 Apples, Braeburn: 4103 Onion, Yellow: 4665 Ginger Root: 4612 Being a cashier at the local grocery store proved more taxing than it seemed. “Bok Choy,” I said to the bulbous greens a soft-faced woman handed me. Bok Choy: 4545 “I’m surprised you know what that is!” I resisted the urge to tell her it was my job to. “Do I look clueless?” My employee discount was a regular customer in the snack aisles, and I always split two for $7.00 pints of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with my best friend Myriam. “Not clueless, exactly,” she scooped a spoonful of ice cream into her mouth. Ice Cream: Bar Code, Freezer Aisle. Note: scrape frost off bar code to avoid scanning issues. “Then what? Why do people always assume I don’t know anything?” I fished into a bag of pretzels. “It’s because you’ve never had your heart broken,” she popped the spoon out of her mouth. “So?” “So, you’re happy. You seem happy,” she carved circles into the carton.

Day #2: Ubiety

Let’s play a game of hide and seek. I’ve got to be somewhere in the world. If I gave you a clue, do you think you could find me? Meet me where we met. Do you remember that about our friendship? I do. I take my friendships very seriously. You told me a secret for the first time against a wall of mailboxes.We started to become friends when you saw me watching Orange is The New Black on my laptop, and had to give me your two cents. That’s your style. I saw you truly panic for the first time next to two rumbling washing machines. The first time I saw you drunk was in your West Village apartment on New Year’s Eve. Cherry liquor will do that to a girl.
You may remember where you shared your first meal with the loser who broke your heart instead of where we shared ours, but we are friends, not lovers. We will share meals and moments again and again.

Cheers to the 100 Day Project,
Michelle Ajodah

Day #1: Ennui

The heat seeped in through the walls, and I hid from it underneath my bedsheets. It was two in the afternoon, and I had nowhere to be. It should have felt like freedom, like being the shining pearl of an oyster’s meaty center, having the world at my command with no responsibilities. That’s what my friends failed at convincing me when they were trying to cheer me up. Days dripped by like extended yawns. There was nothing that made time disappear the way laying in bed did. The lethargy crawled into my bones, and made stimuli painful and exhausting. I needed a job, but there weren’t any left. I could’ve sewn a blanket from the number of printed resumés strewn across my floor.

Was sewing a skill I could put on my resumé?

Cheers to the 100 Day Project,
Michelle Ajodah

Why It’s Never Too Late to Start Something

I’ve observed that our society has become preoccupied with the concept of “perfect timing,” from the fifteen minutes it takes to bake a cupcake, to wanting relationships and job prospects to pop up at the most opportune time. The way this obsession has hit me is by appealing to my creative sensibilities. I have fallen victim to a bad habit many creatives, especially writers, have come to employ: waiting for the perfect moment to put the pen to the page, for the movement of the muses, for inspiration to strike in a swarm of brilliant ideas. The major flaw in this mode of thought is that nothing ever seems to get done, and procrastination is inevitable. If you wait for that fated moment, you’ll spend your time dreaming of doing work, rather than digging in and getting it done. I unfortunately have been guilty of this too many times.
At the heart of this obsession with doing things at the right time is an obsession with perfection. As far as creative souls are concerned, nobody wants to make work they’re not proud of, and everyone strives to make their masterpiece. We all want our produced work to be as good as our ideas, but in order to get there, we have to learn how create well, and make messy drafts along the way. The fear of imperfection is what keeps us locked inside the cycle of procrastination.
One mass effort to break this cycle is the 100 Day Project, a collaboration between artist Elle Luna and The Great Discontent Magazine. Luna explains the project, inspired by a Yale School of Art workshop led by Michael Bierut, in simple terms; “basically, if you can dream it, you can do it. The only premise? Participants have to do the same action every day for 100 days, and they have to document every instance of 100.” The idea, if you stick with it, is to shake your focus from perfection to creation. In her interview with The Great Discontent, Luna says of the project, “the great surrender is the process; showing up day after day is the goal. For the 100-Day Project, it’s not about fetishizing finished products—it’s about the process.” The project is meant to help artists prioritize their creative process as part of their daily routines, to push through the uncertainty and simply make art.
The 100 Day Project was designed as a social media campaign rather than merely an art project, meant to build a community of artists for collective inspiration, motivation, and momentum. Officially, the project began this spring on April 6th, and will reach its conclusion on July 14th. I have decided to embark on this mission when for most, it is three-quarters of the way complete. It is apt that I have always been a late bloomer, the type to show up once the party’s already started. Although being this late to the starting point is the perfect excuse not to run the race, it would completely shoot down the message of the 100 Day Project to wait until the next time it kicks off. I’ve decided to procrastinate no further, and make no more excuses. My journey of 100 days starts here: 100 Days of Words. Using dictionary.com’s handy word of the day feature, I will write in one form or another, inspired by the word that has been tacked to the calendar for that day. Ironically, the word of the day for June 23rd, the last day before I put myself to task working on this project is “otiose.” The primary definition for “otiose” is: being at leisure; idle; indolent. Hopefully, this is a word I will leave behind with its designated day. How perfectly poetic.

Read Elle Luna’s full interview with The Great Discontent here: Elle Luna: 100 Day Project

More information about the project: #The100DayProject

Cheers to creating and the 100 Day Project,
Michelle Ajodah