Below is the preface to the Everyday Project manual that I am writing as a result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. There are still a few days left in the campaign. If you ever thought about starting your own project, now’s the time to do it. You get a copy of the manual for only $3.
The Everyday Project: A Guide
In the 2080s, I suspect I will fall victim to one type of cancer or another. Given my demographics, I should live to be almost 90 without too much of a problem–so long as I don’t get in a violent car accident or piss off my future wife too badly (which is a possibility). In the days that follow, my family, friends, and former coworkers will gather for my viewing. I’m quite the introvert, so I imagine this being a small event.
Some people have specifics about what their funeral will look like. Who gives the eulogy. Where it is held. I only have one stipulation for my funeral. At some point I want the lights dimmed and my Everyday Project to play from start to finish. I started when I was 17. So long as I live a normal lifespan, the video will show me aging more than 60 years. At the current rate, a year passes in my video every 18.26 seconds. If I keep that speed, the Project will last nearly 20 minutes. Enough time for the mourners to truly reflect.
It’s hard to imagine that a lifetime project will end up being only 20 minutes. But it is so much more. If you are reading this manual, then you already know the power of an Everyday Project. All you have to do is watch one. I will never forget the first time I watched Noah’s project nearly a decade ago. At first all I could think was, “Who’s this guy?” Then it was, “This guy must really like his face.” But then hair is cut. Beards grow and are shaved. The default background suddenly changed….
..and you suddenly realize that you are being invited into an incredibly intimate part of someone’s life that can be expressed in few other mediums. Everything changes in our lives. Our clothes go through cycles. We move. People in the background fall in and out of our lives. But we are still there. Aging, ever so slowly. It’s a thought that brings up so much emotion–from primal fear of death to bottomless courage to live life.
To me, The Everyday Project is so much more than an egotistical selfie project that we all get labeled as by the comment section. It is project that grows in meaning with every passing year. When you reach your first year, it’s cool to look back and know that you were able turn it into a habit. When you hit three years, you start to feel something when your watch your project. You aren’t simply seeing yourself from three years ago. You are seeing the person you were three years ago turn into the person you are today.
Once you hit the 5-7 year mark, you know you can never go back. It’s addictive. For me, the start of September means it’s time to put together another Everyday Project video. Another year. I may only be adding 18 seconds to the video, but that’s not what you see. You see a long string winding through different phases.
As I near eight years, I see myself finishing out high school, hating college, struggling with finding a career, going off to the Peace Corps, coming home, and starting a career. Through all that, you can spot old girlfriends over my shoulder. Friends show up quite often. The Eiffel Tower is in the back of one photo. Watching the video acts like an injection of nostalgia pumped directly into your heart Pulp Fiction style.
This is why I try to encourage people to start the project and make it their own. So far I have convince two family members and one friend to start their own project. I hope to reach many more with this manual. Thanks to the extremely generous backers on Kickstarter, this is now a reality. This manual will cover all the basics. I will take you from before you take the first picture to turning it into a lifelong project. Before we begin, I’m going to start with the one piece of advice I repeat to anyone who is interested in this project:
It is never too late start an Everyday Project. Whether you are 11 or 65, your project will quickly become something you cherish.