Being Someone and Something Else

2:49pm Vancouver BC time

This is the term’s first weekend, and we were already given a project to work on. But instead of getting all noxious about this, I actually find this project very interesting, mind-stimulating and mostly,eye-opening. It’s a project unlike any other I’ve worked on in my life by far. Our mentor entitled this project “The First Weekend Project”. Here is what she wanted us to do:

These next four months are all about learning what you don’t know. To get you started and because we have a weekend, here is your project: Try 8 new things.

So here. I came up with a list, and I’ve done each one over this weekend.

1. Sleep on the left side of your body.

2. Make long long distance calls with your very “restrictive” phone plan. 

3. Pimp your notebook.

4. Watch an old film (1970′s or older).

5. Eat something really spicy and actually digest it.

6. Go on half a day without using your right hand.

7. Take out the garbage.

8. Literally talk (out loud) to nature (trees, stones, the air, the skies, the rain, etc.)

Personally, the best thing about this project is the realization that comes with doing the things that are not part of your habits. Because of this experience, I have come to see and live life in a totally different way for 48 hours. It’s also very closely associated to being something and someone else in a period of two days. Say for instance when I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s yesterday. It’s a film directed by Blake Edwards in 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn. Not only did I discover how great and glamorous Audrey Hepburn was and how old films are also very incredible in their own respect, but I also, for an hour and 49 minutes, was watching what my aunts, uncles and grandparents were most probably watching three quarters of a century ago. For an hour and 49 minutes, I was a 60′s boy enjoying a 60′s movie. When I went on for 11 hours without using my right hand earlier today, I not only found out how difficult and ridiculously impossible it is to enjoy life without my dominant hand; I also, for 11 hours, felt what it’s like to be one of those handicapped people with only one arm to work with. It’s not easy at all. And that’s what I learned.

Often times, we are drowned in our own world with our own habitual acts and ways. And maybe life is easier for us this way because this is what we are used to. We don’t take out the garbage and do other mundane chores, we’re not the ones who had to bear with low-quality films in the 60′s, we don’t really have to suffer in carrying things and lifting things because we are gifted with two arms, two hands and ten fingers and maybe we are just lucky enough that we know at least one human language that enables us to communicate our thoughts and ideas to other people. But let us keep in mind that there are other people and things that exist in this world completely parallel to ours. We cannot really do much about them, but we should at least be empathetic. This project may seem all simple and shallow to some, but it has taught me a lot in two days. It has made me experience being someone and something else for a bit. And it has been a wonderful couple of days in my life.

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